• Top 10 Best Grass Seed in 2021 (Scotts, Jonathan Green, and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Grass Seed in 2021 (Scotts, Jonathan Green, and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Grass Seed in 2021 (Scotts, Jonathan Green, and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Grass Seed in 2021 (Scotts, Jonathan Green, and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Grass Seed in 2021 (Scotts, Jonathan Green, and More) 5

Top 10 Best Grass Seed in 2021 (Scotts, Jonathan Green, and More)

An important part of lawn care includes overseeding it in the spring and fall, especially if your lawn has developed thin or bare patches. Choosing the right grass seed can either make or break your chances of having that lush, green lawn everyone will admire. You'll want to consider your area's climate, the condition of your lawn's soil, how much sun and shade your lawn gets, and how much wear and tear your lawn sustains. 


Our top 10 list of best grass seed includes a variety of cool season, warm season, and blended varieties. Scott's Turf Builder Thick'R Lawn Sun and Shade is our number one pick for its versatility. Our buying guide goes into more detail on what to look for when selecting your next grass seed so you can get started on making your lawn look its best. Keep reading to find out more! 

  

  • Last updated: 03-31-2021
  • 640 views
Table of Contents

Top 10 Best Grass Seed

Here's a list of the top 10 grass seeds we found based on grass type, growing ability, and overall quality. The most important thing to look for when choosing a grass seed is climate compatibility. 

1

ScottsTurf Builder Thick'R Lawn Sun and Shade

$49.98

SpeciesKentucky bluegrass, fescue, perennial ryegrass
ClimateCool-season
Mix or blendYes
Sun or shadeBoth
Amount40 lbs.
2

Jonathan GreenBlack Beauty Ultra

$33.58

SpeciesKentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass
ClimateCool-season
Mix or blendYes
Sun or shadePartial shade
Amount7 lbs.
3

ScottsTurf Builder Grass Seed Heat-Tolerant Blue Mix For Tall Fescue Lawns

$44.14

SpeciesTall fescue, bluegrass
ClimateTransition zone, cool-season
Mix or blendYes
Sun or shadeFull sun, partial shade
Amount20 lbs.
4

PenningtonOne Step Complete Grass Seed for Sun & Shade Areas

100086822

$25.24

SpeciesKentucky bluegrass, fescue
ClimateCool-season
Mix or blendYes
Sun or shadeSun, moderate shade
Amount8.3 lbs.
5

ScottsTurf Builder Grass Seed Bermudagrass

$9.99

SpeciesBermuda grass
ClimateWarm-season
Mix or blendNo
Sun or shadeFull sun
Amount1 lb.
6

Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Southern Gold Mix for Tall Fescue Lawns

$17.86

SpeciesTall fescues
ClimateTransition zone
Mix or blendYes
Sun or shadeSun and shade
Amount3 lbs.
7

Jonathan GreenFast Grow Grass Seed Mix

10820

$15.98

SpeciesRyegrass, tall fescues, fine fescues
ClimateCool-season, transition zone
Mix or blendYes
Sun or shadeShade and sun
Amount3 lbs.
8

PenningtonSmart Seed Dense Shade Grass Seed and Fertilizer Mix

$14.85

SpeciesTall fescue, fine fescue
ClimateCool-season
Mix or blendYes
Sun or shadeDense shade
Amount3 lbs.
9

ScottsTurf Builder Grass Seed Northeast Mix

$55.67

SpeciesPerennial ryegrasses, fescues, Kentucky Bluegrass
ClimateCool-season
Mix or BlendYes
Sun or ShadeFull sun, partial shade
Amount20 lbs.
10

Scott'sTurf Builder Grass Seed Pacific Northwest Mix

$69.00

SpeciesPerennial ryegrasses
ClimateCool-season
Mix or BlendYes
Sun or ShadeFull sun, partial shade
Amount20 lbs.

Compare the Best Grass Seeds

Image
1
Scotts Turf Builder Thick'R Lawn Sun and Shade 1

Scotts

2
Jonathan Green Black Beauty Ultra 1

Jonathan Green

3
Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Heat-Tolerant Blue Mix For Tall Fescue Lawns 1

