A lush, green lawn is one of easiest ways to add value to your home, and choosing the right grass seed is crucial to maintaining your yard. Grass seed is easy to sow, easy to grow, and easy on your budget. Here are a few tips for choosing the best grass seed for your lawn.
The United States Department of Agriculture publishes a map that shows plant hardiness climate zones, which helps gardeners determine what plants grow best in their area. This includes grass seed, though there are resources online that zone maps are available on the Internet. A good one to check out is from the United States National Arboretum.
Once you know your zone, you can start to determine what kind of grass seed is best for your yard. But it's only a start, since there are so many different factors that go into growing a lawn. How much maintenance are you ready to put into your lawn? Some grasses look and feel heavenly, but are prone to disease and must be continually monitored and treated. Others grow more quickly and require more frequent mowing. Still others won't "green up" as quickly and may require more fertilizer. If you'll have children or pets running around on your lawn, you'll want a variety that stands up to heavy traffic. So give some thought about exactly what kind of lawn you'll want.
You'll also need to consider factors such as how much shade and sunlight does your lawn get, drainage issues, do you have slopes to deal with, present landscaping and more. When purchasing your grass seed, determine whether it spreads by tillering or creeping. Tillering is the extension of the plant from a central root; tillering grasses spread in bunches. Creeping grasses send horizontal roots along the ground. Warm season lawns are generally creeping while cool season lawns contain both types. Grasses also come in different textures (fine and coarse).
Once you've thought through your zone, desired maintenance, your ground conditions, and the type of grass best suited for your needs (creeping, tillering or both), you're ready to visit a reputable lawn and garden center and purchase your seed. Be sure to find one that has experts in growing grasses in your zone.