When you’re planting a lawn in Florida, there’s no one correct choice. Instead, this map will help you determine which grass seed is best for your area. Choosing the best grass seed for the state of Illinois is easy with our guide. Click now to learn more! Over the last 20 years we have tried dozens of combinations & we think we have found the best grass seed mix for the most Kansas City lawns. Find out here!
The Best Grass Seed For Florida
When you’re buying grass seed in Florida, there’s no simple list of which seeds are best for the entire state. The problem is that Florida has a wide range of temperature conditions, particularly in winter.
Thankfully, we don’t have to go through every single climate zone to determine the best grass seed for Florida. Instead, we can look at two basic types of conditions: “cool season” and “warm season”.
Some Florida grasses are better for cool season growing, while others are better for warm season growing.
So, before we start, we need to understand the difference between warm season and cool season grasses. Let’s take a closer look!
Sunday Lawn Care Subscription
No Guesswork or unwanted chemicals
Sunday believes in plant science, soil data and
mystery-free ingredients to help you grow a
great lawn without the toxic stuff.
Let’s yard better together!
Disclosure: We may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. This does not impact our reviews and comparisons. All opinions are our own. We pride ourselves on keeping our articles fair and balanced. For more info see our disclosure statement.
In This Article:
Most homeowners prefer Bahiagrass because of its resilience – it’s highly drought-resistant and has a high threshold for heat. While relatively low maintenance once fully matured, they are pretty hard to germinate and grow because of the grass’s short and above-ground stems called “Stolon.”
Its stems develop denser and sturdier roots than most lawn grass, which means they grow slower to build a stronger foundation. This often makes them susceptible to weeds when left unmaintained during their germination and growing period.
However, once fully matured, you can rely on this grass’s capacity for resilience to all types of weather. In fact, in winter, to conserve energy, they go through a dormancy period wherein their foliage turns a brownish tan. So, don’t worry too much if you start seeing them turn this color once the colder season approaches. As an upside as well, they quickly return to their vibrant green hues once spring arrives.
2. Bermuda Grass
Like Bahiagrass, Bermuda Grass is highly valued for its impressive tolerance for drought, humidity, heat, and quick recovery from heavy use. Most people opt for this type of grass as they provide one of the most low-maintenance options from all the warm-season grasses. All you need is full, direct sun and good drainage to keep its foliage and roots vibrant and healthy.
In addition, they are also known for being one of the fastest-growing grasses. However, depending on your lawn care routine, this may cause a problem for some who prefer to contain their grass with less effort.
Another downside to Bermuda Grass is its low tolerance for colder seasons. As such, they go dormant for more extended periods compared to other grasses such as Bahia grass. So, you may want to consider this depending on your climate.
3. Centipede Grass
Centipede grass is a staple for most homeowners as they are highly heat-tolerant and requires very minimal effort to maintain. Like Bermuda Grass, it is less to upkeep. However, its soil and climate requirements can be tricky to pin down if you’re in an arid area.
Originating from the Southeast, this type of grass is used to high heat. However, like the tropical climates of their origins, Centipede Grass may need more watering than other types of grasses.
As an added tip, you may want to make sure that the soil you’re using is sandy soil with limited nutrients and high pH levels. These will reveal healthier and more vibrant roots and foliage. You may also opt for lawn fertilizers or supplements with high iron content to keep them looking pristine and at their prime.
4. Tall Fescue
If you’re looking for cool-season grasses, then Tall Fescue may be an excellent choice for you. These are highly valued for their impressive adaptability to ever-changing climates. They are not only heat and drought-tolerant but also maintain excellent resistance to shade and disease. This is mainly because of their extensive root systems that can go below 2-3 feet deep, making for a healthy and sturdy foundation from the get-go.
However, one disadvantage to Tall Fescue is its slow recovery period. While tolerant to most climates and fast-growing, once stressed, they may need ample time and maintenance to bring back healthy foliage and roots.
