Best grass seed – Top 8 Picks from hard-wearing grass seed, fine grass seed and shade-tolerant seed

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Best grass seed – Top 8 Picks from hard-wearing grass seed, fine grass seed and shade-tolerant seed

Best grass seed – Top 8 Picks from hard-wearing grass seed, fine grass seed and shade-tolerant seed

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Try an experiment. Open a glossy home gardening magazine to a picture of a beautifully (and probably professionally) landscaped garden and look up at your own back lawn. How do they compare? If you can genuinely smile with pleasure then congratulations, this review is not for you. But if your expression is more like a grimace, then our Best Grass Seed review is just what you need.

You may think that one grass seed looks much like another and for the non-botanist, you’d be right. Even many of the pros and cons in our reviews are similar. But our Buyer’s Guide walks you through the differences between the species of grass seeds and what to consider in making your decision about which type or types to buy. We then go into the details of our top grass seed products and highlight two of them as our Best Pick and Runner-up.

The Best Pick is the GroundMaster Hard Wearing Tough Garden Premium Back Lawn Grass Seed. This grass seed mix is designed for the hard-working areas of your garden and grows well in sunny areas in which kids play.

Our Runner-up is really our best pick for shady areas. The Gardeners Dream Shady Lawn Grass Seed produces lush green grass under trees and in the shade where you have bare patches now.

Best Pick

GroundMaster Hard Wearing Tough Garden Premium Back Lawn Grass
The GroundMaster Hard Wearing Tough Garden Premium Back Lawn Grass Seed can put up with a lot of use in a sunny location. If you and your family spend most of the summer running around in your back garden, then you need a lawn of this quality to handle any damage that may be done. With two varieties of ryegrass for robustness, this grass seed can grow a lush new lawn from a bare patch of ground or can fill in the bare patches in your existing lawn.

Runner-up

Gardeners Dream Shady Lawn Grass Seed
If you’ve given up on ever having a natural green carpet under your trees or in the shadows of your walls, the Gardeners Dream Shady Lawn Grass Seed is worth a look. This is a speciality grass for shady areas and can create a new lawn from scratch for those boggy or dry ignored shady places. Most of the seed mix is creeping red fescue so it’s more of a fine, ornamental grass than a tough grass. Use it in areas that don’t get much foot traffic and you’ll be rewarded with a lush lawn in surprising shady areas.

Grass Seed Buyer’s Guide

Scroll down to see our recommended grass seed picks and skip the buyer’s guide

We have to admit, one grass seed looks much like any other grass seed. And they’re all developed to do exactly the same job – to give you a lush and vibrantly green lawn. Even our reviews of the Best Grass Seeds available show the many similarities between the pros and cons of each grass seed product.

So how do you decide which is the best purchase for you?

That’s where this Buyer’s Guide comes in but if you want to jump straight into the reviews and see our best picks scroll further down if you want to learn more about choosing the right grass seed, read on.

We start by informing you of the different types of grass seed mixes you can choose from and then move on to the different categories of features of each. Within these, we pose questions for you to consider about your own circumstances which will guide your choice. We end by briefly giving an overview of each of the most popular grass species used for lawns. If, at the end of the Buyer’s Guide, you’re still not sure of what you’re looking for, read the reviews again and check out the FAQ section at the end of this article.

Choosing the right grass seed mix

Grass seed mixes

When you buy a bag of grass seed, you’ll have a choice of how many different species of seeds are in the bag. You can usually choose from:

Straight seed: this is only one species of seed and will give a uniform and consistent look to your lawn.

Seed mixture: this has several different types of grass in the mix. The advantage here is that one of the grasses may be good for covering bare patches and another grass may be disease resistant. The strengths of each grass often offsets the weakness of the others.

Blended seed mix: this is also a mixture of seeds but they’re different varieties of the same species of grass. The strengths and weakness of each offset each other but, as they’re of the same species, you’ll have a consistent look to your lawn.

choosing the right grass seed for different situations such as a lawn that is used by children and pets

Features

Exposure

Different varieties of grass need different amounts of sunlight for optimal growth. In addition, some varieties have been developed to thrive in those shady spots under trees or behind garages. Take a look at where you want to grow your grass and decide how much sun that area receives. Your choices are: full sun, partial shade or shade. You need to choose a grass type or grass blend that can handle one or all of your sun requirements.

