It might be tempting to pick up the bag of grass seed that is either the most affordable or has the prettiest picture on the label, but this could turn out to be a mistake. Lawn grasses are very climate dependent, and certain types of grasses thrive in different areas of the country.
Let’s face it, Northern Illinois isn’t the most friendly of climates year-round, so you’ll need to find a grass that can hold up to the elements. Here are the three most popular varieties of grass in our area and a few lawn care tips to keep your yard looking pristine.
Kentucky Bluegrass is by far the most popular type of grass found in Northern Illinois. It’s a cool-season grass that is a beautiful dark green color. Kentucky Bluegrass is perfect for both residential and commercial applications, and it can tolerate very cold winters as well as warm summers. If you experience drought conditions in the summer, it can sustain this as well and will usually rebound when watering resumes. When performing lawn care, mow the grass to 1 1/2 to 2 inches in height and water it at least weekly.
Fine Fescue is another grass that does well in colder climates and has one advantage over Kentucky Bluegrass. Fine Fescue does well in shade areas while the other does not. Fine Fescue can mix well with other grasses, has a good drought tolerance and will recover from everyday wear. Mow this grass to 1 to 2 1/2 inches and water it once or twice per week.
Perennial Ryegrass also tolerates cool climates and is a good choice to mix with other grasses. It is similar in form to Kentucky Bluegrass but does tolerate some shade. The grass is easy to maintain and is often used as turf for sports fields, so you know it’s quite hardy. For lawn care, mow the grass to 1 to 2 1/2 inches and water twice each week.