Planting a patch of grass, whether it’s a flower garden or a football field, is a big undertaking.
You’ll need to prepare the soil through weeding and fertilizing, carry out soil tests, sow the seeds, and then keep up maintenance by watering regularly, which all amounts to a lot of work.
Because grass seeds are usually sold in large quantities to cater to larger surface areas, a bag of grass seed can be costly.
For these reasons, it’s even more important to select the best quality grass seed the first time around: you don’t want to have all your work go to waste and end up with 10 lbs of wasted grass seed as well.
Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a selection of the 5 best grass seed brands on the gardening market to increase your chances of success! Be sure to scroll down and check out our buyer’s guide for tips on how to choose the best grass seed for your specific needs.
Our top choice for the best grass seed overall is the Perennial Ryegrass Seed Blend from Nature’s Seed!
This Perennial Ryegrass seed, like most Ryegrass blends, is highly versatile and resistant to wear. This makes it suitable for planting on most terrains and in the majority of climates, although it’s primarily a cool-season seed type. The Nature’s Seed Perennial Ryegrass is very hardy, but it’s not the best choice for use in extreme temperatures.
Where many other grass seed brands out there pack in the fillers to increase their profit, this seed blend consists of 98% live seeds. This means that you get the best grass coverage and value for your money.
Another great thing about the Nature’s Seed Perennial Ryegrass is that it’s a fast-germinating variety, which means you won’t have to wait around for long before your grass starts sprouting up!
This grass seed comes in biodegradable cloth packaging that’s good for the environment, and you can buy these packages in multiple sizes or quantities. Available quantities range from 500 to 5000 sqft, so you can sow large areas from a single purchase.
- Ryegrass blend - Tough and versatile
- 98% live seed - Good value
- Fast-germinating - Short waiting time
- Biodegradable cloth packaging - Eco-friendly
- Multiple quantity options - Available in 500 - 5,000 sqft
- Not for extreme climates - Grows best in temperate and cool conditions
BEST FOR SUNNY AREAS
If you have a full-sun-facing lawn or another sunny area of soil to sow with grass, we’d recommend the Scotts Turf Builder Grass Kentucky Bluegrass blend.
The Kentucky Bluegrass seed blend from Scotts Turf is suitable for areas that receive full sun and partial shade. It has medium-level draught resistance, which means that even in warmer climates and
Heat and drought resistance aren’t the only forms of durability exhibited by the Scotts Kentucky Bluegrass, though.
This brand also benefits from a Watersmart PLUS coating that encourages maximum water absorption (which, again, is ideal in drier climates) and protects against many of the diseases that grass is susceptible to. WaterSmart PLUS even releases essential nutrients to feed the grass where natural nutrition may be lacking.
In addition to all of this, the Kentucky Bluegrass is self-repairing, so any minor damage sustained should be rectifiable with proper maintenance.
However, if you have a large area of soil to cover, you may need to be prepared to make multiple purchases because this seed is only available in bags weighing 3 or 7 lbs.
- Medium drought resistance - Won’t burn in warm climates
- Fine bladed - Soft texture
- Self-repairs - Durable and long-lasting
- WaterSmart PLUS coating - Promotes water absorption, feeds the grass, and protects against disease
- Only available in 3 or 7 lb bags - For smaller areas
BEST FOR SHADED AREAS
Growing grass in densely shaded areas can be tricky, but with the right grass seed and some determination, you can grow a crop of healthy grass in no time!
The Pennington Smart Seed Dense Shade grass seed is specifically formulated to grow well in moderate to heavily shaded areas, so if you don’t get a lot of direct sunlight where you live, this is the ideal formula for you.
This is a hard-wearing grass blend that is tolerant to harsher growing conditions yet feels soft and pleasant to the touch due to being a fine-bladed fescue.
Our favorite thing about this grass seed brand, though, is that it’s not very absorbent (it doesn’t need to be, thanks to the draught resistance) and uses up to 30% less water than competitor brands.
So, if you’re looking to do your part for the environment while saving some money on your water bills, the Pennington Smart Seed Dense Shade formula is an excellent choice!
