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Cool Season Grass Types & Characteristics

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Cool Season Grass Tall Fescue

Cool Season grasses are used extensively through-out the Northern areas of the USA and the northern areas of the transition zone.

All cool season grass types best growth periods are in the Spring and Fall. Summer time and winter brings on dormancy in cool season grass.

Many of the cool season lawns planted in the North today are cultivars of improved varieties of the three major cool season grasses -- Bluegrass, Fescue Grass & Perennial Ryegrass. These improved varieties can also be found in grass seed mixtures and blends in special ratios of each grass type. These grass seed mixtures and blends provide a better lawn in the various different conditions that exist across many locations.

See our complete chart of Cool Season Grass Types below to help you choose a grass.

Types of Cool Season Grass

Here you will find a chart of cool season grass types. Use this table with it's information and links to our various lawn grass information sites to determine which type of cool season grass suits your needs based on the prior steps in our grass type selection process. Or visit our online grass seed and grass plug store Seedland.com.

COOL SEASON GRASSES
GRASS
TYPE
Texture Kind of Lawn Maintenance Major Usage Cost of Seed Establishment
Bentgrass Fine Exhibition High Golf putting High
Bluegrass
Kentucky
Medium to
Fine
Average
to Good
Low Lawns Low
Bluegrass
Rough
Medium Low Low Lawns - Roadways Low
Fescue
Tall
Medium Average
to Good
Medium Lawns -  Sports Low to
Medium
Fescue
Creeping
Fine Medium - Exhibition Medium Lawns Medium
Ryegrass
Annual
Fine Low Low Mixes in Lawns Low
Ryegrass
Perennial
Medium Low Low Lawns
- Sports
Medium

Type: Variety and species of grass or type of grass
Texture: Appearance - Fine | Medium | Coarse
Kind of Lawn: Exhibition | Average | Just Green
Maintenance Level: Low | Medium | High
Usage: General Lawn | Sports | Wet | Dry | Wear & Traffic

Cool Season Grass Characteristics

  • Perform best with consistent rainfall or irrigation.
  • Growth occurs during the Spring and Fall.
  • Cool Season Grasses are planted by seed or sod.
  • Germination of cool season grass seed occurs when soil temperatures are 55°. This soil temperature is reached when daytime temperatures are consistently between 60° & 75°.
  • Growth for established cool season grasses occurs when soil temperatures reach 40 to 45°.
  • Spring and Fall are the best times to fertilize cool season grass.
  • Growth is reduced during summer and dormancy will be induced by high temperatures and/or lack of rainfall.
  • Cool Season Grasses have good winter tolerance, generally retain their green color during the winter, and have limited, if any, winter dormancy.
  • Cool Season Grasses have fair to good shade tolerance.

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