Maryland state outlinePicture of a patch of sod in Maryland

Maryland Sod Guide

In this article we'll explore the optimal sod varieties for Maryland. We'll also delve into their associated costs and the ideal times for laying to ensure growth.

transition zone

Go for the tough cookies, the grass types that don't mind a drought, scoff at diseases, and can weather both a summer roast and a winter chill. That's your Maryland lawn dream team.


Let's chat about Maryland, a sizzling summer star and a mild winter wonderland. It's practically steamy, showered with humidity and rainfall all year round.

And the ideal time to go green in this state? Aim for the chillier shoulder seasons of fall and spring, when the earth is cool and drinks up the rain, perfect for your grass to spread its roots.

Now, Maryland straddles the transition zone in the grass world. That's right, this place is versatile, playing host to both warm and cool-season grasses.

But don't be fooled, Maryland can be a tricky host. The sizzling summers and frosty winters don't play nice with every type of grass.

Which grasses grow best in Maryland?

In the world of landscaping, not all grasses are created equal. Each thrives in a specific climate zone: cool, warm, or transition.

A geographical map highlighting Maryland located in the transition zone region of the United States
Maryland is a transition zone state and falls in the region higlighted above

Maryland, with its transition zone climate, prefers a particular set of grasses that relish the a wide range of temperatures. The following grasses are the easiest to grow and maintain in Maryland:

BermudaWarm-season grass, drought-tolerant, dense turf, ideal for lawns, golf courses, and sports fields. The price per square foot for Bermuda generally ranges from $0.35 to $0.65 per square foot.
ZoysiaWarm-season grass, slow-growing, dense turf, good for lawns, golf courses, and sports fields. The price per square foot for Zoysia generally ranges from $0.55 to $0.90 per square foot.
Tall FescueCool-season grass, shade-tolerant, deep-rooted, ideal for lawns, pastures, and sports fields in cooler climates. The price per square foot for Tall Fescue generally ranges from $0.60 to $0.85 per square foot.
Kentucky BluegrassCool-season grass, lush green, fine texture, good for lawns, golf courses, and sports fields in cooler regions. The price per square foot for Kentucky Bluegrass generally ranges from $0.35 to $0.70 per square foot.
Perennial RyegrassCool-season grass, fast-growing, excellent wear resistance, often used for overseeding, ideal for lawns and sports fields. The price per square foot for Perennial Ryegrass generally ranges from $0.30 to $0.65 per square foot.

While it's possible to grow grasses meant for other regions with proper care, attention and timing, these are the most common grasses in Maryland for residential lawns.

What is the best time to lay sod in Maryland?

For transition zones, consider the type of sod. For warm season grasses, aim for late spring. This gives them a full summer to establish before winter. For cool season grasses, fall is best, allowing roots to develop in mild temperatures. Whichever you pick, avoid extremes of summer and winter. So, late spring for warm grasses, fall for cool ones, and skip the severe seasons.

As you can see in the image below, you'll notice the most shoot growth (the grass above ground) and root growth in the spring and fall for cool season grases and during the summer for warm season grasses:

A graph showing the growth of cool season grasses throughout the year
Plant cool-season grasses during the Spring and Fall for best results
A graph showing the growth of warm season grasses throughout the year
Plant warm-season grasses in the late Spring, early Summer for best results

Best Grasses for Shade in Maryland

Alright, folks. We’re gonna talk about the best grass for shade in Maryland, and we're not beating around the bush.

First up, Fine Fescue. This warrior of the shady spaces is your go-to. Your sun-deprived patches will love it. We’re not talking complete darkness, but it's pretty content with about 4 hours of sunlight each day. Cool climates? No problem for this tough guy. It laughs in the face of the cold Maryland winters.

Then you've got your Tall Fescue. This one's a bit more demanding. It's asking you for a minimum of 5 hours of sunlight daily. Picky, but can you blame it? The payoff is substantial, though. Deep, beautiful green hues in some less-than prime real estate.

Next, there's the St. Augustine grass. Not the first pick for Maryland because it prefers hotter climates, but it does withstand shade pretty well. If its water needs are met and it's getting at least 5 hours of sunlight, it can be a real show-stopper.

Last, but by no means least, Zoysia. Say it with us, "Zoysia." This sun-worshiper needs around 6 hours of those beautiful rays we call sunlight, but zero to hero comes to mind. It's disease-resistant and dense, putting on a real show when afforded enough light.

Now remember, grass isn't just a one-size-fits-all situation. Consider your soil, consider your dedication to watering, your willingness to fertilize and aerate. Figure out your light situation, and then delve into these stars of the shady world. Hours of sunlight are just the tip of the iceberg but hopefully we’ve shone a light on your options. Get out there, get planning, and get sodding.

A picture of a shade tree over a lawn in Maryland
Shade tree over a lawn in Maryland

What grasses stay green year-round in Maryland?

As with anything agriculture related, there is some nuance to this question. There are many grasses that can stay green year round in but it depends heavily on your location within the state as well as any microclimates that may exist.

The following grasses have the ability to stay green year round in Maryland:

Grass TypeCaveats
BermudaIt typically goes dormant and turns brown after a few hard frosts in the fall and stays that way until temperatures consistently hit the 60s in the spring.
ZoysiaIt can stay green nearly year-round in milder climates without severe winter freezes or overly high summer temperatures.
Tall FescueIt typically stays green throughout the year in milder climates, given that it isn't overly stressed by heat or drought in the summer.
Kentucky BluegrassIt can retain its green color for much of the year when well-maintained, though harsh winter temperatures can push it towards dormancy and a browner hue.
Perennial RyegrassIt can stay vibrant and green throughout the year in many climates, unless conditions are extremely cold or dry.

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