Utah state outlinePicture of a patch of sod in Utah

Utah Sod Guide

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

transition zone

However, by selecting grasses that are well-suited to the Intermountain West zone and laying them during the optimal times of year, it is possible to create a lush and beautiful lawn.”


Utah has a semi-arid to arid climate with hot summers and cold winters. This type of climate can make it challenging to grow grass, as it requires a lot of water to thrive.

The best time to lay grass in Utah is during the spring or fall when temperatures are mild and there is more moisture in the soil. Utah falls under the grass zone known as the Intermountain West.

This zone is characterized by high elevations, low humidity, and extreme temperature fluctuations. These factors can make it difficult to grow grass, as the soil can dry out quickly and temperatures can swing from hot to cold rapidly.

However, there are certain grasses that are well-suited for this zone, such as those that are drought-tolerant and can handle temperature fluctuations. Overall, growing grass in Utah can be a challenge due to the semi-arid to arid climate and extreme temperature fluctuations.

Which grasses grow best in Utah?

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

Utah, 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 Utah:

BuffaloLow-maintenance, warm-season grass, drought-tolerant, thin bladed, suited for low-traffic areas. The price per square foot for Buffalo generally ranges from $0.55 to $0.80 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 Utah for residential lawns.

What is the best time to lay sod in Utah?

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 Utah

What's the ticket to lush, verdant yards in those shady Utah spots? Cue drumroll, folks β€” the right sod! Utah's diverse climate adds to the challenge, but we're not here to back down, are we?

You got shade, we got solutions! Fine Fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass, and Tall Fescue are our stars today. These babies can handle less sunlight and still show off their green swagger.

Starting with Fine Fescue, this grass type is your Zen master. The ultimate 'cool-under-pressure' kind of grass, it can thrive even with just 4 hours of sunlight a day. It's slow-growing, yet hearty, needing far less mowing and more opportunities to step back and admire your green space.

Now let's talk about the King of Cool-Season grasses β€” the Kentucky Bluegrass. Rocking a deep emerald or blue-tinted colour, this grass is no drama queen. As long as it gets 6 hours of sunlight and regular watering, it maintains its royal composure. Bonus? It has good tolerance against traffic and minor diseases.

Last but not least, we've got Tall Fescue. This grass is like the bad boy of the lot, presenting a kind of defiant resilience to heat, drought, and wear. It manages with just 4-6 hours of sunlight and boasts a deep root system for better water efficiency.

Now, all this isn't us saying sunlight isn't important. Of course, it is. Photosynthesis isn't going to perform its magic without sun, after all. These grass types are simply going to keep your lawn from looking like a 5 o'clock shadow when sunlight is scarce.

So, pick your contestant and let the Utah shade challenge begin! Sod it right, and your grass will be the talk of the house - er - yard.

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

What grasses stay green year-round in Utah?

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 Utah:

Grass TypeCaveats
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.

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