However, despite being advertised as germinating within 7 to 10 days, some gardeners find that their grass takes several weeks to sprout, so we’d advise approaching this seed with patience.
- Formulated for shaded areas - Purpose-specific
- Draught-resistant - Hardy and tolerant
- Fine bladed - Soft feel
- Uses up to 30% less water - More eco-friendly and cost-effective
- Germination not always as advertised - May take several weeks to sprout
BEST FOR WEEDS
Newer gardeners or first-time sowers may be put off by the idea of trying to sow grass over a weedy area. However, as long as you prepare the area properly and choose the right seed mix, it’s actually not as difficult as you might think!
The Bermudagrass Grass Seed from Scotts Turf Builder is designed for full-sun lawns and, therefore, is resistant to direct heat and drought conditions. This makes it a hardy and very tolerant grass seed blend.
Moreover, despite being a vine blade variety, the Scotts Turf Builder Bermudagrass grows aggressively in order to quickly fill in any patches and, most importantly, crowd out any weeds.
Thanks to the WaterSmart PLUS coating used by Scotts, the seeds and resultant grass blades will be protected against disease, fungus, and damage while being regularly nourished and hydrated by the formula. Because of this, you can expect a healthy and full crop of grass that won’t be disturbed by the presence of weeds.
Regardless of how large or small your lawn area is, you can find a quantity of Scotts Bermudagrass that works for you. The seed is available in 1 lb, 5 lb, 10 lb, 12 lb, or 40 lb bags.
The main drawback to this grass seed is that it isn’t suitable for sowing in heavily shaded lawns or gardens because it’s formulated for use in sun-facing areas.
- Thick and aggressive - Crowds out weeds
- Heat and drought-resistant - Highly tolerant
- Disease-resistant - Less prone to fungus
- WaterSmart PLUS coating - Nourishes, protects, and helps to hydrate
- Variety of quantities - 1, 5, 10, 12, or 40 lbs
- Not suited to shaded areas - For best results, sow in sun-facing areas
BEST FOR REPAIR
If you’re just looking for a grass seed mix to fill out any patchy areas in your lawn, it’s important to select a product that blends seamlessly yet densely into your existing grass crop. In this case, your best bet would probably be the Scotts EZ Seed Patch and Repair grass seed blend.
Scotts’ EZ Seed Patch and Repair is a sun and shade mix, which means that it can grow in most lighting conditions.
The main reason why lawns become damaged or patchy is because of high traffic in the area. Children and pets running around can certainly wreak havoc on your grass crop.
Luckily, these seeds are high-traffic-resistant, meaning that they can withstand a lot of wear and tear without being torn up. This is partly due to the tackifier that the seeds have been treated with, which stops the rain from displacing them.
These seeds have also been treated with protectant and surrounded with highly absorbent mulch, both of which help to keep the seeds safe from elemental damage. The protectant, in particular, wards off disease.
Meanwhile, the controlled release technology in the included fertilizer delivers just the right amount of nutrients on a regular basis to ensure that the seedlings grow healthy and strong. So, in no time at all, your patchy grass will look fresh and new again.
With that being said, there does seem to be a problem with the advertised estimated coverage indicated on the packaging. This may be because of the high mulch content in the seed. The best way to ensure that you have enough seed to cover your desired area is to buy in double quantities.
- Sun and shade mix - Suitable for all light levels
- High-traffic - Perfect for busy lawns
- Coated with tackifier - Prevents wash-away
- Treated with protectant - Shields against disease
- Controlled release technology - Calculated nutrient provision
- Inaccurate coverage indication - For best results, double your quantities
Best Grass Seed Buying Guide
Each grass seed mix that we have reviewed today is high-quality and should yield excellent results - in the right conditions.
Planting a particular type of grass seed in the wrong light or climate is a recipe for disaster, so before you go ahead and make your final decision, it’s crucial to be aware of which grass type would best suit your location.
Grass Seed Types
The first thing we should make clear is that grass seeds come in several different varieties. There are roughly 12,000 grass species across the world, but luckily, you don’t need to know about all of them here.
There are 4 common types of grass sold as seeds in the U.S., which we’ll cover in more detail now.
The grass variety you’re most likely to encounter on your search for your ideal grass seed is ryegrass.
