The Best and the Worst
Cool-season grasses cover lawns where temperatures stay below ninety degrees almost all the time. Cool-season grasses go dormant or die during drought or high temperatures, so southerners are out of luck with the cool species. That doesn’t stop them from trying, though. You can seed cool-season grasses, so they are inexpensive to establish. They germinate when temperatures are in the fifties, so most landscapers seed them in the fall. The lush, green blades last through the entire winter, just like the yards we used to draw in kindergarten pictures. As long as temperatures are moderately cool these grasses stay green all year.
Being able to seed a beautiful turf is a great cost advantage, because seed is much less expensive than sod or sprigs. Suppliers attempt to reduce costs even more by mixing cheaper species seed in with the finest, most elegant turf grass of them all—Kentucky bluegrass.
There is no need for hard choices. Kentucky bluegrass is the best lawn grass possible, hands down. Why would you plant anything else? It makes a beautiful, run-barefoot-to-your-true-love-gorgeous lawn. It is refined and soft and a deep green. Its only weakness is a lack of shade-tolerance. The only other turf seed species that can compete, because it is slightly cheaper, is Tall Fescue, but the quality of a Fescue lawn cannot compare to Bluegrass.