Best Grass Seed UK: Reviews of Popular Products & Buyers Guide

best grass seed

For an amateur lawn keeper, shopping for grass seed can be confusing. However, if you want your lawn to look its best all year round, choosing the best grass seed for the job is important.

But what does the term ‘best grass seed’ even mean? And how do you go about choosing the correct grass seed for your garden?

In this article, I’m going to talk about the different types of lawn seed and when you might want to choose one type over another. We’ll then take a closer look at what I consider to be some of the best grass seed blends to buy and use, depending on how you use your lawn and different environmental and climatic factors.


Contents

 

The Best Grass Seed: My Top Picks


If you’re in a rush and you don’t want to read through this whole article, I’ve organised my top pick into a handy table. You can either click the buttons to buy a product or click on the ‘My Review’ text links to jump to the review for that product.

 

the best grass seed for multi-purpose lawnsRolawn Medallion: The Best Grass Seed for Multi-Purpose Lawns

– A Very Reputable Supplier
– Excellent Quality
– More Expensive than Other Products

View on Amazon.co.uk

Or Read My Review


 

the best hard wearing grass seedGBW Grass Seed: The Best Hard Wearing Grass Seed

– Very Well Reviewed
– Quick to Germinate
– Tailored to the UK Climate

View on Amazon.co.uk

Or Read My Review


 

the best ornamental grass seedRolawn Minster Pro: The Best Ornamental Grass Seed

– Used on Golf Courses in the UK
– Slow Growing
– Creates a Beautiful Lawn

View on Amazon.co.uk

Or Read My Review


 

the best shady lawn seed
A1 Lawn AM Pro-9 The Shady Lawn Seed

– Creates Beautiful Lawns in Shady Areas
– A Blend of Fine and Hard Wearing Grasses
– Germinates Well

View on Amazon.co.uk

Or Read My Review

 

 

Why Every Lawn Owner Needs a Stock of Grass Seed in Their Shed


Even if you’re only semi-serious about maintaining a rich, green healthy lawn, you’ll know how much work is involved;

  • Killing and raking away moss that has grown over the winter creates space for new grass to grow into.
  • Scarifying your lawn to reduce thatch is necessary to prevent fungal disease like Fusarium Patch or Fairy Rings while promoting new grass growth by letting water, air and nutrients penetrate the soil.
  • Aerating your lawn to improve drainage via spiking or to relieve compaction via hollow tining encourages strong root development.

These treatments are most often carried out in the spring or autumn, sometimes both.

A scarifier or rake can leave your lawn looking pretty horrific. As such, it’s important to do what you can to help the lawn recover. This includes spreading and sowing new lawn seed and applying a fertiliser to encourage quick germination and establishment.

As a result, you could find yourself overseeding once, even twice a year.

 

How to Choose the Best Grass Seed For Your Lawn


grass seed

When it comes to choosing and using grass seed, many people make the mistake of thinking that ‘grass seed is grass seed’ and grab the first pack they see. Others look at the different varieties and become overwhelmed into choosing the wrong type.

So how do you choose the best grass seed for you and your lawn?

Well, to keep things simple, consider the following;

  • How do you use your lawn? – Is it simply just a soft area for the kids to rough and tumble on? Do you want a lawn that’ll take some wear and tear yet still look like a well cared for carpet of green? Or, you do want it to be a masterpiece in the centre of a formal garden? Unfortunately, you can’t have all three (unless you have several lawns).
  • Environmental factors – What type of soil does your grass grow in? If you want a pristine, bowling green type lawn, it needs a slightly more acidic soil. It should also free of debris like rubble and tree roots. Also, think about how much shade covers your lawn. If you have a lawn that sits in the shade you’ll want to choose a grass seed that’ll cope well with less sunlight.
  • What about the weather? – Does it rain for most of the year where you live or do you get long spells of warm weather?

Choosing a Grass Seed Mix

Once you have thought about how you use the lawn, the environment in which it resides and the climate in your area, you’ll be able to make a better decision about which is the best grass seed for you.

