Lawn Care Tips

As a lawn care provider for 20+ years, my aim here is to provide some helpful hints, tips and advice to those who want to increase the health and appearance of the lawn they care for. Whether you are new to lawn care or an old hand, you will find information here that will save you time, money and wasted effort. Thanks for stopping by.


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Many Different Types Of Grass Seed Are Now Available

Many of the old standard lawn grass varieties have been greatly improved over the last couple of decades. Many of these varieties now require less maintenance, are more drought resistant and heat tolerant, and require less fertilizer and pesticide applications to look their best.

Kentucky Bluegrass - a long time favorite in northern regions - is now commonly available in varieties that are not only more heat and drought tolerant but also exhibit greater insect and disease resistance. New varieties of turf-type perennial rye grasses - often mixed with Kentucky Bluegrass - have now been bred to germinate more quickly and to tolerate foot traffic much better. Creeping Red Fescue and Chewings Fescue have long been mixed with Kentucky Bluegrass for use in lawns with shade and are even more shade and drought tolerant than they used to be. More recently developed for northern lawns, Turf-type Tall Fescues have undergone extensive development and are now commonly used for their very good heat and drought tolerances.

When a homeowner purchases grass seed for their lawn, premium seed with its higher price is worth that extra cost. But it is critical to read the label (and every part of that label) on a bag of grass seed before you make your purchase.

There are some key points to keep in mind when examining the label on a box or bag of grass seed. First of all, if it is your intent to create a permanent lawn with your seed, do not purchase the very large but inexpensive bag labeled as annual rye grass. This annual type of grass is intended to last one season - and only one season. In fact, avoid any seed mix that indicates that greater than five percent is annual rye grass. Grass seed labels will also show the weed content and other crop grasses on the label. Neither of these two should be more than half of one percent. The label will also indicate the amount of inert matter (the fill) and it should not be more than five percent. Additionally, if the container of seed contains any noxious weed seed, it will be stated on the label. My advice to you is that if any noxious weeds are listed on the label, do not use that grass seed. And finally, avoid any grass seed mix that includes bent grass or poa trivialis. These two can cause maintenance problems later.

If you are looking to establish a northern lawn and you are armed with the information in the above paragraph while making your selection, you will be purchasing a better grade of grass seed.

You will note that I have not mentioned southern grass varieties. All of my experience is with northern grass types. If you need information on southern grass varieties or on bermuda grass, I would recommend visiting or searching under “southern turf varieties” in your favorite search engine.

NEXT TIME: Choosing A Lawn Maintenance Contractor


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