Which grasses are best
Which grasses are best for your lawn in Southern Minnesota? We recommend the following three:
- Fine fescue
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Turf-type tall fescue
Here are a few reasons why these grass types are the best for your lawn:
Because of our four seasons and cold winters, cool-season grasses thrive in Minnesota.
These three cool-season types of grass have distinct characteristics. Consider each grass type carefully before deciding on the best grass type or grass mix for your lawn.
Lets take a closer look at the fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and turf-type tall fescue characteristics, maintenance requirements, and recommended mowing height.
- Fescue fine
Fine fescue refers to a group of grass species that includes chewings fescue, slender creeping red fescue, and strong creeping red fescue, hard fescue.
Fine fescues are notable for their moderate shade tolerance and full sun tolerance. As a result, fine fescue is frequently mixed with Kentucky bluegrass to improve shade tolerance in partial shade lawns.
Fine fescue grows into an easy-care, low-maintenance lawn. Because of its slow growth rate, you’ll have to mow less. Fine fescue also requires less water in the summer and stays greener longer than Kentucky bluegrass. It’s also very winter hardy and can withstand moderate salinity.
Expect the quality of this turf to deteriorate once temperatures reach the 90s, as well as after prolonged wear or foot traffic. Fine fescues, on the other hand, do not recover well from snow mold, which means you may lose some of them.
if there’s a severe outbreak of this disease, the grass
Most fine fescues do not have stolons or rhizomes; instead, they are a bunching grass that spreads via tillers. The rhizomes of creeping red fescues are quite short.
Tolerance to Shade: Moderate
Drought Tolerance: Extremely High
Tolerance for Foot Traffic: Low
Low to moderate maintenance requirements
Mowing 3+ inches in height
Disease Possibility: Low to Moderate
Other Considerations: Fine fescue is an excellent choice for a low-maintenance lawn. Choose endophyte-enhanced seed, including dollar spot varieties, for increased insect and disease resistance. This species is also afflicted by summer patch and red thread.
- Bluegrass from Kentucky
Kentucky bluegrass (KBG) is a popular grass in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. However, maintaining this grass is important.
Kentucky bluegrass is a high-maintenance grass. It needs to be watered and fertilized on a regular basis to stay healthy. You can get high outputs with those high inputs. A well-kept KBG lawn is attractive, recovers well from foot traffic, and is very winter hardy. Furthermore, Kentucky bluegrass can be grown from seed or sod.
Your Kentucky bluegrass yard will look great if you’re willing to put in the effort and have ideal environmental conditions.
Spreads Rhizomes are responsible for
Shade Tolerance: Moderate
Drought Tolerance: Moderate, but with exceptional recuperative abilities.
Tolerance for foot traffic: Moderate
High maintenance requirements
Mowing 3+ inches in height
Disease Probability: Moderate to High
Other Considerations: During a drought, Kentucky bluegrass will quickly go dormant.
Other Considerations: Tall fescue is commonly used in parks due to its high wear tolerance, but it should not be used in areas with standing water due to the risk of ice damage.
Seed mixtures are a popular choice.
In practice, the majority of cool-season grasses are sold in mixtures. That is, two or more species are sold in a bag together. This contributes to a healthier, more disease-resistant lawn. So, if you only come across seed mixes, that is normal, and most Minnesota homeowners seed their cool-season lawns in this manner.
How to Choose the right Grass for Your Lawn
Before you plant new grass, you should get to know your current lawn. Consider the following:
How much up-keep do you want to do?
Kentucky bluegrass requires the most upkeep, but turf-type tall fescue works well in a low-maintenance lawn.
What is the sun/shade requirement for your lawn?
Fine fescue and turf-type tall fescue can tolerate partial shade, but Kentucky bluegrass requires full sun to thrive.
Is your area prone to summer drought?
Drought tolerance ranges from moderate to high in all three types of grass.
What is the amount of foot traffic on your lawn?
Turf-type tall fescue is best choice if you enjoy playing soccer or other backyard sports. Fine fescue and Kentucky bluegrass are better choices if your lawn is only for show.