Have you ever caught a neighbor sneering at your lawn? Do your kids refuse to go barefoot when they play outside in the summer? Does your lawn resemble a balding man, with more bare spots than you would care to admit? If your lawn is an eyesore, it is time to stop procrastinating. Although you can’t plant new grass in the dead of winter, you can start researching your options, purchasing grass seed, and preparing your lawn for an overhaul. Cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass and fine fescue make excellent lawns.
The key is selecting the right species for the growing condition of your region. Planted from the Upper South to the North, cool-season grasses grow best in soil between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Below, we explore some of the best cool-season grasses around.
The Best Cool-Season Grasses
This deep green grass looks beautiful and can hold its own against extreme winter temperatures. Most of its 200 varieties grow best in full sun to light shade. Older cultivars require little maintenance but are more susceptible to disease. Newer ones need more care, but they’re pest-resistant and overtake weeds. For the best of both worlds, experts recommend planting both old and new cultivars together using at least three varieties. Bluegrass blends well with perennial ryegrass and various fescues.
There are some drawbacks to bluegrass as well. It doesn’t perform especially well in either very wet or very dry soils. In hot, dry summers, its vibrant color fades. Finally, it can only handle moderate wear.
Related Post: Pros and Cons of Kentucky Bluegrass
Perennial ryegrass grows aggressively and wears well. The blades are dark green, glossy, and finely textured. One of the perennial ryegrass’s biggest assets is its ability to perform in a wide range of soil conditions. New varieties are denser for heavier traffic. They are also more pest- and disease-resistant.
Ryegrass thrives in coastal regions with mild winters and moist summers. It’s ideal for overseeding established summer lawns. Due to its tendency to crowd out other growth, however, it should not exceed 20 percent of a mixture of other grasses. In addition, older varieties of ryegrass do not tolerate cold or drought especially well.
Species of the genus Festuca include creeping red, Chewing’s, and hard fescues. They are dense, attractive sods that perform best with plenty of shade and acidic soil. They are usually mixed with other grasses like perennial ryegrass and bluegrass, and they don’t require much fertilizer.
Of all the cool-season grasses, fine fescues are best at withstanding drought. However, they can develop fungal diseases like powdery mildew and leaf spot if you plant them in overly wet clay or soil.
Related Post: Pros and Cons of Fescue Grass
Tall fescue’s deep root system makes it sturdy, so it can withstand hot temperatures, drought, and general wear and tear. So if the flag football game always occurs at your house, tall fescue might be your best bet.
The new and improved variety of tall fescue, known as turf-type, grows short and remains soft underfoot. The oxymoronic dwarf tall fescue grows even lower and rarely needs mowing. In moderate temperatures, both types stay dark green all year and resist pests and disease. In hot regions that receive heavy rainfall, however, tall fescues are prone to brown patch.
The Cool-Season Grasses Are Always Greener
You can save time, money, and humiliation by considering how you use your lawn and which features are most important to you before you purchase and apply grass seed. For example, bentgrass looks terrific, but maintaining it is like babysitting the biggest brat in the world. If you hate mowing, watering, and fertilizing a lawn, you would likely despise bentgrass.
So do your homework, and ask a lot of questions before you buy anything. With careful planning and just the right blend of grasses, you can reap the award-winning lawn that you sow.
We will soon enter the coolest season of the year, but come spring, you can begin preparing your lawn for a makeover. For help, contact Nixa Lawn Service. Our experienced professionals are prepared to assist you with any and all of your lawn care and landscaping needs. Contact us today to receive a free quote!