Missouri state outlinePicture of a patch of sod in Missouri

Missouri Sod Guide

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

transition zone

Ready to lay your Missouri lawn? The sweet spot is spring or fall, when temperatures are Goldilocks-perfect, and rain is regular enough to give your grass a good start. This sets up your grass to stand strong, come summer heatwaves or winter frosts.


Alright, let's talk Missouri. Up north, it's a humid continental climate—think hot summers, cold winters, and rain that doesn't play favorites with the seasons. Down south, it's a subtropical party, keeping the temperature dial consistently high.

In Missouri, your lawn's fate hinges on the grass zone it calls home. The Show-Me State is a bit of a patchwork, divided into cool-season, transition, and warm-season zones. Up in the north, where winter bites and summers stay mild, tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass rule the roost.

These cool-season champs lap up the climate here. Take a trip to the middle of the state, where summers sizzle and winters chill, and you'll find a mixed bag. The transition zone plays host to both warm and cool-season grasses.

Think fine fescue rubbing shoulders with zoysia grass. Down in the south, it's warm-season territory. Hot summers and mild winters are music to the ears of Bermuda grass and centipede grass.

Which grasses grow best in Missouri?

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 Missouri located in the transition zone region of the United States
Missouri is a transition zone state and falls in the region higlighted above

Missouri, 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 Missouri:

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.
Fine FescueCool-season grass, shade-tolerant, fine texture, low maintenance, ideal for low-traffic lawns and erosion control. The price per square foot for Fine Fescue generally ranges from $0.45 to $0.75 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 Missouri for residential lawns.

What is the best time to lay sod in Missouri?

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 Missouri

When it comes to choosing the best sod for shaded areas in Missouri, we need to pay attention to the fussy details like sunlight hours and climate conditions. Don't freak out, we've got you covered!

First up, we've got Fine Fescue, an MVP of shade tolerance. This tough guy can endure only four hours of sunlight per day. Its secret weapon? Fine leaf blades. They capture minimal light, thriving in shade like a mossy forest floor. It doesn't need much care so you can kick back and relax.

Next, St. Augustine grass. It's literally "cool" as it thrives in cooler locations. It can handle about six hours of sunlight a day. Its rich, dark green color gives a beautiful, thick carpet-like look. Not a big fan of cold weather, but a little shade? Absolutely.

If you've got a mix of sun and shade, we highly recommend Zoysia. It's like the rockstar of sods, taking on both sun and shade with equal enthusiasm. It requires at least five to six hours of sunlight per day. However, be sure to keep it well hydrated, Zoysia loves a good drink!

And, if you're dealing with heavy shade, go for the Rough Bluegrass. With its light green color and soft texture, it can bring a lush carpet feel to your lawn. Four hours of sunlight is all it asks for.

But let's be real, Missouri weather has mood swings. Luckily, the Kentucky Bluegrass can handle them. It's not the most shade-tolerant in the roster but with six to eight hours of sun, it's a champ.

We believe in mixing things up, so feel free to seed your lawn with a variety of these grasses. Create a blend that best suits your landscape's personality. Remember, lawns are like people, they've got their quirks and preferences. Listen to them, cater to their needs, and they'll reward you with lush, green beauty that boosts curb appeal and makes neighbors green (pun absolutely intended) with envy.

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

What grasses stay green year-round in Missouri?

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 Missouri:

Grass TypeCaveats
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.
Fine FescueIt keeps its green color throughout the year in ideal conditions. If the winters are particularly harsh, it may lose some color.

Why Not Try Our
Sod Calculator?

  • It's Free! No signup or email required
  • Delivery, installation, soil and regrading estimates
  • Get an idea of sod pricing in Missouri