Hard Wearing Lawn Seed

If you want a lawn to simply act as a soft play area for the kids then choose a lawn seed mix that contains a lot of perennial ryegrass.

A hard wearing grass seed mix will take a beating from kids and pets running around on them. It’ll also grow in nearly all kinds of soil and the high ryegrass content makes it quick to germinate. They also root deeply and grow quickly so the grass will need cutting regularly.

General Purpose Lawn Seed

Want a lawn that all the family can use for play and entertaining that’ll still look beautiful? Choose a general purpose lawn seed mix.

They contain a fairly high percentage of perennial ryegrass which means it can tolerate wear and tear. They’re blended with finer grasses including tall and red fescues which gives the lawn that luxurious look and feel.

General purpose lawn seed mixes grow well in most soils and grow fairly quickly, especially in spring and autumn. They’re also the best option if your lawn gets both sun and shade during the day.

If you want the best of both worlds, a luxury and hard wearing lawn, use a general purpose lawn seed.

Ornamental Lawn Seed

Do you dream of having a closely mown, bowling green type lawn?

If you do, you’ll need a grass seed mix that only contains the finest fescue grasses including; creeping red fescue, chewings fescue and brown tops.

Ornamental lawns don’t take much wear and tear or lots of people walking on them. At least not without a lot of maintenance work.

As I said earlier, ornamental grasses prefer slightly more acidic soil. If you’re dead set on having a lawn like this, make sure your soil is up to scratch.

These grass types are beautiful to look at. They grow very slowly when compared to other grasses and tolerate much closer mowing.

Shady Grass Seed

For lawns that are covered in a lot of shade for most of the time, these blends of lawn seed contain a mixture of dwarf ryegrass, a small meadowgrass content, hard fescues and finer fescues.

The harder wearing grasses combined with deep rooting species and finer fescues create a beautiful lawn that’ll still grow well in most soils.

Shady lawns can take some wear and tear but not as much as others. That said, a well-maintained lawn in a shady area can look stunning!

You can choose one of the following grass seed mixes to make changes to the grasses you currently have in your lawn.

For example, if you have a lawn that grows well in sunny areas but is patchy in shady areas, buy a shady lawn seed for the shady areas.

Alternatively, if you have inherited an ornamental lawn that you want your family and kids to be able to use, choose a general purpose lawn seed. This will introduce some harder wearing grasses into your lawn, making it more tolerant to wear and tear.

 

Grass Seed Reviews: A Closer Look at My Top Picks


Here is a closer look at what I think are the best grass seed products.

Important Note:

I have written these grass seed reviews under the assumption that your lawn is ready for grass seed to be sown.

Excessive amounts of lawn thatch and moss, nutrient deficient, compacted soil and fungal disease will prevent even the best lawn seed from germinating and growing.

If your lawn is suffering from these problems, make sure you take care of them first. Otherwise, you’ll waster both time and money.

These articles will help;

  1. Lawn Moss Removal: What Causes it, How to Kill it, Remove it & Prevent it From Returning
  2. Scarification: Why, When and How to Scarify Your Lawn (The Ultimate Guide)
  3. Aerating a Lawn: Everything You Need to Know About Aerating Your Lawn (The Ultimate Guide)
  4. Lawn Fertiliser: What, Why, When and How to Feed Your Lawn

However, if these jobs have all been taken care of, read on.

1. Rolawn Medallion Lawn Seed Review: The Best General Purpose Grass Seed

best general purpose grass seed

If you’re looking for a general purpose grass seed that will take some wear and tear but also look and feel like luxury, then Rolawn’s Medallion Premium Lawn Seed gets my top recommendation.

I recently reviewed Rolawn and discovered that their turfs and grass seeds are the basis for many award-winning gardens. They are also regularly featured on Alan Titchmarsh’s Love Your Garden on ITV as well as supporting the BBC’s Gardeners World Live Show.

