With the chilly winter weather comes the perfect opportunity to finally start that lawn makeover you’ve been planning all year. With the right grass seed, you can have a green lawn all year. Winter grasses are hardy and stay green even when the temperatures drop.

There are a few things to consider when choosing winter grass seed. You’ll want to make sure the seed you choose is appropriate for your climate and that it will grow in cooler temperatures. Also, look for a variety that is resistant to disease and pests.

This article will discuss the 6 best winter grass seed options for you to choose from. Let’s get started.

Best Winter Grass Seed

Some grasses are annual, meaning they need to be reseeded every year. Others are perennials, coming back year after year without needing to be replanted. There are also warm-season grasses and cool-season grasses. Cool-season grasses grow best in the spring and fall, while warm-season grass is more tolerant of heat and does better in the summer. 

Knowing which type of grass you have (or want) is important when selecting a seed. If you live in an area with harsh winters, you must choose a winter-hardy grass seed. Here are some options to consider:

1. Kentucky Bluegrass by Scotts Turf Builder

Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Kentucky Bluegrass Mix - 7 lb., Use in Full Sun, Light Shade, Fine Bladed Texture, and Medium Drought Resistance, Seeds up to 4,660 sq. ft.
  • Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Kentucky Bluegrass Mix continuously self-repairs to withstand wear and tear for a thick, durable lawn
  • Kentucky Bluegrass seed mix designed for full sun and light shade, with a fine bladed texture and medium drought resistance
  • Exclusive 4 in 1 WaterSmart PLUS Coating absorbs more water, feeds with essential nutrients and protects seedlings from disease
  • Seeds up to 4,660 sq. ft.
  • Not available in LA

This mix is designed to withstand wear and tear, making it ideal for high-traffic areas. It also has a fine-bladed texture and medium drought resistance, making it a versatile option for full sun and light shade. Plus, the exclusive 4-in-1 WaterSmart PLUS coating absorbs more water, feeds essential nutrients, and protects seedlings from disease. So, you can be sure your lawn will look its best all season long. The coverage area is up to 4,660 sq. ft.

This type of grass is known for its ability to tolerate cold weather and maintain a green, lush appearance. It’s also resistant to disease and pests, making it the perfect choice for those who want a low-maintenance lawn.

When planting Kentucky bluegrass, choosing a site with full sun and well-drained soil is important. You’ll also need to water regularly during the establishment to ensure the grass seedlings have enough moisture to survive. Once the grass is established, it will be drought tolerant and require less watering.

Pros

  • Tolerates cold weather
  • Resistant to disease and pests
  • Drought tolerant
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • Requires full sun and well-drained soil
  • Needs regular watering during establishment

2. Mountain Valley Seed Company Winter Rye Seeds

No-Till Winter Rye Seeds - 25 Lbs Bulk - Non-GMO Rye Grain Cover Crop Seeds
  • Winter Rye Seeds - 25 Lbs - Secale cereale.
  • Non-GMO - Open Pollinated - High Germination Rate.
  • Seeds For: Garden Cover Crop, Rye Grain (NOT lawn rye grass).
  • Days to Full Maturity: 90-110 -- Annual -- USDA Hardiness Zone: Annual Crop.
  • Winter Rye is an excellent winter field cover crop because it rapidly produces a ground cover that holds soil in place against the forces of wind and water.

These seeds are non-GMO and open-pollinated, so you can be sure they’ll provide a high germination rate. They’re also perfect for use as a garden cover crop or rye grain. With a full maturity of just 90-110 days, these seeds are a great choice for any USDA Hardiness Zone. Cool season grass is perfect for overseeing your existing lawn or starting a new one. Winter ryegrass is known for its ability to withstand cold temperatures and remain green throughout winter.

Mountain Valley Seed Company’s winter rye seeds are both high quality and affordable. You can trust that their seeds will germinate and produce a beautiful, green lawn.

Pros

  • Non-GMO
  • Open-pollinated
  • High germination rate
  • Perfect for use as a garden cover crop or rye grain
  • Fast maturity
  • Withstands cold temperatures

Cons

  • Pricey as compared to other products.

