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COOL SEASON TURFGRASS

Lawn grasses common to the Northeastern & Midwestern US


INDEX OF GRASS VARIETIES

Kentucky Bluegrass - Poa pratensis

  • Description
    • Dark green perennial grass with medium texture.
    • Spreads by rhizomes and fills-in bare spots smaller than a baseball.
    • Forms a dense sod and is the primary variety in commercial sod.
  • Maintenance
    • Most varieties prefer full sun and moderate to high fertility. 
    • Maintenance practices should focus on thatch prevention. 
    • Leafspot disease is a problem on unimproved varieties.
    • Mow at 2" to 2-1/2" height with a sharp blade.
  • Establishment
    • Slow seed germination of 17 to 21 days. 
    • Seed at 2 to 2-1/2 pounds per 1,000 square feet. 
    • Can be crowded-out by faster germinating grass varieties. 

Turf-Type Perennial Ryegrass - Lolium perenne

  • Description
    • Dark to medium green 'glossy' perennial grass with medium texture. 
    • Bunch-type grass that won't fill-in bare spots on its own. 
    • Main ingredient in "Penn State" grass seed mixture. 
  • Maintenance
    • Prefers half-day to full sun and moderate to high fertility.
    • Brown patch and dollar spot diseases can be a problem. 
    • Mow at 2" to 2-1/2" height with a sharp blade. 
  • Establishment
    • Fast germination earns it the nickname "throw and grow." 
    • Seed at 5 to 6 pounds per 1,000 square feet. 
    • Crowds-out slower germinating varieties if over 20% of mix.

 

 

Red Fescue - Festuca rubra

  • Description
    • Dark green perennial grass with fine texture.
    • Spreads by short rhizomes.
  • Maintenance
    • Prefers shade and low to moderate fertility. 
    • Tolerates acid (low pH) soils. 
    • Low maintenance grass with good drought tolerance.
    • Red thread disease is a common problem. 
    • Mow at 2" to 2-1/2" height with a very sharp blade. 
  • Establishment
    • Moderate to fast seed germination of 5 to 7 days. 
    • Seed at 4 to 5 pounds per 1,000 square feet. 
    • Commonly used as part of general use lawn seed mixtures.

Turf-Type Tall Fescue - Festuca arundinacea

  • Description
    • Dark green perennial grass with coarse texture. 
    • Bunch-type grass known for its drought tolerance. 
    • Tough and durable grass with wide soil adaptation.
    • Shouldn't be mixed with other varieties of grass due to its texture.
  • Maintenance
    • Grows well in sun or shade. 
    • Brown patch disease can be a problem. 
    • Mow at 2-1/2" to 3-1/2" with a very sharp blade.
  • Establishment
    • Moderate to fast seed germination.
    • Seed at 6 to 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet (seed at heavier rate to promote finer texture).

Other lawn pages:  

Planting Lawns

Mowing Grass

September - Lawn Month

       


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