Rest assured you’re in safe hands with their products as they’re the highest of quality. That said, expect to pay a bit more for them as a result because they’re at the higher end of the price bracket.

The Seed Blend

Rolawn Medallion lawn seed blend is made up of;

  • 25% Dwarf Perennial Ryegrass – this gives the grass seed blend its tolerance to wear and tear. It also grows fairly low and produces that pleasing thick, lush look.
  • 45% Strong Creeping Red Fescue – is very tolerant to drought in both sunny and shaded areas. It’s not very susceptible to pests or diseases either which makes it very hardy.
  • 30% Slender Creeping Red Fescue – is very fine in appearance and used on golf courses. It gives this blend of grass seed its luxury look and feel.

What I and Others Think

Having used this particular grass seed mix on several projects, I’m a massive fan of Rolawn’s Medallion grass seed.

It’s quick to germinate when you’ve prepared and fertilised the ground properly and it grows evenly and reliably.

And it’s not just me that’s a fan. The online reviews for this Medallion grass seed are overwhelmingly positive.

Naturally, there are some negative reviews. Most of which are complaints about the grass seed not germinating.

The good thing about these reviews is that Rolawn often replies to them. This helps us understand the reasons behind the negativity. More often than not, it’s caused by a lack of knowledge on the side of the customer. Many of which sow the seed in the wrong conditions, either too early in the year or in the middle of summer when conditions are dry.

If you stick to spring (usually April/May) and autumn (usually end of August to end of September) you should have no problems.

Some people also comment on the cost. Many people say it’s expensive when compared to other brands and it is. But the fact is, you get what you pay for and I’ve found it to be an excellent product. For me, it’s the best grass seed for a general purpose lawn.

 


the best grass seed for multi-purpose lawnsRolawn Medallion: The Best Grass Seed for Multi-Purpose Lawns

– A Very Reputable Supplier
– Excellent Quality
– More Expensive than Other Products

View on Amazon.co.uk

 


 

2. GBW Grass Seed Review: Best Hard Wearing Grass Seed

best hard wearing grass seed

If you want a hard wearing lawn for a kid’s play area or another purpose, GBW Grass Seed is excellent.

In fact, the company are so confident that it’ll germinate a grow quickly that they back it up with a 100% satisfaction or your money back guarantee. This is a bold move considering the fact that the reason grass seed normally doesn’t germinate is down to the user.

The Seed Blend

GBW say their lawn seed is specifically tailored to the UK climate and contains a mixture of;

  • 43% Dwarf Amenity Ryegrass – This is a very high percentage of ryegrass which makes the blend very tolerant to wear and tear.
  • 40% Creeping Red Fescue – Another hard wearing grass which is tolerant to shade and drought as well as disease.
  • 12% Chewings Fescue – A tough, fine-bladed grass that grows to create a thick sward.
  • 5% Brown Top Bent – A fine grass that grows well, even in poor soils, often used on putting greens.

What I And Others Think

Many people might bork at this product because 43% ryegrass content is pretty high.

For some reason, ryegrass has gotten a bad name for itself. I don’t know why, but today’s Dwarf Amenity Ryegrasses are beautiful. In fact, they’re amongst the greenest grasses you’ll see.

If you’re not bothered about a bowling green lawn and your soil isn’t perfect, then having even a high ryegrass content will make for a really good-looking lawn.

This is another grass seed that I have used several times when creating play areas or lawns for rental properties. It germinates and grows very quickly and it creates a very decent looking area of grass.

Again, it’s not just me that’s a fan of this grass seed. It scores 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.co.uk from over 1,500 reviews.

That said, there are some negative reviews about the 1kg bag being underweight. I have never experienced this for myself but then I have never weighed the bag. Another big complaint is that the seed doesn’t germinate but there are so many reasons this could (or not) happen, it’s hard to comment.

