Growing Healthy Lawns: Turf Management in Louisiana and Mississippi
Country Homes, Gardening - Mar 15, 2022

Growing Healthy Lawns: Turf Management in Louisiana and Mississippi

For homeowners whose landscaping is a point of pride, the lawn is often considered their crown jewel. Since beautiful turf doesn’t just happen by itself, we’ve assembled some information on grass maintenance in your area of Louisiana and Mississippi. We are fortunate to have turf experts near us with all the information we need to improve our lawns.

Louisiana and Mississippi Growing Zones

First, it’s important to recognize your growing zone when consulting with a lawn expert or considering grasses for your landscaping. 

Louisiana

Plant hardiness zone map - Louisiana.

Mississippi

Plant hardiness zone map - Mississippi.

Most Common Grasses

Each type of lawn grass has varieties with its own water, mowing and light requirements. Research what seed or sod you’re purchasing, and consider consulting with a turf expert before you seed your lawn.

Type of Common TurfgrassHardiness ZonesMow Height (inches)Light
Bahiagrass7-113-4Full sun
Bermudagrass7-10⅜-1.5Full sun, poor shade tolerance
St. Augustinegrass8-102.5-3.0Full sun to moderate shade
Centipedegrass7-101.5-2.5Full sun to light shade
Zoysiagrass6-111.0-2.0Full sun to partial shade
Carpetgrass7-10¾-2.0Full sun to partial shade
Kentucky Bluegrass7a-7b2.5-3Full sun to moderate shade
Tall Fescue3-82.5-4.0Full sun to partial shade
Perennial Ryegrass (cool season)7-101.0-3.0Full sun, poor shade tolerance

Turf Maintenance Resources

Both Louisiana and Mississippi have rigorous college programs advancing the field of turf management. These departments are incredible resources for any turf issue you may come across.

Louisiana

LSU’s AgCenter has published the Turfgrass microsite, Louisiana Lawn Series: A Guide to Maintaining a Healthy Louisiana Lawn. The microsite covers topics such as:

  • Turfgrass species identification
  • Turfgrass management practices
  • Soils and soil fertility
  • Weeds
  • Insects and other pests
  • Diseases
  • Testing laboratories and services
  • Pesticide safety education and training
  • Testing laboratories and services
  • Ask an expert
  • Turfgrass groups and associations

Mississippi

The Mississippi State University Extension service is the go-to resource for turf concerns and resources in the state of Mississippi. 

The MSU Extension site has the following:

Free eBook on Home Lawns

MSU has published a comprehensive book on home lawns:

“The home lawn and turf areas surrounding churches, parks, and office buildings do more than just serve as pleasant green backdrops. The grass plants that make up the lawns serve as miniature air-conditioners and pollution-abatement centers. Download the PDF to learn more about establishing and maintaining your home lawn.”

Download Establish and Manage Your Home Lawn for free.

Common Turf Issues

Below are some of the most common turf issues that homeowners in Louisiana and Mississippi are currently experiencing. If you are experiencing a problem that’s not listed below, please refer to the turf maintenance resources.

Traffic Holes

​​There are no grasses that can hold up to regular wear and tear from children and dogs, with the exception of Bermuda grass. Using fertilizer and water, Bermuda grass recovers most quickly, which is the reason athletics fields in the south use it exclusively.

Weeds

Identify weeds and read about controlling them safely via fertilization, mowing and herbicides. LSU’s Turfgrass Weed guide has extensive information on the following types of weeds:

  • Weedy grasses (e.g. barnyardgrass, annual bluegrass, torpedograss)
  • Sedges & grass-like weeds (e.g. nutsedge, false garlic, green kyllinga)
  • Broadleaf weeds (e.g. doveweed, mock strawberry, lespedeza)

Insects and Armyworms

Your lawn is susceptible to a variety of insects. High on the list of pests ruining lawns across Louisiana and Mississippi right now is the armyworm. Armyworm larvae can eat an entire lawn in one night. 

If you have a hayfield, MSU has a lot of advice for identifying and treating armyworms in pastures

LSU’s advice is geared toward home lawns. Check out LSU’s horticulturist Heather Kirk Ballard explaining more about identifying them in your yard and treating the infestation.

Finance Your Lawn in the Country

If you’re building or buying a home in the country, Southern AgCredit can help you with financing. To learn more or get started, contact Southern AgCredit today.