As you know, we New Englanders experience every season to its fullest. That means, New England grass must be able to tolerate all of the seasons. Choosing a grass seed may not be easy, but because of our location grass seed can be narrowed down to the cool season grasses. Cool season grasses are not only meant for the cold, they are able to experience a plethora of weather conditions. None of them, however, are perfect. Each type of grass seed has a fault, so it is best to combine different grass seeds into a mixture. This allows you to get the advantages of more than one grass type.
Unless you would like to live on a high-maintenance golf course, this is not the grass for you. This type of grass needs to be mowed every other day down to one inch. If this grass is not mowed that low to the ground it can become extremely shaggy. It was originally cultivated for golf courses since the game must be played on short grass. It does not mix well with other grass seeds.
This is the most popular type of grass in the New England area. It can fill a bare space the size of a volleyball on its own with some regular watering. It is a full and plush looking. It does not do well in shaded areas, or droughts, so it is often best to mix it with other grass seeds. If watered regularly this grass can handle droughts by going dormant. The only issue that comes from mixing this grass is that it no longer fills in bare spaces consistently. This grass also cannot handle summer heat; it often turns brown in extremely hot weather.
If you live in a cool, shady area this is the grass for you. Red fescue grass is often used on mountains and at camp sites because it grows well without sunlight and requires little maintenance. It also does not need fertilizer, water, or consistent mowing. This grass has a moderate tolerance for droughts, a high tolerance for cold, and a low tolerance for heat.
This grass adapts best to climates that are never extreme; it prefers most, cool environments. Perennial ryegrass is often used as a temporary ground cover while bluegrass or another tougher grass slowly grows in. Perennial ryegrass is not the toughest grass, but it can handle being on its own with the New England climate. Also, this grass is tolerant of the shade, and can handle droughts, but it is high maintenance. It needs to be watered very frequently.
There are tons, and tons of different kinds on grass seeds. These are just some of the most commonly used grass seeds in New England. Wehn it comes down to it, none of these grass seeds are flawless. Some can’t handle the heat, others can’t tolerate droughts or shade, a few are just high maintenance. That is why mixing grass seed is often the best choice. For example, if you were to mix perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and red fescue together, you would get a tough, plush grass that could handle the shade, and would grow quickly. Talk to your landscaper about which mixture is best for your yard, and use this basic knowledge about New England grasses to make the right choice!