When choosing grass for cool-season zones, check out these types for the best results in your yard.
Bentgrass — Commonly used in cold weather areas Bentgrass grows easily creeping over every area of your lawn. Liked for its quick growth and ability to withstand high traffic areas, this grass is typically used for golf courses and has become a variety of choice for homeowners as well. Bentgrass likes full sun and is not very tolerant to shade. Soil that drains well and frequent watering will keep this grass beautiful. Plant in late summer or early fall for best results.
Kentucky Bluegrass — Bluegrass comes in a few different varieties and is found all over North America. Most common is Kentucky Bluegrass. Kentucky Bluegrass does not grow quickly, but it doesn't die out quickly either. You might, however, see some patchy areas in your lawn as this grass does recede from insect damage. It can handle high traffic and is best maintained with full sun and regular watering. This grass can be planted in fall or spring and should receive high amounts of fertilizer.
Perennial Ryegrass — Perennial Ryegrass is a fantastic option for high traffic areas in cooler climates. It is incredibly tolerant of pests, disease, and stressors. Ryegrass can handle some shade and only requires moderate maintenance and grows best in cool-season climates because it does not handle drought-like conditions at all. This variety can grow on its own or combined with other species. It is common to see Ryegrass planted with Kentucky Bluegrass. Plant in early spring or early fall, with well-draining soil and water regularly.
Fescue — Fescue varieties do well in cool-season climates but are also very tolerant of drought conditions and heat. This grass is an ideal choice for homes in the transition zone. Fescue likes the sun but can grow well in high shade areas as well, and it doesn't need much fertilizer—just regular watering. Though this grass grows well in many climates, it is not a very tough grass and cannot handle a lot of traffic. Most often Fescue is planted with a mix of other hearty grasses to bolster its ability to handle more usage. Plant fine Fescue in fall or spring, but plant Tall Fescue in early spring, just after winter.
It's time to take what you've learned about the climate you live in and the grass varieties available to you and determine which grass to install. Part four of this series reviews what you should take into consideration your lifestyle and property before purchasing new sod.