7 Best Grass Seeds to Plant on Your Garden
There are different ways to growing a lawn. However, growing it from seed offers an affordable option, particularly for small lawns. Even then, the success of growth hinges on choosing the best grass seed that’s perfect for your situation. Grass seed brands make improvements with every passing year, therefor it’s worthwhile that you research your options.
This article looks at the best grass seeds that are currently available for purchase. What’s more, it offers a guide on what you need to consider when buying grass seed.
7 Best Grass Seeds - Reviews
When to mow
1. Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed - Sun and Shade Mix
5 - 10 days
2. Pennington Smart Seed Dense Shade Mix
7 - 10 days
3. Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed - Perennial Ryegrass Mix
5 - 10 days
4. Pennington Smart Seed Fescue/Bluegrass Mix
7 - 21 days
5. Pennington Smart Seed Sun & Shade Mix
7 - 14 days
6. Jonathan Green 10820 Fast Grow Grass Seed Mix
7 - 10 days
7. Jonathan Green Kentucky Tall Fescue Grass Seed
#1. Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed - Sun and Shade Mix
Editor's Rating: (4 / 5)
Sun and Shade Mix is the most versatile mix of Scott Turf Builder Grass. With it, you get a high tolerance lawn grass that stays green in extreme conditions of scorching sun and dense shade. This seed is specially designed for new lawns and reseeding. Coming in a 3-pound package, it covers up to 600 square feet for new lawns and 1,200 square feed for reseeding.
Sun and Shade Mix seeds has an exclusive WaterSmart coating for doubled water absorption. What’s more, the coating helps jumpstart growth and protects the new seedlings from disease. The seeds germinate fast in just 5 to 10 days. Grass from this seed grown quicker, thicker and greener.
The fact that they spread well makes this grass seed a perfect choice for eliminating bare and thin spots. Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Sun and Shade Mix is best planted during fall to spring when temperatures are between 60 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. NPK fertilizer of 3-1-0 is recommended for this seed.
#2. Pennington Smart Seed Dense Shade Mix
Editor's Rating: (4 / 5)
This grass seed is ideal for all planting zones. Coming in a 7-pound package, it rise to fine bladed grass that are medium to dark green. This mix is made to be more superior to other shade mixes. It tolerates medium to heavy shade conditions with just 2 to 4 hours of sunlight.
Compared to ordinary grass, this seed is specially made to absorb 30% less water. This gives it good tolerance against drought. The disease tolerance is very good and can handle moderate traffic. A smart seed coating comes in handy to replenish beneficial microorganism to provide roots that are deep and dense.
The best planting time for this seed is early spring and early fall. It’s planted 1/4-inch deep and takes 7 to 10 days to germinate. The seed is ideal for both new lawns and overseeding. For new lawns, it is planted at a rate of 8 pounds per 1,000 square feet. The planting rate for overseeding is 4 pounds per 1,000 square feet.
#3. Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed - Perennial Ryegrass Mix
Editor's Rating: (4 / 5)
This seed gives rise to a fine textured rich green grass. It grows quicker and thicker, a feature that makes it ideal for erosion control. Like the Sun and Shade Mix variety, it comes with a protective coating that doubles water absorption.
Besides boosting water absorption, the smart seed coating contains essential nutrients that function to jumpstart growth. Fungicide is added to the coating to provide protection against diseases. This seed does well in compacted spoils and is tough enough to handle heavy traffic.
Perennial Ryegrass is a cool-season variety best grown during early spring and early fall. Planting is done when temperature is between 60 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It does well in full sun but can also handle partial shade.
The seed germinates in 5 to 10 days requiring 3-1-0 NPK fertilizer. Perennial Ryegrass can be used on new lawns or reseeding. It comes in a 3-pound package and has a reseeding rate of 3 pounds per 1,250 square feet and new lawn coverage of 3 pounds per 375 square feet.
