Planting anything can be scary.
There are lots of consequences, or can be, and the work that goes into it can be daunting for some. No one wants to be responsible for having plants die on their watch, specifically those they started growing as seeds.
Fortunately, doing this work yourself can also be very rewarding, especially when dealing with your lawn. Who doesn’t want that lush, luminescent green grass for the start of summer? You’d be hard pressed to find someone who wouldn’t. Another benefit to having a growing, active lawn is health. The quality of your yard determines the health of the soil, adding benefits to the overall well-being of anything it uses.
But where do you start with the yard?
For this sort of project, you need to plant from the ground up, literally. Choosing the best grass seed is an essential part of building the nicest yard possible, and it doesn’t matter if you’re redoing the whole scene or sprucing up a patch.
Besides, becoming the envy of your neighborhood due to your refreshed yard is a solid challenge.
What Goes into Making the Best Grass Seed
With any product, there are variations that make something different, or better, then another. Contrary to popular belief, there are tons of different varieties of grass to pick from and choosing the right one for your situation is a must. Different climates will affect how the seed can, and will, thrive, even if you’re doing everything right.
Other qualities that need mentioning when finding the best grass seed for your situation are maintenance and germination rate. The easier the seed is to maintain, the less money you will have to spend in the long run. Water costs are a factor, so having to not use that sprinkler as often as other varieties can be crucial.
Germination, or the growth process occurring when the moisture absorbed by seeds to begin sprouting, will be another trait to consider when determining the type of seeds you want. Depending on the pH levels, air temperature, and soil-to-seed contact of the ground you plan to plant in, there will be different options catering towards those needs.
How to Find the Best Seeds for Your Yard
You can’t simply walk down to your local garden store and buy any old seed variety. Depending on the time of year, and your yard, there are some questions you can ask yourself before picking the best seed:
Remember, there are 10 different types of grass seed to consider when purchasing new seeds: Zoysia, St. Augustine, Perennial Ryegrass, Kentucky Blue Grass, Fescue, Creeping Bent Grass, Centipede, Bermuda, Buffalo, and Bahia, each made for a different purpose and brings a specific look to your yard. Pro tip: one of the best ways to sprinkle the seeds around the yard evenly is with a spreader.
The Top Picks for Best Grass Seed, and Where to Find Them
Once you’ve determined the size of your new project, the real fun begins: picking and choosing your new grass.
It can be hard to find the best deals on grass seed mixes, but Amazon carries quite a few products. In most cases, you can expect to spend around $22 per 3lbs or so of mix. With one pound of seed, generally, you should be able to squeeze 1500 square feet out of a bag.
This all said, let’s look at some of the best grass seed mixtures available right now.
One of the best overall picks for a seed mixture are these Pennington Smart Seeds. They’re one of the least-intrusive seeds to your daily routine–otherwise known as low maintenance–meaning you’ll still be able to worry about other needs. It comes in a 7-pound bag and is specifically made to perform in the shade or sun the same. Another nice touch, regarding maintenance and costs in the long-term, revolve around water. These grass seeds are designed to need 30% less water than other fine-bladed seeds, making them a good choice for people who don’t want to water as much.
This bag will cover around 2,300 square feet, which is almost all you’d need for a generous front yard. The seeds are genetically engineered, and for those interested the exact mixture of grass is as follows: 39.20% ATF1254 Pennington Tall Fescue, 19.15% Greystone Tall Fescue, 19.15 Penn1901 Tall Fescue, 7.30% Pennington ASC295 Red Fescue, 7.30% Survivor Chewing’s Fescue, 5.60% Argyle Kentucky Bluegrass, and 0.29% other crop seed.
This represents a perfect choice for someone who has a full-sun, warm climate, but also sees shade occasionally. You can find it at most home improvement stores.
If you have a giant project and are located in an area with a lot of sun, look no further than the Kentucky 31 Tall Fescue seeds. The entirety of the bag can be used for almost 15,000 square-feet of land, and is better suited for aerated soil, but will grow in harder soil. This grass seed is perfect for cooler climates, but will need direct sunlight to really thrive.
Specifically, if you’re located within the Northeastern United States, this soil will be a great choice. It should germinate quickly at four days, and can be used as a filler too. This seed mixture should be planted in the Spring or early Fall time periods, and once grown will produce thicker, light-green grass. If you have a yard that is used often, Tall Fescue will be a good choice for your needs.
It’s not the best for pastures that use grazing livestock, but the drought-tolerant, low-maintenance Kentucky 31 mixture is a good choice otherwise.
If you’re looking for low-maintenance lawn seed, but also want to attract wildlife into your yard, the DC Earth Creeping Red Fescue fits that mold. It’s designed to provide even coverage for bigger acreage, and will grow up to heights of 24 inches. Planting in the cooler months is ideal, and by mid-Summer you’ll be looking at a good foundation of lawn for the future.
This seed mix can also be a good pick if you’re looking for erosion control in any areas of your property. It’s one of the better picks for shaded areas, and isn’t too expensive at $29.
Scotts provides better value than other grass seeds due to the mixtures they use. That isn’t a bad thing, so long as you use in a setting that it can thrive in. Their Turf Builder Sun & Shade mix is specially designed for the Northern part of the United States, for areas that see average temperatures around 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
This product utilizes water-absorbing technology, aiding in absorption and feeding to keep growing strong, initially. One of the only downsides to this grass seed concerns the planting temperatures: to see growth, the company recommends a soil temperature above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be a tedious step for some, but for others it won’t affect them.
The mix is readily available online or via your local Home Depot.
TriPro Annual Ryegrass Seed
If you’re unfamiliar with ryegrass, it’s one of the more attractive options you can purchase. It is versatile in usage, being able to be a cover crop for any temporary lawn needs, but also contributes positively to erosion control. This TriPro Annual Ryegrass Seed is abundant in nitrogen, cutting fertilizer costs for anyone serious about their lawn. Ryegrass is used for professional establishments, and using it for personal use seems like a good proposition.
It comes with a 99.9% weed-free guarantee, and fast germination to establish your roots quickly. It’s a grass seed that should be mainly used in the Southern parts of the United States.
One of the only downfalls of this bag is that there are no planting instructions provided, making it difficult, unless you already know, how to plant this seed.
Caring for Your New Lawn After It Has Been Seeded
So, you’ve chosen the right seeds, meticulously planted them, and eagerly await them to sprout. During this faze, you’ll need to spend some time protecting the new lawn from people and animals alike. Most seeds have a different tolerance for watering and draining, and the best grass seeds will make sure you know before you plant.
Keeping the area moist, but not overwatered, is a crucial step in keeping your grass alive. You’ll need to water at least twice a day, and sometimes more if your lawn sees more sun than normal. Along with water, keeping the fertilizer going for the initial four to eight weeks following germination will enforce healthy growing.
Another key part of maintaining your grass’s growth is letting it mature. Often, new seeders will want to mow or trim their newly-planted seed. Unfortunately, even after sprouting, grass seeds need a full year and season before they’re ready for steady foot traffic or mowing. Just don’t be too eager and the benefits will bear fruit within the year.
Choosing the Best Grass Seed is Based on Many Factors
It can seem daunting, at first glance, to pick up seeds to grow a new lawn or patch up a work-in-progress meadow, but the results can be astonishing when done right.
Doing the job yourself also has perks, as growing new grass is straightforward but also requires some time on your part. If you’re willing, though, there’s no better feeling than seeing the progress in front of your eyes. In as little as four days you can see new sprouts across your property.
Whether you’re selling your house, or just looking to spruce up the look of your forever home, the best grass seed for you can create a makeover that you’ll enjoy every day of the year.