Best 10 Grass Seeds
As Of July 2022
We did the
Grow Vibrant & Fresh Green Grass with the Best Grass Seeds!
Ah, summer! That time of year when you’re out and about enjoying nature and its unique ability to bring colour into your life. If you have a backyard with grass, you know that its upkeep can take time and effort. You need a complete grooming kit with weed killers, grass trimmers, standard lawn mowers or robotic lawn mowers and lawn scarifiers for the best results. Why?
Because it all comes down to one thing. You want to give your lawn a colour that’s so vivid and beautiful that all your neighbours will envy your gardening skills.
You may prefer an instant lawn but lack the funds to purchase one. A more affordable alternative is to start a lawn from scratch with lawn seed. While it takes a little longer, it is a budget-friendly, rewarding option. It’s such fun to watch your lawn come to life in a matter of weeks. To be successful, the main thing is to pick the ideal grass seed species for your climate, type of soil, and amount of traffic and sunshine across the area. New hybrids of turfgrass are developed every season, so it is well worth doing a little reading to see what is available. If you’re confused about how to choose the right grass seed for your latest lawn or to fill in the gaps in your existing one, read on, and we will make it clearer for you. We have some great pointers for you, so stay with us!
Why Do You Need to Choose the Right Grass Seed?
Your lawn is going to be part of your home for a long time to come. You will spend many hours raking, mowing, watering and hopefully relaxing on it. A beautiful lawn even adds to the value of your home. Preparing the soil to plant a lawn takes time and effort that you don’t want to waste on a failed sowing. It is worth spending the extra time choosing the right grass seed for your needs for all these reasons. We want to stress why the right type is important, so check out why we think it will be beneficial for you.
1. You Will Save Time on Maintenance
Taking the time to research which type of grass seed to purchase for your garden will save you time in the long run for several reasons. Firstly, buying a grass seed type with no weed seeds included will mean that you have a weed-free lawn from the very beginning. There is nothing more frustrating than planting a new lawn only to find out that half of what grows is weeds. Picking the right grass seed for your garden will result in an eye-catching, high-quality lawn that will provide you with many years of pleasure.
Secondly, the right lawn type for your area will not require mowing every few days to keep it looking good. It will grow at a manageable pace.
Thirdly, the correct grass variety will not invade your flower beds and other plantings or require constant edging and trimming back. Some grasses make nasty underground runners that make life miserable for gardeners.
Lastly, a grass that grows lushly and thickly leaves no room for weeds and pests to grow in between it. This makes a huge difference in the amount of weeding and spraying you will need to do in the future.
2. You Will Be Able To Use it to Suit Your Purpose
It’s important to decide what you want your lawn for. Knowing what purpose you expect it to fulfil will make it easier to select the right variety. Do you want a low-traffic ornamental lawn to compliment your beddings? Do you want a high-traffic lawn for pets and children to play on? Do you want a lawn that is thick and cushioned underfoot or thinner and neater like a golf course or bowling green?
All these questions will be great pointers to get the ball rolling and help you find a match that suits your needs.
3. You Should Pick One To Match Your Climate
Different parts of the UK can have dramatically different climatic conditions. Your area may experience relatively hot summers, or perhaps you receive snow in winter. Your lawn will need to survive all of this. This is why it’s vital to get grass that will outlast your particular region’s weather conditions.
What to Look For When Buying Grass Seed
When buying grass seed, there are so many things to consider that the whole exercise can seem a little daunting. We have given you some features to look for here that cover the most important things you should know.
Before you make a lawn seed purchase, consider the following:
1. Seed Types
Most lawns experience various weather conditions, so it’s a good idea to look for a blended seed mix for lawn. In other words, this is better than purchasing a single-variety seed. For instance, a blend of fine fescue (shade-loving) and bluegrass (sun tolerant) will do well in an area that receives partial sun and shade. If you have poorly drained acidic soil, look for a seed mix that contains brown top bentgrass as it does well in these conditions.
If you prefer not to get a blend, you might like a single-seed warm weather grass. These are generally strong growing grasses that resist interference from weeds. A single variety works especially well if you are going more for a meadow look than a manicured style. Native grasses are the best for this idea.