Scotts

4
Pennington One Step Complete Grass Seed for Sun & Shade Areas 1

Pennington

5
Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Bermudagrass 1

Scotts

6
Scotts  Turf Builder Grass Seed Southern Gold Mix for Tall Fescue Lawns 1

Scotts

7
Jonathan Green Fast Grow Grass Seed Mix 1

Jonathan Green

8
Pennington Smart Seed Dense Shade Grass Seed and Fertilizer Mix 1

Pennington

9
Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Northeast Mix 1

Scotts

10
Scott's Turf Builder Grass Seed Pacific Northwest Mix 1

Scott's

Name

Turf Builder Thick'R Lawn Sun and Shade

Black Beauty Ultra

Turf Builder Grass Seed Heat-Tolerant Blue Mix For Tall Fescue Lawns

One Step Complete Grass Seed for Sun & Shade Areas

Turf Builder Grass Seed Bermudagrass

Turf Builder Grass Seed Southern Gold Mix for Tall Fescue Lawns

Fast Grow Grass Seed Mix

Smart Seed Dense Shade Grass Seed and Fertilizer Mix

Turf Builder Grass Seed Northeast Mix

Turf Builder Grass Seed Pacific Northwest Mix

Features

A Seed Mix That Improves Your Lawn's Soil

A Mix for Clay and Sandy Soils

A Heat and Drought-Tolerant Mix

Good for Bare Spot Repair

Best for Hot and Humid Climates

Good for High-Traffic Lawns in the Transition Zone

Great for Quick Repairs

Ideal for Low Sunlight and Heavy Traffic

Designed for the Northeastern Climate

Formulated for the Pacific Northwest

Price$49.98$33.58$44.14$25.24$9.99$17.86$15.98$14.85$55.67$69.00
SpeciesKentucky bluegrass, fescue, perennial ryegrassKentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrassTall fescue, bluegrassKentucky bluegrass, fescueBermuda grassTall fescuesRyegrass, tall fescues, fine fescuesTall fescue, fine fescuePerennial ryegrasses, fescues, Kentucky Bluegrass Perennial ryegrasses
ClimateCool-seasonCool-seasonTransition zone, cool-seasonCool-seasonWarm-seasonTransition zoneCool-season, transition zoneCool-seasonCool-seasonCool-season
Mix or blendYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYes
Sun or shadeBothPartial shadeFull sun, partial shadeSun, moderate shadeFull sunSun and shadeShade and sunDense shadeFull sun, partial shadeFull sun, partial shade
Amount40 lbs.7 lbs.20 lbs.8.3 lbs.1 lb.3 lbs.3 lbs.3 lbs.20 lbs.20 lbs.
Link

How to Choose a Grass Seed - Buying Guide

Even if you're lucky enough to have a lawn that's in good shape, you'll probably still need to overseed or re-seed from time to time. 


It's a good idea to be informed of the differences between seed types and why one might work better for your lawn. Our buying guide will walk you through the most important factors to take into account.

Consider Your Region's Climate and Ideal Grass Types

Many grass seed manufacturers consider the United States to be broken up into three different growing regions: cool-season states, warm-season states, and the transition zone. 


Since each of these areas generally experiences different average temperatures and seasons, certain grass types tend to be easier to grow and maintain in each region. 

Determine Whether You Need Cool Season, Warm Season, or Blended Grass Types

Determine Whether You Need Cool Season, Warm Season, or Blended Grass Types

To determine which zone your state is in, search online for U.S. climate zones for growing grass. Many grass seed manufacturers also show the map on the back of the seed bags, highlighting which states fall into the mix's ideal growing region.


Typically northern states grow cool-season grasses, the middle region or transition zone grows blended grass types, and southern states grow warm-season grasses. Although you can purchase cool-season or warm-season blends, you can also find seeds for individual grass types in each category.


For example, Kentucky Bluegrass is a cool-season grass that can be purchased on its own. You can also get a blend of two cool-season grass types if you have a preference, like Kentucky Bluegrass and Tall Fescue. Kentucky Bluegrass tends to establish shallower roots and has a blue-green color, while Tall Fescue shows off a darker green color. 

Know the Amount of Sun and Shade Your Yard Receives

Know the Amount of Sun and Shade Your Yard Receives

Certain grass types or blends grow better in shady areas than areas that receive full sun. For instance, Fine Fescue grows well in both the shade and full sun. However, Bermuda Grass needs to grow in yards with full sun.


You'll also need to take into account the amount of traffic your yards get. Some grasses, like St. Augustine, can take a lot of traffic from dogs or people. On the other hand, Kentucky Bluegrass needs a light amount of traffic to flourish.


Factors like altitude, the direction the lawn faces, and watering habits and restrictions can also impact growth. Lawns that face south and west tend to get the most intense sun. This can lead to the need for different grass types in front and back yards or various areas of the same lawn. This is especially true for areas framed by trees and shrubs.

Think About Issues Regarding Dogs and Sloped Lawns

Think About Issues Regarding Dogs and Sloped Lawns

Since dogs like to dig, certain types of "self-repairing" grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass and Bermuda Grass may be a better choice for you. Self-repairing grasses tend to grow back into bald or dead spots without too much intervention.