Ryegrass, also known as perennial ryegrass, is very common in the U.S., although it’s native to Asia and Europe.
The reason this grass variety has become so popular outside of its native regions is that it’s such a versatile grass type. It’s tough and resistant to harsher conditions, and as a cool-season grass, it can withstand a range of temperatures and is compatible with multiple types of soil.
Fescue is the next most commonly used type of grass for lawns in the U.S. after ryegrass.
Fescue is widely distributed worldwide, growing naturally in every continent with the exception of Antarctica.
This grass type is almost as versatile and tolerant as ryegrass, and as a fine-bladed variety, it also feels dense and luscious. Its only weakness is that it doesn’t tolerate cold soil, so it’s best to sow fescue in warmer months.
Bluegrass is a slightly less common grass seed variety, but it produces long-lasting and appealing results.
There are several species of bluegrass, but the one most commonly used in the U.S. is Kentucky bluegrass. This is because the Kentucky bluegrass variety is perennial, fast-germinating, and sprouts soft, dark green blades that look beautiful and natural on any lawn. In fact, Kentucky bluegrass is commonly known as meadow grass for these reasons.
However, Kentucky bluegrass requires plenty of nutrients from the soil in order to grow, so it requires some maintenance in terms of fertilizing.
If you’re hoping for show-lawn results from your sowing endeavors, bentgrass could be the ideal seed variety for you.
Bentgrass is popular because of its density and softness. It can also tolerate being mown very short, which makes it ideal for golf greens.
Bear in mind that you will need to commit to maintaining your bentgrass regularly, however. It’s quite a delicate grass variety and is susceptible to damage. Therefore, many lawn owners opt for a mix of bentgrass and another less high-maintenance grass variety to make their lives easier.
Knowing which type of soil you’re working with is essential when it comes to choosing a grass seed variety because some grass seeds thrive better in certain soils.
Loam soil works well with most low-maintenance, cool-season grasses, such as fescue and ryegrass. This is because it absorbs moisture well without retaining so much as to oversaturate your grown.
Clay soil can be a good foundation for fescue grass, but you’ll have to make sure that you don’t overwater because clay soil doesn’t drain in the same way as loam does.
If you’re working with sand-based soil, a fine-bladed grass variety like tall fescue, bluegrass, or bentgrass is your best option because they don’t need high levels of water retention.
The amount of sun and heat that your lawn receives on a daily basis plays a significant role in determining the ideal grass seed.
If your lawn receives full sun, you should be able to work with most types of grass. If you don’t get much rain, though, and if your soil drains well, you will need a drought-tolerant variety.
For partial or full shade, a cool-season grass type like fescue or ryegrass should do the job.
If you’re planning on planting grass over an area that’s prone to weeds, you will need to make sure that the grass variety you choose is effective at overcrowding weeds.
The only way that grass will thrive undisturbed in a weedy area is if it’s physically robust enough to dominate the weeds as they come through.
Medium-coarse to coarse grass varieties are generally the best at this.
What is the correct way to sow grass seeds?
When faced with a large patch of soil that you need to cover with grass, it can be tempting to just throw handfuls of seeds here and there and hope for the best. However, this is not the best way to ensure a healthy and hardy crop of grass.
Once you’ve dug the soil and removed any weeds, the best way of ensuring even coverage of grass seeds is to use a seed spreader.
However, you can still sow the seeds by hand as long as you pay attention to the number of seeds being sown per area. For a dense crop of grass without gaps or patches, you’ll need to sow about 50 grams of seed per square meter.
Should I put topsoil over grass seeds?
You don’t necessarily need to use topsoil to plant grass seeds in every situation.
However, if your soil is poor-quality or shallow, adding a 10 cm layer of topsoil can help to promote healthier growth.
How long will it take for my grass seeds to grow?
Typically, grass seeds germinate within 2 weeks of planting, with most sprouting within about 10 days. However, some varieties can take up to 30 days to germinate, and the climate and conditions of the growing area play a large role in determining how efficient the germination process will be.
If your grass seeds are taking longer than expected to grow, make sure to keep the soil slightly moist by sprinkling the soil a couple of times per day, if necessary.