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Best Grass Seed

7 of the Best Grass Seed’s available in the UK.

League Table By: Tony Dimmick

Last Checked: 2nd Apr 2020


Andrew Wilcox

Head Judge: Andrew Wilcox

Channel 4’s Head Judge & Founder of Shed of the Year Andrew Wilcox has worked to help design an impartial judging system for WhatShed. The judging system uses many different parameters to help give a large degree of impartiality to the way we select products for each of the league tables we do. You can read more about the system here.

WhatShed review guarantee

We have put over 5 hours into researching the most hard-wearing, fastest growing and best quality grass seeds so that you don’t have to. Looking at colour, texture, thickness, germination time and many other factors, we have selected the top 7 best grass seed products available and summarised both expert and real user experiences and opinions, enabling you to easily choose the best grass seed mix for your lawn.

Moowy Power Lawn


Retailer:
Amazon
Price:
£13
Website:

This lawn seed delivers on its promise of extremely fast results, so long as you use it correctly, that is; only sow when the soil temperature is 10 degrees or more, remove thatch layer or other dead organic material beforehand, and press the seeds into the soil to keep them moist, which all sounds simple enough right? This grass is of a very high quality, even being used in premier league stadiums – the manufacturer attributes this to the high content of Perennial Ryegrass in their mix.

5 reasons to buy

• This lawn seed is very well packaged, and resealable, with many users commenting on how easy it is to handle and store for top-ups later in the year
• Fast-growing, with visible shoots reported from day 4
• Proven to withstand children’s play including football
• Minimal preparation required
• Able to withstand British weather

3 reasons not to buy

• More expensive than other brands
• This is an imported product and the labels, instructions and packaging are not in English
• It comes in small quantities for a fairly high price and many users feel this brand offers poor value for money

A1Lawn AM Pro Landscape


Retailer:
Amazon
Price:
£40
Website:

Containing 50% Dwarf Perennial Ryegrass and 50% Strong Creeping Red Fescue, this grass seed is able to withstand high traffic areas. This is because strong creeping varieties of red fescue have very vigorous spreading rhizomes, allowing the lawn to recover quickly enough to remain lush despite being in frequent use by children, dogs and even horses (as verified by one user). Results take a little longer than some other seed, with visible shoots reported by about day 8, but when the growth does start to show it’s confirmed to be strong and thick. Timing is key with this seed – users sowing early in spring or summer reported poor or patchy to no growth, whereas users that sowed later in the year were incredibly happy with the results.

4 reasons to buy

• It’s great value, pack sizes are big and you get lots for your money
• Cuts well, recovering quickly from lawn mower use
• Grows in evenly and thickly
• Minimal preparation required

2 reasons not to buy

• This seed doesn’t do well in the colder weather, despite the manufacturer’s claims
• The growth is slower than some other seed

Ground Master Hard Wearing Pro


Retailer:
Amazon
Price:
£25
Website:

With a specialised seed mix made up of 30% Maxima Festuca Strong Creeping Red Fescue, 20% Troya Lolium Perennial Rye Grass and 50% Double Lolium Perennial Rye Grass, this seed is ideal for repairing existing, well-lived in gardens or growing a lawn from scratch. Strong creeping red fescue is a fine-leaved perennial grass of medium height. You’ll need to be patient with it though as it’s not rated as being very fast-growing, with many users reporting that results took 3 weeks plus to see.

4 reasons to buy

• Very hard-wearing lawn seed, with young grass surviving dogs, children and trampling
• An excellent colour – lots of people were extremely pleased with the lush deep green lawns achieved with this seed
• This seed is available to buy in bulk, offering great value for money
• Once the grass seed does grow through, you do get a very thick lawn

3 reasons not to buy

• Very slow to germinate – up to 8 weeks before any real progress was seen in some cases
• The best results were reported with more thorough prep, and scarifying, levelling, raking etc all seemed to play a bigger part in success here than with other lawn seed
• Patchy coverage was reported in some cases, although this could be down to a lack of prep

PRO Seed Premium Quality Grass Seed


Retailer:
Amazon
Price:
£49
Website:

This seed is a mix of 4 different types of ryegrass. Its main selling point is that it does grow very fast, with one proven example of a full lawn being grown in 12 days. This lawn seed probably is the best grass seed if your priority is speed. This brand has either very positive or completely negative reviews, with grass either growing fantastically well or in a very few cases, not at all.

3 reasons to buy

• Grows very fast, with most people reporting impressive results in a matter of days
• Best grass seed for shady or cooler gardens
• Great value for money

1 reason not to buy

• Some cases of unexplained non-germination

EverGreen Multi-Purpose


Retailer:
Amazon
Price:
£11
Website:

This is a high-quality lawn seed for hard-wearing lawns and is ideal for creating a new lawn, overseeding existing grass or filling in bare patches. This brand offers a blend of ryegrass and fescues and the seed is treated with the headstart formulation for optimum germination. It also contains Watersmart grass technology which grows strong roots for optimum absorption of nutrients and water.

