Top 10 Grass Seed Types and Their Uses
Looking to step up your lawn game, or simply want to grow a new one from scratch? Whatever you want to do – it is essential to know about the different grass seed types and their uses.
If you’re aware of what every seed type offers and how you can get the most out of it – then you’ll have an easier time taking care of it and growing it up.
Of course, it depends on many other things such as climate, location, purpose, and more. So, learning will not only help you pick the right one for your needs, but it will also ensure that you get the most out of it.
In this article, we want to teach you all that and more – so you can grow the perfect grass without wasting any time or effort. Hence, keep reading!
Why Learn about Grass Seed Types?
There’s nothing like a thick and well-maintained grass to add natural beauty to a house. Even if it is a small lawn, the greenish touch that grass gives is something no other plant or object can match.
The right grass may even reduce erosion on the soil, filter groundwater, improve air quality at your home, produce oxygen, and also absorb water when it rains. Without grass, your house is simply an apartment.
To plant grass correctly and get all of its benefits, you need to use the right grass seed type. Otherwise, you will end up wasting time, effort, and probably even money.
That’s why it is essential to learn about the different kinds of grass out there. So, you can be sure that whatever you’re seeding is going to work. And whatever grass grows, it is going to flourish and thrive.
So, do you want to grow the thickest and lushest of grass in your neighborhood? Then learn about grass seed types.
How to Grow Thick and Healthy Grass?
Learning about the right seed grass type is not enough, though. You will also need to learn how to grow the grass thick – independently on the type you choose.
That’s why we want to help you out with a general guide on how to do so. That way, no matter the type you choose, the grass will grow thick, healthy, and beautiful.
Here are a few tips to follow:
Seed at the Right Time
There’s probably nothing more difficult yet so important to calculate than the right time to seed your grass.
Some grass seeds, for example, grow better when you lay them down in warm seasons like summer and spring. These seeds usually grow well with tons of sun exposure.
Other seeds will grow better in mildly cold temperatures like spring or autumn. This way, the seeds nourish from the rains and moisture in the air.
And some types of grass may only grow in summer, especially in warm locations. These seeds tend to become super healthy yet are often not resistant to cold times.
Prepare the Soil
Laying the seeds on the ground without preparing it beforehand, you won’t get healthy grass as you expect.
Grass, even though it grows more quickly than other types of plants, still demands proper soil and some preparation.
So, if you leave the ground rough, dry, and dirty, even grass seeds will struggle to go through the top layers.
For the best results, try to make the healthiest, softest, and most nurturing seedbed possible. Break it up, moist it, add some compost, and then you can start laying down the seeds so they can grow easily.
Even though we’re going to show a few different types of seeds with advantages, disadvantages, and uses – we still recommend combining them.
When you mix different species together, you ensure that at least one of them will grow – or all of them. This way, you won’t be disappointed with the results – no matter what seeds you use.
After you’ve planted the seeds, you need to protect them and nourish them. For that, nothing compares to adding a thin layer of hay or straw on top. This will keep the seeds in place and prevent unwanted conditions from causing harm.
For the best experience, add something that can hold some moisture like coconut fiber or peat moss. They will help keep the seeds safe while also moisturize the dirt, which develops healthier grass over time.
There are several fertilizers available that will help you strengthen the grass, kill weeds, and even feed the dirt, so your plants grow healthier. You can use fertilizers once the grass starts to grow, so you can enjoy all its benefits and see the progress first-hand.
There’s nothing more important when growing a new set of grass than irrigating weekly. This could be either once, twice, or thrice per week, depending on the dryness of the location. But usually, once per week is more than enough to keep the grass green, fresh, and super healthy.
10 Grass Seed Types and Their Applications
Now that you’re ready to start planting grass, it is time to choose which seeds you want to use. Here are some of the most popular ones, along with their uses and recommendations for seeding. Take a look!
1. Buffalo Grass
When it comes to low-maintenance grass seeds, only a few grass types are as independent as Buffalo grass.
It is one of the most resistant, can last a long time with little water, and can grow in a wide array of soils. Usually, however, it grows amazingly well in clay and dirt.
The texture of Buffalo grass is fine, and it needs a lot of suns. However, the color tends to be more dark-green than light, so it may turn brown easily when winter and cold seasons arrive. Once the warm season comes back, it starts to turn green again, which makes it beautiful.
All this makes Buffalo grass one of the best lawn options available. While it doesn’t have the same resistance to cold seasons and shade as other species, it is one of the best for hot seasons and warm locations. And still, it manages to resist heavy traffic.
It is important to remember that Buffalo grass grows slowly, so it may be swamped by other species of plants if not watered and fertilized correctly. So be sure to plant it with care if you want Buffalo grass to flourish.
2. Kentucky Bluegrass
If you’re going for cool-season grass, then you’ll find Kentucky bluegrass a perfect choice. It actually works better in moderate temperatures that aren’t too cold or too hot.
