Illinois Grass Seed

Best Lawn Grass Seeds For Illinois

Click Name To View Grass Seed Choice   Type Applications
Cool Season Mix - Showtime Cool Season Lawns - Full Sun to Moderate Shade
Rye, Kentucky Bluegrass, Fine Fescue Mix
Cool Season Mix - Garland Cool Season Lawns - Full Sun to Moderate Shade
Rye, Fine Fescue Mix
Fescue/Bluegrass Mix - Combat Extreme North Cool Season Lawns - Wear Tolerant
Fescue Blend - Combat Extreme Transition Cool Season Lawns - Wear Tolerant
Fine Fescue Blend - Legacy Cool Season Lawns - Full Sun To Moderate Shade
Kentucky Bluegrass - Bluegrass Supreme Cool Season Lawns - Golf Gourses - Full Sun
Kentucky Bluegrass - Midnight Cool Season Lawns - Golf Courses - Full Sun
OSP Ryegrass Cool Season Lawns - Golf Courses
Shade Grass - Poa Supina Mix Cool Season Lawns - Full Sun - Deep Shade - Best Shade Grass

Grasses used in Illinois are typically cool season grasses. Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, and perennial ryegrass are the most common with turf type fescue being used at the more southern portion of Illinois. Some people are using warm season grasses such as zoysia grass in Southern Illinois as well.

Cool-Season 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. Most cultivars of Kentucky bluegrass require moderate to high levels of maintenance (such as fertilizing, watering, etc.) to maintain high quality. 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. They tend to be disease prone and offer poor freezing tolerance if flooded or exposed to wind. Perennial ryegrasses 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. Kentucky bluegrass is the first grass to brown out in the summer and tall fescue is the last.

Warm-Season Grasses:
Zoysiagrass - This is the only warm-season grass grown as a lawn in Illinois. Zoysia is easy to identify because its leaves are covered with stiff hairs. It remains brown well into the spring and turns brown again with the first fall frost. Zoysia is very invasive and is often a bone of contention between neighbors. Zoysia is not real popular because of the long dormant period in which Zoysiagrass is a brown color from fall to mid spring. While it is not really compatible with the cool season grasses above, it has still maintained some popularity because of its drought/heat tolerance vs the cool season grasses in Illinois's summers.

Below is the USDA Zone Map for Illinois so you can determine which zone you reside in. Below that are our picks for your state which will do best in your area. Next on this page are tables which list various grasses and their characteristics so you can compare before you decide on your purchase. Click on the product name (ie. Midnight) for more information about that grass and to make your purchase.

USDA Zone Map For Illinois
Illinois Grass Seed Illinois Zones

Compare Various Grasses For Their Characteristics
Cool Season
Grasses
Leaf
Texture
Establish
Rate
Nitrogen
Use
Water
Use
Drought
Tolerance
Salinity
Tolerance
Shade
Tolerance
Bentgrass - Creeping Fine Moderate
to Fast
Low to
Moderate
High Poor to
Moderate
High Poor to
Moderate
Bentgrass - Colonial Fine Moderate
to Fast
Low Moderate Poor to
Moderate
Moderate Moderate
Bluegrass - Kentucky Moderate
to Fine
Slow Moderate
to High
Moderate
to High
Good Moderate Poor
Bluegrass - Rough Moderate
to Fine
Slow Moderate
to High
Moderate
to High
Poor Moderate Excellent
Fescue - Chewings Fine Moderate Moderate
to Low
Moderate Good
to Excellent
Low Excellent
Fescue - Hard Fine Slow to
Moderate
Low to
Very Low
Moderate Excellent Low to
Moderate
Excellent
Fescue - Creeping Fine Moderate Low to
Moderate
Moderate Good Low Excellent
Fescue - Turf Type Moderate
to Coarse
Moderate Moderate
to High
Low to
Moderate
Excellent Low Good to
Excellent
Ryegrass - Perennial Fine to
Moderate
Very Fast Moderate
to High
Moderate
to High
Good Poor to
Moderate
Poor to
Moderate
Warm Season
Grasses
Leaf
Texture
Establish
Rate
Nitrogen
Use
Water
Use
Drought
Tolerance
Salinity
Tolerance
Shade
Tolerance
Bahiagrass Coarse
toVery Coarse
Slow to
Moderate
Low Low Excellent Excellent Moderate
to Good
Bermudagrass Fine
to Moderate
Moderate
to Fast
Moderate Moderate
to High
Excellent Very Good Poor
Blue Grama Fine
to Moderate
Slow to
Moderate
Low Low Excellent Moderate Very Poor
Buffalograss Moderate
to Coarse
Slow to
Moderate
Low Low Excellent Moderate Very Poor
Carpetgrass Coarse Moderate
to Fast
Low High Low Low Excellent
Centipedegrass Moderate
to Coarse
Slow Low Low Good Moderate Moderate
to Good
Seashore Paspalum Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Excellent Excellent Good
Zoysiagrass Fine
to Medium
Slow to
Moderate
Moderate Moderate Excellent Good Moderate
to Good
Compare Various Grasses For Their Characteristics - Continued
Cool Season
Grasses
Fertility
Needs
Wear
Resistance
Mowing
Height
Cold
Tolerance
Acid Soil
Tolerance
Thatching
Tendency
Heat
Tolerance
Bentgrass - Creeping High Low Low Low Medium
to High
High High
Bentgrass - Colonial High Low Low Low Medium
to High
High High
Bluegrass - Kentucky Medium Medium
to High
Medium High Medium Medium Medium
Bluegrass - Rough Medium Medium Medium High Medium Medium Medium
Fescue - Chewings Low Low Medium Medium
to High
Medium
to High
Low to
Medium
Low to
Medium
Fescue - Hard Low Low Medium Medium
to High
Medium
to High
Low to
Medium
Low to
Medium
Fescue - Creeping Low Low Medium High Medium
to High
Low to
Medium
Low to
Medium
Fescue - Turf Type Low to
Medium
Medium
to High
Medium
to High
Medium High Low High
Ryegrass - Perennial Medium High Low to
Medium
Medium Medium Low Medium
to High
Warm Season
Grasses
Fertility
Needs
Wear
Resistance
Mowing
Height
Cold
Tolerance
Acid Soil
Tolerance
Thatching
Tendency
Heat
Tolerance
Bahiagrass Low Medium
to High
High Low Low Medium
to High
High
Bermudagrass Medium High Low to
Medium
Low to
Medium
Medium Medium High
Blue Grama Low Low High High Low Low High
Buffalograss Low Low High High Low Low High
Carpetgrass Low Medium
to High
Low Medium
to High
Medium
to High
High Low
Centipedegrass Low Low Medium
to High
Medium
to High
High Medium High
Seashore Paspalum Medium
to High
Medium
to High
Low Medium Low Medium
to High
High
Zoysiagrass Low to
Medium
Medium
to High
Low to
Medium
High Low to
Medium
Medium
to High
High

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