Traffic

Also known as wear-and-tear, the amount of life that your grass will see is important in selecting the right variety or mix. Will you have kids and pets rolling around on the grass or is it in an area between flower beds and will see just gentle use? Does the grass have to wear well or is it part of a scenic landscape? Related to this is the type of grass you choose. Are you looking for a value-for-money generic grass mixture that can take a beating or a more expensive specialist straight seed grass that has a wonderfully vivid ornamental look? How are you going to use your lawn?

Terrain

You don’t need to have a perfectly level garden on which to sow your grass seeds but be aware of any hills and dips. If you’re aiming for an immaculately level spread of green, then you may want to flatten the ground by rolling it. It’s difficult for grass seeds, and even small grass seedlings, to cling to slopes; they tend to slide down or be washed away. 

Take a look at the terrain of your garden and decide if there are any hilly bits that will put the seeds in danger. Some grass seed mixes come with a binder that helps the seeds cling to the slopes. Other ways to manage this include erosion-control nettings and erosion-control blankets. Or you could decide to use turf which you can buy in rolls on those areas.

Lawn with bar patched which will need a lawn seed designed for patches

What your garden needs

The desired result is, of course, a patch of lush green grass. But what do you need to do to get there? Are you starting from scratch, from a muddy swamp or a dry, cracked desert-like plain? Or perhaps you have an equal amount of grass patches and bare ground. Or maybe you only have to fill in a few holes in an otherwise respectable-looking lawn. You need to look at your situation with a critical eye and honestly assess what work you have to do where in your garden. This will help you decide what kinds of grass seed you need for where.

Time and effort (yours)

A lawn, or even a small patch of grass, takes some time and effort to establish and even more for its continual maintenance. How much labour are you prepared to invest in your lawn? Most grass seeds nowadays are of the “rake the soil, throw the grass seed down and water” variety. But you then have to keep watering to ensure that they grow well and fertilise them regularly. And then there’s the mowing chores and removing the weeds that blow in from the neighbour’s property. And some grass varieties do need extra care to fully flourish. 

Make a realistic assessment of how much you’re willing to put into having grass in your garden. Maybe you’re willing to work hard to establish a strong lawn and then want to coast on its upkeep. Or maybe the lawn will be the centrepiece of your landscape and you’ll do whatever is necessary to make it the envy of your street. Whatever you decide, make sure that the needs of the grass you choose match what you’re willing to give.

Choosing the right amount of grass seed

Coverage 

You buy grass seed by weight and the manufacturer recommends what weight of grass seed you need for a square metre of coverage. You need more seed if you’re starting a lawn from scratch than if you’re covering bare patches or filling in holes in your lawn. The usual amount is around 30g of seed per m2 for filling in and around 50g per m2 for a new lawn. 

This, however, often assumes that there is nothing but grass seed in the bag. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Read the label and look for any additives or inert matter that are present. You may find: chaff, dust, low-quality fillers, low-quality grass seeds and so on. This extra material reduces the volume of grass seeds and so you’ll need to sow more than the recommended weight to get the same coverage.

Working out the size of the area you need to cover with seed and the kinds of coverage will give you an estimate of how much seed to buy. But be prepared to buy more as you go along.

Certification

Grass seed is often tested for purity and germination potential by authorised organizations and labs. The main organization that does this is the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Look for the DEFRA certification label on the box or bag of grass seed. Other certifications and approvals may come from the Forest Stewardship Council and the British Society of Plant Breeders. These approvals and recommendations on grass seed attest to its high quality.

Grass seed types

Popular grasses

Perennial ryegrass

  • Grows in clumps
  • Insect-and disease-resistant
  • Pale green
  • Hard-wearing; use in high traffic and sports areas
  • Soil erosion control on slopes
  • Needs lots of water and fertilizer to maintain colour
  • Can’t handle extreme heat or cold
  • Full to partial sun

Fine fescue, includes creeping red fescue and chewings fescue

  • Shade tolerant
  • Needs lots of water when establishing then low irrigation needs
  • Stays green all year long
  • Can live in poor soil conditions
  • Great for landscaping
  • Best for lightly-used areas; not good in play areas

Top 8 Best Grass Seed Reviews

1. GroundMaster Hard Wearing Premium Grass Seed 

Best Pick

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GroundMaster Hard Wearing Tough Garden Premium Grass Seed

The GroundMaster Hard Wearing Premium Back Lawn Grass Seed is an excellent grass seed if you are planning a lawn that needs to put up with a lot of use – for example, running around, football games and entertaining. 

