Best Lawn Grass for the Philadelphia Area
The vast majority of Pennsylvania is squarely in climate Zone 9, which means that the lawns will all use cool season grasses. For the most part, Philadelphia is the same, and the majority of the grasses that you’ll use should be cool season grasses to withstand the cold winters.
But as any Philadelphia native will tell you, there’s a big difference between Philly and the rest of the state. Philadelphia’s proximity to the Delaware River and the coast throws a little something extra into the climate mix, and gives a bit of a Zone 8 feel with hot summers. As a result, it is possible for a hardy warm season grass to find footing in a Philly lawn.
Zoysia is the one warm season that grows well in a Philadelphia climate. It stands up well to heat, and actually requires a lot of sun, so make sure that it has plenty of sunlight. Zoysia is known for being tolerant of cold and drought, as well as standing up to wear. If it gets the right care, you’ll get a dense carpet of grass with a good texture.
Bluegrass is the dominant cool season grass in the US, and can be found across the northern half of the country. This fine-leafed grass has a great texture and good heat resistance. Any Philly resident knows to expect 8-12 wet days every month, and bluegrass is perfect for this weather. The grass’ shallow roots are a problem in dryer regions, but in wet areas it keeps the grass from getting waterlogged.
Several different varieties of fescues thrive in the Philadelphia climate. Their full texture and fine blades make it popular with homeowners, not to mention the fact that they’re low maintenance. Fescues are extremely hardy, which means they can survive both cold winters and hot summers. Unlike other grasses that need a lot of direct sunlight, fescues do well with shade, so they’re often combined with other cool climate grasses.
Ryegrasses are just as common as fescues and bluegrasses around the Philadelphia area, but usually not on their own. These fine-leafed grasses grow very quickly to create a full, rich turf. They’re usually mixed in with other grasses to from a strong base while the rest of the grasses fill in slowly. Fescues can stand up to a lot of use and repair your lawn quickly if there’s any damage.