In my experience though, GBW grass seed is an excellent choice if you’re seeding;

  • A play area
  • A lawn for a rental property where the lawn doesn’t need to be bowling green standard.
  • On top of less than perfect soil.

 


the best hard wearing grass seedGBW Grass Seed: The Best Hard Wearing Grass Seed

– Very Well Reviewed
– Quick to Germinate
– Tailored to the UK Climate

View on Amazon.co.uk

 


 

3. Rolawn Minster Pro Review: Best Ornamental Lawn Seed

best ornamental grass seed

If you want an ornamental lawn or you want to improve the visual appearance of an existing lawn by adding finer grasses…

…In my opinion, Rolawn’s Minster Pro is the best grass seed for this.

I already talked about Rolawn earlier when reviewing their medallion grass seed so you’ll already know what I think about them as a company.

Their products and customer service are excellent.

The Seed Blend

Rolawn’s Minster Pro ornamental lawn seed is made up of;

  • 50% Slender Creeping Red Fescue – Have very fine, bristle-like leaves that grow slowly and form in mats.
  • 50% Chewings Fescue – Another slow-growing, fine-bladed grass with an excellent visual appearance.

Both of these grass types are used in golf courses all over the UK. They grow slowly and tolerate very close mowing which makes them perfect for ornamental lawns.

What I and Others Think

Rolawn’s Minster Pro grass seed is a very good product that combines just two species of grass to create a beautiful appearance.

It’ll take longer to germinate than a seed blend that contains ryegrass and it’ll grow much more slowly. That said, it’s worth the wait.

I must admit I have never sown a full lawn from Minster Pro. That said, I have used it to overseed and improve the appearance and characteristics of existing lawns. Which it does beautifully.

This grass seed is also rated very highly online too. Nearly every product you can think of has at least one negative or one-star review. But Minster Pro only scores 4 or 5 stars.

Again though, it is on the higher end of the price bracket. But, you get what you pay for and Minster Pro lawn seed is beautiful.

 


the best ornamental grass seedRolawn Minster Pro: The Best Ornamental Grass Seed

– Used on Golf Courses in the UK
– Slow Growing
– Creates a Beautiful Lawn

View on Amazon.co.uk

 


 

4. A1 Lawn Premium Shady Lawn Seed Review: Best Grass Seed For Shady Lawns

best grass seed for shady lawns

If your lawn is covered in shade cast by buildings, trees, fences, hedges or bushes, you’ll need a grass blend that’ll cope well in that environment.

A1 Lawn AM Pro-9 Premium Shady Lawn Seed is fantastic!

The Seed Blend

This grass seed blend contains a mixture of the following;

  • 20% Dwarf Perennial Ryegrass – Which is quick to germinate and grow, roots deeply and grows well in cool conditions cast by shade.
  • 35% Strong Creeping Red Fescue – A hardy grass that’ll cope well in shade. It’s also very resistant to diseases like Red Thread and Fusarium Patch that is often caused by surface moisture on the grass.
  • 15% Slender Creeping Red Fescue – Creates a thick, luxurious mat of foliage which is fairly vigorous.
  • 3% Browntop Bent – Grows well even in poor conditions where there is limited sunlight and poorer soil.
  • 12% Meadow Grass – Another grass that grows well in poorer conditions, especially in nutrient deficient soils.
  • 15% Sheeps Fescue – A very hardy, adaptable, yet fine leafed grass that can stand up to the harshest conditions from droughts to freezing temperatures.

What I and Others Think

With several very hardy species of grass, A1 Lawns AM Pro-9 Premium Shady Lawn Seed is a very specific blend that is perfectly suited to our often unpredictable climate.

As such, it doesn’t just cope well in shaded areas, it looks fantastic. It’s fairly quick to germinate and grows reliably.

I must admit, there aren’t many online reviews for this grass seed but the few that have been left are all very positive. This seed mixture is used and recommended by both amateur and professional gardeners alike.

