These were also our top criteria for selecting the best grass seed.
If you are ready to get planting, Top Choice’s 3-way Perennial Ryegrass seed mix scored high marks in all categories and is our top pick.
Grass Seed Comparison
|Turf grass||Lawn Grass||Lawn Grass||Turf grass||Lawn Grass||Wheat Grass||Turf grass|| Perennial|
|10-16||6-14||6-15||7 – 10||5 – 7||6 – 10||6 – 7||5 – 6||5 – 7||10 – 15|
|10 – 32||6 – 30||6 – 30||5 – 12||7 – 10||6 – 20||7 – 14||5 – 12||7 – 14||10 – 30|
Grass Seed Buying Guide
What is a Grass Seed?
Well maintained, attractive lawns do a lot to improve the look of your entire home. In addition to the cosmetic factor, a good, lush lawn also provides filtration for ground water, improves your air quality by attracting and absorbing dust and other types of particles, it produces oxygen and reduces soil erosion as well. It doesn’t matter whether you’re starting from bare ground or working with an existing yard to make it better, choosing the right grass seed is the very first step.
Questions to Consider before Purchase
Before starting your search, ask yourself the following questions so you know what types of grass seed to begin looking at.
- Are you starting your lawn from scratch or are you fixing an existing lawn?
- What type of traffic does your lawn get, low, medium or high?
- What is your budget for seeding and/or fixing your lawn?
- What kind of shade and sun does your lawn receive?
- Do you have a preference for a specific type of grass or do you prefer a mixture of varieties?
Knowing the answer to these questions will help you narrow down the many different choices a consumer has when it comes to grass seed. With all of the different varieties of grass seed offered, it helps consumers choose the one that will work for them if they know a little bit about the different varieties and what their characteristics are.
These different characteristics help the grasses perform better depending on the extenuating circumstances such as shade tolerance, cold or heat tolerance, drought resistance, bug resistance, mowing height tolerance and more. Choosing the right grass seed for your location and circumstances is crucial to the success of your lawn.
Types of Grasses
Cool Season Grasses – These varieties of grasses perform the best in temperatures that range between 60 and 75 degrees. These are easily stressed and affected during the high temperatures and humidity of summertime.
Types of cool season grass seed –
- Tall Fescue – This is one type of cool season grass that is green all year round making it a favorite with consumers. It has a dark green color and a medium leaf texture. It looks the best in the cooler seasons of the year where it is less stressed due to temperature. It grows fast and will need a lot of upkeep in the fall and spring. They are not the sturdiest grass and will need to be re-seeded fairly often to keep the yard looking lush and full. It is chosen frequently for home lawns or commercial properties where expanses of grass are desired.
- Ryegrass – This is another cool season grass that is most often used as a temporary cover for sites that become eroded easily. It is also frequently used for Bermuda grass lawns and sports fields to overseed them.
Warm Season Grasses – As their name states, warm season grasses perform the best during the summer months and become dormant and brown during the winter months where they do not grow either. Warm season grasses tend to be used most often for home lawns, golf courses and athletic fields.
Types of warm season grass seed –
- Bermuda grass – All types of Bermuda grass seed will do well in hot weather conditions. During the winter months, they become dormant, stop growing and turn light brown or tan. They also tend to not do very well in shaded conditions. The look of this grass is short with blades that are rough sided with pointy tips. They are typically only about 1/8” wide. In general Bermuda grass can handle a lot of different temperatures and soil conditions. It does need to be mowed frequently during its growing season, which is summertime.
- Centipede Grass – This grass is wider bladed than Bermuda but is still only ¼” or less. It has a strong center vein that gives the blade a look of being folded in half. It is light green in color, more so than other types of warm season grasses. Although it does not need to be mowed very often due to be a more slowly growing grass, it is very hearty and aggressive, preventing weeds from overtaking your lawn. It can handle more shade than Bermuda grass can.
- Zoysiagrass – This is the seed to get if you want a fine to medium textured lawn. It has short, sharp blades of grass and requires very little in the way of fertilizer. It is often used for golf courses and large lawns. Many types of this fine textured grass can handle partial shade and full sun. Due to the denseness of the grass, it is better to keep it mowed close.
Things to Consider While You are Searching
Always look at the label to learn about the different types of grass seed that are in your particular choice. There are straight seed grass seed that is just one type of grass. This is a good choice to make when you are looking for a uniform look. Overall blended grass seed tends to be better at fighting off disease. Follow these helpful tips when you are choosing a grass seed.
- Look for grass seed brands that half less than half a percent weeds. Most grass seed contains weed of some kind, but you can reduce the amount that is in your seed by reading the levels on the label.
- Noxious weeds are weeds that can really damage your lawn. Make sure the grass seed you are considering has 0% of this type of weeds.
- You want to make sure that there is less than 2% of dirt, filler, chaff and other filling type materials.
- If anything else like Timothy hay or other crops are listed make sure the percentage is less than 2%, 1% is even more preferable.
- By grass seed when it is time to use it. You want to completely avoid grass seed that is over 10 months past the expiration. Buying seed that is old can result in seed that will not germinate properly and leave you with no results from all your efforts.
There are several different types of characteristics of grass seed that you can expect to see when you start shopping. We have outlined them below.
- Straight Seed Type – You will only find one type of grass seed in a straight seed pack. This is for those who don’t want a mixture and who like a uniform look.
- Seed Mixtures – This type of grass seed package will have several different types of grass in the same package. This typically is a very strong type of grass due to the different types of seeds that will strengthen each other by filling in the gaps that each seed may have.
- Blended Seed Mixtures – Blended seed grass seed packages have several different types of the same kind of grass seed in them. A Blended seed variety will have a more uniform appearance for your lawn.
- Lawn Repair – Lawn repair bags will have several things combined into one bag such as grass seed, fertilizer, and mulch. This mixture is perfect for reseeding bare spots and is very convenient in the regard that you don’t have to buy each item separately.
Knowing how to choose the right grass seed for your lawn makes the whole process of reseeding or starting a lawn much easier. Getting a beautiful lawn takes dedication and work and knowledge too in the aspect of knowing which type of seed is the best for your location and yard type.
With perseverance and patience you can choose the perfect grass seed for your project and then step by step you can follow the instructions and get started on that lawn of your dreams. Once you’re ready to get started on your lawn, it is good to read reviews online so you can see what brands and types of grass seed are working the best for customers. Take into consideration the area you live in and that different regions will have different results and different seed types that will work better than others, but you can still get a sense of the overall performance of the seed which will help you make an informed choice.