More than a dozen grass varieties exist, so when overseeding an existing lawn, filling in bare spots or starting a new lawn from scratch, Central Illinois residents need to understand which types thrive in their region.
Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and tall and fine fescues are good turf grasses for Central Illinois lawns. These cool-season grasses tolerate cold winter temperatures and warm summers. Seed packages often blend grass types, which allows for better disease resistance as well as better adaptation to soil and weather conditions.
These grasses hold up well when proper maintenance practices such as mowing, watering, and fertilizing are followed. Additionally, the grass types tolerate unpredictable Midwestern weather patterns, such as drought-like conditions in summer and wet fall and spring seasons.
The best time to start a new lawn or replenish a tired one is from mid-August through the end of September. The second best time is in the spring. Before sowing seed, note how much sun the lawn receives, as different grass types are available for sunny and heavily shaded areas. Shade-tolerant varieties are best for areas receiving two to four hours of sun each day.
Most grasses require about 1 inch of water per week. Follow the instructions on the seed bag for best results. Also, note that weed prevention in Central Illinois is important; crabgrass thrives in this area and can quickly overtake a lawn if not treated.