The smallest pack size is 5kg which is enough to cover 142sq meters. Some people might find this a bit much if they have a small lawn. Apart from that, it’s a fantastic product backed up by a knowledgeable and helpful customer service team.

 


the best shady lawn seedA1 Lawn AM Pro-9 The Shady Lawn Seed

– Creates Beautiful Lawns in Shady Areas
– A Blend of Fine and Hard Wearing Grasses
– Germinates Well

View on Amazon.co.uk

 

The Competition


As you have probably discovered, there are hundreds of different lawn seed products on the market. Out of the hundreds of products on the market, I have 4 top recommendations.

So what about the rest?

Well, I can’t possibly test every single product but here are my thoughts on the most popular ones;

A1 Lawn AM Pro 25 Super Tough Lawn Seed is a very good alternative to my top recommendation, GBW Hard Wearing Grass Seed.  That said, it only comes in 5kg or 10kg bags. That’s fine if you’ve got a large area to seed but for many people, it might be too much.

Superstar Back Lawn Grass by The Grass People is also an excellent product of you find Rolawn Medallion lawn seed a bit expensive. You’ll get half a kilo more and save around £7. It doesn’t seem to germinate as quickly but it’s still highly recommended on Amazon.

A1 Lawn’s Platinum Pro is a good quality alternative to Rolawn’s Minster Pro. You’ll pay just £10 more a 5kg bag than you would for a 1kg box from Rolawn. If you’ve got a larger area to seed, you’ll definitely save yourself a few quid. It has more species of grass in the blend than Minster Pro but they’re all very fine species and it’s a very high-quality product.

Gro-Sure Aqua Gel Coated ‘Smart’ Grass Seed is one of those ‘magic bullet’ products. It claims to aid quick germination because the seed is coated in an aqua gel. Not only is this completely unnecessary, but it also didn’t germinate any quicker in my tests.

Evergreen Fast Start Lawn Seed is another product to stay away from in my opinion. It’s on the more expensive side due to it’s ‘Headstart Gold’ fast germination technology. Which they claim will germinate in 4 days. In a lab, that might be the case but in real life? It doesn’t. And there are several users who feel let down by this product.

Don’t waste your money, or time.

 

In Conclusion


To recap, here are my favourite grass seeds again:

 

the best grass seed for multi-purpose lawnsRolawn Medallion: The Best Grass Seed for Multi-Purpose Lawns

– A Very Reputable Supplier
– Excellent Quality
– More Expensive than Other Products

View on Amazon.co.uk

Or Read My Review


 

the best hard wearing grass seedGBW Grass Seed: The Best Hard Wearing Grass Seed

– Very Well Reviewed
– Quick to Germinate
– Tailored to the UK Climate

View on Amazon.co.uk

Or Read My Review


 

the best ornamental grass seedRolawn Minster Pro: The Best Ornamental Grass Seed

– Used on Golf Courses in the UK
– Slow Growing
– Creates a Beautiful Lawn

View on Amazon.co.uk

Or Read My Review


 

the best shady lawn seed
A1 Lawn AM Pro-9 The Shady Lawn Seed

– Creates Beautiful Lawns in Shady Areas
– A Blend of Fine and Hard Wearing Grasses
– Germinates Well

View on Amazon.co.uk

Or Read My Review

 

When is comes to finding the best grass seed for a particular job or environment, many lawn owners can get confused.

I hope this article has helped you make your mind up about choosing the best lawn seed for your particular needs and gardening goals.

And remember different types of grass seed can be added to a lawn to give it a certain look, characteristic or resilience.

For example, you can add shady lawn seed to patchy areas of your lawn that sit in shade for most of the time. And similarly, you can add ornamental seed to a general purpose lawn to give it a finer appearance.

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

Over to You

I’d love to know if this article has helped you. If you have any questions, leave a message in the comments section below.

I’d also love to read about your experiences and what you think is the best grass seed.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please leave a message below. And if you’ve got any before and after pictures, please, send them in. It’d be great to see them.

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