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Grass Seed Information

By Laura Reynolds ; Updated September 21, 2017
The right seed makes a successful, weed-free lawn.

Mowing, weeding and fertilization are all important to a healthy lawn. The most critical factor, though, is most often getting the right information about what type of grass seed to use in your new or renovated lawn.


Grass is a green monocot with blade-like leaves that produces long panicles of hundreds of small seeds. Grass seed is widely available, from catalogs to garden centers and hardware stores.


The function of most grass seed is to grow into lawns that hold soil in place. Grass lawns are customary in temperate climates. Grass is also used as silage, in grazing pastures and as ornamentals in gardens and landscapes.


Grass seed may be annual or perennial. Annual grass seed germinates and grows faster and may be used in mixtures to provide “quick cover” for slower growing perennial varieties.


Each variety grows better in specific zones, based on climate. St. Augustine, Bahia and Bermuda grass are popular warm season grasses. Bentgrass and Kentucky bluegrass are common cool season grasses. Tall fescue and perennial ryegrass are successful in “transitional” areas between warm and cool season growing areas.


A seed mixture should be appropriate for the growing area and have a guaranteed germination rate of at least 85 percent. It should contain less than 0.3 percent weeds, less than 0.5 percent other crops, no weeds and less than 8 percent inert matter.


About the Author


An avid perennial gardener and old house owner, Laura Reynolds has had careers in teaching and juvenile justice. A retired municipal judgem Reynolds holds a degree in communications from Northern Illinois University. Her six children and stepchildren served as subjects of editorials during her tenure as a local newspaper editor.