The cool, humid climate of the American Northeast is tough on plants, including lawn grasses. For lawns to thrive and look beautiful year after year, it takes more than just ordinary grasses. The Northeast's cold, long winters and disease-provoking dampness call for superior grass seed varieties bred and mixed specifically to meet the rigors of the region. From Maine to Delaware, choosing a premium grass mix designed to meet the region's challenges can help you achieve a thicker, lusher, superior Northeast lawn.
Fast Facts for Northeast Needs
- Mix of superior cool-season grass varieties
- Suitable for cool, humid Northeast conditions
- Improved cold tolerance
- Improved drought and disease resistance
- Complementary growth habits for thick, lush lawns
The cool, humid climate of the Northeast calls for superior grass seed.
Best Grass Types for the Northeast
The Northeast's cold winters and moderate summers suit cool-season lawn grasses, which have their peak growth periods during cool spring and fall months. But that's not the only consideration in choosing grasses for Northeast lawns. Parts of the region vary dramatically in moisture levels, soil pH, natural fertility, humidity and conditions that encourage lawn disease. Versatility and adaptability are essential qualities for grasses to excel in Northeast conditions.
By choosing a seed mix that combines premium varieties of different grass species, such as Pennington Smart Seed Northeast Mix, you can create an adaptable, resilient lawn that thrives in sunny to moderately shady areas. Improved, purebred grass seed varieties developed through Pennington research deliver superior performance — from improved drought tolerance to increased resistance to disease and insects. It's an ideal mix for lawns in the following Northeast states:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
A short growing season requires Northeast grasses to establish quickly.
The perennial ryegrass in Pennington's Smart Seed Northeast Mix excels in cool, humid Northeast conditions. Perennial ryegrass germinates faster than any other common lawn grass — even in cool, damp soils — bringing your lawn quick color and stability as other grasses get growing. This is especially important for the Northeast, where spring starts late and winter comes early. Improved Pennington Smart Seed varieties add greater heat and drought tolerance than ordinary grasses and use up to 30 percent less water year after year, keeping your lawn healthy and looking good through summer months, too.
Kentucky bluegrass, often referred to as KBG, provides a perfect complement for perennial ryegrass in Pennington's Smart Seed Northeast Mix. KBG takes longer to germinate and get established, but this grass offers greater cold hardiness than any other common lawn grass. Combine that cold tolerance with KBG's dense, vigorous growth and the superior drought tolerance of Pennington Smart Seed varieties, and you have a rich, green lawn that's ready for Northeast winters and summers.
For added versatility and shade tolerance, fine fescues finish out an ideal Northeast lawn mix. The most shade-tolerant of all common lawn grasses, fine fescues add attractive color and a fine, pleasing texture. With a blend of upright fine fescue, such as Chewings fescue, and low-growing fine fescue, such as creeping red, your Northeast lawn benefits from improved shade tolerance, cold resistance and durability.
Northeast lawn grasses must to withstand extended cold and snow.
Basic Northeast Lawn Care
The best time to plant the cool-season grasses in Pennington Smart Seed Northeast Mix is in late summer and early fall, during their natural time for peak growth. Spring is also an excellent time to plant in the cool Northeast. Most Northeast soils are naturally acidic, which can interfere with nutrient availability if soil pH is too low. A simple soil test will let you know if your lawn needs lime to raise soil pH so grass can take up nutrients and grow thick, healthy and strong.
When mowing a mixture of the different grass types ideal for Northeast lawns, use the highest recommended mowing height for grasses involved. For example, mow your Pennington Smart Seed Northeast Mix grasses at the recommended 2 to 2 ½ inches for Kentucky bluegrass, instead of the shorter heights recommended for perennial ryegrass or fine fescue. During times of summer heat and low rainfall, maintain your Northeast lawn at 3 to 4 inches tall. This helps lawn grass withstand these summer stresses.
Established lawns typically need about 1 inch of water each week from rainfall or irrigation. Deep, thorough irrigation promotes deep root growth and resilience. Once established, the superior grass seed varieties found in Pennington Smart Seed can reduce your lawn water needs by up to 30 percent year after year. These superior heat- and drought-tolerant grass varieties can stay green up to three weeks without watering.
For lawn care tasks beyond simple weekly maintenance, such as aeration, follow recommendations for month-by-month lawn care for cool-season grasses. Some quick weekend lawn fixes can be done throughout the year, but many major lawn projects are best done when cool-season grasses are in active fall and spring growth in the Northeast. This allows grasses to naturally recover much faster.
By giving your Northeast lawn a foundation of premium grass seed varieties specifically suited to the region's unique challenges, you can enjoy a thicker, lusher lawn for years to come. Pennington has been cultivating the trust of homeowners and lawn professionals for three generations by growing the finest grass seed possible. With Pennington Smart Seed Northeast Mix, you benefit from better research, better seed and better results – guaranteed.
Pennington and Smart Seed are registered trademarks of Pennington Seed, Inc.