Landscaping in America

Lawncare solutions for America's homeowners

Understanding grass seeds.

Did you know that much of the world's supply of grass seed comes from the Pacific Northwest, followed by Minnesota and other north central states.

Harvesting grass in Oregon

In 1997 Oregon producers harvested approximately 430,000 acres of grass seed valued at more than $320 million.

The climate in this region consists of mild, wet winters followed by dry, warm summers, and is ideal for the production of cool-season grass seed.

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Seed photograph

Grass Seeds

A great deal has been spent on research and development to produce new grass varieties that are more insect and disease resistant, drought tolerant, and adaptable to different environmental conditions.

In many cases, these improved varieties require less pesticides for control and less water, when properly maintained.

Said another way, the improved lawn seed varieties are more environmentally "friendly" than the grass you currently have in your lawn. Knowing that you're buying quality, improved grass seed will depend on how carefully you read the seed label before your next purchase.

Did you know that most off-the-shelf grass seed contains a percentage of weed seed? Or that a grass seed label may list the species of grass seed but not the variety (Variety Not Stated 'VNS'). When purchasing 'VNS' you have no real idea what kind of grass you're getting.

100% or Blends?

Often you'll see labels reading blends or mixtures, or for sunny and shade areas. Each grass variety is best suited for a particular type of condition. Sun or shade, but not both. By mixing both types of seeds in the bag, the producer can make these claims. When the grass germinates, the one best suited to the conditions will thrive and the other will not.

With a blend or mixture you can sow the same seed and be succ3essful in the diversity of growing conditions common to most yards.

How much to buy?

Depends on which grass you choose. Seed is sold by the pound and because of seed size, the quantity of seeds per pound will vary. For example: 1 pound of Kentucky bluegrass will seed about 1000 sq. ft., but you'll need 7 pounds of tall fescue seed to cover that same area.

Calculate the sq. footage of the areas you'll be seeding. On the bag it should tell you the exact rate of coverage and then buy and apply accordingly.

Apply at the correct rate

Follow the label directions for rate of coverage. Putting down too little seed increases the amount of time required to establish the lawn if at all. Too much seed causes the new plants to compete with each other and results in a thin lawn that is very slow to mature.