How to Choose the Right Grass Seed


Choosing the right grass seed is not difficult, but it takes a little thought and planning. Homeowners can select seed for ornamental purposes or for durability. Selecting the wrong type grass seed or one not zoned for use in your region means your lawn will become patchy or uneven, detracting from the appearance of your house. Choose and plant grass seed in the spring or the fall.

Step 1

Consider how much foot traffic your lawn will get. If you have kids or dogs or if you plan to use the lawn for sports activities, plant grass that can withstand heavy foot traffic. Yardener suggests turf grasses like tall fescue or perennial rye in this case. If your yard is ornamental and never walked on, fescue, rye or Kentucky bluegrass work well.

Step 2

Watch how much sun your lawn gets. All grasses thrive in sun; not all grasses can handle shade. If you have only four to six hours of sun per day, plant a shade grass. If your yard receives dense shade (less than four hours of sun), consider using an alternate ground cover.

Step 3

Select a type of grass that grows well in your region, based on a grass seed zone map (see Resources). For example, if you live in the southern United States, bluegrass might not grow well; zoysia grass can be planted in its place.

Step 4

Purchase grass seed at a local garden store. Select one that's adapted to the sunlight levels in your yard, suited for your growing region and appropriate for the amount of foot traffic you expect.


  • Yardener: Choosing Lawn Grass Seed
  • Life and Lawns: What Type of Grass Seed Should I Use for My Lawn?
  • National Gardening Association: Lawn Grass

Who Can Help

  • Hancock Seed Company: Lawn Grass Seed Zone Map
Keywords: which grass seed, selecting grass seed, choosing lawn grass

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.