This grass seed contains two varieties of ryegrass seed for extra robustness. The creeping red fescue seeds, while it doesn’t do quite as well in high traffic areas, adds the element of drought-tolerance to the mix. This mix of 70% ryegrass and 30% red fescue is suitable for creating new lawns as well as overseeing old ones and filling in bare areas. 

The Tough Garden Premium grass seed mix is well suited to sunny places. It comes in 1kg and 5kg bags so you can buy exactly the amount you calculate that you need. With the ideal conditions of warmth and moisture, the seeds germinate in five to ten days and you’ll see the blades of grass start to emerge.

Pros 

  • Comes in 1kg, 5kg bags so you can buy just the amount of seed you need.
  • Contains: 50% double lolium perennial ryegrass; 30% strong creeping red fescue; 20% troya lolium perennial ryegrass
  • Good for creating lush new lawns so you can start your garden from scratch. 
  • Good for overseeding thin lawns and repairing bare patches to fix up the kids’ and the dog’s play areas.
  • Grows a thick, hard-wearing grass carpet well suited for football playing areas.
  • Grass appears in five to ten days in warm, moist conditions for quick and lush coverage.

Cons

  • Germination of the grass seeds sometimes takes weeks, not days.

Our recommendation

GroundMaster Hard Wearing Premium Back Lawn Grass Seed produces robust and hard-wearing lawns in sunny places. With the right conditions, you’ll see your lawn start in under ten days. Online reviewers have stated that the germination period can take longer but this is obviously affected by growing conditions so is to be expected. This is a common complaint about grass seed and appears in all of our reviews. If the storage and the transport of the seed is done incorrectly, it can damage or even kill the seed. So this complaint is not unique to this brand of grass seed.

Taking into account the online reviews of the GroundMaster Hard Wearing Premium Back Lawn Grass Seed and the before and after photos of the reviewers, we’ve made it our Best Pick for best grass seed for sunny areas.


2. Gardeners Dream Shady Lawn Grass Seed 

Runner-up

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Gardeners Dream Shady Lawn Grass Seed - best grass seed for shade

If you have trees in your garden with bare patches under them or have found that nothing grows in the shadows cast by your house and garage, the Gardeners Dream Shady Lawn Grass Seed could be for you. 

This is a blended seed mix in that the two types of grass seed are both fescues, so you’ll have a consistent look to your new grassy areas. With 70% creeping red fescue and 30% chewings fescue, the grass will be both strong and drought resistant. Fescue is a fine grass so is not suitable for a high traffic area. It’s more of an ornamental grass for the off-the-beaten-track areas in your garden.

The drought tolerance of the Gardeners Dream Shady Lawn Grass Seed kicks in after it’s fully established as a grass. It’s water-greedy during germination and when the seedlings are growing so you need to water it very regularly. When the grass reaches full growth, however, it can tolerate drier conditions. And along those lines, part of its ability to thrive in the shade is due to its facility to live in poor soil conditions. 

This grass seed mix comes in 1kg and 5kg bags so you can buy just as much as you need. In the right weather conditions (warm and moist), you’ll see the first signs of greenness in five to ten days as the seeds germinate.

Pros

  • Speciality grass for shady areas so you can have green grass even under your trees.
  • Ornamental grass seed mix for areas that won’t get much traffic from children or pets.
  • Comes in 1kg and 5kg bags to mix and match the amount you need.
  • Creates a new grass area from scratch to cover up the neglected areas under your bushes.
  • Overseeds the patchy areas of grass that don’t receive much sun to create a lush lawn.
  • Contains: 70% strong creeping red fescue; and 30% chewings fescue for a sturdy, shade-tolerant grass.
  • Grass seeds germinate in five to ten days when warm and moist for rapid greenness in your garden.

Cons

  • Germination of the grass seeds sometimes takes weeks, not days.
  • Easily scorched by the sun.
  • Very fine grass and easily flattened.

