Best Grass Seeds

Updated October 2023
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Best of the Best
Scotts EZ Seed Patch and Repair Sun and Shade
EZ Seed Patch and Repair Sun and Shade
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Customer Favorite
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A vibrant mix of mulch, fertilizer, and seed, helps ensure this grass will sprout under nearly any conditions.


With proper care, this mix is formulated to grow in sun or dense shade. The included mulch absorbs 6 times its weight in water and expands to protect the seeds. Controlled release fertilizer nourishes seedlings to promote growth.


You may need to buy more than suggested as coverage may be less than expected.

Best Bang for the Buck
Jonathan Green Black Beauty Ultra Grass Seed Mix
Jonathan Green
Black Beauty Ultra Grass Seed Mix
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Easiest to Use
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This affordably priced, rugged mix of seeds is suitable for all types of soil and is formulated to promote strong and deep root growth.


The seeds in this mix include Black Beauty Tall Fescues, elite Kentucky Bluegrass, and elite Perennial Ryegrass. The waxy coating on the seeds preserves moisture and helps fight off diseases. Grass is a rich, dark-green color.


While rare, a few users did note that when the grass grew in it had a fair share of weeds.

Scotts Turf Builder Sun & Shade Grass Seed Mix
Turf Builder Sun & Shade Grass Seed Mix
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Trusted Brand
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This brand leader in the grass-seed game delivers with a fast-starting seed that thrives in extreme climates.


With a coating that protects, fertilizes, and helps absorb water, these seeds show an uncanny ability to grow in both sun and shade. This durable grass spreads aggressively to form a thick, lush lawn, even in high-traffic areas.


Some users received expired batches. Others complained of slow germination.

Scotts Turf Builder Heat-Tolerant Blue Mix Grass Seed
Turf Builder Heat-Tolerant Blue Mix Grass Seed
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Best for Hot Climates
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Blends a spot of Kentucky Bluegrass with other varieties for a versatile grass that's especially good at patching trouble areas.


This mix is great for hotter climates and lawns that receive full sun and only partial shade. While thirsty at first, this seed handles heat or shade well once it's established. The coating on the seeds absorbs water and helps deliver nourishment.


Some griped there was too much filler in this seed as this bluegrass mix is mostly fescue.

Pennington Smart Seed Sun and Shade Grass Seed Mix
Smart Seed Sun and Shade Grass Seed Mix
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Tolerant Seeds
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A durable mix of Tall Fescue, Perennial Ryegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass and Fine Fescue that can endure some shade.


The right area for this seed will receive 4 to 6 hours of sunlight. The mix is formulated to be disease resistant and have a strong drought tolerance. Added fertilizer helps ensure success. Each bag of this Pennington mix is guaranteed to grow.


To get the best results, you need to follow all directions and be sure to water as needed.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best grass seeds

A green, healthy, lush lawn: every homeowner wants one. Achieving that perfect lawn, however, takes a fair amount of work – most importantly, planting or re-seeding with the right grass seeds for your area, your yard’s conditions, and your lifestyle.

If you aren’t a landscaper or an avid gardener, choosing the right grass seeds can be confusing.

What does “cool season” and “warm season” mean? Is there any hope for that shady area underneath the tree? And what about your kids’ rough-and-tumble games of tag; is there any grass that can survive that?

Your solution might be to grab the first bag of grass seeds you see. After all, grass is grass, right? But before you do that, there are a few things you'll want to consider.

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Understanding the basics of grass seeds makes it much easier to pick the right seeds for your yard. Climate, sun exposure, and foot traffic are all important factors.

Warm-season vs. cool-season grass seeds

There are many types of grass commonly grown for lawns, but they generally fall into two categories: warm-season grasses and cool-season grasses.

Cool-season grass seeds

Cool-season grasses prefer the milder summer temperatures of the northern states, and they tend to turn brown if temperatures get too hot. They also go dormant during the coldest stretch of winter. Plant cool-season grass seeds in the late summer through early fall.

Some common cool-season grasses include the following.

  • Kentucky Bluegrass: Kentucky bluegrass has a beautiful blue-green color and fine texture. It tolerates cold and heavy foot traffic and fills in quickly.

  • Fescue: Fescue grass tolerates shade, drought, and heavy foot traffic.

  • Perennial Ryegrass: Perennial ryegrass germinates and grows very quickly and tolerates heavy foot traffic. It is very glossy and attractive.

Warm-season grass seeds

Warm-season grasses thrive in the mild winter/hot summer areas of the U.S., including the South, the Southwest, and Southern California. Typically, warm-season grasses go dormant and turn brown over the winter. Plant warm-season grass seeds in the spring.

Some of the most popular warm-season grasses include the following.

  • St. Augustine: St. Augustine grass tolerates heat, sandy soil, and shade. Its thick growth suppresses weeds.

  • Bermuda: Bermuda grass tolerates heat, drought, and heavy foot traffic and grows quickly.

  • Zoysia: Zoysia grass tolerates partial shade, heat, heavy foot traffic, and drought but is a slow grower.

  • Bahia: Bahia grass is disease-resistant and tolerates sandy soil, heat, drought, salty conditions, and heavy foot traffic. It grows very thick and suppresses weeds.

  • Centipede: Centipede grass is a slow grower that tolerates some shade and sandy soil. It doesn’t need as much fertilizer as many other types of grass.

Single variety, blended, or mixed seed?

When shopping for grass seeds, it helps to understand the difference between single variety, blended, and mixed seed.

Single variety grass seeds

Single-variety grass seeds, also labeled “straight” grass seeds, contain one type of grass. Generally, only warm-season grasses are sold as single variety seeds. When your lawn is just one type of grass, it looks very even, but it is also more prone to disease.

