7 Best Grass Seed Products to Restore a Patchy Lawn
The winner is the Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Sun & Shade Mix
Theresa Holland is a freelance writer specializing in home improvement, cleaning, and bedding. She shares her favorite life hacks on her blog The Taboo Textbook.
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Sarah Scott is a fact-checker and researcher with who has worked in the custom home building industry in sales, marketing, and design.
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The Spruce / Laurey W. Glenn
Grass seed can grow a lawn from scratch, make existing turf thicker, or target unsightly bald patches and brown spots. We researched and tested grass seed from the top brands, evaluating ease of use, effectiveness, and formulation.
Our top pick, the Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Sun & Shade Mix, is a versatile blend that stands up well to drought and disease and can seed up to 8,000 square feet of lawn—an eighth of a football field.
Here is the best grass seed for sprucing up your yard.
Best Overall: Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Sun & Shade Mix
Courtesy of Amazon
Thrives in sun and shade
Holds up in droughts and cold winters
Not suited for Southern lawns
Who else recommends it? Bob Vila also picked Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Sun and Shade Mix.
What do buyers say? 82% of 29,000+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Sun & Shade Mix thrives in scorching sunlight or densely shaded conditions, making it our top choice. This fine-bladed grass mix can even hold up in droughts and cold winters. It begins to grow in five to ten days; you can mow it after blades reach three inches in height. For optimum growth, water your lawn twice daily for three weeks.
Each individual seed, wrapped in a special WaterSmart Plus coating, absorbs twice the amount of water as its uncoated counterparts. The coating also protects your seedlings from various lawn diseases, and feeds them essential nutrients to jump-start growth. Although this mix tolerates extreme weather changes, Scott’s does not recommend using it in Southern states.
Sun Tolerance: Dense Shade to Full Sun | Climate: Drought, Cold Winters | Size: Up to 8,000 square feet | Grass Texture: Fine
Best for Shade: Pennington One Step Complete for Dense Shade Areas
Courtesy of The Home Depot
Formulated with mulch and fertilizer
Great for spot treatments or larger areas
Suited for Midwestern lawns
Not for warm-season lawns
Pennington One Step Complete blends the brand’s Smart Seed with mulch and professional-grade fertilizer, allowing the lawn to thrive in densely shaded areas. This all-in-one grass seed sprouts seedlings in as little as two weeks, even in the tricky corners of your lawn that don’t see more than two to four hours of direct sunlight a day. Whether you’re growing a lawn from scratch or just looking to patch up sparse areas, this ultra-absorbent mixture is a quick and easy solution for achieving a lush, spot-free yard.
Sun Tolerance: Dense Shade | Climate: Cool-season | Size: 125 square feet | Grass Texture: Medium
Best for Full Sun: JB Instant Lawn Signature Sunny Premium Lawn Seed
Courtesy of Lowe’s
Works with new and existing lawns
Comes in various sizes
Not suited for Midwestern lawns
JB Instant Lawn’s Sunny Blend is formulated for direct sunlight. It loves clear skies and flourishes in non-shaded areas with daily sun exposure of six or more hours. The brand’s signature perennial ryegrass seed produces thick, sod-quality lawns with fine blades and a deep green hue. You can plant it with your existing grass, or use to grow a lawn from scratch with a germination period of seven to ten days.
Sun Tolerance: Full Sun | Climate: Cool-season | Size: 1,000 square feet (max overseeding coverage area), 600 square feet (max new seeding coverage area) | Grass Texture: Fine
Best for Cool Season: Barenbrug Winter Wonderlawn Super Over Seeding Grass Seed
Courtesy of Tractor Supply
Thrives in sun and partial shade
Stands up to heavy traffic
Not suited for Northern lawns
For the chillier season, keep a bag of Winter Wonderlawn on hand. Containing a blend of Italian and perennial ryegrass, the mixture is ideal for overseeding your lawn during the coldest months.
This grass seed establishes quickly and germinates within four days, even in fall and winter. After a few weeks, expect a dense growth of fine-bladed grass, with a deep green color.
Sun Tolerance: Full Sun and Partial Shade | Climate: Southern | Size: 2,500 square feet | Grass Texture: Fine
Best for Warm Season: Water Saver Lawn Seed Mixture with Turf-Type Tall Fescue and RFT
Courtesy of The Home Depot
Thrives in sun and shade
Tolerates drought conditions
Not suited for Southern lawns
Water Saver contains a mixture of turf-quality tall fescue and RFT (rhizomatous tall fescue) seeds. The blend has a gorgeous color, a nice texture, and stands up to various diseases.
