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Top Things to Consider When Choosing Grass Seed

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of the right grass seed for your lawn. The right grass seed helps grow a lush green lawn and allows it to grow into healthy, dense grasses that can help prevent erosion and keep weeds in check.


Choosing the correct grass seed can seem daunting. With so many options available, many lawn owners get overwhelmed when choosing grass seeds for their lawns. They go with the most popular option. All grass seeds are not created equal. A particular variety that works wonders in one case can fail to deliver results in another. Do not choose a grass seed variety just because your neighbors or friends use it. It’s important that you first understand the conditions of your lawn and then choose grass seeds that can thrive in it. Consider these factors when choosing grass seeds for your lawn.

Your Location

One of the most important factors that affect grass growth is the location of the lawn. When choosing grass seed for your lawn, consider the local climate. Depending on how well they do in hot and cold climates, grasses are classified into two categories: cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses. As the name suggests, warm-season grasses do well in hot climates. They thrive in regions where the temperature regularly exceeds 80° F During the day and drops around 70° F at night. Some popular warm-season grasses include zoysia, centipede, and hybrid Bermuda. Cool-season grasses thrive in cool climates. They do best when daytime temperatures are between 60° and 70° F and nighttime temperatures are in the 50s. Some highly sought-after cool-season grasses include tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. Instead of using a single type of seed in their lawns, many homeowners plant a mix consisting of several varieties of the same grass or different genera. For example, a common mix of cool season grass is 90-10 which is 90% tall type fescue and 10% Kentucky bluegrass. This mix was designed to allow for better infilling if a dead spot occurs. The tall fescue is a bunch of grass that performs better with foot traffic while the bluegrass is rhizomatous which means it spreads by underground stems. Many homeowners have begun installing “no mow” grass turf areas to conserve water and present a more meadowlike appearance for portions of their property. No mow mixes typically consist of several different types of cool season bunch grasses that do not need regular mowing and do well in both sun and light shade. Their area native mixes as well. These grassy areas will generally need about a third less water than their bluegrass/ryegrass contemporaries. A landscaper near you can help you choose the right grass depending on the microclimate in your backyard.

Levels of Shade

Some types of grasses such as zoysia and St. Augustine do well in shady conditions. Others such as Bermudagrass, tall fescue, and Kentucky bluegrass need direct sunlight for at least six hours a day to survive. Consider shade-tolerant grasses for shady areas and grasses that grow in full sun for areas in your lawn that receive at least six hours of direct sunlight every day.

The Intended Purpose and Desired Appearance of Your Lawn

Think about how you and other people in your household use your lawn. If you enjoy water sports, opt for Kentucky bluegrass as it does well in moist areas. For a tightly manicured look reminiscent of your favorite golf course, use zoysia, Bermuda, or perennial ryegrass. Tall fescue types and zoysia are ideal for high-traffic areas.

Seed Vs. Sod

Homeowners as well as professional landscapers rarely install seeded lawns anymore.  With the invention/production of sod or roll out lawns there is less failure, fewer weeds, faster establishment, and less water used.  Seeding is usually only used for over-seeding small areas, erosion control, or if someone really enjoys watching grass grow. Gardenworks is a trusted Sonoma County landscaping company. Our pros have years of experience designing and building dreamlike landscapes. To make an appointment, call (707) 857-2050.

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