Tennessee Grass Types

Looking for the optimal grass varieties for lawns in Tennessee? Below is a comparison table and accompanying data that will give you information about what grasses are best suited for Tennessee and its inner counties.

Note: Cold, heat, drought, and saturation tolerance are measured on a score of 0-5 with 0 being the least tolerant and 5 being the most.

Tall Fescue

Most suitable grass (on average)

Zoysia Grass

2nd most suitable (on average)

Kentucky Bluegrass

Optimal for hotter areas

Buffalo Grass

Optimal for colder areas

Annual Ryegrass

Best suited for shaded areas

Centipede Grass

Ideal for drought-prone areas

Kikuyu Grass

Great for areas with heavy rainfall

Bahia Grass

Perfect for sunny areas

Lawn Visual
Seasonal Type Cool Warm Cool Warm Cool Warm Warm Warm
Cold Tolerance 4.0 2.5 4.0 3.5 4.0 1.0 1.5 1.5
Heat Tolerance 3.5 4.0 2.5 4.0 2.0 4.5 4.5 4.5
Drought Tolerance 3.5 3.5 3.0 5.0 2.5 4.0 4.5 5.0
Saturation Tolerance 3.0 2.0 3.0 2.0 4.0 4.0 2.5 3.5
USDA Zone(s) 5-8 6-13 1-7 5-9 1-7 7-13 6-13 4-13
Sun Exposure Mostly Sun, Deep Shade Full Sun, Partial Shade Mostly Sun, Partial Shade Full Sun, Deep Shade Mostly Sun, Deep Shade Full Sun, Light Shade Full Sun, Light Shade Full Sun, Light Shade
Moderate, Moderate Moderate, Moderate Moderate, Moderate Low, Slow Moderate, Rapid Low, Slow High, Moderate Moderate, Moderate
Weekly, 1-1.5 inches Weekly, 1 inch Weekly, 1-1.5 inches Bi-weekly, 0.5 inches Weekly, 1-1.5 inches Weekly, 1 inch Weekly, 1-1.25 inches Bi-weekly, 0.5-0.75 inches
Every 5-7 days, 2-3.5 inches Every 7-10 days, 0.5-1.5 inches Every 5-7 days, 2.5-3.5 inches Every 10-14 days, 2-3 inches Every 5-7 days, 1.5-2.5 inches Every 10-14 days, 1-2 inches Every 7 days, 1-1.5 inches Every 7-14 days, 2.5-4 inches
Soil Adaptable
pH: 5.5-7.5
Well-drained, Loamy
pH: 6.0-7.0
Well-drained, Loamy
pH: 6.0-7.0
Well-drained, Loamy to Sandy
pH: 6.0-7.5
pH: 5.5-7.5
Sandy, Acidic
pH: 4.5-6.0
pH: 5.5-7.0
Acidic, Sandy
pH: 5.5-6.5
Texture Coarse Fine to Medium Fine to Medium Fine Fine Medium Medium to Coarse Coarse
Color Dark Green Light Green Rich Green Blue-Green Bright Green Light Green Dark Green Light Green

Tennessee Zones

The interactive map below shows the USDA plant hardiness zones specific to Tennessee. Each zone in the map represents a certain temperature range that is critical for plant survival and growth, divided based on the average annual minimum winter temperature. Click on the map to see the optimial grass types for each county.

Zone No. 6 7
Map Color
Lowest Avg. Winter Temperature -10° to 0°F 0° to 10°F

The chart and table below shows the average monthly precipitation and minimum/maximum temperatures in Tennessee over the last 5 years.

Month Min Temp (°F) Max Temp (°F) Prep (in)
Jan28.94 °F47.28 °F4.89"
Feb33.86 °F53.28 °F9.12"
Mar40.02 °F62 °F6.55"
Apr43.78 °F68.42 °F5.18"
May56.76 °F79 °F4.4"
Jun63.82 °F85.44 °F4.64"
Jul68.38 °F88.52 °F5"
Aug66.62 °F86.7 °F5.11"
Sep60.98 °F83.1 °F3.95"
Oct48.9 °F72.22 °F4.62"
Nov35.36 °F58.68 °F3.48"
Dec34 °F53.44 °F5.73"

The chart below shows the optimal months for seeding or sodding new grass in Tennessee. Suitability for each month is based on the average monthly temperature in Tennessee.

May, June, September and October are the most optimal months for planting cool-season grasses in Tennessee.

June and July are the most optimal months for planting warm-season grasses in Tennessee.

Grass Types by County in Tennessee

Below is a list of counties in Tennessee. Click on any county to get a more detailed analysis.

Data source and citation

Raw data for the grass characteristics was sourced from the USDA's PLANTS Database.

Data for climate zones in Tennessee was gathered from the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map as well as GIS datasets from the Oregon State University PRISM Climate Group.

Average monthly temperatures and precipitation data for Tennessee was sourced from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental information.

Please use the citation tool below to reference any information found on this page.

  • "Tennessee Grass Types". LawnVariety.com. Accessed on July 20, 2024. https://lawnvariety.com/tennessee.

  • "Tennessee Grass Types". LawnVariety.com, https://lawnvariety.com/tennessee. Accessed July 20, 2024

  • Tennessee Grass Types. LawnVariety.com. Retrieved from https://lawnvariety.com/tennessee.