This lawn seed establishes quickly, roots deeply, and retains water, allowing it to tolerate high temps and drought conditions. It thrives in the sun or shade, and thanks to its deep roots, you can mow it shorter than other varieties.
Sun Tolerance: Full Sun and Partial Shade | Climate: Hot and Dry | Size: 1,000 square feet | Grass Texture: Coarse
Best Fast-Growing: Vigoro Fast Grass Seed Mix
Courtesy of The Home Depot
Great for spot treatments
Thrives in sun and shade
Only for existing lawns
Anytime you need speedy ground cover, erosion control, or want to repair patches in your yard, this is your best bet. Vigoro Fast Grass Mix germinates impressively quickly, and sprouts in as little as three days.
The seed works in sunny and shady areas, and produces lush, green grass with semi-fine blades and virtually no weeds. It’s ideal for temporarily filling in bare spots and, depending on when and where you plant it, you might see continued growth.
Sun Tolerance: Sun and Shade | Climate: Any | Size: 750 square feet | Grass Texture: Fine to Medium
Best Bermuda grass: Sta-Green Grass Seed Bermuda grass
Courtesy of Lowe’s
Grows back annually
99 percent weed-free
Longer germination period
Bermuda grass is a warm-weather perennial , meaning it flourishes in spring and summer, and grows back annually. This grass seed from Sta-Green contains a premium blend of 99 percent weed-free Bermuda grass.
The germination period is longer than other species (about two to three weeks). But thanks to a special QuickGrow2X coating, the mixture grows faster than other Bermuda grasses and resists disease. Soon enough, you can expect a beautiful lawn, with medium-textured grass that’s dense, lush, and feels good between your toes.
Sun Tolerance: Full Sun | Climate: Southern, Dry | Size: 5,000 square feet (max overseeding coverage area), 2,500 square feet (max new seeding coverage area) | Grass Texture: Fine to Medium
Best for Heavy Traffic: Jonathan Green Black Beauty Heavy Traffic Premium Grass Seed Mixture
Courtesy of Amazon
Stands up to heavy traffic
Resists weeds and insects
Comes in various sizes
Not suited for densely shaded areas
If you have kids, pets, or an otherwise busy household, we recommend Jonathan Green Black Beauty. The brand’s Heavy Traffic Premium Mixture contains a healthy blend of fescue and perennial ryegrass seeds. Fescue emits an amino acid that naturally acts as a herbicide, so it curbs emerging crabgrass and broadleaf weed seedlings. Not only that, but this reliable formula stands up to abrasion and naturally resists insects.
Sun Tolerance: Partial Sun | Climate: Hard Wear | Size: 1,200 square feet | Grass Texture: Coarse
Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Sun & Shade Mix is the best grass seed overall. The seeds’ special coating makes them more absorbent, allowing your turf to thrive year-round in sun or shade. However, if you have pets or kids and want something that can grow with heavy foot traffic, Jonathan Green Black Beauty Heavy Traffic Premium Grass Seed Mixture might be a better choice.
What to Look For When Buying Grass Seed
One of the most important things to keep in mind when buying grass seed is the climate, as some blends do better in certain regions. For instance, Bermuda grass is native to the southern hemisphere, so it thrives in the South and the Southwestern United States.
That being said, some grass species (such as fescue and ryegrass) can grow in a variety of climates. Be sure to check the product description before purchasing grass seed to confirm it can grow where you live.
Another thing to consider is the level of sun exposure your seedlings get. Species such as Bermuda grass and some types of ryegrass need at least a few hours of sunlight a day to thrive, whereas fescue can grow in densely shaded areas.
Some mixes are formulated to grow in sun or shade, any time of year. Check the product information before buying grass seed to make sure it’s suitable for the amount of sunlight your yard gets.
If you’re in the market for low-maintenance grass seed, look for an option that contains fertilizer. That way, your seedlings have the nourishment they need to grow quickly and flourish. Some blends also contain mulch, which helps keep the soil healthy, retains water, and prevents weed growth.
Speaking of weed growth, you may consider grass seed that specifically indicates it’s a weed-free (or 99 percent weed-free) formula. Additionally, some seeds are individually coated with a special substance that makes them more absorbent, meaning you don’t need to water as often, and disease resistant.
