Illinois Region Grasses
Kentucky bluegrass is by far the most popular species used in home lawns in northern Illinois, due to high quality appearance, hardiness, and recovery ability. Kentucky bluegrass spreads by rhizomes, which roots multiple underground. Kentucky bluegrass prefers full sun, although a few cultivars have tolerance to light shade. Kentucky bluegrass is slow to establish by seed, and is also readily available as sod.
Fine fescues require less maintenance and many adapt to shade. The fine fescues include red and chewings fescues, sheep fescue, and hard fescue. Leaf width is narrow, and most are bunch-type grasses (red fescue has rhizomes).
Wear tolerance (such as foot traffic) and recovery ability of fine fescues is fair. Maintenance levels are generally low, especially fertilizer needs, and fine fescues may decline in full sun when mowed frequently.
Perennial ryegrasses are bunching cool season grasses that are compatible in appearance with bluegrass, do not form thatch, have good heat tolerance and may be drought resistant. Perennial ryegrass is designed for full sun areas, but will tolerate some shade. Ryegrass is bred to give a pleasing dark green color, with a fine texture and excellent mowing qualities. Is also a very good choice for blends with Kentucky Bluegrass and Fine Fescue.
Tall Fescue – The new turf-type tall fescues are excellent for warmer areas of Illinois and the southern area. While they take a little while to establish or recuperate since they are a clump-type grass, they are extremely wear resistant, drought, heat, and salt-tolerant; and moderately shade tolerant. Tall fescues have few disease problems and require less maintenance that other grasses.
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