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  • Writer's pictureChris Bookman

From New York Green to Florida Evergreen: Understanding the Grass Transition

Are you a recent transplant from the bustling streets of New York to the sunny shores of Florida? As you settle into your new home, you may notice one significant difference right outside your door: the grass. Yes, grass might seem like a small detail, but for those accustomed to the lawns of the Empire State, the lush greenery of Florida presents a delightful change. Let's explore the nuances of Florida grass compared to its New York counterpart, and understand why it's such a significant transition for newcomers.

New York Grass: Cool Season Varieties

In the cool climate of New York, grasses commonly found in lawns are of the cool-season variety. These grasses thrive in cooler temperatures and moderate humidity levels. Some of the most popular types include:

  1. Kentucky Bluegrass: Known for its fine texture and rich green color, Kentucky bluegrass is a staple in New York lawns. It's durable and withstands heavy foot traffic, making it ideal for residential landscapes.

  2. Fescue: Tall fescue and fine fescue are also prevalent in New York lawns. They're known for their adaptability to different soil types and shade tolerance, making them suitable for various lawn conditions.

  3. Perennial Ryegrass: Often used for overseeding in New York lawns, perennial ryegrass adds quick color and density to the turf. It's quick to establish and blends well with other cool-season grasses.

Florida Grass: Warm Season Wonders

In contrast, Florida's warm and humid climate favors a different set of grass varieties. These warm-season grasses thrive in the tropical conditions of the Sunshine State, offering homeowners vibrant green lawns throughout the year. Here are some of the primary types you'll encounter:

  1. St. Augustine Grass: One of the most popular choices for Florida lawns, St. Augustine grass boasts a lush, carpet-like appearance. It's known for its shade tolerance and ability to withstand the heat and humidity of the region.

  2. Bahia Grass: Commonly found in Florida's pastures and roadside areas, Bahia grass is also used in residential lawns. It's drought-tolerant and requires minimal maintenance, making it a practical option for homeowners.

  3. Bermuda Grass: Known for its dense growth and excellent heat tolerance, Bermuda grass is a favorite for Florida lawns and sports fields. It thrives in full sun and can withstand heavy foot traffic, making it ideal for active outdoor spaces.

Embracing the Transition

For those accustomed to the manicured lawns of New York, the transition to Florida grass might initially seem unfamiliar. However, embracing the unique characteristics of warm-season grasses can lead to a newfound appreciation for your outdoor living space. Here are a few tips for making the most of your Florida lawn:

  • Understand Watering Needs: Warm-season grasses in Florida typically require less water than their cool-season counterparts. However, it's essential to water deeply and infrequently to encourage deep root growth and drought resistance.

  • Mow Regularly: Keep your Florida lawn well-maintained by mowing it regularly at the appropriate height for your grass type. This helps promote healthy growth and discourages weeds and pests.

  • Fertilize Wisely: Choose fertilizers specifically formulated for warm-season grasses and follow recommended application rates. Proper fertilization helps ensure lush greenery and robust root development.

  • Consider Overseeding: If you miss the vibrant green color of cool-season grasses, consider overseeding with a compatible variety during the cooler months. This can provide temporary color while still maintaining the benefits of warm-season grasses.


As you settle into your new life in Florida, take the time to appreciate the beauty and resilience of your new lawn. While it may be different from what you're accustomed to in New York, Florida grass offers its own unique charm and benefits. By understanding the characteristics of warm-season grasses and implementing proper lawn care practices, you can enjoy a lush and vibrant outdoor oasis year-round. Welcome to your new home, where the grass is always greener!


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