New York Grass Types

Looking for the optimal grass varieties for lawns in New York? Below is a comparison table and accompanying data that will give you information about what grasses are best suited for New York and its inner counties.

Note: Cold, heat, drought, and saturation tolerance are measured on a score of 0-5 with 0 being the least tolerant and 5 being the most.

Kentucky Bluegrass

Most suitable grass (on average)

Tall Fescue

2nd most suitable (on average)

Annual Ryegrass

Optimal for colder areas

Perennial Ryegrass

4th most suitable (on average)


5th most suitable (on average)

Centipede Grass

Ideal for drought-prone areas

Bahia Grass

Great for areas with heavy rainfall

Buffalo Grass

Best suited for shaded areas

Lawn Visual
Seasonal Type Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Warm Warm Warm
Cold Tolerance 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.5 4.5 1.0 1.5 3.5
Heat Tolerance 2.5 3.5 2.0 2.0 1.5 4.5 4.5 4.0
Drought Tolerance 3.0 3.5 2.5 2.0 1.5 4.0 5.0 5.0
Saturation Tolerance 3.0 3.0 4.0 3.5 4.0 4.0 3.5 2.0
USDA Zone(s) 1-7 5-8 1-7 1-5 1-5 7-13 4-13 5-9
Sun Exposure Mostly Sun, Partial Shade Mostly Sun, Deep Shade Mostly Sun, Deep Shade Mostly Sun, Partial Shade Mostly Sun, Deep Shade Full Sun, Light Shade Full Sun, Light Shade Full Sun, Deep Shade
Moderate, Moderate Moderate, Moderate Moderate, Rapid Moderate, Rapid Low, Moderate Low, Slow Moderate, Moderate Low, Slow
Weekly, 1-1.5 inches Weekly, 1-1.5 inches Weekly, 1-1.5 inches Weekly, 1-1.5 inches 2-3 times weekly, 0.25 inches per watering Weekly, 1 inch Bi-weekly, 0.5-0.75 inches Bi-weekly, 0.5 inches
Every 5-7 days, 2.5-3.5 inches Every 5-7 days, 2-3.5 inches Every 5-7 days, 1.5-2.5 inches Every 5-7 days, 1.5-2.5 inches Every 3-5 days (or less), 0.25-1 inches Every 10-14 days, 1-2 inches Every 7-14 days, 2.5-4 inches Every 10-14 days, 2-3 inches
Soil Well-drained, Loamy
pH: 6.0-7.0
pH: 5.5-7.5
pH: 5.5-7.5
pH: 5.5-7.5
Well-drained, Loamy
pH: 5.5-6.5
Sandy, Acidic
pH: 4.5-6.0
Acidic, Sandy
pH: 5.5-6.5
Well-drained, Loamy to Sandy
pH: 6.0-7.5
Texture Fine to Medium Coarse Fine Fine Fine Medium Coarse Fine
Color Rich Green Dark Green Bright Green Bright Green Light Green Light Green Light Green Blue-Green

New York Zones

The interactive map below shows the USDA plant hardiness zones specific to New York. Each zone in the map represents a certain temperature range that is critical for plant survival and growth, divided based on the average annual minimum winter temperature. Click on the map to see the optimial grass types for each county.

Zone No. 4 5 6 7
Map Color
Lowest Avg. Winter Temperature -30° to -20°F -20° to -10°F -10° to 0°F 0° to 10°F

The chart and table below shows the average monthly precipitation and minimum/maximum temperatures in New York over the last 5 years.

Month Min Temp (°F) Max Temp (°F) Prep (in)
Jan12.42 °F30.02 °F2.96"
Feb15.88 °F34.38 °F3.02"
Mar23.08 °F43 °F2.53"
Apr32.32 °F52.84 °F3.89"
May44.78 °F67.92 °F3.47"
Jun53.12 °F75.8 °F3.57"
Jul59.72 °F81.3 °F4.75"
Aug58.84 °F79.64 °F4.57"
Sep51.06 °F71.22 °F4.1"
Oct40.76 °F59.52 °F4.85"
Nov28.98 °F45.34 °F3.74"
Dec22.16 °F36.8 °F3.63"

The chart below shows the optimal months for seeding or sodding new grass in New York. Suitability for each month is based on the average monthly temperature in New York.

June, July, August and September are the most optimal months for planting cool-season grasses in New York.

July and June are the most optimal months for planting warm-season grasses in New York.

Grass Types by County in New York

Below is a list of counties in New York. Click on any county to get a more detailed analysis.

Data source and citation

Raw data for the grass characteristics was sourced from the USDA's PLANTS Database.

Data for climate zones in New York was gathered from the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map as well as GIS datasets from the Oregon State University PRISM Climate Group.

Average monthly temperatures and precipitation data for New York was sourced from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental information.

Please use the citation tool below to reference any information found on this page.

  • "New York Grass Types". Accessed on July 19, 2024.

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