Seed Selection

Homeowners are educated regarding the importance of selecting appropriate grass seed for large lot properties. This is a daunting challenge, yet the most critical step in establishing a low maintenance, aesthetically pleasing, sustainable lawn. Turfgrass seed contains a genetic factory determining the potential to produce enduring quality turfgrass.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension Turfgrass Specialists provide fact sheets recommending specific varieties of grasses adapted to New Jersey conditions based upon extensive evaluations. Our consumer educational experiences regarding grass seed purchase reveals a “disconnect” making it difficult for homeowners to obtain specific varieties of turfgrass seed.

To address this, we have developed a turfgrass site planted to 10 different commercially available grass seed mixtures readily available to homeowners. These seed mixture plots provide hands-on training for homeowners to observe cool season turfgrasses including: tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, fine fescue and Kentucky bluegrass. We emphasize the importance of selecting varieties of grass for a site considering drainage, shade, budget, aesthetic quality and homeowner expectations.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet -- FS684 Turfgrass Seed Selection for Home Lawns is available free of charge by clicking here. It provides important information regarding seed selection for home lawns.

It is difficult for homeowners to select grass seed adapted to their site. Grass seed selection is one of the most important decisions for a sustainable lawn. Seek recommendations from turfgrass professionals as found in Rutgers Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet variety recommendations.

Learn the importance of a seed tag; it is a legal document describing the contents. Make certain all the varieties listed meet your criteria.

Snyder Research Farm demonstration site featuring 10 different grass seed mixtures  managed with different mowing, fertility and weed control programs. Planted August, 2006 the various management programs are beginning to show significant differences among varieties.

Rutgers Snyder Research Farm demonstration site comparing different mowing practices on tall fescue on the right to perennial ryegrass on the left during a moderate drought. Large properties make irrigation a daunting challenge and many times impractical based upon water availability and drought restrictions: 27,000 gallons of water is required to apply 1inch of water on 1 acre. Drought tolerant turfgrass varieties along with management practices promoting deep root systems enhance drought tolerance.