#4. Pennington Smart Seed Fescue/Bluegrass Mix
Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)
This is a versatile mix that gives rise to dark green grass that’s dense and tightly knit. The seed does well in zones 1, 5, 6, 7, 8 and parts of 2 and 9. There are two varieties: Kentucky Bluegrass and Tall Fescue. The Kentucky Bluegrass is a self-spreading variety ideal for thinning and bare spots. It has great tolerance against heat.
Tall Fescue variety has improved resistance against heat, drought and diseases. The ideal soil for growing this seed is that of medium texture with moderate to high fertility. Fescue/Bluegrass Mix is good for conditions with full sun to medium shade. It requires 4 to 8 hours of full sun to thrive.
The combination of Pennington’s MYCO technology and Penkote technology gives this seed the highest quality. This grass has excellent traffic tolerance making it good for both commercial and home use. Planting is done in early spring and early fall at a rate of 8 pounds per 1,000 square feet for new lawns and 4 pounds per 1,000 square feet for reseeding.
The seed comes in a 3-pound package and takes 7 to 21 days to germinate. It is recommended that the seeds be planted at a depth of not more than 1/4 inch.
#5. Pennington Smart Seed Sun & Shade Mix
Editor's Rating: (4 / 5)
This seed does well in all planting zones. It is an improved variety that gives rise to thick fine bladed grass with dark blue green color. It has good tolerance to both sun and moderate shade areas and requires 4 to 8 hours of full sun.
Infused with Pennington’s Penkote and MYCO technologies, this seed gives good tolerance against drought. The smart seed coating comes in handy to provide tolerance against insects and diseases. Pennington Smart Seed Sun & Shade Mix also gives good tolerance to traffic.
Like most grass seeds, this versatile seed is best grown in early spring and early fall. This is done at a soil depth of 1/4 inch or less. Germination takes 7 to 14 days. Pennington Smart Seed Sun & Shade Mix comes in a 3-pound package. It has a new lawn coverage of 6 pounds per 1,000 square feet and a reseeding rate of 3 pounds per 1,000 square feet.
#6. Jonathan Green 10820 Fast Grow Grass Seed Mix
Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)
Jonathan Green 10820 is among the fastest growing grass seeds. It quickly gives rise to a hardy turf in sun and shade. This fast grow mix is good for areas with full sun to medium shade. Application is done when the sol temperature reaches 55 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s between the months of March to mid June or August to October.
This seed is good for problem areas. It grows thick enough to stabilize soil and stop soil erosion. Jonathan Green 10820 Fast Grow Grass Seed Mix takes 7 to 10 days to germinate. Coming in a 3-pound package, this seed has a new lawn coverage of 1,500 square feet.
This seed has various composition including Ryegrass, Tall Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass. Making up the highest percentage, Ryegrass gives this seed a natural resistance against drought. What’s more, it germinates and matures quickly making it a natural suppressor for weeds.
#7. Jonathan Green Kentucky Tall Fescue Grass Seed
Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)
This is a blended grass seed consisting of Kentucky grass variety and Tall Fescue variety. This creates a versatile mix that does well in sun and shade areas. This is a grass seed that takes the aspect of a “green lawn” to a whole new level. It gives rise to thick beautiful blades.
This blend has improved tolerance against heat and drought, thanks to a specialized that functions to preserve moisture when hot. It wards off stress from wind, cold and disease. What’s more, the grass provides good tolerance against wear. This gives it that ability to retain its beautiful natural color for longer.
The grass doesn’t disappoint in populated areas as it can tolerate areas with high traffic. Its rate of application is 5 pounds per 1,500 square feet. Since it comes in a 25-pound package, the seed can be used on an area of up to 7,500 pounds.
Types of Grass
Grass species can be divided into two types based on the growing area: warm-season and cool-season species.
#1. Warm-Season Grass
As their name implies, warm-season grasses like the warm weather. Since they originate from the south, these grasses are best adapted to hot weather. Warm-season grasses tend to go dormant by turning brown during winter. These grasses are best planted in late spring after danger of frost.
Some of the warm-season grasses require growing from sprigs, grass plug or sod since they’ve been propagated vegetatively. These grasses can be overseeded during winter months using some grass varieties, such as annual Ryegrass.
