best grass seed

7 Best Grass Seeds to Repair a Patchy Lawn (2021 Review)

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The best grass seed for your garden depends on how shady your garden is, how hardy you’d like the grass to be and what direction your garden is facing. 

It also depends on whether you’re planting a whole new area of turf, or you’re simply looking to repair a patchy lawn.

It’s important to pay attention to how long visible results take, how large the ‘treatment area’ of each product is, and what species of grass each mixture includes.

I’ve heavily researched and tested the best grass seed products and recommended them for different scenarios. Here’s what I discovered…

What is the Best Grass Seed For Your Lawn?

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Comparing The Best Grass Seed

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  • Best For
  • Visible Results
  • Treatment Area
  • Size
  • Application
  • Cost
  • Our score
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In-Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Grass Seed

Miracle-Gro EverGreen Multi Purpose Lawn SeedMiracle-Gro EverGreen Multi Purpose Lawn Seed

Best fast-growing grass seed

Seed Quality
Speed of Results
Application Ease
Value for Money
Overall
4.55
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Miracle-Gro EverGreen Multi Purpose Lawn Seed Review

Specifications

  • Visible Results: 5-14 days
  • Treatment Area: 56 m²
  • Size: 1.68 kg
  • Application: Spreader or Hand

Waiting for grass to grow can be a bit like watching paint dry; a very slow and tedious process. However, if you’re a little short on time or patience, Miracle-Gro’s EverGreen Multi Purpose Lawn Seed seems to move a bit quicker than most, with signs of germination visible even in the space of five days.

Made up of a combination of Dwarf Perennial Ryegrass and finer Fescue grasses, this seed germinates faster than most but still remains hardwearing thanks to its ryegrass content.

It works well for both over-seeding or creating a new small lawn, and one bag can be used on an area of around 56 m². This makes it a fairly mid-range option price wise; neither the best value for money nor the worst in terms of coverage vs. price. That said, it’s also likely that you’re paying slightly more for the convenience of quicker growth.

In general, this seed doesn’t require quite as much maintenance after sowing as some other grass seeds; watering is still required, but you may not need to use as much water overall – only enough to keep the seeds moist.

Conditions do need to be pretty optimal to achieve the coveted five-day germination, which means it’s important to choose the sowing time (between March and October) carefully based on the weather.

Finally, if your garden has a lot of shade, you may find this isn’t the best grass seed mix for your garden; this seed grows best in sunlight and struggles in darker areas.

Pros

  • Although watering is needed post-application, less is required than would be with other grass seed
  • Sprinkler on the side of the pack makes spreading this seed relatively easy
  • Best for smaller patches of grass
  • Child and pet friendly

Cons

  • Not suitable for shady areas
  • Depending on conditions, results may not be visible within 5 days; it may take 2 weeks to see results
  • Once opened, the box cannot be resealed which means it’ll need dispensing into a separate container if you don’t use it all at once
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The Grass People SUPERSTAR: Back Lawn Grass Seed The Grass People SUPERSTAR: Back Lawn Grass Seed

Best for shady gardens

Seed Quality
Speed of Results
Application Ease
Value for Money
Overall
4.45
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The Grass People SUPERSTAR: Back Lawn Grass Seed Review

Specifications

  • Visible Results: 5 - 10 days
  • Treatment Area: 285 m²
  • Size: 10 kg
  • Application: Spreader or Hand

When it comes to growing grass in shady gardens, be they north facing or shrouded by trees, the results can often be disappointing.

If you’ve been let down by standard grass seed in the past, The Grass People have come up with a SUPERSTAR: Back Lawn 10kg Grass Seed which contains a mix of different grasses, selected for their ability to grow even in dry, wet or shady conditions.

Whereas other grass seeds are more focused on creating soft, fine lawns, this particular mix is made up of 80% Perennial Ryegrass and 20% Strong Creeping Red Fescue which is a hardy combination, well cut out for thriving in less-than-optimal environments.

Visually, the results are pretty much the same; you’ll still get a greener, healthier looking lawn, and it also grows pretty fast – you can start reaping the rewards of your labour after a couple of weeks when the lawn starts fill out.