The best time to plant grass seed depends on the type of seed and the climate. However, since most mixtures germinate when temperatures aren’t too hot or cold, planting in the fall for a cool-season grass and spring for a warm-season grass is typically ideal. Seedlings thrive in semi-warm soil, with moderate daytime temperatures and slightly cooler evenings.
To prepare the soil for grass seed, start by removing any sticks, large rocks, and weeds from the surface. Then, break up the soil with a spade, hoe, garden fork, or core aerator, continuing to remove rocks and debris as you go. If your grass seed lacks fertilizer, add a slow-release fertilizer to the soil before planting.
The goal is to keep the top layer of soil moist at all times, so water grass seed once or twice a day until it germinates. How much and how often depends on where you live and what the weather is like. When your seedlings reach about an inch tall, you can switch to watering every other day. After a few weeks, when the grass has established, weekly or bi-weekly watering should suffice.
Why Trust The Spruce?
The Spruce contributor Theresa Holland is an experienced commerce writer, with several years of experience covering home improvement. She’s spent countless hours researching yard care and landscaping products, not only for the content she writes but also for personal use. You can see more of her home-related stories on MyDomaine.
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
The Best Grass Seed for the Northeast of 2022. Bob Vila. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/best-grass-seed-for-northeast/
Rocha, Inês et al. Seed Coating: A Tool for Delivering Beneficial Microbes to Agricultural Crops. Frontiers in Plant Science, vol. 10. pp. 1357, 2019. doi:10.3389/fpls.2019.01357
Sta green seed weed feed
Use Sta-Green Weed and Feed if you want to achieve a lush and weed-free lawn plus a healthy root system. With the ability to kill and further inhibit the growth of more than 250 weeds, this brand has been one of the top choices of both professional gardeners and ordinary home owners alike when it comes to the maintenance of their turfs. The product’s ability to extend the release of its fertilizer component for months is an added benefit for the long term health of your lawn’s grass.
Basic information on weed and feed
For beginners, you might wonder what this type of product is and when do you need to use it. In its very basic explanation, a weed and feed product combines both the ability to kill existing weeds and fertilize (feed) your turf or lawn. Aside from eliminating unwanted grasses and bringing nutrition, these products also help improve the root system of the turf which is directly responsible for the grasses’ physical strength, ability to absorb water and nutrients and its overall health.
When it comes to Sta-Green Weed and Feed application, it’s important for users to know the very basic guidelines to maximize its effectiveness and eliminate the risk of damaging the grass itself. A weed and feed mix can only be used up to four times a year and is best applied during spring, summer and early or late spring. It should be used when the weeds are actively growing, when the climate and grass is dry, and must be spread in the proper manner.
Sta Green Weed and Feed Products
Though most of the weed and feed mixes offered by the brand have that same efficacy when it comes to fertilization and killing weed, there are currently five variants designed for more specific applications.
1. Weed & Feed Basic
This is the basic weed and feed mix offered by the brand. The herbicide component is capable of killing over 250 kinds of weeds. The fertilizer mix is at 28-0-4 ratio or 28% Nitrogen, 0% Phosphorous and 4% Potassium. The fertilization is on an extended release of 3 months which is ideal for long term health. And the product is recommended for use in spring or fall season.
2. Weed & Feed Broad Spectrum
This is the upgraded mix of the Basic weed and feed. It is broad spectrum meaning it can kill a wider variety of weeds. It can be applied even to the sensitive types of grasses like centipede. And the waiting time for you to seed is reduced at 4 weeks instead of the 6 weeks in all other products. Fertilizer ratio is still at 28-0-4.
3. Sta Green Southern Weed and Feed
The Southern Weed & Feed is especially formulated for the climate of the southern regions which is more temperate. When dealing with tough weeds of the south, this mix can eradicate them and keep them at bay for as long as 3 months. Fertilizer ratio is 20-0-5 and is extendedly released for 2 months. This weed and feed mix is also designed to strengthen the root system of your turf.
4. Winterized Weed & Feed
As its name suggests, the winterized weed and feed helps protect your turf or lawn from the harsh winter condition. It promotes stronger and deeper roots keeping your grass healthy while it hibernates. Additionally, this product induces early lushness and green-up as soon as spring arrives. The fertilizer mix is 26-0-12 and extendedly released for 3 months.
