Facts About Grass Seed

Overview

The typical suburban lawn contains a variety of grass types. When starting or restoring a lawn, it helps to know the best seed varieties for your area. The right seed mixture will require less care and perform better over time.

Grass Seed Facts For A Healthy Lawn image by "Tin Bucket Baby 2" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: ☂CharlotteSpeaks (Charlotte) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Types

Grass seed falls into two categories: warm season and cool season. Areas north of USDA zone 8 are considered cool season zones. Zones 9 through 12 are warm season grass seed zones.

Seed Mixtures

Lawn seed mixtures contain different seed types that germinate at different times. Annual seeds tend to germinate more quickly than perennial types.

Drought Tolerance

All grass seed needs water to germinate, but once established, some types are more drought resistant than others. Kentucky bluegrass and the fescues need less watering while rough bluegrass, rye and bent grasses need more.

Wear Resistance

For play areas and other high-traffic areas, choose a perennial ryegrass or tall fescue seed. These are more resistant to wear damage than fine fescues or creeping bentgrass.

Sunlight

Most cool season turf grasses grow best with partial or full sun. In areas of dense shade, turfgrass experts at Purdue Extension suggest using shade-loving groundcovers as an alternative to grass. Warm season grass seed is more shade tolerant.

Cautions

Do not use pre-emergent weed controls on a newly seeded lawn. To encourage beneficial soil microbes and earthworm activity, avoid insecticide use during the first year of growth.

References

  • Perdue Univeristy Extension: Turfgrass
  • OSU: Turfgrass
  • USDA Planting Zones
Keywords: grass seed, turfgrass, kentucky bluegrass

About this Author

Moira Clune is a freelance writer who since 1991 has been writing sales and promotional materials for her own and other small businesses. In addition, she has published articles on VetInfo and various other websites. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hartwick College.