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Types of Grass in the Northeast

By Sara Melone
The right type of grass can flourish even in a lawn in the Northeast.
grass image by green308 from Fotolia.com

In the United States, there are basically two types of grasses used in residential lawns. Warm season grasses are appropriate for the long, warm summers and humid weather of the southern part of the country. Cool season grasses continue to grow even in cool weather, and they are hardy enough to withstand the cold temperatures, snowfall and ice storms of winter. The Northeast sees a myriad of weather patterns throughout the year that only cool grasses can withstand.


Bentgrass is used throughout the Northeast for residential lawns, golf courses and athletic fields. The grass can be identified by its bluish-green leaves that are long and slender with a smooth upper surface and a slightly rough underside. Bentgrass varieties are accustomed to cooler temperatures and benefit from cool nighttime temperatures. As a result of its shallow roots and love of moisture, bentgrass can be noticeably high maintenance and may require more watering and mowing, especially in the warmer, drier months of summer. Although bentgrass does not hold up well to high-traffic areas, the Great Landscaping Ideas website indicates that bentgrass is a popular choice for golf courses.


Fescue is a cool season grass that withstands the cold temperatures of the northeastern United States. Fescue is simple to seed, and it is drought tolerant during periods of little rainfall. Tall fescue produces a dense turf with little maintenance, and it stands up well even in high traffic areas. Fescue grass does not require full sunlight to grow, and red fescue thrives even in shady areas. Fescue grass has a deep green color and grows quickly after seeding. Often combined with Kentucky bluegrass for a rich, deep green lawn cover, fescue is disease resistant and requires little effort for a lush lawn.

Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky bluegrass is a choice for a number of lawn enthusiasts in the Northeast. With only minimal effort, Kentucky bluegrass seeds produce a dark green lawn that is thick and lush. This grass loves water, and the Online Tips website recommends frequent watering in addition to regular mowing that keeps the grass length to about 2 or 3 inches in height. Kentucky bluegrass enjoys mild summers, and it successfully produces thick lawn cover in colder regions like the Northeast. Kentucky bluegrass does not do well in excessive heat, however. In some cases, it will stop growing if the soil temperatures exceed 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.


About the Author


Sara Melone is a mother of three and a graduate of UNH. With prior careers in insurance and finance, photography, as well as certifications in fitness and nutrition, Melone draws directly from past experience and varying interests. She contributes with equal passion to birth journals, investment blogs, and self-help websites.