Kids like to play on it, pets like to potter on it; we like to picnic on it and top up our tans on it – a lawn is the centrepiece of any UK garden, providing the perfect backdrop to the more colourful flowering parts of an outdoor area. Without it, busy borders can appear untidy and overwhelming, and subtle planting combinations find themselves paling into insignificance. Regardless of size, an area of green has a unifying effect, providing a strong visual link between the different elements of a garden. That, and you can’t beat the look of thick, vibrant, green turf on a warm summer’s day, or a crisp, frost-topped lawn during the winter.
If you’re looking to create a new lawned area, or add some new life to existing turf, grass seed is a low-cost way to get some fresh greenery into your garden.
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The importance of choosing the right grass seed
To help you narrow down your search when it comes to choosing the best grass seed, you need to be clear on:
- What you need grass seed for;
- How much grass seed you need;
- Your budget.
Best Pick – Grass Seed
- ULTRA PATCH SPEEDY GRASS SEED: Does exactly as it says, see results within 7 days, you will be amazed.
- DEFRA APPROVED: High quality, hard wearing, deep rooted highly acclaimed & rigorously tested fast growing & weed resistant
- LARGE COVERAGE: Covers up to 12 square metres or up to 35 patches and should germinate within 7 days
- EFFECTIVE: Highly effective grass seed for repairing bare patches or improving your existing lawn.
- EVEN DISTRIBUTION: Comes in an easy to use cardboard shake boxes, for even distribution
Whether you’re laying a new lawn or rejuvenating old, tired turf, it’s important to choose the most suitable type of grass seed for your outdoor area. The last thing you want is to shell out on several bags, only for the seeds to struggle to germinate because they’re incompatible with the soil; lack adequate lighting or struggle to cope with the weather conditions.
The wrong type of grass seed will not only struggle to grow but may also result in an unsightly, eyesore of a lawn that detracts rather than enhances your outdoor area! Each garden has its own unique mini-ecosystem and climate, which is why it’s so important to consider carefully which grass seeds are best suited to your outdoor area, as well as taking into account your budget and lifestyle – how much traffic will your turf be tolerating?
Regular outdoor entertaining, pets and children will require a grass seed type with sufficient tolerance to hold up against such a volume of footfall. These types of grass include perennial ryegrass, tall fescue and St. Augustine. Grasses such as bluegrass and fine fescue and have a much lower tolerance to traffic, meaning they’re better suited to patchwork.
Choosing the best grass seed
If you’re buying grass seed to tackle pesky patches, you’ll need a grass that’s the same or at least similar to the surrounding lawn. You can use a different seed type, which may be the only option if you don’t know or can’t get hold of your current grass type, but aim to get the closest match you can so that once grown, the new turf blends in seamlessly with the rest of your lawn.
If you’re laying a completely new lawn, choosing the best grass seed is slightly more straight-forward as you don’t have to worry about matching up new and existing grass types.
Factors to consider when buying grass seed
Sun & Shade
When you’re deciding on the best grass seed for your outdoor area, it’s important to be clear on how much or how little sun exposure your garden gets. Some grass seed types prefer shade, some like a brighter spot. Bentgrass, bluegrass and perennial ryegrass prefer maximum sun, while fescue will grow quite happily in full or partial shade.
When it comes to soil type, it’s not expected that you’ll know or be interested in the specifics! You’ll just need a general idea of what type of soil you have in your garden – clay, sandy or stony.
While most UK grass seed such as ryegrass, fescue and Bahia can germinate and grow in the majority of UK soil types, the specific type of soil you have still needs to be considered in terms of water retention. Clay soil retains water much better than sandy soil and so will need less watering during germination; sandy and/or stony soil drains much quicker than clay so will be drier, meaning grass seed planted in these soil types will require more watering to promote healthy growth.
If you are a bit of a soil enthusiast, it might also be useful to know the pH level of the earth under and around your home as some specific grass seed types can be fussy – acidic soil is enjoyed by bentgrass, centipede and zoysia, whilst bluegrass prefers a more neutral soil.
Best Budget – Grass Seed
- Quality grass seed for hard-wearing lawns
- Faster germination with superior results in 5 days
- Ideal for over-seeding or creating a new lawn
- Apply to your lawn during March to early October
Grass seed types
At first glance, it may seem a little overwhelming just how many types of grass seed there are, however, in reality, the majority aren’t in fact suitable for UK gardens due to the good old British weather!
Creeping grass types are intended for a warm climate and are highly unlikely to germinate in the UK due to the rain, cold and unsuitable soil conditions. As a result, most UK stockists will only offer cool climate grass seed, which isn’t picky when it comes to soil type.