Standard seeds don’t often survive under the shade of big trees either, but this mix sees grass growing right up to the trunk, creating an attractive and even lawn which is tough enough to stand up to kids’ playtime as well as pets.

It comes in a large 10 kg bag which can cover an area of approximately 200 m²; however, if that sounds like too much, it will also keep for the next year as well, so any that you don’t use won’t be wasted.

For the first few weeks, this grass seed requires a fair amount of maintenance in the form of a lot of watering and attention. So, although once grown the lawn will look after itself, it’s a good idea to sew these seeds when you’ve got some time on your hands, and not just before heading off on holiday!

Pros

  • Visible results relatively quickly
  • The grass grows evenly and lusciously even in shaded areas
  • Any leftover seed should last at least a year
  • This seed is specifically designed for UK climates

Cons

  • For maximum effectiveness, soil temperature needs to be at 8-10°C
  • To maintain the growth a lot of care is needed in the first few weeks
  • Some users have reported weeds growing as well as grass
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GBW Premium Quality Grass SeedGBW Premium Quality Grass Seed

Best for UK climate

Seed Quality
Speed of Results
Application Ease
Value for Money
Overall
4.45
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GBW Premium Quality Grass Seed Review

Specifications

  • Visible Results: 5-21 days
  • Treatment Area: 55 m²
  • Size: 1 kg
  • Application: Spreader or Hand

As we all know, the UK climate can be unpredictable at best and atrocious at worst. Certainly, it’s not always an easy environment for us gardeners to work in! It’s also not the best climate for all types of grass either, which is why seed mixes like GBW’s 1 kg Grass Seed use selected grass species tailored to thrive in the UK weather.

This seed has a more varied mix than some others featured here, with 43% Dwarf Amenity Ryegrass, 40% Creeping Red Fescue, 12% Chewings Fescue and 5% Browntop Bent. It’s a varied combination, intended to produce a lawn that can cope with excessive rain as well as drought, and everything in between.

Results can be truly impressive, as long as the instructions are closely followed to a tee. This certainly isn’t a grass seed that can be thrown over the ground with abandon, hoping for life to grow, but if you have the time and patience to suitably prepare the earth, it has the potential to elevate a bald garden to a fully-turfed green.

A certain amount of patience and trust is required as well, as the seed can lie relatively dormant for quite some time. Watering day and night, for as long as 15 days, is needed to start noticing small shoots appearing.

It should be noted that we’re not talking about a cheap product here either, with this 1 kg bag costing around 1/3 of some 10 kg bags, but it’s still worth considering if you have the available budget simply due to the finish that can be achieved.

One bag covers around 35 m² for new lawns and 55 m² if you are reseeding a sparse existing lawn. Application can be done by hand but is best measured out accurately to avoid unnecessarily using too much seed (a mistake which can be quite costly!).

Pros

  • Very clear and easy to follow instructions
  • Very effective if growing a lawn from scratch
  • Can achieve the same results as re-turfing if the instructions are followed well

Cons

  • Lots of maintenance required, watering morning and evening after application
  • Not particularly effective in spots that don’t get a lot of sun
  • Results aren’t as quickly visible as other grass seeds
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GroundMaster Hard Wearing Premium Lawn Grass SeedGroundMaster Hard Wearing Premium Lawn Grass Seed

Best for dogs/pets

Seed Quality
Speed of Results
Application Ease
Value for Money
Overall
4.475
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GroundMaster Hard Wearing Premium Lawn Grass Seed Review

Specifications

  • Visible Results: 5 - 10 days
  • Treatment Area: 285 m²
  • Size: 10 kg
  • Application: Spreader or Hand

GroundMaster’s Hard Wearing Tough Garden Premium Grass Seed is just the ticket for lawns that are looking like they need some real TLC.

It’s a hardy grass mix that is easy to spread and will evenly fill in bare patches and worn-out areas. Basically, if the lawn has been looking a little patchy and tired lately, this is a great option to consider.

Containing a mix of perennial ryegrasses and 30% Strong Creeping Red Fescue, the results are aesthetically enviable – green, thick and even – but there’s a hidden benefit in the fact that these grasses are also hardwearing.

