How to Choose the Right Grass Seed

There are many elements that go into having a picture-perfect lawn. But no decision is more important than the first: choosing the right type of grass seed for you. Where you live should be the primary feature that will tell you what kinds of species are suitable for planting in your area. Of those species, you can then choose the best one for you by matching the particular characteristics of each grass species with your unique lifestyle.

Where do you live?

Not every grass seed grows well in every climate. First, you need to pick the right species for your climate. Keep in mind that every type is either a cool-season or warm-season type. Cool-season grasses are species adapted to cold winters and summers without extended periods of extreme heat. Furthermore, a cool-season grass will not stay green and actively growing in the summer without plenty of irrigation to help it maintain its green color and lively growth. Without irrigation, cool-season grasses survive extended periods of drought by going dormant, giving them a brown, “dead” appearance. Contrast cool-season with warm-season types, which thrive during the hottest summer months but will brown-down and go dormant at the first drop toward cooler temperatures.

Cool-season grasses are seeded both alone and in some cases are even mixed together. Some of the most popular cool-season grass seed species are:

  • Kentucky bluegrass
  • Turf-type Tall fescue
  • Perennial ryegrass
  • Fine fescues (various species)

Warm-season grasses are typically seeded alone rather than mixed with other warm-season types. The most popular warm-season grass seed species are:

  • Buffalograss
  • Bermudagrass

It may be helpful to look at the types of grass seeds that are ideal for your region before making a decision. In addition to the attributes for your region, it is also helpful to consider the uniqueness of your particular area and yard. Take into account variables unique to your town and neighborhood such as the frequency of drought, access to irrigation water, overly sandy or clayey soils, and the amount of shade/sun in your yard. Considering the unique characteristics of your yard will help you determine which grass seed type will survive and grow best in your location.

It is possible that there may be enough of an extreme difference from one side of your yard to the other—such as going from total sun to complete shade—that you may need to plant two different types of seed, one for each extreme area. However, this approach brings up the issue of visible contrasts in texture and color between the different grass species in each area, and should be avoided if at all possible.

Grasses for Droughty Regions
  • Turf-type Tall fescue
  • Fine fescues (Sheep & Hard fescue)
  • Bermudagrass
  • Buffalograss
Grass Seed Types for Unique Soils
  • Kentucky bluegrass (many soil types, excels in sandy soils)
Grasses for Heavy Shade
  • Fine fescues (various species)

What are your lifestyle needs?

Some folks enjoy weekends spent outdoors manicuring their grass yards during the warm months of spring and summer. For others, too much of this type of work is a chore and time misspent. Of the grass seed species that are suitable for your area they all grow differently and the cultural practices to care for them are different as well. Choosing a grass seed based on its suitability to your area is absolutely essential, but also making sure to choose one that suits your lifestyle is also very important.

The two most important factors that must be taken into account when assessing the suitability of a grass seed to your lifestyle are maintenance and foot-traffic. Having clear answers to these questions will determine which grass seeds will best suit your lifestyle.

  • Maintenance. Ask yourself how much time, money and work you are willing to spend over the life of your grass lawn? This is an important question as some grasses require more time, attention and inputs than others.
  • Traffic. Some grasses respond to wear-and-tear better than others. Will you spend a lot of time recreating on your lawn? Do you plan to use your grass lawn frequently for sports?—kids?—dogs? Or will your lawn just be a visual backdrop for your home that is rarely even walked on?

Once you have determined the grass seeds that are suitable for your climate and yard, the amount of maintenance you are willing to put into your new lawn, and how much traffic tolerance your lifestyle demands, you can now choose the grass seed best suited for you.

Low Maintenance Grasses
  • Turf-type Tall fescue
  • Fine fescues (various species)
  • Buffalograss
High Traffic Grasses
  • Kentucky bluegrass (heavy traffic)
  • Bermudagrass (heavy traffic)
  • Perennial ryegrass (moderate traffic)

Once you know exactly the grass seed species you are in the market for, Nature’s Finest Seed will select the best cultivars available for your area. Competition to develop new and improved lawn seeds has increased the number of patented varieties available on the market. Instead of being limited to cultivars from any one producer, Nature’s Finest Seed stocks only the best, most sought-after varieties. We select the best performing “golf-grade” varieties available, taking into account characteristics such as:

  • genetic color
  • leaf texture
  • seedling vigor
  • sod density
  • pest and disease resistance
  • winter hardiness
  • heat tolerance

Whatever grass you select, all of Nature’s Finest Seed contains Soil-Boost™ to help your new lawn seed develop a vigorous root system and experience enhanced performance. Soil-Boost™ is a blend of living soil mycorrhiza which forms a mutualistic relationship with your lawn’s roots, accessing water and nutrients which may otherwise be inaccessible. The additional resources increase your lawn’s resistance to drought, disease, soil toxicity and its ability to thrive on the problem areas which may exist in your yard.