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The Best Types of Grass for Portland, Oregon

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

There are many types of grass that look all right in Portland, but if you want a really terrific lawn, you need the perfect grass blend. Here's a guide to finding the right one for your yard.

Grass for Sunny Yards

If your yard is primarily sunny, you have a couple of good bets for lawn mixes in the Portland area. The first is a lawn that's mostly Kentucky Bluegrass, with a quarter or so of the mix filled in by perennial ryegrass. For this lawn to look terrific, it needs moderate to high maintenance, so get ready to fertilize!

Another great option is a mix that's roughly 3/4 fine fescues and 1/4 colonial bentgrass. In Portland, colonial bentgrass thrives and eventually takes over many lawns anyway. Starting out with it helps your lawn maintain a more even, less patchy look over the years. On the plus side, this grass blend requires less rigorous fertilizing than the first blend. However, to look its finest, it needs to be mowed short (to an inch or so). This can be tricky, since many mowers aren't designed to cut that low.
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Grass for Shady Yards

For yards with significant shade, your best grass mix is a fine fescue/perennial ryegrass blend, leaning heavily toward the fine fescues. They stand up to shade well, and perennial ryegrass will help the mix take hold rapidly, nursing the fine fescue along until it's fully established.

Start off right by choosing a grass blend that thrives in the Portland area, and having a great lawn year after year is that much easier.

About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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