Types of Grasses
Northern grasses like cool weather. Grasses adapted to northern climates do most of their growing during autumn, winter and spring, and slow down during summer heat. The main one is Kentucky bluegrass. Most of the varieties do not differ much, and like moderate attention. Merion, probably the best known, needs heavy fertilization and is not suited to the warmer part of the area.
Fine fescues (such as Chewings, Illahee, Pennlawn, Creeping Red) are usually included in bluegrass lawns. If you are going to start a new lawn, it is good to have about 25% fescue in the seed mixture. Fescues sprout well, survive on dry, poorer soils under trees, and are a good companion for bluegrass since they respond to the same care.
Bentgrasses are for the fancy, more formal lawns that get a great deal of care. They are used on golf greens, where they are meticulously tended, but are ordinarily too troublesome for a home owner. However, in cooler coastal areas, bent-grass lawns are standard because there un-pedigreed bentgrass has gained a toehold in most lawns. If you want to plant bentgrass, choose one of the less troublesome varieties such as Highland, rather than creeping sorts. However, compared to bluegrass, it will require extra feeding and watering, closer and more frequent mowing, disease prevention, and probably occasional thinning.
The best and most important time of year to handle cool area lawn groundwork is in the autumn. This is when the grass plants build strength for the following spring. Early spring is the next best time - or even winter, if you live where snow is not too bothersome.
When hot summer weather arrives, bluegrass does not need as much attention as in cooler months. When you fertilize in autumn and spring, all of the food goes to the grass, which is growing rapidly at that time - while weeds are not. If, on the other hand, you feed in summer, you may encourage and help weeds, because most of them do best in warm weather when bluegrass is relatively inactive.