Choosing the Right Grass Seed for Your Yard

GrassA thick, healthy lawn creates a luxurious outdoor environment and increasing the curb appeal of a home. The key to growing a healthy lawn, that is also easy to maintain, is choosing the right grass seed. By evaluating the growing conditions, temperatures ranges and sunlight requirements, homeowners can choose a grass seed that will thrive in their yard

Warm Season Grasses
Grass seed is categorized as either a cool season variety or a warm season variety. Warm season grass seed thrives in southern regions with high summer temperatures. They also thrive in full sunlight and are typically have a higher tolerance to heat. Some warm season grass varieties include the following varieties.

  • Bermuda
  • St. Augustine
  • Centipede
  • Buffalo
  • Zoysia

Cool Season Grasses
Cool season grasses thrive in the northern regions of the country, as they prefer cooler daytime temperatures. They are slightly more shade resistant than warm season grasses. Some cool season grass seed options include the following varieties.

  • Fine fescue
  • Tall fescue
  • Red fescue
  • Perennial ryegrass
  • Kentucky bluegrass

In many cases, homeowners plant both types of grass seed. They opt for a warm season grass in the spring and summer, and then seed the lawn with a cool season variety in winter.

Shade Versus Sunlight
Take a walk around the yard at midmorning and again at midafternoon. Note the amount of sunlight on the lawn to determine if it is mostly sunny or mostly shady. This will greatly impact the types of grass seed that you plant. Sun-loving grass requires at least six hours of sunlight per day, while shade-tolerant varieties can live on as little as four. Don’t try to grow sun-loving grass in a heavily shaded lawn, as it simply won’t live.

Water Needs
Homeowners who live in areas with little rainfall should opt for a drought-tolerant grass seed variety. This will reduce the amount of watering required and increase the chance of survival during droughts. Some good drought-tolerant seed varieties include the following.

  • Tall fescue
  • Zoysia
  • Buffalo grass
  • St. Augustine

Foot Traffic
Another important determinant in the type of seed that you plant is the amount of walking, driving or playing that will occur on the grass. Homeowners with children, pets or who play sports should opt for a durable grass such as Kentucky bluegrass. This variety is the seed of choice for athletic fields so it will stand up well in a yard as well. Those who rarely walk on their lawn may prefer a fine fescue, which doesn’t hold up well under foot traffic but requires less maintenance than other varieties.

Barefoot In GrassLook Locally
One way that homeowners can narrow down their grass seed options is look in local stores and landscaping businesses to determine what grass seeds they sell. These regional stores typically only sell grass that thrives in your region. As you browse the seed bags, write down the names of the grass so that you can perform more research on them later.