Organic Grass Seed

Overview of the Various Types of Eco-friendly Grass Seeds

Although more and more landscapes are finding alternatives to grass like xeriscaping, there are times when grass is the right choice. If you are planning on seeding or reseeding part or all of your landscape, you can still reduce your water and energy usage by choosing natural grass seed that best suits your climate, soil, and personal needs.

Choosing the right organic grass seed is essential in creating a healthy lawn that needs a minimal amount of maintenance and care.  Different types of grasses planted in different geographical areas need varied amounts of water, cutting and care. When selecting grass seed you should take into account the specific conditions of the area you are planting, how the grassy area will be used, as well as the general geographical region. The right selection can save time, money, and water.

You might want to begin your search for the best eco-friendly grass seed with a visit to your local nursery or a call to your local county extension.  Find out which natural grasses are native to your region. A grass that thrives in one climate might need extra care and watering in another.  Be suspicious of any organic grass seed that claims to be excellent in all climates, all soil types, and all sun exposures.  When it comes to grass seeds, one variety usually does not fit all.

 

Types of eco grass seed

There are certain types of seeds that are often recommended for different climates and regions. Here are some of the most common:

  • Buffalo Grass – These grasses thrive in dry climates and full sun. They are native to the Plains States and are drought tolerant.  Buffalo grasses turn a yellow-tan shade in the winter. 
  • Verde Buffalo Grass – This variety was developed especially for California.  It can reduce water usage up to 75% and grows slowly. 
  • Fine Fescues Mixes – Fescue grass are a group of grasses native to Europe and North America.  There are 100’s of species of fescue grass.  These grasses have been exported around the world and are used for both grazing and landscaping.  Many varieties are drought resistant.  They have deep roots that help to choke out weeds, reducing the need for pesticides.  Mixes of fescue grass varieties are recommended for best results.  If left un-mowed, the grass will grow 8-12” tall then bend to make a 6” carpet.(1)
  • Clover – Clover used to be routinely added to grass seed mixes until the popular use of certain weed killers in the 1950s. Since these chemicals also killed clover, marketers began calling clover just another weed.(2) Clover stays green even in cold climates, is low growing and is drought tolerant. Clover is excellent to mix with other grasses because it stores nitrogen in its root systems.  It is also resistant to many bugs especially white grubs.  
  • Ornamental Grasses (usually native to area) – Many ornamental grasses might fall into the category of ground covers as opposed to lawns.  These decorative grasses work nicely along walkways and areas the have little or no foot traffic. They grow to varied heights and do not need mowing.

When purchasing your organic grass seed, ask about over-seeding. This method of planting suggests using 1½ the amount of seed recommended. This creates a denser lawn and reduces the ability of weeds to take root. Using a seed mix or a grass and clover blend will also increase the durability of your lawn.






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References

1 Better Lawn Types. Retrieved May 5, 2010, from Lawn Reform Coalition: http://www.lawnreform.org/better-lawn-types.html

2 Clover Lawn Weeds. Retrieved May 6, 2010, from The Daily Green: http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/clover-lawn-weeds-47071703

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