If you have pets or children, the combination of grass species presented in this mix will also prevent the lawn from getting so worn out in the future. Using strong ryegrasses and Red Fescue is a way to reduce the necessity for repeated reseeding as well.

Application is straightforward, given that these seeds can be sown by hand straight out of the 10 kg bag. Depending on the state of your lawn, you might find that you need to use a lot of seed, especially if you have a larger garden; although GroundMaster states that one bag will cover an area of around 300 m², logically this will depend on how much your specific circumstances require.

Overall, it might take a little longer to see results with this seed than some faster-growing mixes, meaning a fair amount of watering is required in this germination period, but once established the results are impressive and achieve an even coverage.

Pros

  • Works very well - can transform even bare lawns into luscious green spaces
  • Grass grows evenly
  • The initial application is easy, can be applied to the lawn by hand

Cons

  • Lots of watering is required after application
  • A lot of product is needed which will make growing larger lawns expensive
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AM Pro-25 Hard-Wearing Grass SeedAM Pro-25 Hard-Wearing Grass Seed

Best hard-wearing grass seed

Seed Quality
Speed of Results
Application Ease
Value for Money
Overall
4.4
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AM Pro-25 Hard-Wearing Grass Seed Review

Specifications

  • Visible Results: 7 - 21 days
  • Treatment Area: 285 m²
  • Size: 10 kg
  • Application: Spreader or Hand

Getting the right balance between hardwearing grass and a comfortable soft lawn isn’t easy; tough grass can be coarse, but softer grass easily wears out.

This 10 kg grass seed from AM Pro-25 has a 1:1 ratio of Dwarf Perennial Ryegrass and Strong Creeping Red Fescue, which provides a good balance of strength and comfort. It feels slightly softer than mixes that have a higher ryegrass content, creating a lawn which is more comfortable to sit or lie on, yet still remains hardwearing.

It’s one of the best grass seed mixes for families who have energetic children or pets running around the lawn, who also want grass that they can flop down onto for a comfortable sunbathe.

The high content of Strong Creeping Red Fescue means that even if you have a lot of shade in your garden, this grass seed won’t have a problem growing there. Whereas other grass species can’t cut it in the shadows, the Red Fescue in this grass seed will help create cushiony areas under the trees, perfect for sitting in and keeping cool during summer.

Best results are achieved by following the instructions closely, which can require scarifying the lawn before beginning – the results can be impressive if all of the pre- and post-application steps are completed, so it’s worth putting in the extra time.

One 10 kg bag is sufficient to cover an area of approximately 285 m², which is enough to fully reseed a small to medium garden; however, the seed doesn’t keep very well so don’t necessarily expect to be able to use it again next year after a winter in storage.

Pros

  • Effective all around the garden including in shady areas
  • Visible results in under 2 weeks
  • A good option for beginner gardeners as instructions are very clear

Cons

  • The seed generally doesn't lasts in storage, so it’s not good value for money unless you use all of it
  • Lots of maintenance required, watering morning and evening after application
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Speedy Seed Original Grass Seed MixtureSpeedy Seed Original Grass Seed Mixture

Best for medium sized lawns

Seed Quality
Speed of Results
Application Ease
Value for Money
Overall
4.4
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Speedy Seed Original Grass Seed Mixture Review

Specifications

  • Visible Results: 7 - 14 days
  • Treatment Area: 84 m²
  • Size: 1.4 kg
  • Application: Spreader or Hand

If you don’t have the greenest thumbs, a hardy grass seed like RUNADI’s Speedy Grass Lawn Seed is a good option for those who are newer to the world of gardening. It doesn’t require quite as much preparation or maintenance as some of the other seed mixes featured here, and it produces results that are long lasting and easy to maintain.

Raking the area, sowing the seeds, and then sieving on topsoil is all that is really required to encourage this Speedy Grass Lawn Seed to grow. It will need regular watering, but only enough to keep the seeds slightly damp – if the weather conditions are good, with some drizzle as well as sun, you may not even need to water that much all.

