There are 40 million acres of lawn in the United States, but not all are created equal when it comes to choosing a robotic lawn mower. Your robotic lawn mower will need certain cutting heights and features, depending on the type of lawn you have.

And knowing what kind of grass you have is important. There are no fewer than 12,000 species of grass out there, and each have their own unique characteristics and needs. Knowing what type of grass you have is essential in making sure you take good care of it. 

Whether you’re in the Northeast or the Southwest, this article is designed to help you identify what grass type you have, and which robotic mower to choose, so you can get the most out of robotic lawn care. 

What type of grass do you have?

The United States comprises three regions – all with separate grass characteristics. Below are different grass types depending on your location:  

Grass Types in the Northern United States

North of the Mason-Dixon line? You have what the pros call “cool season grasses”. 

These grasses include Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fescue grasses. These grasses are shade-tolerant and for the most part, can withstand cold temperatures for extended periods.

This infographic might help from Gustaf’s Greenery

Types of grasses in America

Lawn Care tips for cool season grasses

Here are some expert lawn care tips for the cool-season grasses from our friends over at Lawn Love: 

  • Apply fertilizers in the fall for optimal density and root nourishment.
  • Get rid of weeds in the late spring or early fall when they grow rapidly.
  • The best time to grow cool-season grass is late summer to early fall, as it thrives in hot days and cold nights.

Grass Types in the Southwestern United States

As far east as Oklahoma and Texas and as far west as California, we start to see the “warm season grass types”. These extend all the way northeast to Colorado and northern California.

These include Bahiagrass, Bermuda grass, Saint Augustine grass, centipede grass, and zoysia grass. These grow best in warm regions where temperatures don’t fluctuate too far from 80-95 degrees. 

Bermuda grass can be easily identified by its visible root structure. Saint Augustine grass has broad, rounded leaves, and Zoysia has a unique light-green color that turns brown in dormancy. 

Lawn Care tips for warm season grasses

Here are some expert lawn care tips for the cool-season grasses from our friends over at Lawn Love: 

  • Fertilize warm-season grass in early spring when it rejuvenates after winter dormancy.
  • Mow your lawn with sharp blades and don’t cut more than ⅓ of the grass length.
  • The ideal time for growing warm-season grass is late spring.

Why Does Grass Type Matter when Choosing a Robotic Lawn Mower?

Your average, run of the mill autonomous lawnmower might not have the 4-wheel drive capabilities and deck clearance for certain lawn types, which is why it’s essential to consider what type of lawn you have before purchasing a robotic lawnmower. 

Which Robotic Mower do I need for my grass type? 

Grass-type matters. Here’s a cheat sheet for what type of mower you might need to meet the specific requirements for your lawn. 

Saint Augustine Grass 

The Saint Augustine grass types are a little more complicated than other grass types. Though it’s not a “tall” grass type, it’s thick and broad-leafed, with a spongy root system. This means that two-wheel drive robotic lawn mowers might struggle with clearance and can easily become stuck. 

The solution? Always make sure you have a robotic lawn mower that can tackle a high cut, preferably with an adjusting mowing deck like the Husqvarna Automower 430XH or the Ambrogio 4.0 Elite

Bermuda grass 

If your lawn is Bermuda grass, you’ll need a machine that’s highly adjustable and can tackle a lawn with either a low or high cut, like the Husqvarna Automower 435 X AWD

Why? Bermuda grass the fastest growth rate of any of the common warm-season grasses, which makes this grass notoriously difficult to maintain. (All the more reason to put a robotic mower on the job!) 

Cool Season Grasses

If you live in the American north, chances are, you have Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, or fescue grasses (cool season grasses). 

When it comes to these grass types, most robotic mowers will do the trick. But you still have more to consider: the size of your lawn, your terrain, how hilly your property is, and whether you want to leave the mower on an automatic schedule. 

Why Does Cut Height Matter? 

If you want to grow the healthiest lawn, you don’t want to cut more than 20% of grass blade. And since robotic mowers mow more often, you can keep the cut height higher because you’re not cutting a lot of the grass blade at one time.

Does grass growth speed matter when it comes to choosing a robotic lawn mower? 

Some robotic lawn mowers have the ability to sense growth rate (so they know when to mow and when NOT to mow.) And yet, others do not. So be sure to contact your local Autmow team to ask for an updated list on which autonomous mower brands offer sensors that detect grass height (we can confidently say that Husqvarna Automowers do.) 

But even if a mower has these sensors, you should still monitor mow frequency. If the grass is growing too slow and the mower is going out too frequently, it can cause wear marks, flatten, and even harm the grass.

On the other hand, if the grass is growing more quickly than the schedule is set to manage, the lawn may become too tall and thick for a mower to get through. When this happens, the mower ends up getting stuck more, so you’ll have to go out and manually get it going again. 

Remember – season and weather conditions change the growth rate of grass, so depending on where you live, growth rates are always changing. 

No Matter What Type of Grass You Have, a Robotic Lawn Mower May Be Best for lawn health

There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to maintaining a beautiful lawn. You have to consider the weather, the climate, your terrain, growth height, and grass type. 

Robotic lawn mowers make it easier to maintain a beautiful, healthy lawn. In fact, they’re better for the health of your lawn. Robotic lawn mowers leave micro-clippings on the grass to fertilize the lawn, and they mow more frequently, which leads to less stress on the grass. 

For more information on which robotic lawn mower is right for your lawn, reach out to your local Autmow representative or explore