4 Best Grass Types for Hartford

Hartford, CT State Capitol Building

To ensure that you have the best-looking lawn in The Insurance Capital of the World, you have to select the best grass type for your yard. Growing and maintaining that perfect lawn in Hartford can be a challenge. This article will help you pick the best grass type for your yard and soil conditions.

The University of Connecticut recommends four cool-season grass species for homeowners in Hartford and the surrounding New England communities.

1. Kentucky bluegrass

Kentucky Bluegrass Lawn
Kentucky bluegrass
Brenda Ryan | Lawn Love

Kentucky bluegrass is a popular cool-season turfgrass throughout the Hartford area and around the country due to its winter hardiness. Kentucky bluegrass is a dark-green, medium-textured turf. Its leaf blades have a boat-shaped tip. 

If your property has adequate drainage and you can maintain a steady fertilization schedule, Kentucky bluegrass can spruce up your lawn. Kentucky bluegrass is often mixed with other grasses, like perennial ryegrass, to provide a more disease-resistant turf that keeps good color year-round.

  • Classification: Cool-season grass
  • Spreads by: Rhizomes (underground stems)
  • Shade tolerance: Low, prefers sunlight
  • Drought tolerance: Moderate
  • Foot traffic tolerance: Moderate
  • Maintenance needs: High
  • Mowing height: 2-2.5 inches
  • Potential for disease: Susceptible to diseases such as leaf spot, dollar spot, and necrotic ring spot

Grass Seed Options:
Jonathan Green (11970) Blue Panther Kentucky Bluegrass Grass Seed (3 lbs.)
SeedRanch Midnight Kentucky Bluegrass Seed (5 lbs.)
– Jacklin Seed – Biltmore Blue Blend – 100% Kentucky Bluegrass (5 lbs.)

2. Perennial ryegrass

Perennial ryegrass flowers. Poaceae prennial grass.
Perennial ryegrass

Perennial ryegrass is a fine-bladed, dark green grass that will give your yard temporary winter color. It is fast germinating and will establish quickly, which helps with weed suppression. Perennial ryegrass has the highest wear tolerance of all cool-season grasses. This is why it is often found in parks and golf courses with high foot traffic. You may need to give it a hand every once in a while to alleviate any wear and tear. If you notice any soil compaction, consider aerating your grass.

Perennial ryegrass is often mixed with Kentucky bluegrass to help winter dormant lawns. 

  • Classification: Cool-season grass
  • Spreads by: Bunches
  • Shade tolerance: Low
  • Drought tolerance: Moderate
  • Foot traffic tolerance: High
  • Maintenance needs: High
  • Mowing height: 1.5-2.5 inches
  • Potential for disease: High, including brown patch, red thread, and rust

Grass Seed Options:
Outsidepride Perennial Ryegrass Seed (5 lbs.)
Eretz ProTurf Perennial Ryegrass Fine Lawn Seed (choose your size)

3. Turf-type tall fescue

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

Turf-type tall fescue is perfect for homes that go through periods of drought because it is more drought-resistant than other grasses, like Kentucky bluegrass or perennial ryegrass. Turf-type tall fescue is a pretty versatile grass. It can grow in well-shaded areas, making it a good fit for properties with trees along the perimeter. If your yard has poor drainage, you can count on tall fescue to thrive regardless. It’s also very disease-resistant and wear-tolerant. And, it remains green for eight to nine months out of the year.

Turf-type tall fescue requires less fertilizer than other grass species. For best results, use only two pounds of nitrogen fertilizer annually.

  • Classification: Cool-season grass
  • Spreads by: Bunches, occasionally rhizomes
  • Shade tolerance: Moderate
  • Drought tolerance: High
  • Foot traffic tolerance: High
  • Maintenance needs: Low 
  • Mowing height: 2-3 inches
  • Potential for disease: Low (usually just brown patch when the weather is hot and humid)

Grass Seed Options:
Triple-Play Tall Fescue Grass Seed Blend (5000 sq ft)
Eretz Kentucky 31 K31 Tall Fescue Grass Seed (choose your size)
Pennington The Rebels Tall Fescue Grass Seed Mix (7 lb.)

4. Fine fescue

Fine Fescue - Red Creeping Fescue
Creeping red fescue, a type of fine fescue
Matt Lavin | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Fine fescue is the most fine-textured turfgrass available. It has excellent shade tolerance and needs only four hours of direct sunlight every day. It can withstand sandy soils containing low nutrients better than species such as Kentucky bluegrass. Even during times of drought, fine fescue can retain its vibrant color. Finally, fine fescue requires the least amount of fertilizer compared to all the other grass types on this list.

  • Classification: Cool-season grass
  • Spreads by: Depends on the variant (creeping red fescue uses rhizomes, whereas sheep fescue grows in bunches)
  • Shade tolerance: High
  • Drought tolerance: High
  • Foot traffic tolerance: Low
  • Maintenance needs: Low
  • Mowing height: 2 inches and higher
  • Potential for disease: Moderate

Grass Seed Options:
Outsidepride Legacy Fine Fescue Grass Seed (5 lbs.)
Eretz Creeping Red Fine Fescue Seed (choose your size)
Outsidepride Creeping Red Fine Fescue Grass Seed (25 lbs.)
Outsidepride Hard Fine Fescue Grass Seed (10 lbs.)

How to select the best grass type for your Hartford lawn

Your new lawn isn’t complete without additional forethought. Keep the following in mind as you piece together your dream lawn:

How much sunlight does your yard get?

If your yard is exposed to full sun, then you should plant perennial ryegrass or Kentucky bluegrass. If your yard has a lot of tree coverage and shade, fine fescue is the best choice.

Is there a lot of foot traffic on your property?

If you do a lot of entertaining or have kids and pets, consider turf-type tall fescue or perennial ryegrass.

Are drought conditions likely in your area?

Turf-type tall fescue and fine fescue can handle long periods without water.

How much work are you willing to put into your lawn?

Fine fescue and turf-type tall fescue require the least amount of maintenance.

Tired of having to get your hands dirty? Contact a Hartford lawn pro today for your installation and maintenance needs. 

Main Photo Credit: Pixabay

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Josh Camacho

Josh Camacho has been working in landscaping in the American Southeast for over 10 years. His experience with outdoor event planning enables him to spot foot traffic considerations from miles away.