Strategies for optimal selection of grass species and cultivars involve identifying primary intended use, level of management, and climate and soil tolerances and local conditions.

Intended use. Identifying the primary use is a good starting point. grasses may be used for forage (as hay, silage, greenchop, or pasture), for soil conservation or improvement, or as amenity species (as athletic turf or beautification).

Single species or mixtures. The relative advantages of pure stands and mixtures should be considered and the relative combining ability of the various species. Mixing species with vastly different tolerances will make management more difficult.

Management level. Management level should be considered, since species differ in their tolerance to low levels of fertility, defoliation schedules, and pests. Personal and professional goals and managerial experience and capability should be considered when selecting a management level that best fits your situation.

Climate and soil conditions. Matching your climate conditions (precipiation amount and distribution, and extremes of temperature) and the characteristics of the soil (drainage, fertility, pH, and salinity) to the species you intend to plant is fundamentally important. Knowing the long term averages and year-to-year variability in climate conditions and the major soil types and characteristics will help you choose species with a high probability of success.