3 reasons to buy

• The seeds are also coated to deter birds from eating them, this coating does actually work, making this the best grass seed for those of you with this particular issue
• Comes with a built-in sprinkler in the box for easy application
• Grass is described as being thick and fluffy, with most users happy with the results

2 reasons not to buy

• Grown in more slowly than advertised, with most users suggesting you need to allow 10 days plus
• Poor value for money, with some users reporting that while the results were good, they were no better than cheaper ‘own brand’ seeds

Gardeners Dream Hard-Wearing


Retailer:
Amazon
Price:
£25
Website:

Made up of 70% Lolium Perennial Rye Grass & 30% Strong Creeping Red Fescue, this seed promises, and delivers, an extremely thick lawn. It’s apparently very appealing to birds, with several users reporting they had a bigger issue here than with other seed brands. There seems to be mixed results on the speed of growth, with users divided on whether this is ‘fast-growing’, so it does appear to be sensitive to conditions.

3 reasons to buy

• Grass thickens very quickly once it starts to grow
• Great value, with the option to bulk buy and a lot of seed being received for your money
• Family-friendly, with users reporting it can cope with children, paddling pools and dogs

2 reasons not to buy

• Birds love it
• Sensitive to conditions, with some users reporting low germination or weak grass in areas

GBW Grass Seed


Retailer:
Amazon
Price:
£12
Website:

With a mix tailored to the UK climate, consisting of 43% Dwarf Amenity Ryegrass, 40% Creeping Red Fescue, 12% Chewings Fescue and 5% Brown Top Bent, this seed mix offers a lush, thick green lawn of up to 380 sq ft, making it one of the more cost-effective options available.

4 reasons to buy

• Great value for money
• The overwhelming majority of users reported a lush high-quality fluffy lawn
• Many users described this lawn seed as being resilient, growing in less than ideal conditions
• The manufacturer offers a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied

2 reasons not to buy

• Again, the best results seem to come from lots of preparation and maintenance
• Results are a little slower to appear, so you’ll need to give it a couple of weeks before you see a change to your lawn


How do I prepare my lawn for seeding?

According to John James, Head Gardener at Christ Church (1), there are three steps to good lawn preparation to achieve the best lawn when seeding, so we have outlined them below for you:

Firstly, scarification – this is the process of raking out as much of the dead grass, moss and thatch as possible. This can be done by hand to save costs or with a specialist reel (available to hire) to save time.

Secondly, spiking – making hundreds of small holes in the top few inches of the lawn, this allows air and water to penetrate further into the soil as well as breaking up some of the compaction and making holes for grass seed to fall into. Again, this can be done manually with a pitchfork or by hiring specialist equipment.

Thirdly, fertilising. John recommends a dose of low nitrogen fertiliser. Many trace elements should be applied to the lawn area which will feed the existing grass and encourage the new seed to root in well without producing too much top growth.

The end result of taking these steps to prepare will be the best grass your lawn has ever seen!

 

When should I apply grass seed?

Seed germinates most successfully in early autumn or mid-spring. The RHS (2) confirm that either of these two times of year is good for sowing your seed and achieving a lush lawn because the soil is warm, there is plenty of moisture and the weather is neither too cold nor too hot.

WhatShed Top Top – Wait for early autumn to seed because roots establish better through the winter months!

 

How do you put down grass seed?

As advised above, preparation is key, but once the preparation is complete, you can follow the steps below from the RHS to sow your grass seeds.

Divide the lawn area into small sections of square metres or square yards. Shake up the box of seed to mix well.

Divide the seed quantity in half and evenly distribute the first half over the whole lawn, working lengthways. Take the remaining seed and repeat the process, this time sowing the seed widthways. If you are using a seed distributor, follow the same method, but calibrate the seed distributor.

Lightly rake over the sown area to cover the majority of the grass seed with soil. Water over the next two-three days with a light sprinkler. You can repeat watering as necessary while the seeds are germinating and the young seedlings are becoming established. If the weather is unusually hot for the time of year, you need to compensate for this with extra watering.

WhatShed Top Tip – To achieve the best lawn, little and often is the right approach when it comes to watering!

 

Do you need to cover grass seed?

Covering isn’t an absolute must but, as per the BBC (3), it is advised. You can use fruit netting to protect the lawn seed from birds, who not only eat seed but can damage the bed by dust bathing. You can go one step further by also cordoning off the lawn area with string and canes to avoid trampling, especially on front lawns where visitors or delivery personnel may take a short cut to the front door across the grass. If you’re confident your newly laid lawn isn’t at risk because it’s fenced back lawn or you are around to monitor the germinating seeds, you can save yourself some time and skip this step.

 

Will grass seed grow if you just throw it on the ground?

As many of the users of the above grass seed reported, if you just throw seed on the ground, some of it will grow, but this will be mainly down to the right conditions, good soil and a lot of luck. What does come through may be patchy, so to ensure even coverage, it’s advised that a little more thought goes into your seeding to achieve the best grass. Gardeners’ World (4) advises that you sow your chosen grass seed roughly one-and-a-half ounces per square metre. You can weigh out the first batch into a container and use a pen to mark the side to measure the remaining seed against; weights don’t have to be exact. Using posts and twine, mark out your space into 1m squares and scatter one batch of seed evenly into each. You should then lightly rake, water frequently over the next few days and cover if necessary.

 

References

(1) https://www.chch.ox.ac.uk/blog/lawn-renovation
(2) https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=424
(3) http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/lawns_sowlawn1.shtml
(4) https://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/maintain-the-garden/how-to-grow-a-lawn-from-seed