Our recommendation

If you want grass in shaded areas then definitely consider the Gardeners Dream Shady Lawn Grass Seed for your lawn. After an initial period of relatively high maintenance, while it becomes established, this grass is very drought-tolerant. Reviewers make the same complaints as with all other grass seed that sometimes it’s slow to germinate or doesn’t germinate at all. This may be a result of how the seed is stored, transported or sown rather than problems with the seed itself.

Online reviewers warn that this is a fine grass and is easily flattened and trampled down, so don’t use it in kid’s play spaces and other high traffic areas. Also, remember that this is a shade-tolerant grass and doesn’t do well in sunny areas. Some reviewers have said that it’s easily scorched by even partial sun. Reserve this grass seed for fully shaded areas, the places where nothing else grows.

We really like the Gardeners Dream Shady Lawn Grass Seed and it’s our Runner-up pick for best grass seed, and our first pick for best seed for a shady lawn.


3. A1LAWN AM Pro-25 Super Tough/Hard-Wearing Grass Seed 

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A1LAWN AM Pro-25 Super Tough/Hard-Wearing Grass Seed

The A1LAWN AM Pro-25 Super Tough/Hard-Wearing Grass Seed is another grass seed that is tough and hardy enough for well-used lawns. It has DEFRA certification from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, so you know that it’s been independently tested and certified for purity and germination.

It’s the 50/50 blend of dwarf perennial ryegrass and creeping red fescue that gives this grass its hardiness. It’s quick to germinate so you’ll see the seedlings within a week. This is grass seed that’s designed for the UK climate. You know that it’ll work with your soil conditions and with the variable UK weather.

The grass seed comes in 5kg bags so you need to work out how many you’ll need. Remember that the manufacturer recommends that one bag covers about 142m2 if you’re infilling and about half of that if you’re starting a lawn from the beginning. This seed can handle both of these needs. Inexperienced gardeners won’t have any problems using this seed. You just rake the soil and toss down the seed, and optionally rake a little topsoil over the seeds. That’s it, plus watering regularly of course.

Pros 

  • DEFRA registered, so you’re assured of its purity.
  • Contains 50% dwarf perennial ryegrass and 50% strong creeping red fescue.
  • 5kg bag covers 142 m2.
  • Quick to establish itself, so you’ll have greenness almost immediately.
  • Tough and durable, perfect for high-use areas.
  • Designed for the UK climate, in whichever part you live. 
  • Creates a full lawn or infills an existing one to give you greenness however you need it. 
  • Easy to sow so good for inexperienced gardeners.

Cons

  • Germination of the grass seeds sometimes takes weeks, not days.

Our recommendation

The A1LAWN AM Pro-25 Super Tough/Hard-Wearing Grass Seed will give you a lawn that will stand up to whatever you can throw at it. Garden games, kids and pets playing, family rugby matches can all take place there. It’s been certified by DEFRA so you know that you’re getting high-quality seed.

Online reviewers have stated that sometimes the seeds don’t germinate or are slow to germinate. This complaint has been levelled against all the grass seeds we’ve reviewed. It may be because the seeds weren’t stored or transported correctly or that the gardeners didn’t sow them well or water them enough which is usually the most likely reason. The DEFRA certification of the A1LAWN AM Pro-25 Super Tough/Hard-Wearing Grass Seed gives some comfort that these seeds were inspected and met the strict criteria of the agency.

The A1LAWN AM Pro-25 Super Tough/Hard-Wearing Grass Seed is worth a look if you want to establish a regular back lawn and a great alternative to our best pick.


4. GBW Premium Quality Grass Seed

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GBW Premium Quality Grass Seed

GBW Premium Quality Grass Seed creates a hardy grass with an ample drought-tolerant ability. This grass seed is tailored to the UK climate so can handle all four of the seasons, and the rain, well.

The toughness of this grass is provided by the 43% dwarf ryegrass, while the 40% creeping red fescue and the 12% chewings fescue contribute their drought-tolerant ability. What makes this grass seed a little different from the others in this review is the 5% brown top bent grass seed. Brown top bent grass seed is often paired in mixes with the red fescue for golf courses. It’s a finer grass and often also found on bowling lawns and delicate lawns.

The GBW Premium Quality Grass Seed has been inspected and certified by DEFRA so it meets their criteria for purity and germination. The seed even comes in a canvas bag with the DEFRA label attached to prove it and to give that rustic feel to the product. The seeds germinate in the usual seven to ten days but need a further three weeks or so to develop. To keep your lawn in the best shape, the optimal mowing height is 10cm (3-4 inches).