5. Kentucky Bluegrass
Famous for its dense, lush, and vibrant foliage, the Kentucky bluegrass is the ideal lawn turf option for most homeowners. When given the proper growing conditions and maintenance, they can easily make any lawn look stunning and bright.
However, this grass type requires a lot of maintenance to keep it in pristine condition. While they have excellent winter hardiness capacities, they are highly susceptible to heat, drought, and shade and recover at a prolonged rate from stress. But, if you can incorporate a great lawn care routine for these, the results can be worth the effort and time.
6. Seashore Paspalum
Seashore Paspalum is widely popular for its low maintenance requirements for watering and fertilizing. In addition, they also have an extremely high resistance to damage from pests, bugs, digging, and even surface damage from foot traffic. This quality makes it an ideal option for lawns and golf courses, sports fields, and parks.
A fun fact for this grass type is that they have an excellent tolerance for saline water or salt. This means you can easily opt to use non-toxic saline solutions or even salt to kill weeds, making it perfect for those with small children and pets.
7. Zoysia Grass
Similar to Kentucky bluegrass, Zoysia Grass is known for its stunningly vibrant and lush foliage, but with a significant upside: it requires very minimal upkeep to maintain pristinely. It has high hardiness for heat, drought, and even heavy foot traffic.
Its high recovery rate and hardiness are why it’s one of the best grass seeds for Florida. In addition, its dense growth makes it almost impossible for weeds to grow in between as they leave barely any gaps in the turf they grow on.
The only downside to this type of grass is it grows very slowly. It takes time for them to germinate and establish full maturity because of their dense foliage.
Best Grass Seed for Illinois
A lush green lawn has long been a dream of any homeowner. Recently, the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers has thrown homeowners off of grass seeds and they’ve been turning to alternatives, such as clover. However, homeowners still view clover as a type of weed and nothing looks as welcoming as a grass seed lawn in Illinois — as long as you can grow it without patchy, brown spots.
Achieving such a goal for your lawn is absolutely possible. Choosing the right grass seed makes it easier for you to grow a beautiful lash lawn without the need to add pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Read on to learn more about how to grow the best lawn possible.
Illinois Grass Growing Conditions
Growing healthy grass from grass seed is conditional on soil health. Illinois has different soils, with some of them being highly productive. Other types might not be fit for growing grass because they might be too steep or dry. But overall, Illinois is a great agricultural state and is perfect to plant grass seed.
The location, low elevation of the state, and the confluence with major drainage lines have influenced soil development throughout the centuries.
West Illinois has the Mississippi River, the south has the Ohio River, the Southeast has the Wabash River, and the Illinois River is in the central part. These rivers have distributed critical nutrients to the soil, making it fertile and productive.
Additionally, Illinois’s climate is also favorable to the soil condition and for growing lawn grass. The state has the perfect mix of warm and cold weather to allow for cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses, as well as adequate fertilization periods.
In general, there are ten major soil groups, and five of them are crucial to Illinois:
- Mollisols: dark-colored soils, perfect for lawn grasses, formed by the decomposition of underground remains. Mollisols are mainly found in central and Northern Illinois, making up 49% of the state.
- Alfisols: light-colored soils that grow under forests. They are predominant in Southern Illinois and make up 46% of the state.
- Entisols: light-colored soils in Southern and Western Illinois and make up 3.25% of the state.
- Inceptisols: thick and dark-colored soil types that make up 1.5% of the state soil.
- Histosols: are made up of organic soils, such as mucks and peats, and only occupy around 1% of the state soil.
When to Plant Grass in Illinois?
Beginners with little information or experience might assume that you can plant grass seed anytime you want. On the contrary, each region has a specific time for planting lawn grasses, depending on the climate, soil, and many other factors.
For Illinois, the best time to plant lawn seed mixture is mid-August to early September. If you’ve missed this time frame, you can also plant in April.
