How Are Lawns in the Pacific Northwest Different From Lawns in the Rest of the USA?


There may not be a more beautiful region of the United States than the Pacific Northwest.  Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains, much of the Northwest is defined by towering conifers, verdant green plains and, in coastal regions, rain–lots and lots of rain. In Seattle it rains, on average, 150 days out of the year. When you’re planning out your lawn and garden in the Northwest, rain is only one thing you have to take into consideration.


  • Microclimates. One extremely important caveat to all of this is that the Northwest includes many distinct microclimates. Often, a city on one side of a mountain will have a very different climate from one on the other side of the same mountain. If you have recently moved to the Northwest and you are planning to plant a lawn or garden, remember to research your specific area’s climate and soil, because it may differ drastically from that of a town that is relatively nearby. With that said, most of the Pacific Northwest possesses the following qualities:


  • Cool, Temperate Climate. The weather in much of the Northwest is fairly mild throughout the year. Summers tend to be cooler than average and the winter seldom gets very cold. This means that you may want to consider planting a perennial garden instead of a seasonal garden.


  • Shady Acres. The amount of rain and the shade from tall trees can make starting a new lawn difficult. Choose grasses that are acclimated to the region, like fescues and ryegrass.


  • Cool Weather Grasses. Most Northwest grasses grow better in cool weather. If the temperature gets hot in the summer time, you will need to mow less and will probably need to mow more in the spring and autumn when the weather is cooler.


  • Sow and Fertilize in Autumn. Autumn is the best time to sow new grass seed and the best time to fertilize your lawn.


  • Frequent Rain. Frequent rains mean that your lawn will not need to be watered as often as lawns in other parts of the United States.