The 7 Best Grass Seed

Updated February 25, 2018 by Chase Brush

7 Best Grass Seed
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We spent 38 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Whether you're trying to patch a bare or damaged spot in your garden or need to cover a larger area, such as a playing field or common space, you'll find what you need in our selection of grass seed. These varieties are designed to produce hearty and durable blades good for everything from football fields to front lawns. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best grass seed on Amazon.

7. X-Seed Ultra Premium

The X-Seed Ultra Premium germinates efficiently and comes back reliably year after year, making this one a decent choice if you want to minimize the work you put into regrowing your lawn each season. One 20-pound bag covers up to 14,000 square feet of existing yard.
  • sprouts in 7-10 days
  • produces finely-textured blades
  • best for central and north regions
Brand X-Seed
Model 20004
Weight 20.1 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Scotts Turf Builder

Marketed as the company's most versatile mix, the Scotts Turf Builder incorporates a WaterSmart coating that helps seedlings absorb more moisture and essential nutrients, and withstand disease. It's suitable for both heavy shade as well as hot, sunny conditions.
  • small 3 lb to large 40 lb bags
  • contains ryegrass and fescue
  • not for sale in louisiana
Brand Scotts Turf Builder
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Barenbrug USA Water Saver

The Barenbrug USA Water Saver is an innovative rhizomatous tall fescue blend that is made to behave like bluegrass, yet can also thrive in very hot regions where water is scarce. Just make sure you prep your seeding area well, and don't be afraid to apply generously.
  • comes in a resealable mylar bag
  • low-maintenance and self-repairing
  • can be susceptible to weeds
Brand Barenbrug
Model 11205
Weight 4.7 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Kentucky 31 Tall Fescue

Perfect for professional gardeners and homeowners alike, the Kentucky 31 Tall Fescue is highly tolerant to direct sun and heavy foot traffic, while also requiring very little maintenance once it sprouts. Plus, it comes in a generous 50-pound bag at a reasonable price.
  • longstanding breed
  • light green with coarse texture
  • needs to be worked into soil
Brand K-31
Model pending
Weight 50 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

3. GreenView Fairway Formula

An excellent choice for use on golf courses and athletic fields, this GreenView Fairway Formula delivers dependable turf maintenance that is sure to reestablish any dead areas that may have appeared after heavy traffic. You don't have to worry about overseeding, either.
  • perennial ryegrass blend
  • comes in three bag sizes
  • resulting growth is finely textured
Brand Greenview
Model 2829234
Weight 11 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

2. Jonathan Green 10322 Black Beauty

The Jonathan Green 10322 Black Beauty produces a high-quality and hardy variety of turfgrass that is features a waxy coating to deter insects from causing damage. It contains three different breeds, and thrives as well in the sun as it does in the shade.
  • covers up to 2800 sq ft
  • prevents crabgrass growth
  • grows well in sandy soil
Brand Jonathan Green
Model 10322
Weight 7.1 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Pennington Smart Seed Dense Shade

Requiring up to 30 percent less water than ordinary grass, this Pennington Smart Seed Dense Shade offers both long-lasting drought tolerance and a formula suited for a range of climates. An exclusive blend of natural root organisms help contribute to plant growth.
  • environmentally-friendly
  • blue-green color
  • grows deep and dense roots
Brand Pennington
Model 100526627
Weight 7.2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Popular Types Of Grass Seed

There is a wide range of grass varieties, but there are just two basic categories of grass types: Warm Season grasses and Cool Season grasses. As you might imagine, all of the different varieties in each of these grass types is best suited for a certain type of climate.

Warm Season grasses are generally native to tropical regions and thrive when they are in hot climates with a lot of daily sunshine. They tend to grow best in temperatures ranging from 75°F to 90°F and will often turn brown or go dormant in the cooler late-fall and winter months.

The majority of the growing of Warm Season grasses happens in the summer months. Some examples of popular Warm Season grass varieties include St. Augustine grass, Buffalo, Bermuda, and Centipede.

Cool Season grasses do well in areas that have cold, freezing winters and very hot summers. They grow the fastest when temperatures are from 65°F to 80°F, or during in the spring and fall months.

While Cool Season grasses are suited to climates that have regular intervals of rain in the summer, many of them can withstand long periods of drought by going dormant. Some popular examples of Cool Season grasses include Perennial and Annual Ryegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Red Fescue, and Bentgrass.

Choosing The Best Grass Seed For Your Lawn

You can start you search for the best grass seed for your lawn by learning which type of climate you live in. If you are in the Warm Season zone, you should be researching the different varieties of Warm Season grasses and vice versa for the Cool Season zone.

Each grass variety has certain applications where it does best. For example, Bahia grass and Buffalo grass are both Warm Season grasses, but they have different characteristics. Bahia grass does best in full sun conditions and in areas with sandy, slightly acidic soil. It needs regular watering, but is relatively resistant to short periods of drought and is ideal for high activity areas.

Unfortunately, while being an extremely hardy grass, it doesn't create a very uniform lawn and it doesn't handle the cold very well. On the other hand, Buffalo grass has a smoother, more manicured look and can withstand near freezing temperatures for short periods. It can also survive through extended drought periods, but doesn't do well in high activity areas.

To choose the best grass variety for your home, start by testing the pH of your soil. You can adjust your soil pH as needed, but why not choose a grass variety that does well in your soil type and skip the hassle? Next you should consider how much maintenance you want to put into lawn care. If you don't want to deal with regular waterings, go with a variety that is drought resistant.

If you don't want to have to mow so often, choose a slower growing variety. You'll also want to consider how much traffic you'll be subjecting your lawn to. Some grass varieties can deal with cars being parked on them regularly, while others can't even withstand minor foot traffic.

Not everybody lives in a Cool Season or Warm Season grass climate. There is a narrow band across America known as the Transition Zone and picking the right grass variety in these areas can be trickier. If you live in the Transition Zone, you'll want to consider Kentucky Bluegrass, Zoysiagrass, Thermal Blue, Perennial Ryegrass, or Tall Fescue.

How To Plant Grass Seed

Creating the perfect lawn isn't just about picking the right variety. You'll also need to maintain it correctly and plant at the right time of year. A general rule of thumb is that Warm Season grasses should be planted from March through September, and Cool Season grasses should be planted from mid-August through mid-October, but refer to the directions on your specific grass variety to further narrow down the best seeding time.

You need to make sure to prepare your lawn before laying down your seed as well. If you are planting a new lawn, start by loosening the top few inches of soil with a cultivator or hoe. Next, remove large debris and break up any big clumps of soil. If you have any low spots where water might collect, you should level them out, so no grass seed is left in standing water for too long.

After your lawn has been fully prepared, you can spread your grass seed. For best results, you should fertilize with a starter fertilizer after seeding and then water twice a day. Once you have mowed your new lawn one or two times, you can revert back to a normal watering schedule.

If you are overseeding an existing lawn, you'll want to mow your grass as short as possible, loosen any bare soil spots, remove dead grass clumps, and then spread the seed as evenly as possible. As with a new lawn planting, you should water twice a day until after the first or second mowing and lay down a starter fertilizer.

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Last updated on February 25, 2018 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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