You should avoid planting new grass in late spring or mid-summer because the full sun might damage it. That’s because the region is primarily appropriate for cool-season grasses and requires some shade.
Best Grass Seed for Illinois
The type of grass seed you choose for your lawn in Illinois depends on the plant hardiness zones and the weather. Because Illinois has a colder temperature, warm season grasses are not an option. If you plant warm season grasses, they will quickly wilt and your efforts to grow a green lawn will go to waste.
The Illinois plant hardiness zone covers zones 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, and 7a, which have a temperature range of -20 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s why the best type of grass seeds for Illinois are cool season grasses.
1) Kentucky Bluegrass
Kentucky Bluegrass is the most popular lawn grass in Illinois. Homeowners like it because of its durability, hardiness, and appearance.
While most people call it the best grass seed in Illinois, Kentucky Bluegrass requires moderate to high attention and maintenance, including fertilizing, mowing, and watering, to keep it looking good. So you’ll need to spend quite some time working on it to maintain high quality.
Kentucky Bluegrass prefers the full sun, but some subtypes, or cultivars, have a tolerance to light shade. Kentucky Bluegrass spreads through an underground root system known as rhizomes. It grows slowly if spread by seed, but its lush germination makes waiting worthwhile.
2) Fine Fescue
Second on the list is the fine fescue, which is perfect for new lawns and property owners with little experience. It’s adaptable to shade and requires less maintenance than Kentucky Bluegrass. Frequent mowing could do more harm than good, so keep that in mind when creating a mowing schedule.
However, fine fescue does have good durability and can recover after some foot traffic (also known as wear tolerance).
Fine fescues have a fine texture and include a few subtypes of popular grasses such as:
- Red fescue
- Chewings fine fescues
- Sheep fescue
- Hard fine fescues
They’re primarily used in different mixtures to establish variations of light intensities.
3) Perennial Ryegrass
Quick to grow and able to tolerate heavy foot traffic, Perennial Ryegrasses are high-quality, bunch-type grasses that are similar to Kentucky Bluegrass. Perennial Ryegrass requires effort and maintenance, so they do better as part of a grass seed mixture rather than on its own.
4) Tall Fescue
If you live in warmer parts of Illinois, especially southern Illinois, the tall fescue is perfect for home lawns. It has a high drought tolerance, excellent heat resistance, a high-quality appearance, and remarkable recovery ability. Tall fescues are clump-type grasses, so they may take longer to establish but the end result looks wonderful on your lawn.
5) Zoysia Grass
As one of the few warm-season grasses in Illinois, Zoysia is easy to plant and care for but can become burdensome. It’s deep-rooted into the ground and can be very invasive. So, unless you live in warmer parts of the state, or you want to conserve water with a drought-resistant grass type, Zoysia should not be your first choice of grass type in Illinois.
Recommended Lawn Seed Mixes for Illinois
Mixing two or more lawn seeds produces mixtures and blends. These mixtures combine several grass types, enhancing them to withstand more stress or problems than if you were to use only one grass type.
The cool temperatures of Illinois, especially Northern Illinois, allow for more cool-season grasses and mixes, such as Kentucky bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, and Fine Fescues.
Here are the recommended mixes of grass types for Illinois, depending on light exposure.
Full Sun Mixes
- Kentucky bluegrass blend/perennial ryegrass
- Kentucky bluegrass blend
- Fine fescue blend
- Tall fescue blend
- Kentucky bluegrass/perennial ryegrass/fine fescue
- Kentucky bluegrass/fine fescue blend
- Tall fescue blend
No Sun/More Shade
- Rough bluegrass
- Fine fescue blend
- Woodland natives
- Full shade tolerant ground cover
- Mulch to cover soil
An alkaline soil and generally low elevation make Illinois and Northern Illinois the perfect place for cool-season grasses. Many homeowners love planting new lawn seeds and getting that beautiful green color in their front or back yards.
