The extreme heat and the long dry spells during the summer months throughout the southern states make it inadvisable to try to establish a turf similar to the turf of the northern lawns, composed mostly of Kentucky blue grass, redtop, clovers, and bents. These grasses, when used in the south for a lawn turf, will completely burn out during the summer months unless an abnormal amount of labour is employed to protect them by excessive waterings. While in the northern section of the country lawns in general are developed on good loam or topsoil, the soil conditions of the south are somewhat different. The soil throughout the south, especially in Florida, is generally known as yellow or clay sand on which lawns can be developed with the least difficulty, and the white sand which contains little or no plant food and on which no satisfactory lawn can be developed without the addition of a considerable quantity of muck. The "topsoil" sand, so-called, often possesses a considerable quantity of food matter; but the ease with which water drains from it combined with the heat of summer will cause the northern types of grasses to burn out and also will kill many of the southern types of grasses.
To one who has been accustomed to the sharp line of differentiation between the topsoils and subsoils of the north the problem of drawing a definite line between the topsoil and subsoil under the conditions of the far south is somewhat puzzling. As a matter of fact, on all soils, with the exception of a good type of muck soil coming from the swampy areas and the hammock land, no good lawn can be developed without the addition of considerable fertilizer.
In the north the value of a- lawn continues only during the growing season, from April until October. In the south, especially throughout the section visited by many of the northern tourists, temperature conditions are favourable for the growing of a lawn throughout the entire winter. It is therefore desirable to have types of grasses for the development of lawn areas both during the winter months and the summer months. The excessive cost of maintaining a good turf on lawn areas during the hot and dry summer months has discouraged the development of extensive lawn areas as seen in the northern states, except on golf courses, where the fairways and greens are maintained regardless of normal cost.
Little experimenting has been done in the far south to determine individual types or combinations of types of northern grasses which will thrive best under these climatic conditions both during the winter months and the summer months.