In these kinds of optimal conditions, the grass can be seen to germinate in around seven days, although it really does depend on the weather – if the temperatures drop, it can take as long as two weeks to notice germination, and if the soil temperature is below 9°C, there is a chance it won’t germinate at all.

Choosing the right time to sow, anytime between March and October, can make all the difference; this is probably the most important part of preparation when it comes to these particular seeds.

For some, the grass species mix of two different types of perennial ryegrass may feel too coarse; it’s certainly not the softest combination of grasses featured on this list. On the plus side, this seed mix results in grass that is very hardwearing and grows quickly. If you’re worried about maintenance, this combination requires very little once the grass is established.

It’s also long-lasting grass so, again, it’s great for those who are new to gardening and don’t want to be frequently reseeding due to worn-out patches.

Pros

  • Many people see seeds germinate within just 7 days
  • A good option for medium gardens, with one bag covering up to 85m²
  • The grass grown is thick and luscious providing the conditions are right
  • As long as grass seed is kept moist, it does not need to be watered excessively

Cons

  • Depending on weather conditions and ground preparation, may take as long as two weeks to germinate
  • If the ground temperature is below 9°C, germination is unlikely.
  • If not used according to instructions, the grass grown can be pale and thin
  • Only contains ryegrass which may grow faster and be a visibly different texture from rest of lawn
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Gro-sure Multi-Purpose Grass Lawn SeedGro-sure Multi-Purpose Grass Lawn Seed

Best multi-purpose grass seed

Seed Quality
Speed of Results
Application Ease
Value for Money
Overall
4.4
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Gro-sure Multi-Purpose Grass Lawn Seed Review

Specifications

  • Visible Results: 7-21 days
  • Treatment Area: 120 m²
  • Size: 3.6 kg
  • Application: Spreader or Hand

Birds eating grass seed before it has a chance to germinate can be a very irritating waste of money, so it’s nice to see that Gro-Sure have factored in a solution to this problem with their Multi-Purpose Grass Lawn Seed.

Covered with a green coating, it seems to deter birds – possibly because they can’t see it as easily, or because it no longer smells like seed to them. Either way, once raked in, they are less likely to steal it all away than they might with other seed.

Within two weeks of sowing, seeds start germinating and adding thickness to the lawn. Depending on the weather conditions, within another two weeks grass can already be several centimetres long – it does need to be sown when the soil temperature is above 10°C and general temperatures are below 19°C though, so be sure to pick your time window carefully.

It’s a pretty easy seed to use, not requiring too much attention except for the usual watering to make sure the area is kept damp. If there is heavy rain within the first few days after sowing, there could be a chance of some seeds getting swept away, so it’s fair to say that the weather can affect results significantly.

Whether your lawn is non-existent and you’re looking to establish a new one, or you want to give a little boost to the grass you already have, this Grass Lawn Seed is suitable for either purpose. The 3.6 kg bag covers 102 m² when spread sparingly, but don’t expect it to go as far if you’re reseeding an area – it also might be necessary to go over patches more than once, depending on conditions and how well the seed takes.

Pros

  • A good all rounder - suitable for both new lawns and repairing existing lawns
  • Germinates within 2 weeks with fast growth following germination
  • Produces aesthetic and hard-wearing grass that’s perfect for busy gardens!

Cons

  • Damaged patches will need repeat treatments so purchasing more than the recommended amount is advised
  • Soil temperature needs to be perfect for germination to occur, above 10°C and below 19°C
  • Can be a little hit or miss in terms of some germinating, and some not
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Things to Know Before Buying Grass Seed

It’s a great feeling when your lawn is lush and green. Unfortunately, this feeling doesn’t always last as wear and tear can really tire out a lawn fast.

If you buy the best grass seed available, you can create a more hardwearing lawn that won’t get easily damaged from children playing on it or pets wearing it out.

But, of course, it can be heard to know what make ‘the best grass seed’, so the following tips are useful to help you make an informed purchase:

A Good Grass Mix is Important

Often, you’ll notice that grass seed isn’t made up of just one species of grass. In general, several different variations are combined to improve the overall properties of your lawn.