Warm-season grasses include zoysia, St. Augustine, buffalo, Bermuda, Bahia and centipede grass. Even though these grasses often thrive in full sun, some other varieties like St-Augustine and zoysia grass do tolerate some shade.
#2. Cool-Season Grass
These grasses originate from the north and tend to grow well during early spring and early fall. Most cool-season grasses go dormant by turning brown in the summer heat. Unlike warm-season grasses, cool-season grasses are all grown from seeds. Using best Bermuda grass seed is the most recommended way of overseeding cool-season grasses.
Cool-season grasses include Tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, Annual ryegrass, creeping red fescue, creeping bentgrass and perennial ryegrass. Best tall fescue grass seed is one of the most recommended options for problematic areas. These grasses grow best during the cool seasons of spring and fall. Most common areas where cool-season grasses are grown include norther United States, central United States and southerly provinces of Canada.
Other Factors to Consider When Buying Grass Seed
#1. Wear and Tear
While choosing the best grass seed for your lawn, it’s recommended that you first take into consideration the level of wear and tear that your lawn will experience. For light traffic areas like homes with young children running on the lawn, consider a grass type other than fine fescue. This is because fine fescue doesn’t tolerate foot traffic.
Heavy traffic areas, such as athletic fields require a tougher variety that’s more resistant to wear and tear. In this case, you’ll do best with Kentucky bluegrass. Apart from having great resistance against wear and tear, Kentucky grass is self-mending, a feature that makes them ideal for damaged or bare spots. However, all these come at a price since Kentucky grass requires lots of care and maintenance, not to mention lots of mowing, fertilizing and watering.
#2. How to Water
When choosing a lawn grass seed, consider how much watering it will require. Drought areas or those with less water will do best with drought tolerant varieties, such as buffalo grass, zoysia, tall fescue and floratam (St.Augustine variety). Other grass varieties, such as Kentucky bluegrass needs lots of watering to keep it looking lush and healthy.
Read More: What's The Best Time to Water Your Garden?
#3. Dormant Lawns
Warm-season grasses go dormant during the cold months while cool-season grasses assume dormancy in the heat of summer. In such situation, you should consider a turf with summer-dormancy capabilities. In case the turf needs regular watering, then it’s to install an irrigation system before seeding.
#4. Level of Shade
Grasses thrive well in different levels of shade based on the variety. But overall, most of them do best in long hours of sunlight. There’s the specialized blended varieties that thrive in partial shade or four hours of dappled sunlight. Warm-season varieties that do well in shade include St.Augustine and zoysia grass.
In case you want a cool-season grass that tolerate shade, then you can settle for rye grass, fine fescue and tall fescue. A good grass seed blend needs to have several of the shade-tolerant varieties to increase the chances of survival.
#5. Seeding Sloped Areas
Sloped areas are more prone to soil erosion. For that reason, you need to choose a fast growing grass seed. It’s recommended to get a seed blend that’s got a higher percentage of perennial ryegrass. This grass variety germinates and establishes faster. However, be sure that its composition doesn’t exceed 20 percentage otherwise it might overpower other grasses in the mix.
#6. When to Mow
Mowing is essential when it comes to lawn maintenance. The frequency of mowing will largely depend of the grass seed you choose. Some like Kentucky bluegrass require mowing more often while others like fescue don’t require mowing as often. Warm-season grasses, such as zoysia require less frequent mowing compared to centipede and Bermuda varieties.
Those grasses that go dormant in the chill of winter or heat of summer require less mowing during the dormancy period. Buffalo grass is among the native varieties that require the lowest amount of mowing. Therefore, keep this into consideration when choosing your grass seed.
#7. Fertilizing Your Lawn
Grasses have different fertility requirements. Ensure that the type of grass you choose responds well to your fertilizer program. Generally, some grasses require more frequent fertilization than others. Therefore do your homework regarding the fertilization requirements of a particular grass prior to purchasing. The top rated grass seeds generally have a germination rate of at least 70 percent.
Read More: 7 Best Seed Starting Mixes
Last Updated on January 18, 2019 by Tom Bradly