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Guide to Grasses

Stover professional turfgrass

About This Guide

This guide was developed in order to assist Landscape Architects, Contractors, Public Agencies, Turf Managers and others in the proper selection of turfgrass for their situation. Because of the development in the past ten years of many new varieties of turf, selection of the proper grass species has been made more complicated. Hopefully this guide will simplify the process for you. In any event, should you have any questions regarding this guide or on turfgrass selection, our staff would be happy to assist you.

Services offered by Stover Seed Company

  • Eight experienced salespeople available for phone or “onsite” recommendations.
  • Specification assistance and consultation
  • Special orders for unusual varieties
  • Large inventory
  • Customized blending and packaging
  • Our own fleet of delivery trucks to ensure prompt delivery
  • Inoculation of legumes
  • Flower and Native Seeds
  • Technical Bulletins on the latest in turfgrass research and development

Tips on selecting varieties and buying seed

Since seed represents only a small percentage of the total cost of a project, use premium quality seed. Many turf grass problems are a direct result of poor performing varieties. The improved varieties listed in this guide have been bred, developed and tested to produce a long lasting, lower maintenance, disease free and attractive turf.


Buy only high germination, low weed and low crop seed. A “good buy” on seed may reflect poor quality. Specify minimum purity and germination when purchasing.


Certified Seed (or Blue Tag) guarantees the “genetic” purity of a variety. If this is important to you, insist on certified varieties signified by the blue tag on the bag.


Turfgrass Mixtures and Blends generally provide a wider range of tolerance to drought, diseases and insects as opposed to planting a single variety.

Climatic zones for grasses in California

The exceedingly varied climates of California ranging from the arid desert to the cool and humid Northern Coast can be broadly grouped into five zones from the standpoint of turfgrass adaptability. These zonesshould help to serve as a guide in turfgrass selection. However, when choosing a turfgrass keep in mind that local conditions can vary in precipitation, temperature extremes, altitude, land slope and soil type which may necessitate a different selection.


All grasses are categorized as either cool season or warm season. Warm season grasses are best adapted to the southern half of the State and the hot interior valley. They are relatively easy to maintain but turn dormant and become brown in the winter. These grasses are then overseeded (usually with perennial ryegrasses) in order to maintain a green turf all year long.


Cool season grasses grow well in the north, at high elevations in the south and along the cool coast. However, these grasses, with proper water and care, can adapt well to most of the climate zones indicated. Ifyou are unsure which zone your area falls in, our staff can assist you in the proper selections.
















Southern Coastal and Foothills

Interior Valley


Northern Coast and Foothills


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