From Seed to Success: The Advancement of Grass Seed Cultivars for a Healthier Lawn

Sometimes lawns don't look good regardless of the products you use to treat them. Chances are, it's not your lawn care products, it's the grass itself. Most residential lawns were planted decades ago, when grass seed was still in the relative stone age.

It wasn't long ago that the predominant grass for cool season lawns was a now antiquated grass type called Kentucky 31. It was often unpleasant to look at. A pale greenish color that clumped. It was also water hungry and felt razor sharp under bare feet. But if you wanted a lawn and you lived in the suburbs, this is likely what the contractor installed, primarily because it was cheap. Grass has come a long way since then. In recent years, cultivars have been bred to improve color and texture, use less water, resist heat and drought, and resist disease and insects. The most elite cultivars can even spread laterally to self-repair damage. In short, grass is awesome now!

But don't run out to the local big box store assuming they will carry premium seed on their endless racks. You'll find mostly cheap seed containing filler crop, or unnecessary coating - adding weight to the bag and giving the impression of value, but little else. A coating on the seed is usually promoted as helping germination rates. The truth is that grass seed already contains everything it needs for germination. This is why starter fertilizer is best applied a week or even two after planting. For the first two weeks, grass hardly needs anything but water and sunlight. 

Blue grass seeds spread on a flat surface.

coated vs. non-coated seed

Brown grass seeds spread on a flat surface.

Worse still, you may even pick up a bag containing weed seeds. Yes, grass seed is permitted to carry some percentage of weeds in the bag. Elite cultivars on the other hand - as rated by the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) carry the blue tag. The tag signifies they have been tested at the highest levels, and contain zero crop, zero fill, and zero weed seeds. Just 100% high quality cultivars. 

NTEP data is used by plant breeders, turfgrass researchers, and extension personnel to identify improved environmentally-sound turfgrass cultivars. Lawn care pros and consumers use NTEP extensively to purchase the highest quality seed and sod. 

At Lawnbright, we're committed to offering you only the best quality grass seed options. Our NTEP rated grass seed is derived from cultivars that are hand selected for their hardiness, disease resistance, and overall performance. This means that you can expect consistent results, regardless of the climate type or soil quality in your area. Additionally our grass seed is specially formulated to promote quick and easy establishment, so you can enjoy your new lawn in no time!

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