Types of Grass in East Tennessee
East Tennessee yard in spring

Types of Grass in East Tennessee

Spring has officially arrived in East Tennessee which means the optimal time to plant new grass seed is near! Rainscapes recommends seeding your lawn in late spring or early summer to achieve the healthiest grass possible. But what is the best grass for East Tennessee lawns? Choosing the right species to plant can seem overwhelming, especially if you aren’t familiar with all of your options. There are three questions you should consider to make that decision:  

1. Do cool-season or warm-season grasses work better in your area?

Cool-season grasses are able to withstand cold temperatures and harsh winters whereas warm-season grasses thrive in hot temperatures and mild winters. Typically, East Tennessee has hot summers and cold winters so a mixture of these two types performs well.

2. How much light does your yard receive?

Some grasses tend to prefer heavy light saturation while others grow just fine with minimal light. East Tennessee would be considered moderate to heavy light but it all depends on the location of your lawn and whether or not there are obstructing trees or houses nearby.

3. Do you live in a high rainfall area?

Depending on the average amount of rainfall your area receives, some species of grass will grow better than others. In recent years, Knoxville has become not only hotter, but wetter, too. However, drought-resistant grasses still thrive in East Tennessee.


Let’s review the types of grass most commonly used in East Tennessee lawns.


Tall Fescue

  • Grows well in shady areas
  • Cool-season grass
  • Disease resistant
  • Fertilization and weed control in spring for the best results
  • Overseed in fall for best results (this allows the roots to develop through cold seasons before summer temperatures arrive)
  • Requires more water in summer, roughly 1.25 inches of water weekly



  • Prefers a lot of sunlight
  • Warm-season grass and very sensitive to cold temperatures but lasts longer than Zoysiagrass
  • Overseed in spring for the best results
  • Choice for new construction (it takes root quickly and is low maintenance once established)
  • Drought-tolerant, requires 1 inch of water weekly



  • Prefers light but can withstand moderate shade
  • Cool-season grass
  • Overseed in fall or spring for the best results
  • Moderately drought & heat resistant and needs 1.25 – 1.5 inches of water weekly


Kentucky Bluegrass

  • Requires heavy sunlight
  • Cool-season, excellent for withstanding cold temperatures
  • Overseed in spring for the best results
  • Moderately vulnerable to heat and drought and requires 1 – 1.5 inches of water weekly



  • Prefers a lot of sunlight but tolerates moderate shade
  • Warm-season grass
  • Overseed in Fall for the best results
  • Very drought tolerant with low watering maintenance

So, if you live in East Tennessee, you can expect to see one or more of these grasses in your yard. While about 90% of our customers have tall fescue and bermuda grass is becoming more popular, it’s important to know all of the options available in your region. Your specific location, square footage, coverage, and anticipated rainfall will help us to determine the best types of grass for your lawn. Contact us today to see how we can help you find the perfect species of grass for your East Tennessee home!

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