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:
- Spread seed ideally in early autumn. Spring is also an option.
- Turn the soil over in preparation, to loosen and aerate it.
- Get rid of any weeds.
- Prepare the soil by raking it and creating a level surface for the seeds.
- 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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