CBW offers a full guarantee and refund if your grass seeds fail to germinate.

Pros 

  • 1kg covers 35 m2 for new lawns and 55m2 for existing lawns.
  • Fast-growing and hard-wearing for an everyday lawn.
  • Tailored to the UK climate so it suits our rainy seasons.
  • Contains 43% dwarf amenity ryegrass; 40% creeping red fescue: 12% chewings fescue; and 5% brown top bent
  • Registered and certified by DEFRA that it reaches their high standards.
  • The seeds will germinate in 7-10 days.
  • Optimal mowing height is 10cm (3-4 inches) to keep your lawn looking smart.
  • Comes in canvas grass seed bag with DEFRA label attached.
  • 100% guarantee and refund, not offered by all manufacturers.

Our recommendation

The GBW Premium Quality Grass Seed will give you a lawn for your everyday needs. After it’s established, if you keep it cut to about three to four inches long, it will look smart and last a long while with care. The seeds are certified by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to be of a high quality of purity.  The grass seeds come with a 100% guarantee and refund from GWA.

And you may need to use that refund as some reviewers have said that they received dead seeds that obviously did not germinate but this is more likely to be caused how it was applied and cared for rather than a problem with the seed itself. This is a common complaint of all the grass seed manufacturers in our review, but this time you get your money back. In addition, several reviewers commented on their product being underweight, from 800g – 900g including the package instead of the full 1kg of seeds.

For certified seed for an everyday rough-and-tumble lawn, scope out this GBW Premium Quality Grass Seed.


5. Miracle-Gro EverGreen Super Seed Lawn Seed

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Miracle-Gro EverGreen Super Seed Lawn Seed

If you want a lawn but it’s just too much hassle to prepare the ground, sow the seeds and remember to fertilise them, the Miracle-Gro EverGreen Super Seed Lawn Seed is the product that addresses your lack of interest.

This three-in-one product contains the grass seed, a controlled release Miracle Grow fertiliser and a mineral. Not only that, but it comes with a built-in seed shaker.

Starting with the grass seed, you get a ‘selected variety” of ryegrass that regenerates and spreads by itself. Ryegrass is common in grass seed mixes for its hardiness. Next is the Miracle-Gro fertilizer that helps to establish the new seedlings and give you a lush green lawn. Then there’s gypsum, a calcium-rich mineral that improves the pH of the soil. It also treats any urine burns left by your pet on the lawn. Peel off the side of the box to reveal the shaker through which you distribute everything onto your growing space.

And there’s more. The grass seed is developed to grow in cooler and warm temperatures. You don’t have to wait as long after winter to start your lawn. As soon as the last frost goes and the temperature reaches 6°C, you can get out into the garden and sprinkle these seeds. Use the rake-shake-water process and you’re done.

And for even more convenience, these seeds are suited for both sunny and shady areas. No more remembering which grass seed to use where when looking at the seed bags you forgot to label.

Pros 

  • Three-in-one grass seed, feed and soil enricher in one product for convenience.
  • Controlled-release fertiliser so you don’t have to worry about when and how much fertiliser to add.
  • Contains gypsum to improve soil pH.
  • Handles infill, bare patches and completely new lawns.
  • Grows in both sunny and shady areas so you can use it anywhere.
  • Shake the mix out from the holes on the box so you don’t need your own shaker tool.
  • Child and pet-friendly so you don’t have to watch your child when they’re outside.
  • Thicker, denser lawn – and that’s your goal.
  • The rake-shake-water process helps even the most inexperienced lawn growers.
  • Developed to germinate in cooler as well as warmer weather; sow March to early October. 
  • Contains a selected variety of perennial ryegrass that regenerates and spreads by itself

Cons

  • Don’t know exactly what species of grass is in the seed mix.

Our recommendation

If you’re looking for a lush lawn and convenience or you’re an inexperienced gardener, the Miracle-Gro EverGreen Super Seed Lawn Seed could be the answer to your lawn-growing desires. You have to only work out how much to buy; there’s nothing else to know or guess. This product even comes with its own seed shaker tool.

This three-in-one seed, fertilizer and mineral product has the right amount of each of them. You don’t have to worry if you’re sowing them in an area with the right conditions as the seed grows in the sun and in the shade. And as you can plant the seeds right after the last frost in spring when the temperature reaches 6°C, you won’t fret too much about whether the day’s too cold.

