• Springfield, IL lawn care: Seeding in a transition zone

    September 3, 2019
  • Lawn Care in Springfield, IL

    In terms of climate, Illinois falls into what’s known as a “transition zone.” This is the result of an area of warmer climate becoming one of cooler climate — or vice versa, depending on the direction one is heading. Because of this, transition zones end up taking on characteristics of both warm and cool climates.

    This is particularly relevant when it comes to lawn care because different kinds of grasses thrive in different climates. Springfield, IL residents would do well to keep in mind the special characteristics of their transition zone climate as they go about seeding and caring for their lawns.

    lawn care in a transition zone

    Lawn Seeding in a Transition Zone

    When it comes to choosing grasses for lawn seeding, the best candidates are grasses that can withstand both warm and cool weather. Most warm-season grasses suffer in transition zone winters, and most cool-season grasses suffer in transition zone summers.

    Luckily, there are grasses that fit the bill, with two particularly popular choices.

    tall fescue in a transition zone

    Tall Fescue

    Tall fescue is a cool-season grass, but thanks to its deep root system it’s also tolerant of heat and dryness, making it a popular choice for transition zone lawns. It is also particularly resistant to drought and soil disease and does very well in shaded areas. It comes in both bright green and darker varieties.

    Tall fescue grows fastest in early-to-mid spring (March and April) and mid-to-late fall, going into winter (October and November). It does well in a range of soil types, though it thrives in soil with a pH between 5.5. and 7.5.

    zoysia in a transition zone


    Zoysia is a warm-season grass that is particularly able to withstand intense sunlight, heat, and dryness. However, it is also tolerant of cold weather in a way that other warm-season grasses are not, which makes it ideal for transition zone lawns.

    Zoysia does most of its growth in late spring. When first planted, it takes longer to come in than other grasses, but when it does it is thick and vibrant. It requires only about an inch of water every week and normally requires very little maintenance. However, it can develop thatch, which should be removed in the spring to keep the lawn healthy. Zoysia does best in soil with a pH between 5.8 and 7.0.