2. Proper Growing Setup
This is so important. There's no point in purchasing a seed variety for lawn that looks lush in a catalogue or on Amazon, only to find that it cannot cope with your region's icy winters. Your area’s growing conditions will matter because it could be a rather humid area or one that’s in direct sunlight exposure.
So, your lawn’s growth will be affected depending on the surrounding environment. It’s possible that if you pick the wrong type of seeds, your grass might not flourish. For example, ryegrass prefers a shaded area, whereas fescue grass or meadowgrass is best if you place it in a dry location. Many manufacturers include instructions about where you should place your seeds for optimum growth.
3. Soil Type
The type of soil you plan on sowing your seeds in is also essential because not all are prone to grow equally well on every surface. The most common types of soil that we find in the UK are stone, sand or clay. Each has its considerations in terms of how much water they can absorb. Depending on that, there is a match for each type of soil.
Stone and sand dry out faster than clay, so you will need more watering on these surfaces for the seeds to grow. Clay absorbs water in a better way which gives you cost-effective growth. If you want an affordable seed that works well in any type of soil, then your safest bet will be ryegrass or fescue, as these are fit for any UK soil.
4. Garden Size
Do you have a small garden or a larger one? Picking the right seeds will also depend on the coverage area you want to sow the seeds in. There’s no point in wasting money on a 10kg seed bag when you only have a small patch of lawn to take care of. Other more inexpensive and smaller bags from 500g-2kg can give you enough seeds for a small garden.
Most brands will explain the size coverage on the packaging so you can measure your garden and find the correct packet size for your needs.
5. DEFRA Certification
If you want to be sure you’re planting quality grass seed that does not contain any invasive species, be sure to go for those that are certified and approved by the Department of Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs. They are the grass people to trust. A DEFRA certification is a great indicator that will give you peace of mind for the grass seed mixture’s quality.
An excellent threshold of understanding the seed quality is the one put forth by the EU whereby they say that it should be at least 70% pure without the presence of weeds and other unwanted chemicals. Keep that in mind when looking through the options available out there.
What Types of Grass Seeds Are There?
While there are many different kinds of lawn seeds, once you have pinpointed your needs and looked at your climate conditions, the choice becomes narrower and easier. Here are some of the most common seed types available that gardeners prefer.
1. Fescue and Perennial Ryegrass Blends
A blend of 80% ryegrass for toughness and durability and 20% creeping or chewings fescue is a five-star blend. Ryegrass sprouts very quickly in almost any soil. It dies down in the spring months and makes way for the luxuriously strong fescue. Many mixes contain chewings fescue. This is added because it is a wonderful soil stabiliser, fairly tolerant of shade, and not invasive. It is a bestseller seed mixture and one we highly recommend.
2. Lolium Ryegrass and Red Fescue
This is a fast-growing blend that germinates in between five and ten days. The lolium ryegrass provides long-lasting durability and is a perennial, which means it will provide year-round coverage. It’s blended with strong creeping red fescue, a creeping grass that grows best in the warmer months and gives the lawn a premium dense look. This is a wonderful blend for families who need a back lawn they can rough-and-tumble on. Lawn care is minimal with this type.
3. Tall Fescue
Tall fescues tolerate shade and cold weather well. However, they have a deep root system that makes them more heat and drought tolerant than other cool-season grasses. Tall fescue is a top choice for homeowners looking for economical, low-maintenance lawn seed.
4. Ornamental Grasses
Ornamental grasses are great if you want something different. They are perfect as a feature or as part of a mass planting. Some work well in containers, and others can be used to create a prairie or meadow effect. Of course, these types of grasses will not need to be mowed but they will require more fertiliser than normal lawn grasses. There are ornamental grass seeds available for sunny or shady conditions.
Which Grass Seed Mixture is Best For Your Lawn Type?
It can be a little overwhelming when faced with the vast selection of available grass species on the market. How do you know which seed type will perform best in your garden and suit your needs?
If you need a hard-wearing lawn for rough traffic conditions, go for ryegrass or ryegrass mixed with creeping red fescue. It may not have the lushest appearance, but it will give you a rugged, attractive, general-purpose lawn that can cope well with the wear and tear of kids playing cricket on it. Ryegrass is the most popular family lawn type of all.
