When it comes to carpeting your lawn with greenery, you have an almost bewildering number of grass species (and varieties of species) to choose from. The type of grass that you use for your outdoor space should be suitable for your environment; otherwise, you can count on it not surviving the next extreme weather season. If you face harsh winter conditions each year, then it is in your best interest to educate yourself on just what species are best for you, as it is likely that your best bet will be to go with a combination of a variety of grasses rather than just one. Here is a guide to the best grass for cold climates:
Kentucky Bluegrass. This species is extremely hardy up against cold weather conditions. The grass grows in a fine texture, and fills in empty spaces rather quickly; however, it requires a relatively high amount of mowing, and it does not do well in the shade or in salty soil. The most notable Kentucky Bluegrass varieties that stand up to the cold are Baron, Award, Nu Destiny, Touchdown, Adelphi, and Midnight.
Fine-leaf Fescue. Unlike Kentucky Bluegrass, Fine-leaf Fescue actually thrives in the shade. Therefore, if you live in a cold climate and your lawn has a considerable amount of shade trees, this species may be perfect for you. Fine-leaf fescue is also extremely drought resistant, and certain varieties (like the Aurora variety, for example) are notably resistant to disease, which makes for easy up-keep. In addition to Aurora, look for the Chewing, Red Creeping, and Hard varieties.
Tall Fescue. Similar to the Fine-leaf Fescue, Tall Fescue is drought resistant and thrives well in the shade. Look for the Jaguar 3 and Arid varieties, which also stand up to a good amount of traffic.
Perennial Ryegrass. This is the perfect species to mix with a variety of other grasses, as it is medium-textured, hardy, and can also thrive into the warm season. Therefore, if your lawn is abundant with a different species of cool climate grass that is dormant over the warmer months, you can use Ryegrass as a filler grass to keep your lawn full throughout the year.