Choosing the right grass for your climate is the first step in creating a healthy lawn. New England is known for cold winters, and though southern grasses like Bermuda and zoysia won't survive in these climates, plenty of other grasses do very well.
Kentucky bluegrass is ideal for the cooler weather of New England, and it is also very hardy and long-lived. It produces soft green to dark green blades and thrives in fertile soils with good drainage. Temperatures that rise above 75 degrees F limit the growth of Kentucky bluegrass.
Fine fescue is a cold-season grass that is able to grow in dry conditions and under shade. However, fine fescue is not terribly hardy. While it stays green all year, it is easy to tear up and it is not suitable for high-traffic areas. Chewing fescue, hard fescue and red fescue are all called fine fescues, and they are all suitable for New England lawns.
Perennial ryegrass does well well in places with cool winters, and it is especially suited to the coastal New England areas that have mild temperatures throughout the year. While it can tolerate partial shade, it performs best in full sun. It has the best tolerance for heavy rains of all cool-season grasses and it is hardy enough to survive in high-traffic areas. It seeds quickly, and it mixes well with Kentucky bluegrass for a blended turf.
Bentgrass is also known as creeping bentgrass. It forms a dense, heavy-looking mat of grass, and the blades themselves are slender with a smooth upper surface and a ridged lower surface. It does well in cool and humid environments, making it a good grower in the New England states. Very hot summers severely limit the plant's growth, while very cool nights help it thrive.
- Photo Credit lawn,grass image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com
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