About Bridgeport Chewing Fescue


Finding the perfect grass seed to create a lush and dense lawn is all about understanding the differences in types of grasses and the growing conditions. Bridgeport chewing fescue is a lush turf grass that can be perfect for shady lawns in areas with cooler weather. The cold-tolerant grass has a deep root system that helps it tolerate cold winters and still come back thick in the spring. Bridgeport chewing fescue is best for lawns that will not be high-traffic areas and have somewhat regular rainfall.


Bridgeport chewing fescue is a light-to-medium green fescue that traces its origins to the cool, forested areas of Europe. In the United States, the grass is well suited to the mid-Atlantic to northern states, as it can tolerate both cold and shade, but often goes dormant during hot, dry summer months. The grass prefers slightly acidic soil and becomes more fragile in extremely hot and wet conditions. Bridgeport chewing fescue produces more thatch than some of the fescues and is susceptible to disease if conditions are too wet. It is a part of the group of fescues called "chewing fescues" that are often part of the seed mixture for ornamental grass in the central United States.


Though Bridgeport chewing fescue is a thick and lush grass, it lacks stolons and rhizomes. That means it is a poor choice for lawns that will be high-traffic areas. The grass does not have the recuperative powers of some other species. As a result, it may be a poor choice for active families or families with pets. In addition, the grass is poorly suited to extended hot and wet conditions, so it may be a poor choice for many southern states.


Because Bridgeport chewing fescue goes dormant in hot dry weather, the species has proven to be resilient and resistant to drought damage. A University of Tennessee study in 1998 showed the species retained its color during periods of drought and recovered well after the end of the drought season. In 2005, a second University of Tennessee study indicated that the chewing fescues, including Bridgeport, were resistant to dollar spot.


Bridgeport chewing fescue is a fine-bladed grass that grows more directly upright than some other fescues. As a result, the grass has more blades per inch and creates a soft cushion of a lawn. However, it must be planted from seed, as it does not form sod. The grass grows aggressively from seed, but can form clumps or bunches rather than an even lawn if soil conditions are not favorable. Bridgeport chewing fescue makes a great choice for shady lawns with adequate drainage. The grass is fast growing and early greening in the summer, giving it a jump on competitive foliage and helping to create a lush, strong lawn.

Expert Insight

Bridgeport chewing fescue is a great choice for those without a lot of time to devote to lawn maintenance. Because of its quick growth, it is exceptional for establishing ground cover after construction. This grass holds up well in drought conditions, making it a good choice in areas with summer watering restrictions. The grass is relatively low maintenance, but preparing the soil and ensuring proper drainage are required.

Keywords: bridgeport chewing fescue, drought-resistant grass, shady lawn grasses

About this Author

Lucinda Gunnin began writing in 1988 for the “Milford Times." Her work has appeared in “Illinois Issues” and dozens more newspapers, magazines and online outlets. Gunnin holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and political science from Adams State College and a Master of Arts in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield.