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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Choose and identify your turf species

Use this key to identify your grass species

  • Click on illustrations that resemble your grass characteristics.
  • Work through the key until you get to a summary page of your grass with links to management tips.

Importance of identifying turfgrasses

It is important to recognize turfgrass species commonly used for home lawns or around parks and schools. Failure to properly identify a turfgrass species can lead to mistakes in maintenance. For example, not all turfgrass species tolerate the same mowing height or frequency. Irrigation frequency and the amount of water needed vary among species as do the frequency and amount of fertilizer. Turfgrasses also differ in how they adapt to sun, shade, and temperature. Most lawns are mixtures of various turfgrass species.

For more information on specific adaptations and tolerances, see the following tables for turfgrass species that are

See the following publication for more information:

Already know your turf species? Learn key qualities, identification characteristics, and management tips of each.

Thumbnail photo of annual ryegrass
Annual ryegrass
Thumbnail photo of hard fescue
Hard fescue
Thumbnail photo of seashore paspalum
Seashore paspalum
Thumbnail photo of bermudagrass
Thumbnail photo of Kentucky bluegrass
Kentucky bluegrass
Thumbnail photo of St. Augustinegrass
St. Augustinegrass
Thumbnail photo of buffalograss
Thumbnail photo of kikuyugrass
Thumbnail photo of tall fescue
Tall fescue
Thumbnail photo of colonial bentgrass
Colonial bentgrass
Thumbnail photo of perennial ryegrass
Perennial ryegrass
Thumbnail photo of zoysiagrass
Thumbnail photo of creeping bentgrass
Creeping bentgrass
Thumbnail photo of red fescue
Red fescue
Thumbnail photo of dichondra
Thumbnail photo of rough bluegrass
Rough bluegrass

**Annual bluegrass is a weed that often invades lawns and becomes managed as a turf species. For more information on annual bluegrass, refer to: Pest Notes: Annual Bluegrass.

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Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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