5. Ready-to-Spray Weed & Feed
When you need immediate weeding action, choose the ready-to-spray weed and feed mix. The product is capable of killing weeds and fertilizing your lawn in one easy application. The mix which contains 20% Nitrogen is recommended for use in spring.
What customers are saying
Check out some Sta Green Weed and Feed reviews to learn how customers are transforming their lawns using the abovementioned mixes. Though there can be concerns about the products, it is important to take note that proper use and application is required to reap the full benefits of Sta Green Weed and Feed.
Sta Green Weed and Feed: How To Apply
Lowes Sta-Green Weed and Feed kills existing weeds while feeding your lawn. Early spring is the best time for you to fertilize your grass especially if you have a history of weed problems like crabgrass.
Feeding your lawn in the spring strengthens roots and gives it a good start for the growing season. Most lawns will need added nutrition and also weeds that need to be killed.
It allows a homeowner to effectively tackle both issues with a single application. If your lawn has weeds throughout, it is important to use a weed and feed product instead of just fertilizer because fertilizer can contribute to both grass and weed growth.
Lowes Sta Green Weed and Feed
Sta Green Weed & Feed is comparable to Scotts Plus 2 and kills dandelions, chickweed, knotweed, plantains, henbit, spurge, and other broadleaf weeds with the ingredient Trimec.
Weed and Feed is a common fertilizer that contains a post emergent weed killer, but will not control weeds like crabgrass. Crabgrass needs to be controlled with a pre emergent product like Sta Green Crab Ex Plus.
To be effective, you must start by knowing what weeds you need to control and checking the label to see which weeds the product will treat. We can help you find the right product! A healthy lawn is a deep green color and the ability to grow back year after year and regular mowing.
Sometimes, however, grass needs some extra help in the form of nutrients that are not readily available in the soil to stay healthy. You can apply a lawn fertilizer that will revitalize the soil and provide your lawn with the nourishment it requires.
Lawn fertilization is not difficult and almost any homeowner can quickly learn the right type of fertilizer to buy and how to apply it properly.
Fertilizer can help you grow a lawn that will fight weeds while standing up to disease, insects and foot traffic. Sta-Green brand fertilizers are only available at Lowes Home Improvement stores.
Weed & Feed products, like Sta-Green Weed & Feed, usually contain Trimec 2,4-D or other post-emergent, selective herbicides. They’re designed to selectively kill broadleaf weeds without harming grass. However, weed & feed products with Trimec can kill warm season grasses like St. Augustine and Bermuda grass, so check the label to see if it’s safe for your type of lawn before using.
The United States has three zones for grass seed. Cool, Transitional and Warm Season. Cool season areas can use a Trimec based weed and feed. Transitional areas can be difficult as they may have a combination of cool season and warm season grasses.
If you live in the south, you will have a warm season grass and will need to use Sta Green Southern Weed and Feed. It contains Atrazine instead of Trimec and is safe for warm season grasses
Read more here about Southern Lawns: Southern Lawns
Always read the label and follow instructions carefully.
Sta-Green weed and feed kills as many as 150 weeds, including dandelions, chickweed, knotweed, thistle and many broadleaf weeds. It also encourages greening, increases the lawn’s ability to absorb water and nutrients and extends nitrogen feeding.
Whether you have warm-season grass like Bermuda or St. Augustine, or your lawn is cool-season bluegrass or fescue, all lawns require regular feeding throughout the year for growth. Having a regular fertilization schedule, and applying the correct type and amount of fertilizer will help keep your lawn attractive and healthy year round.
Warm season grasses like Bermuda, Centipede and St.Augustine lawns can generally be fertilized from March to October. A fall fertilizer treatment is also very important to maintaining a healthy lawn. It is during the fall months that the greatest amount of root development takes place. Applying a fall fertilizer treatment will help develop a strong, deep root structure.
Cool season grasses like Kentucky blue and ryegrass can generally be fertilized March to June and again in the fall. Avoid fertilizer late June to September. As temperatures rise during summer, growth slows down and lawns require mowing less frequently. This is known as summer dormancy.
Roots can be damaged when temperatures are above 85 F. During this time weeds such as crabgrass, foxtail, clover, nutsedge and spurge can thrive because they are more competitive in warm weather.
