- Climate. Grass seed companies create their seed mixtures based on what grows best in different regions of the country. Grasses are first distinguished as being Northern or Southern grass. In addition to these geographical divisions, the grass is further classified by climate, such as: humid, tropical, semi-arid and transitional. If you are buying your grass seed locally, you should not need to be concerned with this, as the seed companies will only be shipping the type of seed into your area that fits the region. Should you choose to order seed from outside your area, you will want to make sure that you select the correct seed for your region and climate.
- Sunlight. All grass types need several hours of sun or partial sun each day, but there are some types that can survive better in partial shade than others. If you have areas that are full sun and others that only receive partial sun, you will want to take this into consideration when choosing your grass seed. If you have some areas that are always heavily shaded by trees, you may want to increase the sunlight by removing some of the lower tree branches. Or you may also consider planting another type of ground cover that will thrive better in the shade.
- Patching. There are a couple of considerations in this area. If you are patching, what is planted in the area around the patch? It would be preferable to use a similar mixture. If you are unsure of what was used for the lawn, select your seed based on the amount of sun and the amount of traffic expected for that area.
- Lawn wear. Is the area of the lawn that you are seeding going to experience heavy foot traffic, or will it be more of an untouched carpet? Some types of grass, such as Kentucky Bluegrass, will not hold up as well under traffic, but are great for low traffic area, like a front lawn. It would not be the best choice for a play area or near the edge of a patio.
- Lawn care. Some seed handles drought conditions better than others. If you have a large lawn and your lawn does not have an irrigation system, this can be an important consideration for you. Will you be able to provide the moisture needed for the lawn if the summer months get especially dry?
- Choices. Most grass seed will come labeled as a ‘mixture’ or a ‘blend’. The two terms both indicate that there is more than one type of grass seed included, but there is a difference. A Kentucky Bluegrass mixture will have mostly Kentucky Bluegrass seed, along with a variety of other types of grass seed. Kentucky Bluegrass blend will have only Kentucky Bluegrass, but contain a blend of different Bluegrass varieties. If you are looking for the highest consistency in the look of your lawn, the blend will provide that. The mixture is generally considered to be the stronger choice because of the variety of types.
- Cost. Grass seed is often on sale, but as shown in this article, price should not be your only consideration. Look for the proper mixture and a high quality seed. The highest quality grass seeds will be labeled as such by the Lawn Institute.
Following these basic guidelines will help you choose a grass seed that will provide you good coverage, when planted in good soil.