Dogs can also increase foot traffic and potential damage from waste. The excess nitrogen from dog waste can lead to nitrogen burn and dead spots, especially in back yards. Raking up the dead grass can help self-repairing grasses move in to correct the problem, but you may find that spot and patch repair seed products are necessary.


If you have a lawn that slopes, it may be more difficult to seed due to erosion. With sloping lawns, erosion is a bigger problem since water from irrigation or rainfall tends to move in the slope's direction. Ready-roll seed products can work better than loose seed, but erosion control techniques like netting, straw, and blankets are also options. 

Consider the Seeds' Quality and Water Needs

Consider the Seeds' Quality and Water Needs

Unfortunately, all seed and seed mixes are not created equally. Content, seed variety, and germination rates can vary. Check to see if the seed or seed mixture is certified and contains 0.5 percent or less of weed seed. The last thing you want to do is overseed your lawn with weeds!


Avoid blends and mixtures that say "variety not stated" on the label since you won't know whether you're really buying cool-season, warm-season, or transition zone grass seed. On the label, the germination rate should also be 85 percent or higher

Consider the Seeds' Quality and Water Needs

Other crops should be less than two percent, inert matter should be less than two percent, and noxious weeds should be zero percent. Inert matter consists of items that are not grass seed, while noxious weeds are harmful species that can destroy your lawn.


Besides the ingredients on the label, consider how much water the grass needs to thrive. This is really important if you live in an area prone to drought, dry spells, and water restrictions. Fescue is an example of a drought-tolerant grass type. 

Pick a Maintenance Level That Suits You

Pick a Maintenance Level That Suits You

In terms of maintenance and upkeep, mowing heights and needs can vary between grass types. Some grasses tolerate two- to three-inch mowing heights, while some thrive with one- to one-and-a-half-inch heights. 


If you like to keep your lawn trimmed and live in the South, consider Bermuda or Centipede Grass. If you live in the North, you won't have to mow as frequently, as cool-season grasses like to sustain a longer length of two to three inches.  

How to Get the Best Soil for Your Grass Seed

Before you purchase your grass seed, it's critical that you test the PH level of your lawn's soil. If your lawn is too acidic or alkaline, it can impact whether your seed grows or not. By getting your soil tested, you'll know if you need to do some extra prep work. 

Obtain a Soil Test Kit

Obtain a Soil Test Kit

You can get a soil test kit from a local cooperative extension office or a private company. Local cooperative extension offices are often affiliated with public universities and colleges, while private companies like Sunday lawn service include a soil test kit with a lawn plan subscription.


You'll place a sample of your lawn's soil in the kit to have its pH levels tested. This can determine which types of grasses will grow well or if your soil needs to be improved. It's best to take soil samples from various areas of your lawn to increase the test's accuracy.


Most grass types have an ideal soil pH between six and seven. Testing times can vary depending upon seasonal volume, but the typical turnaround is two weeks. 

Make Improvements Based on Your Test Results

Make Improvements Based on Your Test Results

If you need to make improvements to your soil, there are several techniques you can use. First, manual or machine-assisted aeration helps open and break up the soil. This allows air and water in, giving roots the nutrients they need to grow.


Aeration can also break up compact and clay soils that can impede growth and prevent grass from getting enough water. Some geographical areas, like Colorado, contain these types of soil and need regular, annual aeration.


Some chemicals and mixtures, like Revive, are known as "liquid aerators." They help improve soil composition chemically by changing the PH. In some cases, you may need to add topsoil to make it more hospitable for seed growth. 

Some Types of Fertilizers Can Help Prepare the Soil

Some Types of Fertilizers Can Help Prepare the Soil

Fertilizers help feed the grass and can typically be put down at the same time as grass seed or a few weeks before. In general, fertilizers with weed killers or pre-emergents should be avoided as they will prevent grass seeds from germinating. 


Some fertilizers or soil improvers also contain grass seeds for convenience and are often made according to grass type and geographical region. 

Want More Ways to Enjoy Your Yard?

Want More Ways to Enjoy Your Yard?

Here are some more ideas on how to enjoy the outdoors, whether you're relaxing on your deck or want to spruce up your garden! 

Summary

Overseeding or re-seeding your lawn is easier once you know what type of grass seed will grow the best. Improving your soil, choosing the right seed for your area, and understanding your lawn's characteristics will set you up for success. 


If you're still unsure, you can always ask an expert at your local cooperative extension office or a landscaping company for advice!  


Author: Helen Akers


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