- Pre-emergents, are used to prevent crabgrass, and must be applied before the weeds germinate. They are ineffective if the weeds are already growing. Pre-emergent weed killers are often mixed with fertilizer and are designed to be spread in early spring. Crabgrass normally germinates when the ground temperature reaches 55° F — the ground temperature at which forsythias begin blooming. Use Crab Ex Plus Crabgrass.
- Post-emergent types of weed and feed fertilizers are contact killers, and are effective only if the weeds are already actively growing. The Trimec granules stick to the wet blades of grass. They will not kill weeds which have not yet germinated. Use Weed and Feed or Southern Weed and Feed depending on your state and grass type.
Why Fertilize In The First Place?
Your soil supplies some of the nutrients that grass needs but most soils are not able to provide all of them during the entire growing season. How much and how often should you fertilize? Well, it depends. Mostly on the type of grass, time of year, kind of fertilizer you use and the amount of time and money you have to invest in a your lawn. Fertilizer helps your lawn stay healthy by:
- Promoting new leaf and root growth
- Aiding in recovery from foot traffic and pest damage
- Reducing and controlling weeds
How to Read a Fertilizer Package Label
Ever wonder what those numbers on the bag mean? It’s not as complicated as you may think. The three numbers on the fertilizer package indicates the amount of its three primary ingredients: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Fertilizers have a range of different formulas.
So, depending upon the types of grass you are working with, you are sure to find a formula that works for you.Sta Green, like many other fertilizer brands are using less phosphorous in all products.
Overuse of phosphorus in fertilizer is a serious threat to water quality because it enters waterways through the storm drains. You will likely see many fertilizers with ratios of zero phosphorous, such as 30-0-3.
These three numbers tell you the percentage of the nutrients by weight. The three main components are:
- Nitrogen (symbol N) for blade development and deep green color.
- Phosphorous (symbol P) for root growth.
- Potassium (symbol K) for root development and disease resistance.
For example, a bag marked “30-0-03” contains 30 percent nitrogen, 0 percent phosphorous and 3 percent potassium. In this case, the other 67 percent is usually inert filler material added to aid distribution by your spreader. There may also be secondary elements added such as calcium, magnesium or iron.
So if the bag weighs 50 pounds, you would have 50 x 30% for 15 pounds of nitrogen, 50 X 0% for zero phosphorous and 50 X 3% for 1.5 pounds of potassium. That’s right, 16.5 pounds of actual fertilizer in a 50 lb bag! But don’t feel cheated by the inert material in the fertilizer bag. It’s needed to help distribute the fertilizer evenly and prevent chemical burn on your lawn.
Easy To Follow Steps To A Better Lawn
Before fertilizing, it is always a good idea to do a quick soil test to assess the nutrient status and pH level of your soil. This is important because when the pH of your soil is either too high or too low, it reduces the ability of grass to grow.
Most grasses grow best in soils with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. A soil pH below 5.5 is considered to be acidic, and anything above 7.0 indicates an alkaline soil condition. If the pH level of your soil is below 5.5, you should consider an application of lime, and if it’s above 7.0, you likely need an application of gardener’s sulfur.
When To Start Mowing
Mow your lawn two to three days before weed and feed application to stimulate weed growth. Yes, you want those weeds growing. Mow the lawn at normal height, not lower or higher. Do not mow immediately before application or you will cut the weeds too short, which prevents the weed and feed product from sticking to the weeds.
Determining Your Lawn Size
Lawn fertilizer is usually sold in 5000 square foot and 15000 square foot bags. Simply measure the width and length of your lawn in feet. You can just pace this out by walking. Multiply the width by the length. This is the square footage of your lawn.
A 70 x 100 lawn is 7000 square feet. Then measure the square footage of any non-lawn areas like your garden, patio or deck, driveway and the home. Subtract those square footage totals from your lawn’s total square footage for an accurate number to use in determining how much weed and feed to purchase and use.
Fertilizer will generally keep for a year, as long as it doesn’t get wet. so if you can use the bigger bag in a years time go ahead and buy the larger size.
How To Apply Weed & Feed For Best Results
Do not apply a Weed & Feed to any newly seeded lawns until after the second mowing to allow the grass time to mature. This is usually about 6 weeks after planting. Once the lawn has been mowed a second time, you can apply according to the directions on the packaging.
Mow your lawn to a normal height one to two days prior to application. Also, make sure temperatures are above freezing and below 80 degrees. Extreme temperature changes will lower your lawn’s ability for excellent results.