West Virginia state outlinePicture of a patch of sod in West Virginia

West Virginia Sod Guide

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

transition zone

This means that West Virginia is suitable for growing a wide variety of grasses, as it falls in both zones.


West Virginia has a humid subtropical climate in the southern regions and warm-summer humid continental climate in the northern regions. The state experiences cold winters and hot summers, with annual precipitation ranging from 30 to 60 inches depending on location.

Due to the varying climate zones, different types of grass thrive in different regions of West Virginia. Generally, cool-season grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass, Ryegrass, and Fescue do well in the northern regions, while warm-season grasses like Bermuda, Zoysia, and St. Augustine do better in the southern regions.

The best time to lay grass in West Virginia is during the late summer or early fall, when temperatures are cooler and rainfall is more frequent. This allows the grass to establish a strong root system before the winter months.

West Virginia falls under the grass zone of the cool-season and warm-season grasses. Cool-season grasses are best grown in zones 1-7, while warm-season grasses are best grown in zones 8-12.

Which grasses grow best in West Virginia?

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

West Virginia, 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 West Virginia:

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 West Virginia for residential lawns.

What is the best time to lay sod in West Virginia?

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 West Virginia

In West Virginia, not all yards are bathed in constant sunlight. Lucky for us, there are grass types specifically suited for less sunlit spaces. One of our top picks for shaded areas is the Fine Fescue. With its ability to survive in as little as four hours of sunlight a day, it's a warrior in the shadows.

Fine Fescue thrives in cooler temperatures so it doesn't marinate in West Virginia's sweltering summers. Think fine wine, not toast. The grass is resilient and bounces back quickly from any rough play or pet shenanigans. No more torn up lawns after that family football match, we promise.

Next up, we've got the Tall Fescue. It's like the Fine Fescue's bigger, tougher cousin. More robust and dark green in color, it’s as attractive as it is shade-tolerant. Needing about five hours of sun a day, it's perfect for those lawn patches under your favorite apple trees.

Then there's the Kentucky Bluegrass. A bit of a diva, but we believe she’s well worth the effort. Known for its beautiful dense carpet-like appearance, this grass variety needs a minimum of six hours of sunlight and regular watering. Handle with care, and you have the Beyoncé of lawns.

Lastly, the Rough Bluegrass earns a shoutout. While it’s not as visually striking as its Kentucky cousin, it is one of the most shade-tolerant grasses available. Rough around the edges? Maybe. But it only needs about three hours of sunlight and can handle frequent foot traffic.

Remember, sod placement in shadowy areas is an art, not a chore. With these grass types in your arsenal, your West Virginia lawn will be the talk of the town, or at least the neighborhood barbecue.

A picture of a shade tree over a lawn in West Virginia
Shade tree over a lawn in West Virginia

What grasses stay green year-round in West Virginia?

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 West Virginia:

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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