Just like every other kind of plant, grass grows the most successfully when it’s planted in a specific climate that has the right temperatures, rainfall and sunlight that it’s used to. Trying to grow an unacclimated variety is sometimes possible, but it usually requires an exorbitant amount of work just to try to keep it alive.
What Are the Different Types of Grass Seed?
Grass seed is best understood when it’s broken down into its two most basic types:
Cool-Season Grass Seed – It originates from the coldest parts of the country, which get a steady amount of rainfall throughout the year. So it will easily die off if a drought sets in.
Because the temperatures drop so quickly in the North, this grass seed has to be planted no later than the end of summer for it to have a chance of surviving. Otherwise, you will have to face the risk of an early snowfall covering the ground, which will kill off the seed before it can even sprout. An example of cool-season grass seed is Kentucky bluegrass seed.
Warm-Season Grass Seed – It’s adapted to the southernmost part of the country. So it’s generally unfazed by high heat that scorches the dry ground beneath it.
Since the cold doesn’t settle in as quickly in the South, you can get away with waiting until the early fall to plant warm-season grass seed. In fact, it’s usually best to wait as long as possible to give the tender grass sprouts that arise a chance of survival. One of the best examples of grass that does well in a hot climate is buffalo grass, which has been known to flourish in places as hot as South Africa.
How to Choose the Best Grass Seed for Your Lawn
Choosing the best grass seed for your lawn is a fairly simple process if you have lived in an area for quite a while because you will already know what to expect about the climate. But still, it helps to do a little research on the predictions of rainfall for the upcoming spring and summer seasons. This will give you an idea on whether or not you live in an area with low, medium or high rainfall.
And look at the past temperature trends as well since they act as a guide for deciding if you live in a warm or cold region.
But the easiest way to tell for sure is to look at the United States as a whole, then mentally divide it in half. If you live in the upper half, you should probably stick to cool-season grass seed. And those in the lower half need warm-season grass seed, especially if you live in Florida, California or close to the border of Mexico.
How to Spread Grass Seed
As soon as you buy the best grass seed for your lawn, the next step is to plant it in the ground. Grass seed has to be handled a little differently than other types of plants, though. There are simply too many seeds to sow for a person to insert each one into the ground individually. Also, the grass that’s already in place doesn’t have to be removed unless you want to completely change out the type of grass you already have planted.
To get started, use a garden rake to gently rake the top inch of the soil until it’s loose. Make sure that you do this when the ground is completely dry. Otherwise, you will end up with a muddy mess.
Next, pour the grass seed into a fertilizer spreader to disburse it over the raked-up area. After you are finished, spread a thin layer of straw over the top to hold the grass seed in place until it sprouts. Some garden stores also sell a special type of mat that can be laid on top of the seed. But these mats are more expensive than plain straw.
And finally, be sure to water the grass seed every day until it’s fully established. Don’t forget to check for any bare spots after all of the seed comes up too. That way, you can fill them in with any leftover seed you still have.
Our Grass Seed Reviews
The Scotts Turf Builder Sun & Shade grass seed is a versatile mix, so you can have grass that is thicker and greener. It’s also great because it grows relatively fast. If you’re growing your entire lawn from the bottom up, this might be an excellent grass seed for you.
This Scotts grass seed features the WaterSmart PLUS coating which will ensure that your grass will actually grow. It’s also protected with a fungicide to prevent diseases from affecting the seedlings.
In addition, the coating provides the grass with essential nutrients to quicken the growth and allows it to absorb twice as much water, which should makes taking care of the lawn a lot easier especially in a drought.
The Jonathan Green Black Beauty Ultra mixture is a high quality grass seed mix that features an invisible waxy coating that protects it from diseases and allows it to absorb more water. With this grass seed, you can grow a thicker, greener lawn with less water than usual.
This grass seed is a mixture of a number of other grass species such as the Perennial Ryegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass and Black Beauty Tall Fescues. The result is a beautiful grass with a dark green color.
It also grows well in less than ideal soil conditions, such as in sandy or clay soils, as well as in full sun or partial shade. In addition, the grass grown from this seed mix is naturally resistant to insects.
The Pennington Smart Seed Dense Shade mix is excellent if you want to grow a low maintenance lawn. It’s specifically produced to be better than other grass shade mixes. And when fully grown, the grass is strong, fine-bladed and should last a long time.
The seed also absorbs water well, and uses 30 percent less water than regular grass seed mix. In addition, the mixes are customized for various regions of the country, so you should be able to grow the grass well no matter what your climatic zone is.
It comes at an affordable price, and is great for growing grass in shady areas as it contains improved seed varieties that do well in the shade. That way you can ensure that your lawn looks good regardless of where it’s grown.
The Scotts EZ Seed Sun & Shade mix is great for high traffic lawns. It’s also excellent for both sunny and densely shaded areas, so no matter what the conditions of your lawn, you should be able to grow great grass from this mix.
In fact, it’s one of the best benefits of this grass seed mixture. It’s specifically produced to be able to grow anywhere. Even if your lawn is located on a slope, you should still be able to grow grass from this seed.
In addition, the grass seed is able to absorb water six times its weight. This would be especially useful if you are located in areas with known drought problems. Just make sure you follow the provided instructions for growing grass from this seed.