How to Identify Common Grass Types in the Northeast

Written by faith mcgee
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How to Identify Common Grass Types in the Northeast
Common northeastern grass (grass image by ana malin from

The majority of grass types found in the Northeast are cool weather grasses, because they are able to remain green during the fall months. Common grass types include bent grass, ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass and red fescue grass to name a few. It is important to identify the grass types that will grow in your area to prevent growing something that will not survive cold temperatures and to be able to determine if another type of grass is encroaching on your yard.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Shovel
  • Grass seed bag
  • Lawn clippings

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  1. 1

    Find out what your region's plant hardiness zone is on the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map. Grass that is unable to survive your area's average annual minimal temperatures will have a difficult time growing in the yard. Go to their website to see a list of grasses that can grow in your zone.

  2. 2

    Inspect the grass growing in your yard. Grass varieties have different blade characteristics and textures. You may have to avoid mowing for a while to allow it to grow several inches for examination.

  3. 3

    Lift some of the turf with a shovel. Many cool weather grass types like bent grass and couch grass have a shallow root system.

  4. 4

    Check your grass seed bag. Some grass seeds are mixed with a variety of grass types to make the lawn more resistant to excessive foot traffic. You may be growing a variety of grasses in your lawn.

  5. 5

    Monitor your grass' growth rate. Ryegrass grows extremely fast and requires almost twice the mowing that other types of grass need for a tidy looking lawn.

Tips and warnings

  • Cut off some of your grass or bring in some lawn clippings to your local nursery for identification.
  • Avoid planting a grass that will not grow in your region, because it will either die off or create bald spots that will encourage weed growth.

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