If your yard resembles a barren wasteland, and your neighbors are starting to grumble about it being an eyesore, you need to find some good grass seed.
Before you go to your local gardening center and start throwing bags in your cart, there’s some important information you need to know about grass seed. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could be throwing money down the drain while you’re tossing seed on your yard. The only green you’ll see is the money leaving your wallet.
Do yourself and your neighbors a favor and read this article before you buy anything. It will help you pick the best grass seed for your needs.
Things to Consider Before Planting Grass Seed
There’s a lot more to planting grass seed than simply throwing down a handful, turning your sprinkler on and hoping for the best.
- How Much You Use Your Lawn. Some grass doesn’t handle foot traffic very well. If you use your yard a lot, you need your grass to do more than just look nice. It must be durable as well.
- If You Need Cool or Warm Weather Grass. What is the temperature like where you live? If you have scorching summers and frequent droughts, you should use a warm season grass. If you get some warmer weather, but also see a lot of snow, you’ll want to consider using a cool season grass.
- If You Are Reseeding the Whole Yard or Just Filling in Some Bald Spots. Determining this factor will help you decide how much seed to buy. You’ll need to know the square footage of your yard before buying seed.
- How Much Sun Your Yard Gets. This can make a big difference when choosing seed. You might inadvertently choose a variety that needs more sunlight than your yard gets, and that would be a giant waste of time and money.
Top 10 Grass Seeds Table
How Much Grass Seed to Buy
To know how much seed you need to buy, figure out the square footage of your yard. Then you’ll look at the two coverage numbers that most bags of grass seed usually have written on them.
The biggest number on the bag will tell you the square footage that bag would cover if you were using it to reseed, also known as overseeding, your yard. The lower coverage number tells you how many square feet that bag would cover if you have big bald spots or you are starting with nothing but dirt in your yard.
Watch out for Temporary Grass Seed
If you see a bag that says it will create a temporary lawn, it should plant seeds of doubt in your mind as to whether you want to buy it.
You’ll have to replant this seed every single year to have a good amount of grass. It’ll die off after a while, and then you’ll be back at square one. You might as well save the expense of repeated plantings and do it right the first time.
Top 5 Best Grass Seed Reviews
Kentucky 31 is the best grass seed on our list and receives the highest ratings because it is a quality product for a low price. This seed adapts to different soils and is tolerant of a variety of climates. Tall fescue is known as a cool season grass. It’s a good durable seed that doesn’t take much work – you don’t need to coddle it to make it grow.
Since it resists weeds and disease, it requires less maintenance on your part, and you have a much better chance of it doing what it is supposed to – create a lush carpet of grass on your yard.
This seed isn’t finicky – it does well in direct sunlight and it does well in shade. It can take about 25 to 50 pounds to seed a one-acre property, depending upon whether you are starting from scratch or simply filling in some lighter spots. Once the seed is correctly planted, you can see the seeds sprouting in approximately a week.
This grass seed mix is made especially for fall seeding, which is great if you are trying to thicken your grass for the spring following a long, active summer in which your grass has taken a beating. It can be used on new lawns or as a filler to thicken existing lawns.
This mix is good in both sun and shady areas, making it a good multi-purpose choice for homeowners. Some of the varieties of grass included in this mix are Dakota tall fescue, Taos tall fescue, ryegrass, bluegrass, creeping red fescue and weed seed. Fescue, bluegrass and ryegrass are good cool season grasses.
Jonathan Green Fall Magic germinates quickly and works well with little effort on the grower’s part. It produces a dark green grass that will look nice by the time spring and summer rolls around and you’re hosting backyard barbecues.
This grass seed contains a WaterSmart Plus coating that can absorb up to two times more water than uncoated seeds, which gives this cool season grass better drought protection and helps it grow in thicker.
This seed is heat resistant, and puts up a fight against insects and disease as well. It grows quickly, and produces a thick, green grass. Although it doesn’t have to be used with a Scotts Snap System Spreader – the package does work with one. It can be spread using other methods as well.
It can be planted in spring or early fall. This 7-pound package can cover up to 1,540 square feet. The lighter bag is nice for people who don’t want to hit the gym just so they can cart a heavy bag of grass seed around their yard for planting.
Grass seed doesn’t always do well in intensely shady areas. If you haven’t had much luck with typical grass seed under the cover of big trees in your yard, you may want to consider a shady seed mix.
This mix has been formulated to thrive even in the shadiest areas, whether they are damp or dry. In this mix, you’ll find sun-up poa trivialis and Harpoon hard fescue. The poa trivialis grass survives in damp, shady areas, while the fescue can handle dry shade.
This seed mix takes longer than some of the others on the list to start growing, but it won’t have sunlight to help it along. You should see some growth after two or three weeks. After a few months, you should have a blanket of lush, dark green grass covering your shady areas.
This grass seed works well on ground that gets filtered sunlight – you don’t want more than six hours of sun or shade. It won’t do well in full sun, and it also won’t do well in full shade, but if your yard offers a happy medium of sun and shade, you’ll want to consider this grass. It’s a soft grass that keeps a nice green color year-round.
As its name promises, you won’t need to provide much maintenance to keep this grass healthy. People who love grass but hate to mow their lawns should be happy to know they’ll only need to cut their grass about once a month with this mix. It also doesn’t require much watering, if any, after it grows in, which makes it a good choice for people who are trying to conserve water.