When it comes to types of grass seed that grow in Maine, there are 4 types to choose from. When seeding a new lawn, it’s important to choose a type of grass seed that thrives in your climate.
No matter the region you live in, you should base your choice of grass seed on use of lawn, climate, maintenance, and area pest and disease issues. The best types of grass seed for the Maine climate are Kentucky bluegrass, fine and tall fescues, bentgrass, and perennial ryegrass.
Kentucky bluegrass is one of the most common types of grass seed grown in Maine and the northern United States. It grows by spreading rhizomes underground.
Description: Vivid green color that looks like a shade of blue. Medium textured blades with pointed tops.
Growth: Greens well in cooler temps. May go dormant during high temps causing some brown spots. Turns green again once temps dip.
Tolerance/Durability: High. Handles heavy wear well making this a great choice for athletic fields and lawns with heavy wear.
Needs: Requires moderate to heavy fertilizers, well-drained soil, regular irrigation. Grows best in full sun. Do not over-water or over-fertilize because thatching can occur preventing water from penetrating ground.
Fine fescues come in 3 varieties: hard, red, & chewings. Fine fescues have finer blades compared to Kentucky bluegrass. Fine fescues grow by spreading rhizomes underground.
Description: Dark green in color. A fine bladed grass.
Growth: For lawns, red fecsue grows well when mixed with other types of grasses. Hard and chewings fescues don’t knit as well as red fescue with other grass types.
Tolerance/Durability: High. Not suited for heavy foot traffic. Excellent on slopes and hills as erosion control or where grass is not mowed.
Needs: Handles low fertility, acidic and dry soils. Does well in shady areas. This type of grass seed does not grow well when grown alone.
Tall fescue grass seed is frequently being grown in Maine and has been improved over the years. This type of grass is considered a bunch grass *.
Description: Light green in color. Blades are thick and wide with a coarse texture.
Growth: Grows best in warm, weed controlled soil. Can grow in sun and moderate shade.
Tolerance/Durability: Well in most areas of Maine. Handles drought and heat.
Needs: Proper seeding and weed control is a must. In spring, weeds can easily pop up if the lawn hasn’t been seeded well. Slow to establish turf.
There are lots of varieties of Bentrgrass to choose from.
Description: This type of grass is typically deep green.
Growth: Bentgrass grows easily because it has a thick and shallow root system. Can be mowed short without damaging blades and growth.
Tolerance/Durability: Well depending on variety. Is best used on golf greens and high traffic areas. Very durable.
Needs: Requires low maintenance. Ask your contractor or local landscaping company which variety of bentgrass is best for your needs and location.
Description: Perennial ryegrass is dark green in color, is fine to moderate in texture, and is a bunch grass. Grows well when mixed with Kentucky bluegrass*.
Growth: Grown alone is slow to establish solid turf. Establishes faster when mixed with Kentucky bluegrass. If growing perennial ryegrass in Maine, it’s best to mix it with Kentucky bluegrass.
Tolerance/Durability: Poor to Moderate. Some perennial ryegrasses don’t do well in Maine’s winter. It sometimes thins out or dies during a harsh winter. Withstands heavy foot traffic.
Needs: Requires more watering and fertilization than other types of grass seed that grow in Maine. Must be mowed with a sharp blade due to its fibrous nature.
* If seeding a mix of perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass should be make up no more than 10-15% of mixture. Perennial ryegrass germinates faster than Kentucky bluegrass protecting it during the germination process.
If you’re seeding a lawn in Maine, the above are the best types of grass seed to choose from. These grasses are hardier and for the most part can withstand Maine’s winter climate.
If your lawn has sunny and shady spots as well as different types of soil, seeding with a mix is your best option. The different types of grass seed will establish themselves in the areas of the lawn that best suit their growing conditions. For example, Kentucky bluegrass will thrive in sunny areas while perennial ryegrass will take off in high moisture spots.
* Bunch Grass: Does not spread, grows in bunches.
Additional Posts on Seeding a New Lawn
Photo Credit & Grass Seed Available at: Amazon.com