The Best Type of Grass Seed for New Jersey
Growing a lush lawn is rarely the problem—it's maintaining your existing lawn that becomes an issue. Even if you hire landscaping contractors to seed your entire lawn, your bed of green could quickly turn brown, patchy, and dry. Furthermore, it could be overrun with weeds or have drainage problems.
Knowing more about the growing conditions in New Jersey, choosing the right seed, and planting strategically allows you to grow a healthy lawn that you can call yours.
How is New Jersey’s Climate?
New Jersey resides in zones 6a (as low as -5°F to -10°F) to 7b (as low as 5°F to 10°F). The northern cities such as Sussex, Morris, and Somerset reside in zones 6a and 6b (-5°F to 0°F). Southern cities like Cape May, Cumberland, and Camden are in zones 7a (0°F to 5°F) to 7b.
Source: Gardening Know How
New Jersey is part of the country’s “transition zone.” Transitional zones are home to plants that may be able to not be able to support the extremes of both winter and summer.
When it gets too cold for warm-season grasses, weeds will take over. But, when it is hot enough for these types of turfgrass to grow well, they can die due to dry conditions or animal involvement with their roots.
Best Lawn Grass Seeds for New Jersey
Due to New Jersey’s unique location, it's possible to plant different grass types on your property. Cool season grasses are more conducive for growth since they can handle the cold winters, whereas warm season grasses need more heat.
There are two options if you’re looking for the best time to plant. The first is during the late spring, after temperatures rise. Alternatively, you can plant grass in the fall so there's plenty of nutrients built up by the end of summer.
Lawns are most vulnerable during the summer months. The hot weather and lack of adequate water are enough to devastate it, along with foot traffic from pets and children during the summer months. Reseeding can be a great way for you to revitalize dead patches without having to rip up all the other parts that are still alive.
Fine leaf fescues have super narrow leaf blades that are great for shade tolerance. Fine fescues can also withstand high pH environments, so they're often used in turfgrass mixes. But because of their fine texture, it may be hard to mow them.
Kentucky bluegrass is a beautiful, versatile grass that flourishes in the northeast. Its dark green color can handle winters and provide coverage for hot summer days. If you're seeding with Kentucky bluegrass, do this early spring or mid-fall as opposed to late fall which may not work well due to cold weather approaching quickly.
Perennial ryegrass is a cool-season grass that was introduced from European countries and Asia to American pastures. In New Jersey, perennial ryegrasses are grown for pasture and home lawns because of their ability to withstand cold temperatures.
If you want to establish your lawn quickly, perennial ryegrass is a perfect choice. As one of the fastest germinating grass types, it can sprout in just two weeks. It withstands heavy use and foot traffic well because its blades form a lush carpet that maintains color throughout winter seasons.
Tall fescues are used in transition zones where other cool season grasses can't take summers or warm season types don’t do well in winters. The tall blades of the fescue grass grow with a deep green hue that looks great all year. This hearty plant makes an upscale lawn for any property owner who wants something reliable, even when Mother Nature isn’t on your side.
There are benefits to installing a tall fescue lawn in your yard: It grows quickly, is easy to establish from seed, and is perfect for someone who has little time or patience with gardening. It tolerates heat and drought, so you can plant without worrying about soil quality.
Tall fescue lawns seem immune to many diseases that plague other types of turfgrass. They're tough enough to withstand foot traffic while still holding up remarkably well under pressure.
Rounding out the list is the warm-season grass Zoysiagrass. Aside from being easy to spot because of its stiff hair, Zoysiagrass stays brown well into spring before turning green again with fall frost. The invasive zoysia can be found between neighbors who fight over where they should have their yards planted.
How to Take Proper Care of Grasses in NJ
While maintaining the quality of your lawn is a time-consuming process, it's a necessary one. Following the steps for proper lawn care is the difference between cultivating a lush green lawn and a weed-infested yard with dead grass. Below are some of the things you must do to initiate proper grass care:
Do a spring clean-up by removing leaves and other debris. Trim your bushes and remove dead plants to allow oxygen to get to your grass.
Apply fertilizer on your lawn around mid-March once frost has passed. This provides your grass with much-needed nutrients to restart the growth of passes after winter. Just make sure not to over-fertilize as it could damage your grass. Consider adding mulch to protect your lawn from weeds.
Summertime brings out the weeds in your lawn, especially if you forgot to add mulch. In this case, the course of action is to pull them from the roots to stop them from spreading.
Due to the heat of the sun, your plants will need more water, about an inch every week. Water your lawn when the sun isn't around: Before nighttime and before sunrise.
Fall and Winter
Cleanup is needed after dead grass and leaves develop during fall and winter. Clear your lawn from dead leaves that create excess moisture and cause various lawn diseases.
Since winter is on the horizon, fertilize your lawn and water it regularly starting early fall to help your lawn survive the cold temperatures of the upcoming season. And, mow your lawn shorter than usual: This discourages pests from turning your lawn into their home.
Find the Best Grass Seed to Plant in New Jersey with Nature's Seed
New Jersey's unique zone paves the way for different grass seeds to grow. While conventional wisdom encourages you to stick with cool-season grasses, you can experiment with warm-season grasses, especially if you're in the warmer zones of New Jersey.
Consider planting cool- and warm-season grass seed mixtures on your lawn. They possess characteristics of different grass species and help you grow a much fuller lawn, depending on the species you will and how you take care of it.If you're interested in learning more about how to approach planting grass seed in your New Jersey property, contact Nature's Seed today. We can help ensure your lawn stays healthy all season long.