Cool-season grass types are the most appropriate for lawns in New Jersey, because they endure the cold winter temperatures. Several types of grasses grow well in New Jersey lawns, all of which have their own pros and cons. Select a grass type based on the specific characteristics of your lawn, such as the level of foot traffic and the amount of maintenance you’re willing to do.
Kentucky and other bluegrasses are great for New Jersey lawns, because they’re well-equipped to handle the colder climate, withstanding even the coldest winters. It can also tolerate hot temperatures in summer better than other cool-season grasses. Kentucky bluegrass is a good choice if you have a sunny lawn that endures heavy foot traffic. This grass type can’t tolerate much salt, so you won’t want to plant it in your lawn if you live in a coastal area of the state. It also requires more frequent mowing than some other grasses. If you’re planting the grass from seed, the best time to establish a bluegrass lawn is either in early spring or early to mid-fall.
If you have a partially shaded lawn, consider fescue grass. Fescues are the best shade-tolerant grasses that are appropriate for New Jersey. Fine fescues, such as creeping red fescue, is drought-resistant but don’t tolerate much foot traffic, while tall fescue can endure some wear and tear. In addition to being the most drought- and shade-tolerant grasses for New Jersey, fescues are also the lowest-maintenance grasses. Plant fescue grasses in New Jersey in the fall season.
The turf-type perennial ryegrass can stand up to the cold New Jersey winters. If you have a sunny yard area and don’t want to water or fertilize your lawn, perennial ryegrass is your top choice. This grass has a medium texture and can handle lots of foot traffic. Establish a perennial ryegrass lawn in spring or fall, but preferably in early autumn.
If you live in the central or southern areas of New Jersey, you can plant Meyer-zoysia grass in your lawn. Although typically a warm-season grass, Meyer-zoysia is also used for lawns in “transition zones,” which the bottom half or so of New Jersey falls into. Meyer-zoysia grass is especially appropriate for lawns where watering or irrigation isn’t feasible and that endure heavier foot traffic. Meyer-zoysia grass will stand up to hotter summer temperatures and droughts. It also requires less frequent mowing, because this grass is slow-growing. Establish a Meyer-zoysia grass lawn in spring.