The 3 Best Grass Types for Your Denver Lawn

lawn in front of a house in denver

Whether it’s being at the second largest airport in the world, sitting in the stands at a state-of-the-art sports stadium, or standing at the base of the Rocky Mountains, it is hard to not be awestruck in Denver, Colorado. In a city where nature is so cherished, why wouldn’t you want a piece of that beauty on your very own lawn? Before you go out and grab the first seed you see, take a few tips from us. Now that all grass is legal in Colorado (wink, wink), it does not mean that all are created equal.

The “Mile High City,” not to be confused with a club of the same name, has an average temperature high of 72 degrees a year. So in order to give your grass a fighting chance of survival, it needs to be of the cool-season variety. During those summer months, water restrictions come into effect in the Denver area. Therefore, you need a grass that is pretty resistant to drought.

So I need a drought-resistant, cool-season grass, great! Now cool your jets. Not all cool-season grasses will meet your lawn’s individual needs. Here are the three grass types that thrive in our beloved Denver’s extreme temperatures, and how to determine if it is the right grass for you.

Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky bluegrass
Photo Credit: JeanUrsula / Canva Pro / License

Old faithful. Kentucky bluegrass is your best bet in Colorado.  One of the most tolerant grasses, Kentucky bluegrass spreads rapidly because of its rhizomes. This makes the turf more sturdy and resistant to damage.

Like with all positives, there will always be a few negatives. Kentucky bluegrass forms a lot of thatch. Aeration once a year will help with that. It is also disease and insect prone. If there are nuisances attacking your lawn, it is important for the long-term health of the lawn to use eco-friendly lawn care practices to eliminate these pests.

Grass Seed Options:

Jonathan Green (11970) Blue Panther Kentucky Bluegrass Grass Seed (3 lbs.)
SeedRanch Midnight Kentucky Bluegrass Seed (5 lbs.)

Fine-balanced Fescues

Close up image of fine fescue grass with a hand on it
Photo Credit: Aaron Patton / Purdue’s Turfgrass Science Program

Another common grass in Denver is fine-blended fescues. These types of seeds are commonly found in many seed mixtures. Most mixtures contain either Red or Chewings fescues because they germinate a lot faster than most other seeds.

Fescues have a tendency to thrive in shady areas. If your lawn doesn’t spend most of the day basking in the sun, then this is the perfect grass for you.  What also sets fine-balanced fescues apart from other grass types is little fertilizer or moisture is required for it to flourish.

Grass Seed Options:
Outsidepride Legacy Fine Fescue Grass Seed (5 lbs.)
Eretz Creeping Red Fine Fescue Seed (choose your size)
Outsidepride Creeping Red Fine Fescue Grass Seed (25 lbs.)
Outsidepride Hard Fine Fescue Grass Seed (10 lbs.)

Perennial ryegrass

perennial ryegrass
Photo Credit: arousa / Canva Pro / License

Last and most certainly not least, is perennial ryegrass. This is a tough grass that can withstand the damage caused by heavy foot traffic allowing for a vibrant green hue almost all year long.

It has more leaves the lower you go on the stem, as well as a very narrow blade. The appearance of ryegrass is comparable with that of bluegrass. Its similarities don’t end there as perennial ryegrass also has a tendency to be prone to disease. Hey, sharing is caring!

On the plus side, ryegrass does not form the amounts of thatch that does Kentucky bluegrass and has the ability to grow in poorly drained soil. So a lot less maintenance for this resistant turf grass.

Grass Seed Options:

Outsidepride Perennial Ryegrass Seed (5 lbs.)
Eretz ProTurf Perennial Ryegrass Fine Lawn Seed (choose your size)

It really just depends on what your needs are, but any of these grasses are capable of growing successfully in Denver, Colorado. Other grasses that have success but are less common around Denver include buffalo grass and crested wheatgrass.

Buffalo grass can survive at an elevation of 6,5000 or less. At a Mile High, Denver fits within that spectrum, but buffalo grass is still uncommon because a good portion of Colorado doesn’t meet those requirements. Although not the prettiest, crested wheatgrass can also thrive, but those are mainly for lands that have livestock.

Have questions about lawn care? Visit our Denver lawn care page or share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Main Image Credit: Jeffrey Beall / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 4.0


Michael Lathrop