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Best Lawn Grass for the New York Area

Best Lawn Grass for the New York Area

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Ask any New Yorker and they’ll tell you that NYC is nothing like upstate New York. And the differences go beyond population density or cultural distances. New York state spans three different climate zones, which run from 1 (the coldest) to 12 (the hottest). Most of upstate (80% of the state) is in climate Zone 6, the southern 18% is in Zone 7, and the tip that includes NYC is in Zone 8.

That being said, all of three of these climate zones have roughly similar conditions that vary from cold winters to slightly cool summers. As a result, the best grasses for the New York Area are mostly cool season grasses with only a couple exceptions.

Kentucky Blue Grass

Kentucky Blue Grass is a standby for lawns in the northern half of the US, and New York’s no exception. This grass is known for having good color and being able to bounce back from damage. That recuperative ability is very important, since it’s susceptible to damage from drought, heat, and diseases, as well as not working well with salt or too much shade.

Fine-Leaf Fescues

Fine Fescues can be recognized by its thin, needle-like blade. This grass is known for its high shade tolerance and its ability withstand a high pH. Their small shape does make them hard to mow, which is why the grass is usually part of a blend.

Perennial Ryegrasses

These grasses are specifically bred to have a dark green color, be easy to mow, and have a fine texture. They have a good resistance to heat, drought, and disease, but are designed far areas with full sunlight. These are often blended with Kentucky Bluegrass and Fine Fescues.

Tall Fescue

Tall Fescue is actually a relatively new breed of grass that does great in full sun areas with little maintenance. This clump-type grass does take a bit of time to be established, but once it’s in you’ll get a grass that’s resistant to heat, drought, disease, and even salt. During a hot summer, this is the last grass to go brown.

Zoysia Grass:

Zoysia grass is the only warm season grass commonly used in New York, and should really only be used when in the city, boroughs, or surrounding area. Zoysia doesn’t blend easily with the cool season grasses above, and can be a bone of contention between neighbors. That being said, its high drought and heat tolerance makes it a popular choice for New Yorkers.

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