Sowing a new lawn from grass seed or overseeding an existing lawn, requires you to choose the right type of grass seed.

This is because different types of lawn require different types of grass seed blends.

Lawns used by families need a hard-wearing grass seed mix to withstand the stresses of children playing and dog activity.

A formal or ornamental lawn needs an entirely different type of grass seed to achieve the right aesthetic appearance.

A lawn that is in shade also needs a different type of seed blend.

Choosing the best grass seed for your lawn is simple, and in this guide, we’ll show you how.

What to Consider When Choosing Grass Seed for Your Lawn

Choosing and using grass seed can be difficult. Many people simply buy the first product they see. Others can become overwhelmed due to all the different options available.

So, what is the process for identifying and buying the best grass seed for your lawn?

Consider the following:

How Do You Use Your Lawn?

Think about what is important to you.

For some people the beauty of their formal gardens is what’s most important.

Others prefer their lawns to be able to withstand wear and tear and create spaces that children can play on.

Whether your needs lean towards beauty or functionality, consider how you typically use your lawn before choosing a grass seed mix.

Environmental Factors

Many people want their lawns to be perfectly green, but the type of soil you have can affect what kind of grass will grow in your garden.

If you want a manicured bowling green lawn, it’s best for your new turf if there is more pH acidic soil that doesn’t contain any rubble or tree roots.

However, a garden under heavy shade requires a grass type that is suited to survive with limited direct sunlight.

The Weather

What sort of climate do you live in?

Does it rain constantly, is it always dry, or do you receive an equal mix of weather types? Some grass types can survive in any weather and some are weak to drought.

Once you know, you are then able to choose a grass seed mix.

Learn more: Best Time To Sow Grass Seed.

General Purpose Lawn Seed
A General Purpose Lawn

The Four Types of Grass Seed

Now you’ve thought about how you use the lawn, the environment you’re in and the climate in your area, you’re in a position to make an informed decision about the right type of lawn seed for your garden.

To make this process easier, lawn seed can be split into four main types.

Hard Wearing Lawn Seed

A hard-wearing grass seed mix that contains perennial ryegrass is ideal for any lawn that will be serving as a play area.

The high ryegrass content means it’s quick to germinate and the vigorous growth makes regular mowing necessary. It will grow in any soil type and produce a deep root system which will contribute to its health.

Learn more: Learn How To Mow Your Lawn.

General Purpose Lawn Seed

A general-purpose lawn seed mix will create a lush, beautiful grass that all the family can enjoy.

These seed mixes contain highly durable perennial ryegrass and finer turfgrasses like tall and red fescues which make it look rich and luxurious. Ideal for most soil types but especially good in spring or autumn when growth is fastest. A great option for lawns that receive equal amounts of sun and shade.

If you want the best of both worlds, use a general-purpose lawn seed mix for durability and aesthetics.

Ornamental Lawn Seed

Always dreamt of having a short cut bowling green type lawn?

If so, you need to invest in some ornamental grasses like fescue and bentgrass. These varieties are perfect for quality control which is the most important thing when it comes to your lawn’s health.

Your soil will need to be more acidic, so be sure to check before deciding to sow ornamental seeds.

This type of lawn won’t withstand a lot of walking but will look beautiful.

Other benefits are that this grass type grows slowly and can be cut very short without damaging it.

Shady Grass Seed

For lawns that are covered in a lot of shade, these blends contain dwarf ryegrass and meadowgrass as well as hard and fine fescues.

These harder wearing grasses combined with deep rooting species and finer fescues create a beautiful lawn will grow well in shade and most soil types.  

Shaded lawns can take some wear and tear but not as much as other types. But as long as they’re well maintained, will look good year round.

You can mix and match different seed types for different parts of your lawn.

For example, if you have a lawn that grows well in sunny areas but is patchy in shaded areas, you can buy a shady lawn seed mix and sow this within these shaded areas.

Alternatively, if bought a house with an ornamental lawn that you want your family to use, buy a general-purpose lawn seed. This will add some harder wearing grass varieties into your lawn which will increase durability.

Learn more: How To Sow Grass Seed.

An Ornamental Lawn
An Ornamental Lawn

Final Verdict

Choosing the right types of grass seed for your lawn doesn’t have to be difficult or confusing.

But it is an important part of gardening if you want the best looking lawn possible.

By following this guide, you can now go and buy one of the four types of seed that best fits your requirements.