You know that you’re getting some varieties of ryegrass which is known as a grass that creates hardy lawns, but the seed box doesn’t tell you exactly what varieties or how much of each. This may be an issue if you’re quite particular about the type of grass you want. Additionally, there are the usual online reports of people receiving grass seeds that germinated slowly or not at all. This seems to be a problem with grass seeds from all the manufacturers and could be a problem of how storage and transport affect the seeds.

If you’re unsure of how to grow a lawn or want to go the conventional route, then take a look at the Miracle-Gro EverGreen Super Seed Lawn Seed.


6. Miracle-Gro Patch Magic – Grass Seed, Feed and Coir

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Miracle-Gro Patch Magic - Grass Seed, Feed and Coir

Maybe most of your lawn is all right and you just have a few bare patches that need filling in. If this is your situation, then Miracle-Gro Patch Magic – Grass Seed, Feed & Coir may be just what you need. 

This product is different from any other grass seeds in this review.  Each grass seed in Patch Magic has a coating of coir, which is a type of dried grass. The coir holds up to six times its weight in water. When the coir is soaked it holds the water and releases it to the grass seed. In this way, you can grow the grass with half the amount of water usually needed. And the coir changes colour from dark brown to light brown when it’s dry and you need to water it again.

The Miracle-Gro Patch Magic has the coir-coated seeds along with a Miracle Gro controlled-release fertiliser that gives the seed a head start in growing. You won’t have to worry about remembering when and how much to fertilizer the patches of lawn that you update. 

And this product is just for infilling areas of lawn and bare patches up to 45cm in diameter. The 3.6kg bag of the product can reseed 48 patches up to 45cm in diameter each.

The grass seeds from Patch Magic can grow anywhere under any conditions – dry, sunny, shady, high traffic areas, slopes and even on concrete although we wouldn’t advise doingthis. The mix contains 7.5% unspecified grass seed, 85.6% coir, 3.9% fertiliser, and 3% starch.

The grass seeds sprout in just four days and you can sow them anytime from March to September.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use, one-step solution to repair patches on the lawn.
  • Thick beautiful grass anywhere; grows twice as thick as normal grass.
  • Contains 7.5% seed; 85.6% coir; 3.9% feed; and 3% starch.
  • Good for anywhere: dry, sunny and shady conditions; high traffic areas, slopes and concrete.
  • Needs half the water of ordinary grass seed due to the coating of coir around each seed.
  • Guaranteed free from agricultural grasses so you’ll have just lawn grass.
  • Rake-shake-water process for easy installation.
  • Use anytime between March and September to repair your lawn when you want.
  • Controlled-release fertilizer to jumpstart seedling growth.
  • The coir colour changes from dark brown to light brown when it needs watering. 
  • Sprouts in just four days for quick greenness.

Cons

  • Less than 10% seed, so you’re paying for the convenience of less watering.
  • Keep pets away from treated areas for two weeks.
  • Still have to water regularly and often.
  • Doesn’t say what the species of grass seed is.

Our recommendation

The Miracle-Gro Patch Magic – Grass Seed, Feed & Coir is a convenient product if you have just a few bare patches on your lawn to fill in. Its fast germination lets you quickly know if you’ve covered all the area that you wanted to. The advantage of the coir covering is that, once you’ve soaked the seeds, you can see when you need to water the patch again and you’ll need to water less often. Being able to use the seed anywhere and in any soil and sun conditions lets, you have a one-seed-fits-all approach to fixing up your lawn.

However, this is not an inexpensive fix. Less than 10% of the seed mix is the actual grass seed; the bulk of the mix is the coir covering. Online reviewers have said that they needed to apply the seed mix more densely than the manufacturer’s recommendation to completely cover the bare patches. In addition, they still had to water the patches regularly and often. The Miracle-Gro Patch Magic doesn’t state what type of grass seed is in the mix so it may not match the colour and texture of your existing lawn.

If you have small patches of lawn to fix and you’re looking for convenience, the Miracle-Gro Patch Magic is worth considering.


7. The Grass People Superstar: Back Lawn Grass Seed

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The Grass People Superstar: Back Lawn Grass Seed

The Grass People Superstar: Back Lawn Grass Seed has an impressive list of organizations which have certified the grass seed. It’s also been tested in-house and the seeds exceed the EU standards of purity and germination.

