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Types of Grass for Lawns in New England

The New England states of New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island encompass USDA zones 3 to 7, with the southern tip of Massachusetts being the warmest area in New England and Vermont and New Hampshire being coldest. Gardeners in these states can plant a range of cool season grasses directly from seed.


Bentgrass (Agrostis) makes an ideal lawn grass, turf grass or golf course grass in New England states. This grass requires heavy irrigation and can be cut to 1/2 inch or shorter for those who want a well-manicured lawn. Bentgrass blades have a blueish tint. This grass can be planted directly from seed, though gardeners should fertilize to help this grass get established.

Kentucky Bluegrass

Native to Europe and northern Asia, Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) grows well throughout the New England states. Leaf blades average 3 to 4 inches long and are bright green in color. This grass does not grow well in shade. In hot summer months, it needs irrigation to stay green and healthy.

Perennial Ryegrass

Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) resembles Kentucky bluegrass but displays greater drought and heat tolerance. This grass has bright green blades that taper toward the top. Perennial ryegrass germinates quickly from seed and can endure heavy foot traffic, making it a good choice for families with children or school campuses. This grass does not grow well in shade.

Fine-leaf Fescue

Fine-leaf fescue (Festuca ) grows well in shady lawns throughout New England. This grass averages 2 to 3 inches in height and cannot withstand heavy foot traffic. Fine-leaf fescue blades are narrower than other types of grass blade. This grass does best in dry soils and dislikes wet growing environments.

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