What Is Canada Green Grass Seed?
Canada Green Grass is a mass-marketed grass seed blend of three major types of seed that promises an “all-season green grass seed” that “grows in any climate.” Canada Green, according to the company’s website, tolerates temperatures from -40 degrees F to 120 degrees F, is “resilient to foot traffic, crowds out weeds” and “resists bugs.” At the time of writing, this seed is available for purchase on the Internet.
According to Iowa State University’s Richard Jauron, Canada Green Grass Seed is a combination of red fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, annual rye grass and filler containing inert matter and unspecified grass varieties. Anecdotal accounts in gardening blogs report mixed success with the seed in all growing zones. As of 2010, shipping fees apply for two, four and six-pound bags.
Red fescue comprises more than half of the Canada Green blend made for the U.S. It is a cool-season grass that prefers cool shade. It is quick to establish itself and spreads slowly by rhizomes. Red fescue is a fine-textured grass that is only moderately tolerant of traffic. It is not heat tolerant and is not as cold-tolerant as bluegrass. It grows as ground cover or may be mowed to heights from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches in lawns. Several improved varieties of red fescue have come on the market; common red fescue is recommended for use on parkways and park areas.
Kentucky bluegrass is usually the major ingredient in most cool and transition-zone lawn mixes because of its ability to stand up to traffic, its attractive green foliage and its vigorous growth. It sometimes takes a month to germinate and begin growth and spreads by a strong system of rhizomes. Kentucky bluegrass is kept mowed to a height between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 inches. It is not shade-tolerant and may go dormant during hot summers. Dozens of varieties of Kentucky bluegrass are available; many newer varieties of tolerate more shade. Kentucky bluegrass makes up less than 5 percent of Canada Green.
Annual rye grass grows, sets seed and dies in one season. It germinates quickly and serves as a “cover” for slower-germinating perennial grasses. It also serves as a “cover crop” in warm-season grass areas during the short winter dormant season. Too much annual rye grass in a mixture crowds out perennial grasses. When the annual grass dies at the end of the season, the perennial grasses must be re-seeded to avoid patchy growth the following spring. Canada Green Grass Seed contains around 25 percent annual ryegrass.
Varieties of red fescue and Kentucky bluegrass present in Green Grass Seed are not specified; predicting success for the blend in a given area would be difficult. The mix seems to contain a large percentage of fescue which does not thrive in heat or sun and a very small percentage of resilient bluegrass which is a sun-loving grass with a wide growing area. It also contains a very high percentage of a cover crop that will not contribute to the long-term structure of a lawn and almost 20 percent filler material.