These grass seeds have been registered and certified by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), have been approved and tested by the Sports Turf Research Institute, and are recommended by the British Society of Plant Breeders.

With this pedigree, it’s no surprise that this grass seed has been developed for the UK climate, to endure the change of the seasons. Containing 80% perennial ryegrass and 20% strong red creeping fescue, this grass seed can grow into a back lawn that can be used by the whole family (and friends). Keeping the lawn cut to between 25 and 40mm in height ensures that it looks its best.

The Grass People Superstar: Back Lawn Grass Seed comes in a variety of bag sizes so you can economise by buying the largest bag that suits your needs. Choose from 2kg, 10kg and 20kg bags. A 20kg bag covers 400m2 if you sow a new lawn at 50g per m2.

Pros 

  • Created for UK climates throughout the year.
  • Hard-wearing, lush and high-quality grass for the perfect back lawn.
  • Tested rigorously in the in-house lab so the seeds exceed the EU standards of purity and germination.
  • Registered and certified by DEFRA; approved and Tested by the Sports Turf Research Institute; recommended by the British Society of Plant Breeders.
  • Contains 80% perennial ryegrass and 20% strong creeping red fescue.
  • Sow at 50g per m2 for a new lawn.
  • Mow at a height between 25-40mm for the best-looking lawn.
  • Comes in 2kg, 10kg, and 20kg bags for economy.

Cons

  • At times, the seeds didn’t germinate or only some seeds germinated but this is more likely caused by how it was applied or cared for than the seed itself.
  • Need to sow seeds more densely than recommended.

Our recommendation

The Grass People Superstar: Back Lawn Grass Seed is certified, approved and recommended by three different institutes for the high quality of its purity and germination. The manufacturer suggests that you use it for your back garden needs where it not only looks good but provides a lush green surface for playing and entertaining on.

Online reviews bring up the standard complaint that some or all of the seeds in the mix didn’t germinate or that the seeds come up very slowly. The health of the seeds depends very much on how they’re stored and transported so that has to be taken into account. Other reviewers recommended that you sow the seed more densely than the manufacturer states otherwise you’ll be left with some bare patches.

The Grass People Superstar: Back Lawn Grass Seed is a highly certified grass seed for back lawns.


8. Graminex Shade Grass Seed

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Graminex Shade Grass Seed

The Graminex Shade Grass Seed is recommended for gardens and for parks. Yes, for parks, so that speaks to its level of robustness and hardiness, plus its practicality. After all, how often are lawns in parks mowed? The manufacturer advertisers that grass from these seeds doesn’t need mowing very often once it’s established.

This grass seed comes with a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificate for purity and germination attesting to its high quality. The mix is made up of EU-grown top seeds, selected for their suitability to the UK climate. The mix contains 30% Comutata, 20% Lolium perenne, 20% Rubra, 10% Trychopylla, 10% Festuca ovina and 10% Poa pratensis.

The seed mix does best in partially shaded areas so avoid sowing the seed in partial sun or full sun spaces. The box of seeds has an integrated seeder on the side of the box that spreads the seeds evenly. You won’t have to worry about how thick to toss the seeds down. 1kg of seeds covers 40m2.

For the best-looking lawn, don’t do the first mowing until the blades of grass are 12cm high. Cut them down to 6cm. Then on the next mowing pass, down to 4-5cm, and keep them at this height on subsequent cuttings.

Pros 

  • Recommended for parks and gardens so is admirably suitable for your lawn.
  • Use in partly shaded places; sensitive to the sun.
  • Doesn’t need mowing very often, letting you off this weekly chore.
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificate, Laboratory Quality Control testing for purity and germination. 
  • Contains EU-grown top seeds mix selected for the UK climate.
  • Seeder included on the side of the box so you spread the seeds evenly for optimal growth 
  • 1kg covers 40m2.
  • Vivid green colour lasts the entire year.
  • Contains: 30% Comutata, 20% Lolium perenne, 20% Rubra, 10% Trychopylla, 10% Testuca ovina and 10% Poa pratensis.