The best grass seed is the Kentucky Bluegrass. It develops a great root system and has excellent wear tolerance. Other grasses such as tall fescues, red and chewings fescues, perennial ryegrass, and more, make for perfect lawn grass.
Getting these grass seeds is easy: Nature’s Seed offers high-quality seeds tailored to your projects and goals. You can choose based on regions, mixes, and more to get the best result for your lawn. Visit our online store and start planning — and planting! — your lawn today.
What Is the Best Grass Seed for KC Lawns?
Over the last 20 years, we have tried dozens of combinations and we think the best mix for the average Kansas City lawn is a mix of 90% fescue and 10% Bluegrass by weight, which is the same as 50/50 by seed count. Bluegrass seed is much smaller than fescue seed. This combination seems to hold up the best year in and year out. Some of the benefits of this mix for lawn care in Kansas City include:
- Good traffic durability
- Better disease resistance than single stands of either grass on their own
- Reasonable drought and heat resistance
- Newer varieties have nice color and reasonable texture
Bluegrass & Fescue – It’s All in the Mix
We like the 10% Bluegrass in this mix because it gives the lawn the ability to heal from traffic or damage better than fescue alone. It also helps soften the texture. Fescue is very tough, but it is a “bunch” type of grass where the Bluegrass is a “spreading” type.
You can think of a bunch type grass as a grass that spreads in clumps or like an onion with the next new plant sprouting directly off the old plant right next to it. “Bunch” type grasses like fescue spread slowly. The Bluegrass, on the other hand, has runners that it sends out kind of like a strawberry plant so it can spread more quickly and in multiple directions.
The ability to spread will allow the Bluegrass to fill in holes faster, but if left alone, it will eventually take over the fescue and you will return to a monoculture of Bluegrass. Not good!
Only use the 90/10 mix when seeding bare ground . If you already have bluegrass in your lawn you don’t need to add more, remember it spreads. Use fescue alone when overseeding to help keep your percentages in balance .
A thick healthy lawn is the best defense against weeds. Overseeding every couple of years, or anytime the lawn has been damaged, will help keep the balance you want in order to maintain a beautiful lawn.
The Importance of Seed Quality
Check the Label or Get Weeds in Your Seeds!
Have you ever stopped to think about exactly what you’re seeding your lawn with? A lot of homeowners haven’t. It turns out, many brands of seed have more than just the type of grass you desire. In fact, if you aren’t using high-quality seed, you may actually be planting the pesky weeds you are trying to get rid of all year long.
Yes, you read that correctly, you may be planting your spring problems this fall. For example, a common unwanted ingredient in some seed is rough Bluegrass or orchard grass. The problem with these weeds is once they begin to grow, they cannot be individually targeted to remove.
Most Grass Seed Contains Weed Seeds
Do the Math!
Read your grass seed label very carefully. Most will say contains .01% “weed seed” or “other crop” and that doesn’t sound like much, does it? But once you see the math, you’ll understand how .01% of an undesirable guest can be devastating to your lawn.
There are 250,000 fescue seeds in 1 pound of seed so .01% of 250,000 is 25 weed seeds. The standard bare ground seeding rate is 8 pounds per 1000 square feet so multiply 25 x 8 = 200 weed seeds per 1000 square feet of lawn. Our average lawn we do lawn care in Overland Park, Kansas is for 7,200 square feet. 200 x 7.2 = 1,440 weeds planted in your lawn. Always buy high-quality seed.
NOTE: Avoid seed that contains “weed seed” and “other crops.”
Quality Seed Costs More but Is Worth It
Good certified seed usually runs around $2.00 per pound. Times 8 lbs/1000 sq. ft. = $16/1000 times the average lawn of 7.2 = $115.20 just for the seed. So what is the guy on the corner leaving out when he says he can aerate and seed your lawn for $100. If you choose the wrong seed just to save a few dollars, you are giving yourself a big headache later with unwanted weeds.