Kentucky bluegrass is also super strong and durable. It can stand medium-heavy traffic with no issue and self-repairs when needed. So, you won’t have to be too careful with it unless sick. Luckily, Kentucky bluegrass is one of the most disease-resistant grasses out there.
This grass works better in a loamy soil. That means it needs sand, clay, land, and silt to grow healthier. Standard soils like sand or clay won’t be as healthy for it.
Another interesting fact about Kentucky bluegrass is the summer weakness. While it grows well in moderate climates and stays active in cold seasons, it usually goes dormant in summer. Luckily, with proper watering and fertilization, it can handle even the hottest locations with ease.
Last but not least, this grass boasts one of the most beautiful blue-green colors. This emerald tone works well with the delicate texture, making it comfortable on the feet and also pleasant to step over.
That’s why Kentucky bluegrass is such an excellent choice for home lawns in moderate climates, as well as playgrounds, public parks, display turfs, and even commercial landscapes. It works better with medium-high moisture and handles traffic well enough, so it has no problem growing in most places.
3. Perennial Ryegrass
Perennial is one of the fastest-growing grasses out there, and it will establish more easily than other species.
The ability to grow under heavy traffic is one of the many advantages of perennial ryegrass. Apart from that, it withstands shade well enough to handle both cold and moderate climates.
Despite being more of a moderate-climate grass, it still manages to thrive in hot seasons. It just demands more watering than average, so it can stay hydrated.
As for soil, it works well in the loamy type. The more fertile the ground, the better, as this grass tends to grow fast and demand lots of energy sources.
Considering all this, you can guess perennial ryegrass does not grow as shiny or soft as other types of grass. The texture is usually coarse and feels a little uncomfortable underfoot.
The main advantage, however, is that perennial ryegrass grows super-fast and super-tall. So, it is perfect for over-seeding lawns and growing them faster, especially when combined with different species.
Also, the primary usage for perennial ryegrass would be as forage and grazing. Despite not being as resistant to extreme heat or cold as other species, it still manages to live several years without needing extra care, thanks to its quick-growing capacity. Yet, it also works as turf grass with proper hydration.
4. Fine Fescue
As its name says, fine fescue is a pretty thin grass that usually grows in the shade instead of with direct sunlight exposure.
The density of fine fescue tends to below, so it is not ideal for grazing or forage. Yet, it grows well in steep terrain where other species do not. Apart from that, it has exceptional shade tolerance, which gardeners love – making it ideal for growing below trees.
Typically, it works better in cooler climates than in hotter ones. In fact, it is likely to go dormant in high temperatures and reanimate once cooler temperatures arrive.
There are many sub-genres of fine fescue, including red, hard, chewing, and sheep fescues. All of them require little maintenance and can work well with little water as long as the climate holds enough moisture.
As for foot traffic, they handle moderate to high without problems. That’s why it is often used for lawns and decorative applications. Despite not being super dense as other species, it still manages to fill small areas where other species won’t, and it works well enough for that.
5. Tall Fescue
In contrast with its fine cousin, tall fescue is more of a drought-resistant and hot-season grass.
This grass has one of the deepest roots that makes it healthier and often more resistant than other species. So, it works well in transition zones and extra-hot regions where rains are uncommon.
The adaptation of this grass is outstanding, and it works well enough on drained clay soils. It also works well under the shade and under sunlight exposure with no difference. Despite all that, it still manages to stay green all year-round – especially if irrigated.
Tall fescue is one of the few kinds of grass that are totally coarse and rough. You could guess this by considering its dryness capacity and low-water resistance. So, it doesn’t feel as good as other species when it comes to skin contact.
Another interesting fact about tall fescue is the tall demand. When grown in places where it isn’t allowed to surpass 1.5 inches in height, it often dies or simply doesn’t survive as long as it should.
Apart from that, tall fescue can handle winter months without problems, retaining its green. And if grown with constant fertilization, it can become even healthier and more beautiful.
Putting it all together, we can say that tall fescue is perfect for lawns and parks and places with medium traffic. And it doesn’t work in low-height situations like turf or decorative lawns.
6. Zoysia Grass
Being one of the thickest and densest options, Zoysia grass is one of the best options for high-traffic areas.
It is also a high resistance grass, as it handles drought well at medium or high levels – going without water for several weeks with no issues. However, it will enter dormancy when it is not exposed to sun and fertile soil. When rain, sun, and soils are working well – Zoysia thrives.
The ability to grow in both warm and moderate climates makes it ideal for tropical regions. And it often grows better in summer than it does in winter or cold seasons.
Zoysia grass is also resistant to insects and fungus and does not get sick easily like other species. Still, it is not coarse like other resistant grasses, so it feels comfy on the skin. In fact, Zoysia is one of the softest out there.
That’s why Zoysia grass is one of the favorite alternatives for golf courses, lawns, and parks. And thanks to the high-traffic resilience, it works well for athletic fields like football or soccer. Usually, though, Zoysia is preferable for turf and decoration, as it spreads well, grows dense and thick, and resists shade.
7. Bermuda Grass
One of the most versatile grasses out there is Bermuda grass. It is a warm-season species and resists drought and high-traffic like no other.
