Grass seed for lawns

What grass seed do I use for my lawn?

When choosing a grass seed mixture, the characteristics you require from your lawn will have a big influence over the grass seed mixture that you choose to seed or overseed your lawn. Different types of grasses are more suited for different lawn requirements and growing conditions.

  • Hard wearing lawn - For a lawn that receives a lot of wear you would want to use a ryegrass mixture which is extremely wear tolerant.

  • Luxury ornamental lawn - A mixture of bent and fescue would be the choices here as they produce fine leaf turf similar to golf and bowling greens.

  • Drought resistant lawn - Your may have a free draining sandy root zone which suffers in dry conditions, introducing fescue into the sward will help improve the drought tolerance of the lawn.

  • Shaded lawn - If shade is a problem in your garden it is important to use grasses will tolerate shady conditions

  • Low maintenance lawn - Fescues are an excellent choice here, they are slow growing and require minimal feed and water.

Grass seed mixtures

Below is a selection of grass seed mixtures that are suitable for various lawn requirements and conditions. These mixtures are only recommendations, they are not set in stone and other grass seed mixtures not shown here may be just as suitable.

Luxury lawn
80% chewings fescue
20% browntop bent

Seeding rate 20 - 30g/m2
Overseeding rate 10 - 20g/m2

This grass seed mixture would be typically used on bowling and golf greens and would tolerate close mowing down to 5mm. However it should be pointed out luxury lawns require a comprehensive maintenance program. If wear and tear is an issue on a luxury lawn then a dwarf ryegrass could be incorporated into the mixture to improve the sward resilience.

Hard wearing lawn (with ryegrass)
30% Perennial dwarf ryegrass
20% Slender creeping red fescue
20% Strong creeping red fescue
20% Chewings fescue
10% Browntop bent

Seeding rate 25 - 35g/m2
Overseeding rate 15 - 25g/m2

Hard wearing lawn (without ryegrass)
25% Slender creeping red fescue
25% Strong creeping red fescue
25% Chewings fescue
15% Smooth-stalked meadow grass
10% Browntop bent

Seeding rate 20 - 30g/m2
Overseeding rate 10 - 22g/m2

Shaded lawn (with ryegrass)
20% Perennial dwarf ryegrass
30% Chewings fescue
30% Strong creeping red fescue
20% Browntop bent

Seeding rate 25 - 35g/m2
Overseeding rate 15 - 25g/m2

Shaded lawn (without ryegrass)
30% Strong creeping red fescue
30% Chewings fescue
30% Tufted hair grass
10% Brown top bent

Seeding rate 20 - 30g/m2
Oversee ding rate 10 - 20g/m2

Sand based lawn
50% Chewing fescue
35% Slender creeping red fescue
15% Brown top bent

Seeding rate 20 - 30g/m2
Oversee ding rate 10 - 20g/m2

Low maintenance lawn
60% Tall fescue
40% Crested hair grass

Seeding rate 30 - 40g/m2
Oversee ding rate 20 - 30g/m2

   

Grass seed characteristics

Grass species

Wear tolerance

Shade tolerance

Drought resistance Maintenance level
Browntop bent

medium

high

medium medium/high

Chewings fescue

medium

high

high low
Strong creeping red fescue

low

high

high low
Slender creeping red fescue

medium

high

high low
Tall fescue

high

high

high low
Sheeps fescue

medium

high high low
Perennial ryegrass

high

medium medium medium
Smooth-stalked meadowgrass

high

medium medium medium
Annual meadowgrass

low

high low high
Tufted hairgrass

high

high low low
Crested hairgrass

high

high high low