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What's the difference between Wintergreen F and PP


There are many types of grass, and winter (cool season) types can look very similar. Most are easily identifiable by colour, texture and growth habit, but types 'PP' and 'L' look very similar, but have subtle differences that affect their suitability for some lawns.

Type 'PP' was once the reigning king of neighborhood lawns, and rightly so. The soft, dense turf and cool green color created a living carpet under bare feet. However, researchers developed a tough, drought-resistant alternative roughly 50 years ago. Although the first generations of the alternative were coarse and unsuitable for lawns, recent improved varieties are threatening to dethrone 'PP' as the king of the backyard.


Both grasses create a dense turf and have a similar emerald green color. Type 'F's wide, relatively large blades give lawns a more textured appearance than the manicured appearance of type 'PP'. Type 'PP' lawns have fine, narrow blades and are slightly softer underfoot than the stiffer type 'F'. In shady areas, type 'PP' lawns become thin and patchy, unlike type 'F' lawns. Type 'F' lawns also stay green longer during dry seasons.


Because their blades are more firm than the finely textured type 'PP' blades, type 'F' lawns hold up well against children, pets and regular foot traffic. Type 'PP' lawns do not usually tolerate heavy, constant use. However, type 'PP' spreads through rhizomes and fills in temporarily damaged areas faster than type 'F'. However both grass types are suitable for average lawn use.

Water Needs

Type 'F's roots grow roughly 15 inches deep, more than twice the 5- to 6-inch depth of type 'PP' roots.


Although most lawns create thatch, the horizontal rhizomes of type 'PP' build thatch more quickly than type 'F' and require de-thatching more often. Thatch thicker than 1/2 inch provides cover for insects, encourages root-destroying white grubs and may even become hydrophobic. 

Although type 'F' does not create thatch as quickly as type 'PP', it does have problems recovering from damage. Type 'F' lawns become clumpy and uneven after summer drought or other environmental stresses. Type 'PP' spreads into damaged areas. In contrast, type 'F' lawns remain spotty and often require reseeding. 

Type 'PP', due to its higher fertilizer and water needs, requires slightly more frequent mowing than type 'F'. The recommended mowing heights are keeping type 'PP' 2 to 3 inches tall, roughly 1 inch shorter than type 'F'.

Diseases and Pests

Both types are vulnerable to insect damage, but type 'F' contains plant-dwelling beneficial fungi, or endophytes, that increase the turf's resistance to insects. However, type 'F' is vulnerable to brown patch, a fungal disease.


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