VIU Milner Gardens and Woodland

What is the best grass seed

A frequent question to the Gardening Advice Line written by the Vancouver  Island Master Gardeners Association volunteers.

Question:  What is the best grass seed for shady, sunny, and high traffic areas?

Answer:  A lush, healthy green lawn takes a little care and few key factors.

Choosing the best grass seed for your location:

  • Fertilizing regularly (spring, summer and fall),
  • Following a regular watering regime,
  • Keeping on top of combatting moss, weeds, and pests.

 Generally, there are three main types of seed varieties used in most mixes:

  • Shady:  Fescues are best for shade or backyard mixes.  Thin blades that thrive well in shade.

Grass Seed shady areas

  • Sunny:  Kentucky Bluegrass for sunny front yard mixes.  Thick blades of grass with a bluish tinge.

Grass Seed for sunny areas

  • High Traffic: Perennial Rye is a good all around seed.  Medium blade with a uniform green colour that holds up well under most conditions.

Grass Seed for high traffic areas

For Vancouver Island, a mix of predominantly Perennial Rye with some Kentucky Blue is a common combination for overseeding.  Perennial Rye is most commonly used in parks and sports fields as it wears well and doesn’t require as much fertilizer, water or light as Kentucky Blue or the Fescues.

If you don’t want to spend the time, patience and irrigation seeding your lawn, you could try Hydro Seeding.  Hydroseeding is a process of applying a mixture of seed, wood fiber, fertilizer and a stabilizing emulsion with hydro-mulch spraying equipment.

You can use the same seed varieties delivered in a mixture of a wet mulch for the best germination.  The mixture would be sprayed on your lawn and within days, the sludge will turn into a lawn.

You can also try purchasing and installing sod – in the same seed varieties to suit your location, this is the most expensive option.

The best time to plant any kind of grass is May and September.  In order have an established lawn, seeds must remain moist and have contact with soil until germination.