Types of Grass That Can Be Planted in Late Fall & Early Winter

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Jess | November 2, 2013 | no comments

Grass can be broken down into two types: warm season and cool season. Warm season grass is responsible for your yard turning a rich green color in spring and summer. It’s also responsible for your yard turning pale green to brown in fall and winter. By spreading cool season grass seed in late fall and early winter, you’ll achieve maximum coverage of healthy looking grass throughout the cooler months.

If you’re not sure what type of grass to plant in your Connecticut lawn, you need to determine what you value most in a lawn. The most commonly planted cool-season grasses include Kentucky bluegrass, fescues, and ryegrass:

Kentucky bluegrass

Kentucky Bluegrass is a widely adapted species that is used for many situations. Its darkgreen color and medium fine texture contributes to it sometimes being called the king of lawn grasses. Kentucky bluegrass is able to spread and recover because it grows by underground primary lateral stems called rhizomes. These rhizomes grow out from the main plant and form a new plant, allowing it to form a dense cover. Kentucky bluegrass is a good choice for athletic fields, home lawns, and golf courses. For high quality turf, Kentucky bluegrass should receive medium to high maintenance.

Perennial ryegrasses

Perennial ryegrass has a non-spreading, bunch type growth habit. It germinates and establishes quickly. It has a dark green color, medium fine texture, and good mowing characteristics. Perennial ryegrass may be seeded alone or in mixtures with other species.

Fine fescues

Creeping red fescue is the most widely used of the three main fine leafed fescues. It has slow spreading rhizomes. Chewings fescue and Hard fescue have a bunch-type growth habit. All have a fine leaf texture. They are particularly well adapted to dry, shady conditions as well as low maintenance situations. The fine fescues are primarily used in mixes with other species like Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass.

Tall fescues

This is another bunch type grass that persists in the warmer areas of the cool season range of adaptation. This is primarily due to the fact that it has a deep root system, which helps it be more heat and drought tolerant. Plant breeders have made great improvements in this species over the last decade. The newer varieties are as dark green and almost as fine textured as the improved Kentucky bluegrass varieties. It does not tolerate as close a mowing height as Kentucky bluegrass or perennial ryegrass, so a mowing height of 1.5 – 3 inches is recommended. Tall fescue requires slightly less water and fertilizer to produce a high quality turf stand.


Interested in discussing cool season grass options for your Connecticut lawn?  Contact Sea Coast Landscape Designs and we’ll work with you to ensure you get the most out of your lawn, no matter what time of year it is!