Buying Grass Seed

Cool Season Lawn Grasses

Not all grass is created equal. This chart shows important characteristics such as drought, wear and shade tolerance as well as fertilizer needs of four grass varieties. Before buying seed, a good question to ask yourself is "What do you use your lawn for?"

Characteristics Kentucky Bluegrass Perennial Ryegrass Tall Fescue Fine Fescue
Shade tolerance Poor Poor Good Excellent
Drought tolerance Poor Poor Some Some
Wear tolerance Good Good Good Poor
Establishment (days) Slow
30 to 90
14 to 21
21 to 30
21 to 50
Growth habit Rhizomatous Bunch Bunch Bunch
Leaf texture Medium-Fine Medium Coarse Very Fine
Seeding rate
(lb./1000 ft.2)
1 to 2 5 to 9 5 to 9 3 to 5
Nitrogen fertilizer
(lb. N/1,000 ft.2/year)
3 to 4 2 to 6 2 to 4 1 to 2

Grass Seed Sources

The list is provided with no guarantees that the information is accurate or up-to-date. No endorsements are implied.