Cool climate grass seed tends to be a combination of bunchgrass seed types – for example, dwarf ryegrass and creeping red fescues. Bunchgrass is ideal for those of us wanting a hardwearing, practical turf suitable for plenty of footfall. For a lawn that’s more ornamental than it is practical, a blend of fescue grass seed will result in finer, more luxurious-looking turf.
How to use grass seed
Different types of plant seed will come with different sowing instructions and it’s important you choose the type and sowing method that you can best facilitate.
Firstly, the soil needs to be prepared for the sowing of the seeds; it will require turning and levelling. You only need standard gardening tools but it’s manual work that can be pretty demanding so consider if you’ll need any help or if you plan on getting a professional in. All plants, including weeds, stones and rocks will need to be removed from the area as these have the potential to hinder seed growth if left undisturbed.
If you’re buying grass seed to lay a complete lawn, you may need to hire or invest in a lawn spreader in order to evenly distribute the seeds across larger areas. They can be programmed to spread the seed in the correct ratio per square metre, which is handy when planting whole gardens as keeping track can be challenging when done manually.
Unless you’ve gone for a seed mixture that already includes a fertilizer, you’ll need to pick one up separately; a good-quality fertilizer is needed to ensure germination and encourage healthy growth. You’ll need to budget for the fertilizer and be sure you’ll be around to treat your new turf as per the supplier’s guidelines.
Preparing to plant seeds for patch-ups over an existing lawn in somewhat easier than a complete re-turf or an entirely new lawn! All you’ll need to do is clear the area where you intend to spread the seed, add the recommended amount, rake together with the soil and fertilizer, and give a light watering.
Using the right amount of grass seed
You need to have an idea of how much grass seed you need so you’re able to order the correct amount. Not enough and you could well be left with an area that needs to be sown at a later date, whilst over-planting grass seed is likely to result in crowding and consequently, unsightly patches.
Manufacturers tend to be pretty helpful when it comes to calculating the amount of grass seed you’re going to need. The packaging should specify the number of kilograms of seed required per square metre (m²) so, as long as you have a rough idea of how big your garden is, you can be fairly confident you’re buying roughly the right amount of seed to get decent coverage, without having loads left over at the end.
When to plant grass seed UK
Mid-spring and mid-autumn is the best time to plant grass seed; the conditions at this time of year are ideal for germination – temperatures that are neither too hot or too cold, with plenty of moisture around! As a result, germination and growth will occur at a fairly impressive rate, usually within around 7-14 days.
It is vital that sufficient moisture is present in the soil, which is why you should avoid planting grass seed during the hot summer months unless you are able to water the seed daily. Should there be an unexpected lack of rain (highly unlikely in the UK!!!) adding mulch to the soil should improve moisture retention.
Best of the Rest
- ✓ HARD WEARING - Provides you with a incredible thick well wearing hardy lawn to last throughout the year.
- ✓ SPECIALISED - The perfect grass seed mix for a hardy lawn expecting regular use. Perfect for well lived in gardens!
- ✓ EFFECTIVE - Used for repairing existing lawns or creating new ones, delivering thicker green grass in just a few days.
- ✓ QUALITY BRAND - With renowned quality, GroundMaster guarantees superb results for your lawn.
- PLEASE NOTE - All orders 5KG or over will be sent in multiples of 5KG bags. Images for illustrator purposes only, orders sent in plain white bags.
- Guaranteed to grow* grass seed that will grow in shady, hardwearing, patchy or full sun areas; ideal for over seeding, repairs or new lawn establishment
- Seed is coated in a aqua gel to help protect the seed from drying out while germinating, increasing germination success
- Seed has been coated in an additional protective blue coating to reduce the likelihood of bird attacks reducing seed loss to wildlife
- Seeds blue coating also helps identify where the seed has been sown as you apply
- This products packaging features an in built seed applicator for simple and even application
- 10 Kg sack of Pro Rapid grass seed
- DEFRA REGISTERED 7529
- Best quality on the market Sow April to June and September to October/Avoid frosts
- Sowing rate 50g per m2 Covers 200 Square metres
- Only sold by Pretty Wild Seeds avoid other counterfeit sellers
Frequently Asked Questions
There are specific types of grass seed intended for lawn repair – these combine seeds with fertilizer which encourages speedy germination and rapid growth, getting those unsightly patches covered as quickly as possible!
Walking on freshly planted grass seed should be avoided until the turf has been mown at least 3 times. At this stage, new grass should have reached full maturity and will have maximum tolerance. A general rule of thumb is to mow ‘new’ grass when it is one-third taller than the desired height.