Our recommendation

If you’re looking for sturdy grass seed used by professionals in parks, then the Graminex Shade Grass Seed could be for you. Its vivid green colour lasts the entire year and you don’t have to mow it very often. Its mix of different species of grass seeds isn’t found in any of the other mixes in our review and offers a different look. It’s best in shady places. The integrated seeder on the side of the seedbox ensures you put the right amount of the seed in the right way onto the ground.


Grass Seed FAQs

 When should I put down grass seed?

Different varieties of grass seed have different best times for sowing. In general, the best time is from late spring to autumn. Some varieties (e.g. Miracle-Gro EverGreen Super Seed Lawn Seed) have been developed so that they germinate in temperatures as cool as 6°C. They can be sown as soon as the first frost has gone and as late as October. If you sow grass seed in warmer weather, be sure to water it more often to keep the conditions moist for germination.

Can I grow grass in shade?

Yes, you can have grassy areas under your trees and in the shadow of buildings. Look for varieties that are shade tolerant and mixes that have creeping red fescue in them. This is a popular species of grass found in many grass seed mixes. Our Runner-up Pick is Gardeners Dream Shady Lawn Grass Seed which is formulated especially for shady areas.

What is the best grass seed for sunny areas?

In our Buyer’s Guide, we explain that there are more considerations to selecting a grass seed than the sun/shade choice. Having said that, seed mixes that contain ryegrass are a good choice for sunny areas that will see a lot of wear and tear from kids and pets. Our Best Pick is GroundMaster Hard Wearing Tough Garden Premium Back Lawn Grass Seed which contains two different varieties of ryegrass for a thick hard-wearing carpet of grass in sunny spaces.

Can you put down too much grass seed?

Yes. Putting down too much grass seed means that more seeds are competing for space and the available resources, such as water, light and nutrients in the soil. All the grass seedlings struggle and fail to become strong and healthy. The labels on the grass seed container identify how much seed, usually by weight per m2, is the right amount. This assumes, however, that most of the seeds will germinate, which is not always the case. If this happens, you may have to do a second sowing of the seeds to fill in the gaps.

What is the quickest growing grass seed?

This is one of those questions when the only answer is “it depends”. Most of the grass seed manufacturers claim that their seeds germinate in four to seven days and you’ll see a lush lawn in two to four weeks. But that depends on: if the seeds were stored and shipped correctly; if you’ve prepared the ground well; if you sow the seeds properly; if you water well; the weather after you’ve put the seeds in the ground; how many birds come and eat the seeds; and so on.

All we can say is check out our Best Pick, GroundMaster Hard Wearing Tough Garden Premium Grass Seed, for a fairly fast-growing grass for sunny places and our Runner-up Pick, Gardeners Dream Shady Lawn Grass Seed, for shady areas.

How long does it take for shady grass seed to grow?

Grass seed that is shade-tolerant takes the same amount of time to grow in a shaded area as seed that is suited to sunny locations in a sunny area. It’s in the environment that it likes, so the conditions are suited for its optimal growth. Most manufacturers state that the seeds take up to seven days to germinate and then create a lawn in two to four weeks.

Should I put topsoil over grass seed?

Putting topsoil over newly planted grass seeds is optional. The topsoil serves two purposes: it acts as mulch to keep moisture in the ground and it also is a barrier to keep birds away from the seeds. However, be careful to keep the topsoil layer thin, only about 0.5cm to 1 cm deep. Young grass seedlings cannot force their way through a thicker layer of soil than this.


Our Conclusion

From reading our reviews, you may think that buying grass seed is a bit of a hit-and-miss affair. And it can be if you don’t make every effort to buy reputable seed from a known retailer/trusted brand and to spend time and effort in establishing your lawn. And don’t forget the first step of working out exactly what type or types of seed are best suited for your particular circumstances.

Our selections have earned great reviews from online reviewers who have provided before and after photos of their once-devastated-and-now-breath-taking lawns. The GroundMaster Hard Wearing Tough Garden Premium Back Lawn Grass Seed is our Best Pick Grass Seed. It grows best in sunny areas. Our Runner-up, the Gardeners Dream Shady Lawn Grass Seed, is also our best grass seed for a shady lawn. If you do decide to invest your time and money in a new lush lawn, treat it well. Check out our Best Reviews of lawnmowers. We have Petrol Lawn Mowers, Cordless Lawn Mowers, and Electric Lawn Mowers. A new lawnmower will make life easier for you too.


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Last update on 2020-05-31 at 13:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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