If you desire a finer, lusher finish in shaded areas, you can’t go wrong with the fescues. While they do need a little more care, they will reward you with an elegant green lawn.
Many people worry about whether their type of soil will affect which type of grass seed they should pick. Most lawn seeds are okay in most soils, from sandy to clay. Lawns planted on sandy soil will require more watering, though. You just need to be careful with some types, such as ornamental grasses, as they prefer more acidic soil. Affordable soil testing kits are available from most garden centres, so we recommend that you use one of these for the best results.
Can you Apply Grass Seed in the Winter?
Grass seed, as with any seed, needs warmth and moist conditions to germinate. This is why winter is not the best planting time for grass seed. There is a way of doing it, but you run the risk of losing your seed. It’s a method known as dormant seeding. This means that you lay down the seed in the dormant season, namely, winter, then the seed germinates at the beginning of spring when the weather warms up. This method is tricky and we don’t recommend it for beginner gardeners.
The optimal planting time is either the middle of spring or the middle of autumn. The weather is warm enough for germination but not too hot to dry out the soil. Your seed should sprout within one to two weeks at this time of year. It’s so exciting to see those tiny green shoots pushing through the soil!
How Much Should You Spend on Grass Seed?
The amount you spend depends on so many factors. A great money-saving tip is first to measure the area you need to plant. This will enable you to buy exactly the right amount of grass seed. Most brands have indicators on the packaging showing you how many seed kilograms you need per square meter. While prices vary, we can give you an idea of how much you can expect to spend. Let’s have a look at options fit for any budget below!
There are economic mixes available that combine red fescue and dwarf ryegrass. This is a fast-growing, all-purpose combination for those on a budget who still want a beautiful lawn.
Their prices start as little as £9.99 for 1kg, equal to 16sqm coverage on new lawns or 25sqm coverage in existing lawns. Prices can reach up to £14.99 for 1kg, depending on the percentage of blended seed mix. The higher percentage on premium mixes, the more expensive the same packet weight will be.
If you are looking in the average price range, your choice is extensive. Most of your ryegrass and fescues are within most people’s price range, with options starting at £11.99 for 1kg covering up to 35sqm.
There are also other options fit for greater coverage with high-quality blend mixes. For example, a 2-3kg seed mix covering 40-80sqm can cost from £14.99 to £35.
Luxury lawn seed mixes are available that produce stunning results and excellent coverage. An example is a blend of browntop bent and traditional fescue. This will result in a lush, fine-leaved lawn that everyone will envy.
Ornamental grasses are generally the most expensive and often grown as specimen plants in borders rather than lawns. They are also more intensive in terms of watering and labour than many of the common lawn grasses. For large lawns that are more than 250sqm, you can expect a higher cost as you will have to go for at least a 10kg bag. Anything from 10-20kg will end up costing about £50-100, depending on the seed type or blend.
Just think of how much money you’re saving overall! If you were laying down turf, it would cost between £4-8 per square metre. Quality lawn seed will cost under £1 per square meter. Growing a lawn from seed is certainly the more affordable option and is perfectly doable for the enthusiastic home gardener, especially in a small garden. If you just want to overseed an existing lawn for lawn repair, you will need far less seed.
To sum up
It is so rewarding watching a lawn you planted yourself come to life and become a beautiful amenity for your family to use. The best lawn is one that grows fairly slowly, is low maintenance, grows thickly to discourage weeds, and can cope with the average family’s foot traffic.
Before going shopping for quality grass seed, decide how much time, effort and cash you are prepared to spend. Sure, you can get high-maintenance grass, but it will demand more time and money over the long term. Keep in mind the amount of sunny and shady areas which affect the lawn more than the type of soil.
Successfully growing a lawn from seed relies on good preparation of the soil area beforehand, choosing the right seed for your conditions, sowing it at the optimal time of year, and keeping it moist so it can germinate.
We are optimistic that our buying guide will help you grow your new luxury lawn. With the top grass seeds, you’re going to look like a pro gardener in no time! Get started by picking the right choice for you!