5 Best Grass Types for Bridgeport

Bridgeport, CT sign (25 south)

After staring at a blanket of white on your lawn all winter, it sure is nice to see green in your yard again. But to ensure you’ll be the envy of the neighborhood this summer, you must choose the correct grass type for your Bridgeport landscape.

The following are the best grass types for Connecticut:

  1. Kentucky bluegrass
  2. Perennial ryegrass
  3. Turf-type tall fescue
  4. Fine fescue
  5. Zoysiagrass
Kentucky Bluegrass Lawn
Kentucky bluegrass | Lawnlove

1.  Kentucky bluegrass

Kentucky bluegrass wins the popularity contest in Connecticut, and maybe even throughout the United States. This species produces a dense, dark green turf with lovely, long blades. It’s well-adapted to cold temperatures and will tolerate warmth, but does require irrigation to fend off heat stress. 

Widely planted in Kentucky, when the stalks go to seed, they take on a bluish-purplish tint.  Hence, the name — Kentucky bluegrass.  

Classification: Cool-season grass
Spreads by: Rhizomes
Shade tolerance: Low to moderate — requires four to six hours of direct sunlight daily.
Drought tolerance: Moderate; flourishes with proper irrigation; becomes dormant during periods of drought
Foot traffic tolerance: Moderate
Maintenance needs: High; requires frequent irrigation in summer; susceptible to heat stress; needs fertilization for growth
Mowing height: 2-3 inches
Disease potential: Moderate to high  
Other notes: Tolerates extreme cold; has a tendency to build thatch; blends well with other grass seeds; requires moist, fertile, well-drained soil

Perennial ryegrass
Perennial ryegrass | T. Kebert | Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

2.  Perennial ryegrass

Perennial ryegrass can be planted as a monostand (single-grass lawn) or can be mixed with Kentucky bluegrass to create a high traffic, disease-resistant lawn.

This grass is popular because it germinates quickly, suppresses weeds and keeps its green color in winter. The tapered blades are fine-textured, with a shiny, tufted appearance, and a pale green hue.  

Classification: Cool-season grass
Spreads by: Bunchgrass-type grass
Shade tolerance: Low; prefers sunny areas 
Drought tolerance: Low; due to a shallow root system, it’s not tolerant of drought and heat
Foot traffic tolerance: High, but it doesn’t self-repair and requires reseeding
Maintenance needs: Moderate; requires regular maintenance to prevent an unkempt looking lawn
Mowing height: 2-3 inches
Disease potential: High; brown patch, red thread, pink patch, and rust might appear in hot, humid conditions
Other notes: Germinates quickly; to resist surface insects, choose endophyte-enhanced seeds

Tall Fescue
Tall fescue | Ty Haller | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

3.  Turf-type tall fescue

Tall fescue was introduced into the United States in the 1800s. It maintains its medium to dark green color from mid-spring into late fall. This species holds the record for the highest heat, traffic, and drought tolerance in the cool-season grass category.  

Turf-type tall fescue is also popular because it produces an attractive lawn with little maintenance. It requires little water or fertilizer, and is not as disease-prone as other grass types.

Classification: Cool-season grass
Spreads by: Bunch-type grass
Shade tolerance: Moderate; will tolerate partially shaded areas
Drought tolerance: Moderate
Foot traffic tolerance: Moderate, but does not recover well after damage
Maintenance needs: Low
Mowing height: 2-4 inches
Disease potential: Low; insects and diseases might attack only if over-watered or over-fertilized
Other notes: Does best with a minimum of four hours of daily direct sunlight; purchase a variety with endophytes to assist with protection against insect damage

Sheep Fescue
Sheep fescue | Matt Lavin | Flickr

4.  Fine fescue                      

Common fine fescue grasses include creeping red fescue, Chewings fescue, hard fescue, and sheep fescue. Classified as bunching cool-season grasses, they produce fine leaf texture, will adapt to poor soil conditions and are tolerant of shade and cold.  

Classification: Cool-season grass
Spreads by: Depends on the variant; creeping red fescue forms rhizomes, while Chewings fescue, hard fescue, and sheep fescue are all bunch-type grasses
Shade tolerance: High
Drought tolerance: High, depending on the species. Creeping red fescue, hard fescue, and sheep fescue are drought-resistant; drought could negatively affect Chewings fescue
Foot traffic tolerance: Low
Maintenance needs: Low
Mowing height: 1.5-3 inches
Disease potential: Moderate; red thread and leaf spot might appear with high humidity
Other notes: Can develop thatch; will tolerate low fertility conditions, but brown spots might develop without nitrogen

Zoysiagrass Lawn behind a house
Zoysiagrass | Bill Wilson | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

5.  Zoysiagrass

If you prefer a dense turf with moderate maintenance, then zoysiagrass might work for you.  Despite being a warm-season grass, it’s able to stand up to Connecticut winters.   Zoysiagrass will also grow in sandy soil and near the beach. 

While it is pleasant to look at and soft to walk on, this grass does come with its faults. Zoysia creeps aggressively, including possibly onto your neighbor’s lawn.  Once planted, you’ll probably require a professional lawn service company to dig it out.  

Classification: Warm-season grass
Spreads by: Stolons and rhizomes
Shade tolerance: Tolerates moderate shade
Drought tolerance: High; may go dormant in severe heat; irrigation required to “green-up” the lawn
Foot traffic: High;excellent wear and recovery ability
Maintenance needs: Moderate; requires fertilizer to prosper
Mowing height: 1-2.5 inches
Potential for disease: Low
Other notes: Tends to build up thatch and doesn’t grow well in moist soil; stays green only in the summer; slow grower, but can be an aggressive spreader; salt tolerant

Select a grass that suits both you and your Bridgeport lawn

When selecting the right grass consider the space, the color, comfort, cost, use, durability,  maintenance (Lawn Love offers an excellent guide for spring lawn care in Bridgeport here), and your lifestyle.  

Ask yourself the following specific questions: 

What type of soil is in my lawn?

  • Zoysia flourishes in sandy soil. Tall fescue is highly adaptable and will grow in different types of soil, including sandy soil.  

Which type of grass can handle drought?

  • Fine fescue is the most drought tolerant.

How much shade does your yard get?

  • If your yard gets a lot of shade, go with fine fescue. Tall fescue and Zoysia can handle moderate shade.

How much sun does your yard get?

  • Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass flourish in at least six hours of daily sun.  

Will there be heavy traffic on your lawn?

  • Zoysia can stand the most traffic if you have kids and pets.

Which grass is the most cold tolerant?

  • Kentucky bluegrass and fine fescue are cold hardy. 

Which grass requires the least amount of maintenance?

  • Fine fescue and tall fescue are the most popular low-maintenance cool-season grasses. Avoid Kentucky bluegrass because it requires more fertilizer and water than the fescues.

Your lawn should reflect your lifestyle. But, also you should cherish and enjoy your green oasis without the maintenance becoming a burden. Don’t hesitate to contact a Lawn Love professional for assistance.  

Liz Chojnacki

Liz Chojnacki is a multimedia writer -- blog posts, radio scripts, bios, photo captions, catalogs, and much more. She also enjoys putting pen to paper. She has had the privilege and pleasure of gardening in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, New Mexico, South Africa, and now Florida. Liz resides in Florida with her husband and three dogs.