At first glance, most grasses look the same. Once you dig into it, though, you'll see that the world of turfgrass is deep, fascinating, complex, and, unfortunately, confusing. If you're unsure of which grass to plant in your New Haven yard and what will give you the lawn of your dreams, though, read on and get the answers you need!
What Kind of Grass Do I Need?
If you've ever had to pick out a grass variety for your lawn, you know exactly how tricky it can be. With seemingly infinite species and subspecies, each requiring its own care routine, one can be forgiven for giving up altogether. Really though, there are only six types of grass that thrive here in Connecticut, so let's take some time to check them out!
Iconic, gorgeous, and widespread, Kentucky Bluegrass is as close to an ideal candidate for New Haven's lawns as you'll ever find. It's a hardy variety that forms a tight, lush appearance and is extremely tolerant of cold conditions, which up here in New England, is particularly useful. It should be noted however that Kentucky Bluegrass requires high levels of irrigation and excellent soil drainage, and is prone to developing nutrient deficiencies, making high-quality, specialized fertilizers necessary.
Unlike its better-known cousin, Rough Bluegrass isn't prized for its outstanding beauty. Its pale green stalks, thin texture, and lack of resistance to heavy foot traffic often lead to it being overlooked by landscapers and homeowners alike. Additionally, it requires significant levels of irrigation, which means it's a high-maintenance variety. That all being said, Rough Bluegrass is not without its virtues. Chief among these is that it grows and spreads quickly and requires extremely low levels of fertilizer, which can have reverberating environmental benefits.
Tolerant of shade, drought, heat, and cold, Tall Fescue is a popular turfgrass for more than a few reasons. Its wide range of temperature tolerance makes it ideal for New England's cold winters and hot summers. Its propensity for quick spreading has led to Tall Fescue being a favorite of professional landscape designers all over the country. Not the most nutritionally-efficient grass, though, it can need higher-than-average fertilizer levels. Additionally, Tall Fescue requires more growing space than many other varieties so if you've got a small yard, it might not be right for you.
Creeping Red Fescue
One of the more hardy turfgrasses that you'll likely encounter, Creeping Red Fescue is an adaptable, tough, and low-maintenance option that can still yield a gorgeous lawn. Like its more popular relative, Creeping Red Fescue is tolerant of both drought and shade, as well as a wide variety of temperature conditions. Unlike Tall Fescue, though, it requires little in the way of watering. Its high density and fast growth make it remarkably resistant to weeds, but it is often slow to recover from disease, fungus, or injury. While its drought tolerance cannot be overstated, Creeping Red Fescue can still go brown in the height of summer.
Perennial Ryegrass, like the aforementioned fescue varieties, is a drought-tolerant species which can do well in a wide range of conditions. Its modest moisture requirements, ability to stand up to heavy wear, and exceptional heat tolerance also make it a spectacular choice for your yard. However, one significant downside of a Ryegrass lawn is that it's more prone to disease than many other widely-available varieties. Potentially troublesome in and around New Haven, too, is that Perennial Ryegrass does not stand up well to freezing, particularly when exposed to excessive moisture.
While it's more commonly found further south in warmer conditions, Zoysia Grass has been known to do well in Connecticut under the right circumstances. Widely considered to be one of the most beautiful turfgrass varieties out there, Zoysia Grass is deceptively tough, standing up well to both heavy foot traffic and soil mineral levels, and even outcompeting nuisance weeds. Where it might struggle though, is that it tends to thrive in warmer climates than ours, meaning that your Zoysia Grass might have a difficult time reaching its full potential without constant maintenance.
Understanding Warm vs. Cool-Season Grasses
Where you live, and the accompanying temperature conditions mean that your yard will generally be more conducive to hosting one or the other. Cool-season grasses, as their name would suggest, are more comfortable in more mild climates, begin growing in early spring, and stay green well into fall. However, they're prone to going dormant during the height of summer if not properly hydrated. Warm-season grasses enter their growing season in late spring or early summer, are intolerant of excess shade and will go dormant in fall. When choosing the right type of grass for you, understanding whether it's a warm or cool-season variety is critical, so always be sure to consult a lawn care professional before getting started
For Exceptional Lawn Care, Contact Naturally Green Lawn Care
Here at Naturally Green Lawn Care, we excel at providing exceptional lawn care service in both New Haven and the surrounding areas. Our approach to caring for your grass is a holistic one, focusing on each aspect of a healthy lawn and giving your grass the love that it needs. So if you're ready to feel good about your grass, take a few minutes to learn more about our lawn care service to see exactly why we're right for you!