Here, you will find a brief summary of the major type of grass that is used for pasture land and hay purposes. Some types of grass will also make excellent sod for your yard.
Alfalfa is a perennial legume. It is the leading hay crop in most sections of the country but the Southeast. Alfalfa grows two to three feet tall and has a deep root structure.
Bermuda is a perennial type of grass and grows the best in the Southeast. Bermuda forms a good sod and holds soils really well. Bermuda is primarily a pasture grass but there are types that grow tall enough to bale for hay. Bermuda is very compatible to legumes and is very drought resistant.
Brome grass is a perennial type of grass and grows 3 to 4 feet tall. It forms a heavy sod and does well in the Corn Belt and Pacific Northwest. It is used for pasture and hay and is good to stop erosion.. It can also withstand extreme temperatures and drought.
Buffalo Grass is a low growing perennial and is native to the Great Plains. It forms a dense matted turf about 2 to 4 feet tall. It is noted for its tolerance to drought, cold, heat and alkaline soil and can withstand heavy grazing.
Bur Clover is an annual legume and is related to alfalfa. It is used for winter pastureland but needs mild and moist winters.
Clover is an important genus of the legume family. It has five species that are predominate in the United States. They are red, white, alsike, ladino, and crimson. Their height will range from a few inches to 3 feet. Clove may act as annuals, biennials, or perennials depending on the climate and the soil. It is used for hay, pasture, silage and green manure.
Fescue is a tall perennial type of grass and can be grown in many parts of the United States. It is important in the Southeast and Pacific Northwest and common in my area. It is used for pasture and hay and can grow 3 to 4 feet tall and is very tolerant to wet soils.
Grama grass is a perennial grass and is native to the Great Plains. There are several species and the height ranges from 2 to three feet tall. It is used for pastureland primarily.
Kentucky Bluegrass is a perennial type of grass and grows in most of the United States except the Southwest and at high elevations. It will get 12 inches to 30 inches tall and is best used for pastureland. It is the leading pastureland grass in Canada and the United States.
Lespedeza is a clover like legume. There are two major annual species that are important in the United States. It grows to a height of 4 inches to 2 feet tall. It is used mainly for pastureland, but in the South it can grow tall enough to bale for hay.
Orchard grass is a perennial grass and it is vigorous and lives long. It can tolerate shade and a wide variety of soil types. It does like moisture and forms in bunches 2 to 4 feet tall. It is used for both, hay and pasture.
Rye grass is a fast growing annual and grows 2 to 3 feet tall. It is used for winter pasture in the South. It is used for hay and pasture in the Pacific Northwest.
Sudan grass is a grass like sorghum and an annual. It reaches 3 to 8 feet tall! It tolerate heat and drought very well. It is used for pasture and fresh chopped feed, and can also make excellent hay. It is important in the South but grows as far North as Michigan.
Timothy is one of the oldest and most cultivated grasses. It is a perennial and thrives well in cool, moist climates. It grows in bunches 20 to 40 inches in height and is used for hay especially for horses.
Trefoil, birds foot is a hardy perennial legume and is tolerant to damp, acid, and infertile soils. It is raised from Vermont to eastern Kansas and also the Pacific Northwest. It grow 20 to 40 inches tall and is used for hay and pasture.
Wheat grass is a perennial grass and has five species. Some are native to the West. They grow 2 to 4 feet tall. Some types for good sod and others are bunches of grasses. It is important in dry lands of the West and is used for hay and pasture.