Oklahoma is a state that which it’s geographical location allows the growth of many different grass seed species. However, high temperatures and limited rainfall in the summer limit your cool-season grasses to be grown in lawns with shade and where irrigation systems are installed. On the other hand, Oklahoma can get quite cold in the winter which puts a damper on the color and growth of your warm-season grasses. A successful lawn is determined by a successful selection of a grass seed type that is well suited to your specific growing conditions and expectations.
Of the warm-season grasses, below are the the most well suited for planting in Oklahoma.
- Bermuda Grass (statewide)
- Buffalograss (western)
- St. Augustine Grass (extreme southeastern)
- Zoysia Grass (eastern)
- Kentucky Bluegrass (northern)
- Perennial Rye Grass (northern and excellent selection for over-seeding bermuda in fall)
- Tall Fescue (statewide)
Warm-season grasses are best established when planted in late spring to early/mid summer. Bermuda grass can be planted throughout the entire state of Oklahoma but will go dormant in the fall and turn brown. To maintain a continuous green lawn throughout the entire year, over-seed your bermuda grass in the fall with perennial rye grass. Buffalograss is well suited for the colder regions of Oklahoma and has excellent heat and drought tolerance. Buffalograss will grow well with-out extra water in areas that receive 12 to 25 inches of rainfall per year. St. Augustine grass is the most shade tolerant warm-season grass but requires frequent watering and will perform best in areas of the extreme southeast. Zoysia grass is a medium-textured turf grass that will perform well in the eastern regions of Oklahoma.
Cool-season grasses are best established when planted from August 25th to October 5th and will not perform well in Oklahoma unless you live towards the north in a cooler region or you have an irrigation system installed to provide plenty of water during the hot summer months. Kentucky bluegrass, if managed correctly, can produce a beautiful dense green lawn but be sure to plant more than one cultivar to enhance genetic diversity. Tall fescue is the most heat and drought tolerant of the cool-season grasses but will still require frequent watering during the summer. Because of compatibility issues, never plant Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue as a grass blend but a Kentucky bluegrass/perennial rye grass blend is acceptable and may make an nice fit for your lawn. As mentioned above, perennial rye grass is an excellent choice for over-seeding bermuda grass in the fall.
Click on one of the grasses for information on planting details and then visit the Planting Grass Seed page for detailed instructions on how to correctly prepare your soil and your grass seed for your lawn.
For much more in-depth information on planting grass seed in Oklahoma, check out this publication by the Oklahoma State University Extension Office.