3. Perennial Ryegrass by Scotts Turf Builder

Sale
Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Perennial Ryegrass Mix, 7.lb. - Full Sun and Light Shade - Quickly Repairs Bare Spots, Ideal for High Traffic Areas and Erosion Control - Seeds up to 2,900 sq. ft.
  • Designed for full sun and light shade, fine bladed texture & low drought resistance
  • 4 in 1 WaterSmart PLUS Coating absorbs more water than uncoated seed, feeds with essential nutrients and helps protect seedlings from disease
  • Includes Scotts best seed, helps protect seedlings against disease, keeps seed moist 2x longer than uncoated seed and feeds to jumpstart growth
  • Ideal for quick growth, erosion control and high traffic areas
  • Seeds up to 2,900 sq. ft

This seed is designed to perform well in full sun and light shade and has a fine-bladed texture low in drought resistance. The 4-in-1 WaterSmart PLUS Coating on each seed absorbs more water than uncoated seed, helps protect seedlings from disease, and provides essential nutrients to jumpstart growth. With this grass seed, you’ll be able to cover up to 2,900 square feet, making it ideal for larger or high-traffic areas that need rapid growth and erosion control.

They are fast-germinating, the high-quality seed that produces a lush, green lawn. Perennial ryegrass by Scott’s turf builder is also resistant to disease and pests, making it the perfect choice for those who want a beautiful lawn all year.

Pros

  • Fast-germinating
  • High-quality seed
  • Produces a lush, green lawn
  • Resistant to disease and pests

Cons

  • Not drought resistant

4. Tall Fescue by Scotts Turf Builder

Scotts Turf Builder Rapid Grass Tall Fescue Mix: up to 5,280 sq. ft., Combination Seed & Fertilizer, Grows in Just Weeks, 16 lbs.
  • Enjoy a new lawn in just weeks with Scotts Turf Builder Rapid Grass Tall Fescue Mix; grows up to 2x times faster than seed alone when applied at the new lawn rate (subject to proper care)
  • Unique, proprietary combination of tall fescue seed and fertilizer mix results in full green grass that grows in just weeks; expect to see grass growing at a minimum of 11 days and maximum of 21 days
  • This tall fescue grass seed and fertilizer combination will change the way you grow grass; it's the most complete solution for large problem areas in your lawn and establishing new grass
  • Fall and Spring are the best times to plant grass seed; seed germinates best when temperatures are between 60°F and 80°F and the chance of frost has passed
  • For best results, rake soil lightly to remove debris; apply grass seed with a Scotts spreader, then water daily or as needed to keep soil surface moist until the seedlings reach at least 2 to 3 inches tall

Tall Fescue Mix is another best bet for those looking to establish a new lawn or fill some bare spots. It is for the luscious green lawn that will grow up to 2x times faster than seed alone. This unique, proprietary mix of tall fescue seed and fertilizer is the complete solution for large problem areas on your lawn.

For best results, sow the seeds in fall or spring when temperatures are between 60°F and 80°F. Rake the soil lightly to remove debris, then apply the grass seed with a Scotts spreader. Water daily or as needed to keep the soil surface moist until the seedlings reach at least 2 to 3 inches tall. This variety of grass is known for its drought tolerance and ability to withstand cold temperatures. Tall Fescue by Scotts Turf Builder is also resistant to disease and pests, making it the perfect choice for your winter lawn.

Pros

  • Grows up to 2x times faster than seed alone
  • Drought tolerant
  • Resistant to disease and pests
  • Perfect for winter lawns

Cons

  • Best results when sown in fall or spring

5. Chewings Red Fescue by Eretz

Sale
Creeping Red Fescue Seed by Eretz (3lb) - CHOOSE SIZE! Willamette Valley Oregon Grown, No Fillers, No Weed or Other Crop Seeds, Premium Shade Grass Seed.
  • PERENNIAL, fine-bladed grass. Excellent performance in shaded areas
  • SUPERIOR disease resistance
  • AGGRESSIVE tillering fills in lawns. Naturally 6-8" tall; does well cut or uncut
  • MEDIUM to dark green color
  • WEED AND other crop seed free! 99.6% pure seed, 0.4% inert matter

Looking for a grass seed that will thrive in the early winter months? Chewings Red Fescue by Eretz is another great option. This perennial grass has fine blades and is known for its excellent performance in shaded areas. It is also resistant to disease, and aggressive tillering helps fill lawns. It is 99.6% pure seed, making it a great choice for high-quality grass seed.