Having grass seed which contains Ryegrass will help make the lawn more durable. This isn’t a soft grass type and can be a bit more coarse than other varieties, but it is hardwearing and vibrantly green. As a result, buying a grass mix which contains some Ryegrass will really help improve the durability of your lawn. Dwarf Amenity Ryegrass has been cultivated to be slightly softer and is often found in garden grass seeds.

Fescue grasses will grow well even in shady areas. If you’ve got a lot of shade in your garden and have been struggling to get a healthy lawn as a result, a seed mix containing some Fescue species will do a good job. The Grass People SUPERSTAR: Back Lawn 10kg Grass Seed contains Creeping Red Fescue which is particularly good at spreading. This is excellent for patchy lawns as it will fill in the gaps.

Browntop Bent isn’t as commonly found in hardwearing grass seed mixes, but it can make be included because it helps make lawns fine and soft. A small percentage of Browntop Bent, such as the 5% found in the GBW 1 kg Grass Seed, will add some finer, short grass to your lawn.

Size of Coverage

If you have a large lawn, there won’t be much point in you buying a 400 g bag of grass seed that will only cover 9 – 16 m². These smaller containers are best suited to smaller lawns, offering excellent quality to small areas but not being cost effective in larger ones.

Most manufacturer’s will state how much coverage you can get from their product. This can also vary depending on how many grams of seed the manufacturer recommends on using per meter squared.

From the grass seed I reviewed we can see that the Grass People SUPERSTAR 10 kg bag will provide coverage for 200 m² whilst the GroundMaster 10 kg bag will manage up to 300 m². It’s important to consider the quality and mix of the seed, as well as the coverage, to make sure you are happy with both. You may choose to buy a packet which covers slightly less area, but has a better grass combination.

Suitable Growing Conditions

Your garden may have a tendency to be dry or the soil may retain a lot of moisture. Both of these factors may have affected your success in maintaining a healthy lawn. Another factor that can impact lawn growth is shade; some grass species don’t grow well in shady areas.

Ryegrass and Fescue grasses do well in the shade. So if you’ve always struggled with a patchy, uneven lawn in shaded areas, make sure to buy a grass mix which contains these varieties.

Tall Fescue in particular is known for managing well in wet weather. It’s a great grass species to look out for if you want to find the best grass seed for a wet or damp garden.

If you’ve got dry soil, you’ll want grass types with a good root network – there’ll be able to take nutrients from deeper in the ground. Meadowgrass (also referred to as ‘Kentucky Bluegrass’) has a great root structure and therefore fairs very well in dry soil. Fescue grasses will also handle dry zones well.

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Grass Seed FAQs

When should I plant my grass seed?

Ideally, you should plant your grass seed between August and October. This is the optimum time because there is less chance of it getting taken over by weeds (which may happen at other times of year) and the soil is still relatively warm. It should also naturally get plenty of water at this time of year.

You can plant seed partway through spring if you need to, but you’ll need to be diligent and make sure that it is always very well watered.

Can I plant grass seed by throwing it on the ground?

Yes and no. Grass seed will likely sprout if it is simply thrown on the ground, but it certainly not the best path to achieving a long-lasting, lush green lawn. Using a spreader will give you much better results. It will aerate the soil allowing the seeds to penetrate into it slightly so they’re not just resting on top. This will give them a much better chance of taking root properly and giving you a healthy lawn.

How do you plant grass seed?

If creating a new lawn, there are several steps you can take to really get the best results:

  1. Spread seed ideally in early autumn. Spring is also an option.
  2. Turn the soil over in preparation, to loosen and aerate it.
  3. Get rid of any weeds.
  4. Prepare the soil by raking it and creating a level surface for the seeds.
  5. Sow the seeds based on the manufacturer’s instructions: there may be some variation on how many g/m² is recommended.

How deep should I plant the grass seed?

Grass seed only needs to be planted at a shallow depth. Somewhere between 30 mm and 75 mm. If, at the end of the process, there are no seeds visible on the surface, the likelihood is the seeds are too deep.

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Sources

  1. Cope, T.; Gray, A. (2009). Grasses of the British Isles. London, U.K.: Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland.
  2. Attenborough, David (1984). The Living Planet. British Broadcasting Corporation.
  3. How grasses grow. Farmwest.com

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