Grass Types in New York


Date: February 22nd, 2010


There are a number of grass varieties that thrive in New York State. The most common grass types are cool-season lawn grasses, which includes Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, fine and tall fescues, and creeping bentgrass. In most cases, you probably have one of these types in your lawn.


Listed below are several varieties of grass and their unique qualities. For any of these seeds to germinate, soil temperatures need to be above 50°F.



Kentucky Bluegrass

Germination period: 21 to 28 days

Kentucky bluegrass is a high-quality dense grass with smooth, upright stems and a nice green color. It’s an aggressive grass that can grow in almost any soil and will often crowd out other plants that are not its typical partner plants (dandelions and buttercups). Among its downfalls are: low tolerance for heat, drought, shade, and salt; high vulnerability to diseases; a tendency to thatch; and overall, a moderately high level of maintenance requirements. Kentucky bluegrass works well in a blend of other grasses.



Perennial Ryegrasses

Germination period: 7 to 14 days

Perennial ryegrasses are bunching cool-season grasses that are compatible in appearance with bluegrass. This is because they are bred to give a pleasing dark green color while possessing a fine texture and excellent mowing qualities. However, these ryegrasses perform well in the general areas that bluegrasses lack. Perennial ryegrasses have good heat tolerance, while some varieties may even be drought resistant. Ryegrasses also tend to be disease prone and do not form thatch. Overall, perennial ryegrasses are designed for full-sun areas, but generally will tolerate some shade. These grasses are a very good choice for blends with Kentucky bluegrass and fine fescues, but try to avoid blends with a large percentage of annual ryegrasses.


Fine Fescues

Germination period: 14 to 21 days

Fine fescues have an extremely narrow, almost needle-like leaf blade. They are included in turf-grass mixtures for their excellent shade tolerance. Fine-leaf fescue often appears in neglected lawns because it withstands a high pH. Due to its fine texture, fine-leaf fescue is often difficult to mow.


Tall Fescues

Germination period: 14 to 21 days

The new turf-type tall fescues are excellent for full-sun areas where little maintenance is desired. While they take a little while to establish or recuperate due to their clump-type grass, they are extremely wear-resistant; heat-, drought-, and salt-tolerant; and moderately shade-tolerant. Tall fescues have few disease problems and require less maintenance than most other grasses. While Kentucky bluegrass is often the first grass to brown out in the summer, tall fescue is the last.


Creeping Bentgrass

Germination period: 7 to 10 days

Like fine fescues, creeping bentgrass has a very fine leaf texture. It often flourishes in areas with a high abundance of rainfall and moderately cool weather. Creeping bentgrass is moderately tolerant of drought and shade, but usually requires frequent watering due to its shallow root system. If it is properly maintained, creeping bentgrass can look very attractive, but unfortunately this beautiful grass variety is relatively susceptible to diseases and pests.


If you have any further questions regarding the different varieties of grass, email me at, or visit your local CountryMax store today!



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