It is a hardy, disease-resistant grass that can withstand the coldest temperatures. This seed is also drought-tolerant, so it will not need to be watered as often as other grasses. It will stay green throughout the winter and will not go dormant like other grasses.

Pros

  • Fine blades
  • Shade tolerant
  • Disease resistant
  • Aggressive tillering
  • 99.6% pure seed

Cons

  • Pricey as compared to other products

6. Outsidepride Penncross Home Putting Green Creeping Bent Grass Seed

Outsidepride Penncross Home Putting Green Creeping Bent Grass Seed - 2 LB
  • Aggressiveness, vigor, and wear tolerance make Penncross Creeping Bentgrass seed a natural for greens, tees, and fairways. The ability for Penncross Bent grass to perform under a wide range of conditions makes this putting green seed adaptable virtually worldwide.
  • Golf course architects have specified Penncross Bentgrass seed for areas of extreme cold and heat, and Penncross Creeping Bent has survived humidity where bermuda grass used to be the standard. Penncross Bent grass is designed for extensively managed golf greens and tees and lawn bowling surfaces in USDA zones 4 - 10.
  • Penncross performs best in soils with a pH of 5.5 to 8. It has a moderate nitrogen requirement with 1-2 pounds of actual N per 1,000 square feet per year adequate in most situations. Optimum mowing height for Creeping Bentgrass putting greens is 3/16 to 5/16 inch but it can be adjusted higher or lower depending upon maintenance practices and intended use.
  • Creeping Bent grass Penncross performs best on a sandy soil and tolerates clay soils with adequate drainage. Most Bentgrass varieties do not perform well in wet areas, however, Penncross can tolerate saturated soil conditions for short periods of time.
  • Growing Penncross Bentgrass is a rewarding and enjoyable experience, and this golf greens seed is a great choice for the DIY home putting green. Sow 1 - 2 pounds of Penncross bent grass putting green seed per 1,000 square feet

Consider Penncross creeping bentgrass seed for extreme weather. This variety is designed to perform well under various conditions, including extreme cold and heat. It’s also tolerant of humidity, making it a great choice for golf courses and lawn bowling surfaces in USDA zones 4-10. Penncross bent grass grows best in sandy soil but can tolerate clay soils with adequate drainage. Most importantly, it can survive saturated soil conditions for short periods, making it ideal for areas that tend to be wet in winter.

It is known for its superior cold tolerance and ability to establish quickly. Penncross has excellent traffic tolerance, making it ideal for home putting greens. It possesses a low-growing grass with a very fine texture. This creeping bentgrass will stay green later into the season than other grasses. It also has good disease resistance.

Pros

  • Tolerant to extreme cold and heat
  • Tolerant of humidity
  • Superior cold tolerance
  • Quick establishment
  • Excellent traffic tolerance
  • Low-growing grass with a very fine texture
  • Good disease resistance

Cons

  • Pricey as compared to other products.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Winter Grass Seed?

While there are many different types of grass seed, not all of them will thrive in the winter months. If you live in an area that experiences cold winters, choosing seeds designed to withstand the cold weather and remain green throughout the season is important. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the best grass seeds for your lawn.

1. Climate

The first thing to consider when choosing a grass seed is the climate in your area. If you live in an area with harsh winters, you’ll need to choose ones that can withstand the cold weather. Some options include Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fescue. You’ll also want to ensure the seeds you choose are appropriate for the amount of sun and shade in your yard. For example, Bermuda grass is the best grass seed if you’re looking for dark green grass in lawn.

2. Sun Exposure

Another important factor to consider when choosing a winter grass seed is your lawn’s sun exposure. If your lawn doesn’t get much sunlight, you’ll need to choose a grass seed that doesn’t require as much sun to grow. A wide variety of shade-tolerant grasses will do well in areas with limited sun exposure.

