Best grass seed for your garden
We round up the best grass seed mixes for all types of gardens, including seed for hardwearing lawns, fine lawns and difficult dry or shady spots
Sowing a lawn from seed is the best way to ensure that you have a lawn that is perfectly suited to the conditions in your garden. It means that you can choose the exact grass seed mix for your needs – do you want bowling green look, a football pitch for the kids, somewhere for the dog to run around on, or a lawn that will thrive in a shady spot?
Which type of grass seed is best for my lawn?
Ryegrass is the most common grass seed. It's versatile, tough and hard-wearing, so is ideal if you have lots of guests, kids or dogs. A coarse, fast-growing grass, it will grow on most soil types and in most conditions. It's also better at keeping weeds at bay. It germinates in cool conditions and is best left to grow a little longer – around 4cm high.
Fescue is also a versatile grass that is finer than ryegrass, giving a thicker, more abundant look.
Bentgrass is a fine grass that can be mown very short (around 1cm high) for an immaculate look. It's delicate, so is often mixed with fescue to make it more hardwearing and weed-resistant.
Many lawn seed mixes include a mix of two or even three types of seed.
Sow grass seed in spring or autumn, when the soil is warm and there should be some rainfall to keep it moist. Prepare the area well before sowing – ensure that the soil is level and free of weeds, and rake it to a fine tilth.
We've rounded up some of the best lawn seed mixes, which you can use to create a new lawn from scratch, or to 'overseed' an existing thin or patchy lawn. You may want to cover the freshly sown area with fleece to protect it from birds.
Sowing grass seed
When to sow grass seed
Mid spring and early autumn are the best time to sow grass seed, when the soil is warm and moist. If rain is forecast, this is ideal.
How long does grass seed take to grow?
Some grass seeds can germinate in as little as three to four days; some take around seven to 10 days. They should then grow at around 2-3cm a week.
How to sow grass seed
- Prepare the area first, ensuring it is level and that the soil is crumbly.
- Work out the correct quantity of seeds for the size of your lawn - this should be shown on the packet.
- Scatter the seed as evenly as you can.
- Lightly rake over to lightly cover the seeds.
- Water gently using a watering can with a fine rose - this will ensure the seeds don't get washed away.
- Cover the area with horticultural fleece to protect the seeds from birds.
- Water every few days if there is no rain.
The best grass seed for your lawn
FAST-GROWING GRASS SEED
Miracle-Gro EverGreen Fast Grass Lawn Seed
Miracle-Gro EverGreen Fast Grass Lawn Seed is said to germinate in just four days in optimum conditions. It contains Headstart Gold, Miracle-Gro's revolutionary grass seed coating that holds nutrients that stimulate the seed to develop and grow. Watersmart grass technology grows strong roots for optimum absorption of water and nutrients. This lawn seed mix contains professional grade seed for the best results, and is suitable for all lawn types. It is child and pet friendly. A 840g pack is suitable for a 7m x 4m (or 28 square metre) area of lawn.
GRASS SEED FOR HARDWEARING LAWNS
Sprogs & Dogs Ultra Hardwearing Grass Seed by Lawn UK
As its name suggests, Sprogs & Dogs grass seed is specially designed to be tough and hardwearing enough to cope with boisterous kids and dogs. It combines ryegrasses, fescues and bentgrass, is suitable for most soil types and creates a thick turf. Made by Lawn UK, experts in grass seed, the unique blend has been developed over several decades. It's easy to sow and should germinate in five to seven days, given the right conditions. It can be used for new lawns, or to patch up existing grass. It's available in bag sizes that range from 500g to 10kg; 1kg covers up to 20 square metres. Each bag comes with a handy sowing instructions card.
More like this
GRASS SEED FOR SHADY OR DRY AREAS
Gro-Sure Smart Lawn Seed Shady & Dry
Gro-Sure Smart Lawn Seed Shady & Dry is a unique blend of ultra shade-resistant and drought tolerant grass seed varieties, perfect for areas that are shaded by trees or large shrubs. It produces a highly resilient lawn that is capable of growing in minimal sunlight. The grass should also maintain its colour over summer and need less watering. The premium seed has an AquaGel coating that absorbs up to 400 times its weight in water. Moisture is slowly released to the seed to improve germination rates and reduce seed loss. The blend also includes added mycorrhizal fungi and fertiliser to encourage a strong root system and provide a nutrient boost to kick-start healthy growth. Read about our recommended plants for shade.
WILDLIFE FRIENDLY GRASS SEED
Westland Lawn Meadow
Westland Lawn Meadow is a lovely option for an area of the garden that you are happy to let run a little wilder. It contains a unique blend of 20 types of wildflower and lawn seeds mixed with soil granules that can simply be scattered and watered in. As well as perennial ryegrass, the mix also includes poppies (Papaver rhoeas), ox-eye daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare), cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus 'Blue Boy') and Viper's bugloss (Echium vulgare), plus other flowers that should attract bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects and increase the biodiversity of your garden.
GRASS SEED FOR A FINE LAWN
A1 Lawn AM Pro 7 Fine Blade Grass Seed
A1 Lawn AM Pro 7 Fine Blade Grass Seed is an excellent choice for a lush, green and fine lawn that is more for admiring than playing on – a front lawn, for example. The mix contains mostly fescues: 45% chewings fescue, 30% strong creeping red fescue, 20% slender creeping red fescue and 5% browntop bent.
The resulting lawn will tolerate shorter mowing and should also grow more slowly than other grass seed mixes. Germination takes from 12-28 days.
MULTIPURPOSE GRASS SEED
Johnson's General Purpose Lawn Seed
If you're looking for a good all rounder that will work in most of the areas of your garden, this versatile and hardwearing lawn seed should do the job. It contains dwarf leaved perennial ryegrass and creeping red fescue, and should germinate within 7-14 days. A 1.5kg pack covers an area of up to 60 square metres.
Veronica Peerless is a trained horticulturalist and garden designer.
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