The resistance comes from its ability to grow in a wide array of soils without problems. You can make it work on sand, clay, or even silt. However, it requires tons of sun exposure and may go dormant with constant shade.
Being a warm-season grass also makes it less resistant to cold temperatures. So, it is mostly used in tropical and warm locations where cold seasons are uncommon.
It has a medium need for water, so it can handle several weeks without it. But when it is often fertilized and watered, Bermuda grass can grow faster than other species and overrun weeds and unwanted plants. And thanks to its density and thickness, it can grow in high-traffic areas with ease.
The texture is fine to medium still. So, it doesn’t feel as soft as the softest species, but it feels comfy enough for different kinds of uses.
You can find Bermuda grass in parks, playgrounds, lawns, sports fields, golf courses, cemeteries, roadsides, and many other types of general turfs.
With the ideal irrigation and fertilization in a warm region, Bermuda grass will grow dark-green and super-dense – delivering a cushion-like feel on the soil.
8. St. Augustine Grass
One of the few kinds of grass that can handle prolonged droughts and extreme heat is St. Augustine grass. That’s why it is super common in tropical areas, and places where hot seasons tend to extend for several months.
Thanks to its low-water tolerance, it can grow in almost any soil. It can handle sand, soil, clay, silt, and more. The richer the soil is, the greener and denser the grass will be.
But despite being super resistant to drought and high heat, it often thrives in moist areas, mainly coastal. This also makes it dormant when winter arrives in colder temperatures. Still, it manages to hold its green without getting brown or dry.
It is a high-sun grass as well, yet it handles moderate shade with no issues. In places where it receives little sun, it tends to grow thinner, yet still healthy.
As for texture, it is one of the coarsest and roughest out there. It doesn’t feel too comfy on the skin, yet it still manages to grow densely enough to make cushion-like turfs.
With proper fertilization and irrigation, St. Augustine grass can cover large areas, grow super quickly, and resist all kinds of temperatures without losing its colors. This makes it a perfect option for general-purpose turfs such as residential lawns, commercial landscapes, and golf courses in some cases.
Due to its medium-traffic capacity, it is not ideal for athletic fields. Yet, it works well in parks and other moderate-traffic situations.
When it comes to low-maintenance grasses, few species offer the advantages that Centipedegrass does.
First, this is a low-growing grass. That means it doesn’t grow too fast or tall, so it demands little to no lawing.
Apart from that, it grows well in highly acidic soils. And places, where other grasses struggle due to high salinity or constant rains, will not be a problem for Centipedegrass.
Another advantage is the overall variety it supports in soils. You don’t need to seed Centipedegrass in fertilized and super-maintained soils – it can grow almost anywhere – primarily sandy soils.
But it depends on medium moisture levels, so it demands moderate irrigation. And of course, it doesn’t work well in prolonged droughts or scorching locations.
Centipedegrass also depends heavily on constant sun exposure. It is not fragile in the shade, yet it doesn’t grow as healthy or resilient.
When it comes to seasons, it performs better in moderate climates. Yet, it goes automatically dormant when extreme changes happen, especially in seasons like Spring or Autumn. In extreme heat and cold, it tends to die without proper care.
The texture of Centipedegrass tends to be coarse and rough. Despite that, it doesn’t withstand the high traffic level. For that reason, Centipedegrass is mostly suited for parks, lawns, and decorative/utility turfs. High-maintenance areas with tons of traffic like athletic fields will not be ideal for it.
The last seed type in our list would be the Bahiagrass. It is a pretty durable and resilient warm-season grass. It is light-green as well and often works well for pasture and forage.
Thanks to its deep roots, Bahiagrass grows well in a wide array of soils, conditions, and regions. It also has excellent drought resistance and can thrive even in low-water environments.
Other advantages of Bahiagrass include resistance to diseases and infestations, excellent forage quality, and fast-growth capacity. Along with its low-maintenance needs, it becomes one of the most resilient options out there.
When it is fertilized and watered correctly, Bahiagrass tends to grow super thick, dense, and beautifully green. And still, it manages not to overrun other plants and instead helps to grow crops, forage, and improves overall pasture quality.
It doesn’t have any problem growing in constant sun exposure, yet it also works well in moderate shade. The texture tends to be coarse, still – so it works mostly for utility turfs than decorative. Yet, thanks to the high-traffic resistance, it is not a bad option for athletic fields, parks, or residential use.
The primary use for Bahiagrass, however, is for forage. As said before, it’s capacity its outstanding grow super quickly and has moderate aggressiveness, which is not enough to overrun other plants yet still manages to cover broad areas with ease.
Which Grass Seed Type to Use?
Now that you’re aware of the most popular grass seeds out there and how they work – it is time to pick the ideal one for your needs.
With our short yet comprehensive reviews of each seed type, you should be able to come with an excellent final choice.
So, don’t waste more of your time or money trying different seeds to see which one grows better. Instead, use this article to start growing your home’s grass like no other. Start now to enjoy healthy and green grass in no time!