3. Soil Temperatures And Type

The type of soil in your lawn is another important consideration. Different grasses thrive in different soil types, so choosing one that will do well in your soil is important. If you’re unsure what type of soil you have, you can have your lawn tested by a professional to find out.

4. Seed Quality

When choosing a winter grass seed, choosing a high-quality seed designed for your area’s climate is important. Be sure to read the labels on the seed packages to see where the seeds were grown and what type of grass they are best suited for. Choosing a high-quality seed will ensure that your grass is healthy and green all winter.

5. Grass Seed Mixes

If you’re not sure which type of grass seed to choose, you can always opt for a seed blend. Seed blends are designed to provide a mix of grasses that will work well in your climate and soil type. They’re a great option if you’re unsure which type of grass will work best on your lawn.

6. Growing Factors

For the best results, it’s important to choose a grass seed suitable for your area’s current growing conditions. This includes the amount of rainfall, the temperature, and the amount of sunlight your lawn receives. Check the labels on the seed packages to ensure that the seeds you choose will do well under the current conditions.

7. Maintenance

The maintenance required for your lawn is another important consideration when choosing a winter grass seed. For example, if you live in an area with a lot of snow, you’ll need to choose the grass that can withstand heavy snowfall. Alternatively, if you have a busy lifestyle, you may want to choose a seed that doesn’t require as much maintenance.

Regardless of the type of grass species you choose, follow the package directions for planting and care. You can ensure a beautiful, green lawn all winter long by choosing the right seed for your lawn.

When Should I Put Out Winter Grass Seeds?

The best time to seed your lawn is in early fall, about six to eight weeks before your area’s first average frost date. This gives the grass time to establish roots before winter sets in. If you live in an area with a long growing season, you can seed as late as mid-fall and still get results.

If you wait until spring to seed, the grass will have a harder time taking root because the soil will be warmer and drier. Although seeding in summer is possible, it’s not ideal because the hot weather can stress the young grass and make it more susceptible to disease.

FAQs

What Are The Disadvantages Of Ryegrass?

While ryegrass is a great grass for winter lawns, there are a few disadvantages to using it. First, ryegrass is a cool-season grass that will go dormant in hot weather. Also, it has a relatively short life span and needs to be replanted every few years. Finally, ryegrass is not as drought tolerant as some other types of grass so it may require more watering during dry spells.

Is Winter Rye Grass Good For Lawns?

Yes! Winter ryegrass is an excellent choice for lawns in colder climates. It germinates quickly, grows vigorously, and provides good winter cover. Also, because it is a cool-season grass, it will go dormant in hot weather, which can help reduce lawn maintenance during the summer.

Does Rye Grass Choke Weeds?

No, ryegrass does not choke out weeds. However, it is a competitive grass and will crowd out most other plants if given a chance. Therefore, it is important to plant rye grass in areas where it will have enough room to spread without crowding out other plants.

Is Rye Grass Good For The Soil?

Yes, ryegrass is good for the soil. It adds organic matter and improves soil structure. Also, because it is a deep-rooted plant, it helps to break up compacted soils and improve drainage.

Does Ryegrass Need A Lot Of Water?

No, ryegrass is relatively drought tolerant. However, it will need more water than some other grasses during extended periods of dry weather.

Will Winter Rye Grass Come Back Every Year?

No, winter rye grass is an annual grass, which means it will only last for one growing season. However, it is very easy to replant, and you can often get it to re-seed.

Conclusion

With the colder months on the horizon, now is the time to start thinking about which grass seed will best suit your needs and ensure a healthy, green lawn come spring. We’ve compiled a list of our six best options to help you make the best decision for your lawn.

Whether you’re looking for a fast-growing option to cover up any bare patches or hoping to find a more drought-resistant variety, we’re confident there’s an option on this list that will be perfect for you. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start planting!

Last Updated: August 1, 2022 / Categories: Landscaping, Outdoor & Garden / 11.1 min read / Tags: , , /

About the Author: Shaun Wright

Shaun Wright

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