Blended grass seeds

Blended grass seeds contain several different varieties of the same grass species. This capitalizes on the strengths of each grass variety but still gives a uniform appearance, as different varieties of the same species will usually be close in appearance.

Mixed seed grass seeds

Mixed seed grass seeds contain several different types of grass. Grass seeds labeled for specific conditions, such as “Shade,” “High Traffic,” or “Sun & Shade,” are typically mixed seed. Mixed seeds don’t create a lawn as uniform as a single variety or blended seeds, but they do provide the benefits of different varieties and are generally more disease-resistant. The majority of homeowners plant a mixed seed lawn.

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Did you know?
While there are types of grass that are more drought-resistant than others, no grass is truly drought-proof. All types of grass require regular water for the healthiest appearance.

How to read the label for grass seeds

Before buying a bag of grass seeds, you need to understand the information on its label.

  • The package will indicate any special benefits of the seeds, such as heat tolerance, shade tolerance, good for heavy foot traffic, or weed resistance.

  • If you are buying a seed mix or blend, check out the percentages of each included variety. If the varieties aren’t listed, pass on that brand.

  • The instructions should state how many square feet the grass seeds will cover. Be sure you know how large your lawn area is before you buy.

  • Check out the germination rate of the seeds, which means how many seeds you can reasonably expect to actually sprout. There is no such thing as a 100% germination rate for any type of seed, but a germination rate of 75% or better is ideal.

  • Any bag of grass seeds will have a certain amount of inert filler, such as dirt or chaff. However, the filler should be less than 2%.

  • The label will indicate the percentage of weed seeds – these creep in no matter what brand you choose – but that rate should not be more than 0.5%.

  • Check the grass seeds’ expiration date. Don’t buy seeds that are past that date; the germination rate falls sharply beyond that point.

Consider your specific grass seed needs

Once you understand the basics, it’s time to get specific. Let’s take a look at what to consider when deciding which grass seeds are right for your yard.

  • How much sun does your yard get? Look for a seed variety or mix that is full-sun tolerant if your yard gets six hours or more of direct sunlight each day.

  • Are there any shady spots underneath trees? Or is the whole yard shaded? It’s admittedly tough to grow grass in a heavily shaded area, but there are varieties that tolerate partial shade, meaning just a few hours of sunlight per day.

  • Do you have dogs? Dogs might be man’s best friend, but they are definitely not your lawn’s good buddy. While there are varieties of grass that tolerate dog urine better than others, if you really want your lawn to look nice, consider training your pooch to use a small patch of artificial turf or a gravel area fenced off just for him.

  • Does your lawn get heavy foot traffic? While any variety of lawn grass should tolerate at least light foot traffic, some varieties are much more forgiving than others. If you have kids that play outdoors or you like to host neighborhood football games, you’ll want a grass blend specifically geared towards heavy use.

  • Are you just patching up holes or damage? If your lawn is mostly in good shape, but you want to fill in a few small holes or damaged spots, you’ll find a wide range of seed blends mixed with fertilizer to quickly cover the spot with new grass.

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Did you know?
Most varieties of grass need at least one inch of water per week or more if it’s especially hot or windy. If rain doesn’t do the job for you, you’ll need to supplement with sprinklers or a hose.

How much do grass seeds cost?

The price of grass seeds depends on the size of the bag, the type of seed, any particular added materials such as fertilizer, and the brand.

But as a general rule, you should expect to pay $10 to $25 for a good-quality, three-pound bag of grass seeds.

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Bargain bags of grass seeds often have high levels of weed seeds and low rates of germination. Look for good-quality grass seeds from a company that specializes in lawn care for the best results.

Tips for planting grass seeds

You’ve purchased the right grass seeds for your area, your specific yard, and your lifestyle. Now it’s time to plant.

  1. Work the soil in the area to be planted. Break up clods, remove rocks, and pull any weeds or undesired growth.

  2. Add compost or fertilizer to the soil, and mix it in thoroughly.

  3. Water the area you’ll be planting, then wait a day or two before seeding.

  4. If you’re seeding a small area, go ahead and use a hand broadcast spreader to spread the seed. If it’s a large lawn, however, buy or rent a push lawn spreader for even sowing.

  5. Follow the directions on the package regarding how thickly to spread the seeds. Make two passes over the area you’re planting: one vertically and one horizontally.

  6. Cover the seeds with straw or a very light layer of compost after sowing. Then rope off or put barriers around the area to prevent foot traffic.

  7. Water the planted area lightly, and if it doesn’t rain, continue to lightly water the area daily until you see growth. Depending on the type of grass, this could be anywhere from a few days to a week or more.

  8. Once your grass has sprouted, cut back on the watering but don’t let the soil dry out completely.

  9. Once the new turf is around three inches high, it’s time to mow. At this point, the grass should be able to tolerate light foot traffic.

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A bag of mixed grass seeds provides the healthiest, lowest-maintenance lawn for most homeowners.


Q. Can I spread grass seeds over an existing lawn?

A. Many people in warm winter areas overseed their lawns with annual rye or similar “temporary” grass seeds to keep the lawn looking good through winter. However, if you are planting a new lawn or trying to reinvigorate a very damaged, thin, or unhealthy stretch of grass, take the time to prepare the soil thoroughly, which means removing any existing grass, weeds, or other plants, before sowing the new seeds.

Q. Is it a good idea to buy grass seeds with fertilizer already included?

A. While you’ll pay more for pre-fertilized grass seeds, you’ll save time. These ready-to-go bags make the job of planting much easier. Some even include weed killers for the maximum in convenience.

Q. When should I fertilize my grass?

A. It depends on where you live. In cold winter areas, apply lawn fertilizer in the early fall or late spring. If you live in a mild winter area, feed your grass in the early spring.

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