I am a city girl who just purchased my 1st house and knows nothing about gardening. I want to start off with the basics like what is the best grass to use? I live in middle Georgia if that helps out any. I want the pretty green grass but people keep telling me that down here in Georgia I can't have that unless I am ready to spend lots of money on my water bill. Can someone please help me in finding a good low maintanence grass that will survive the Georgia heat.
You don't say what zone you live in but i am assuming it is at least 7 or 8...therefore the new disease free St. Augustine is wonderful but needs so much water....the zygoza (sp?) is not nearly as carpeted, but requires very little water and stays so green. I am happy down here in zone 9a in Texas to have Bermuda. I am getting ready to fertilize and then it only gets the rainfall (or a little help sometime). Ask your biggest and best nursery in town...I am just talking off the top of my head..
Turfgrass, in my opinion, is highly overrated. I know many homeowners want a "perfect lawn" and for it to be greener than the neighbors'. There are so many ecological reasons why turfgrass and lawns are unnecessary and detrimental. Nature strives for balance, and balance is achieved with diversity. Rarely in a natural setting would you find several thousand square feet of nothing but one plant. It's not natural.
Okay, getting off my soapbox now to try and give you the advice for which you asked. It does seem that bermudagrass would be the lowest maintenance choice. St. Augustine is beautiful, but does require more water in summer to keep it healthy and "happy."
Here's a link from the University of Georgia which seems to be a good starting point if you don't mind doing some reading: http://www.commodities.caes.uga.edu/turfgrass/georgiaturf/Turfgras/index.html
Best of luck! :-)
Grasless: I think you should post your question on the Georgia Gardening Forum and see if someone in your area might be able to help. I'm in zone 9a here in East Central Florida and we have St. Augustine Sod and it does require a lot of water until it's well established ... We've been in our home 32 years and our sprinkler system is on a timer and only comes on twice a week @ 1 hour for backyard and 1 hour for front yard at 4 O'clock in the morning and is off by 6 a.m. If I had my way, I wouldn't have ANY grass at all! I would love to have a totally native, natural setting with cottage gardens everywhere! But, my hubby likes lawn! Good luck in your new home and just remember, it takes time. You should take photo's of how your yard looks now and again approximately every 6 months, I think you will even be surprised at the difference as you begin planting and gardening!
Welcome to the Garden! You will find lots of great people and information here!
I want to thank everyone for the suggestions. You have been a really big help. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
I used to live in Savannah, GA. Almost everyone there had Bermuda grass. It definitely uses less water. If you are from another part of the country where it Bermuda isn't as common, it might take some getting used to. The blades are thicker than "regular grass" (zygosia).
How big is your property? Instead of a big expanse of grass with an occasional shrub or planting bed cut into it, you could have a big expanse of plantings (shrubs, trees, perennials, ground covers) with a lawn area or two cut into it, just where a lawn would be most useful. That would allow you to get the most value out of the smallest amount of greedy grass, and then use less water-hungry plants for the other areas.
Why not walk/drive around and ask your neighbors for opinions? Especially if they have nice lawns. Knock on the door, introduce yourself, tell them you just moved there and ask for helpful information.
That's the way a neighborhood should operate! Might even make some new friends......