It just takes a layer of well-grown and healthy green grass to add a touch of beauty and sophistication to your otherwise bare and plain-looking garden. If you are the creative type, mix and match the grass species to add a bit of variety. Grass gives a smooth finish to your lawn, commonly seen on the sports fields and golf courses. But before you add the grass seeds to your lawn, it is first essential to understand the grass variant and choose the species depending on the climate and environment you stay in.
Grasses are broadly classified as warm-season and cool-season grasses. This article will be dissing the various winter or cool-season grasses usually planted in the early winter months as they are tolerant of harsh winter conditions.
Things to keep in mind when choosing the Winter Grass Species
Before you settle for a particular grass species to grow in the winter months, you need to consider the geographical and climatic conditions to ensure that your grass is healthy and provides the desired look.
Your geographical location is the first point to consider when choosing the winter grass species. The soil and the environmental conditions differ across the world, and not all turf grasses grow well everywhere. Some grasses can be planted across the entire region, but some may perform well only in a particular condition. The good news is that there are many choices in between the turf grass species and its subspecies, which lets you make the most viable selection.
The local climate should be accounted for when planting the winter grass species. The grass should be tolerant to ice and should resist winter diseases.
9 Types Of Winter Grass
1. Kentucky Bluegrass
Kentucky bluegrass has been produced after a lot of mixed breeding and research. The grass variety is also known as the Poa pratensis. It is dark green and smooth textured grass. The grass species is tolerant to the winter conditions and can thrive in part shade and full sunlight.
The Kentucky bluegrass forms a sod which means that it can be used throughout the year, but the grass becomes dormant in the hot season. The grass needs to be planted in the fall season between September to November or in the winter season from December to February. The grass is perfect to be grown in golf courses, on the lawn, and in the sports field. It is hardy and grows well in the 2 through 7 zones. There are improved varieties of the Kentucky Bluegrass like Midnight and Everest. These have higher resistance to drought and pests. Still, they also need more care as these are aggressive.
You may choose to plant the rough stalked variety of bluegrass known as the Poa trivialis that survives in the 4 through 7 zones. It is light to a medium green colored bluegrass, medium in texture. It can live in acidic soils with a poorly drained conditions. The grass grows well in a low-traffic area and cannot bear dry or hot weather
2. Improved Tall Fescue
The fine fescues live in the 2 to 7 zones. The chewings, creeping red, and hard fescues can live in acidic soil and are tolerant to shade. All the fescue species grow into fine-leaved, thick, and deep green turf—these like well-drained soil with low traffic. The fescue should be planted in the fall season.
The Improved Tall Fescue or the Festuca arundinacea has delicate leaves different from the other fescue plants. It grows into a turf, making it ideal for planting it in the children’s playground and lawn. The turf is less prone to diseases and pests, which increase its survival rate. The tall fescue can tolerate the cold season, and the best time to plant it is in the winter, just before the fall season. There are many kinds of tall fescue varieties, but the best is the Cayenne and the 2nd Millennium.
Tall fescue prefers to grow under the sun. It tends to clump and grow thin under shade. It is hardy in the 2 to 7 zones.
3. Chewings Red Fescue
The chewing red fescue is a tufted and fine-leafed grass that stays dark green all through the winter months. It does not produce creeping rhizome, which the creeping red fescue produces. The subspecies of this plant endures winter better. The grass is highly tolerant of snow mold, which is its most significant advantage.
4. Perennial Ryegrass
Ryegrass is available as an annual or the Lolium multiflorum and the perennial or the Lolium perennial species. The yearly ryegrass grows in every zone, whereas the perennial grows in the 3 to 6 zones. Both of them are planted in the fall months.
The perennial ryegrass may not stand out as the best turf to grow in the winter season. Still, when planted just before the end of winter, it helps to re-establish the green. The Tetraploid ryegrasses are snow mold resistant.
5. Velvet Bentgrass
Velvet Bentgrass or Agrostis Canina is perfect for growing in the winter months. These are usually common golf course grass. It is perennial grass species with a dense and prostrate pattern of growth. The grass can endure high winter stress, but it is a little sensitive to diseases like the M.nivale when it is in the growth stage. The plant is resistant to snow molds.
6. Creeping Bentgrass
Creeping bentgrass or Agrostis palustris is perennial bentgrass that grows in the cold season. It also finds use in golf courses. This is because the grass forms a mat-like heavy and smooth texture that makes it ideal in the golf fields. The grass grows well in winter. The only drawback of this grass is that some of its varieties are prone to snow molds. You have to spray the fungicides if you wish the grass to stay healthy. Creeping bentgrass is preferred because it is highly tolerant to freezing temperatures, and when it is covered in ice for long, it can withstand asphyxiation
7. Browntop or Colonial Bentgrass
The colonial or the browntop bentgrass has a smooth and straight texture. It is a perennial grass with leaf blades that has a mid-green color. The grass can resist varied cutting heights. It improves the density of grass and finds use, especially in temperate regions.
Leirin and Nor are the Norwegian varieties of the browntop bentgrass that have excellent tolerance to winter conditions.
8. Prostrate Meadow
The prostrate meadow is a highly tolerant winter grass species. Its blue-green leaves and thin stems can identify it.
9. Annual Meadow Grass
The annual meadow grass or Poa annual is a species that is grown widely. The grass grows in lawns, grasslands, and gardens and the younger ones come out in cute shapes that looks as if it is folded. The bottom part of the leaf has a pale and green color. The plant cannot survive in acidic soil, which contains a low phosphate concentration. The grass can tolerate waterlogging only for a short time. The grass species cannot accept drought-like conditions, and it instead is tolerant to shade. The turf is thus best for the winter months. Another advantage of this grass is that it can withstand a high amount of trampling. The best species have high endurance in the winter months.
To conclude, ensure that you take time to select the best cool-season grass spices after proper research to ensure that the grass can adapt well to your region. Every site and every grass demands a particular growing condition that should be met to get the expected result. This is all about how it works to pair the best cool-season grass with the right growing conditions to enjoy a beautifully laid down green carpet in your garden or lawn.