How to pick the best grass seed in Northern California?
It’s not as simple as it may seem. There are many different factors that need to be considered when deciding on which grass seed will grow best in your specific environment and circumstances. Such as-
- Rain and drought tolerance.
- Shade tolerance.
- Traffic tolerance.
- How much time do you want to invest in taking care of your lawn?
- More factors that can affect the quality of your lawn.
This article will help you find the best grass seed for Northern California without going through all the effort on your own.
Table of Contents
The Top Choices at a Glance:
I have used all of the mentioned Grass Seed For Northern California and found the best value for money:
BEST OVERALL: Scotts EZ Seed Patch and Repair Sun and Shade
RUNNER UP: Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Heat-Tolerant Blue Mix
BEST FOR WATER AREA: Pennington One Step Complete Sun & Shade Grass Seed
BEST AMERICAN STANDARD: Drought Resistant Tolerant Wildflower Seed Mix
OVERALL QUALITY: Jonathan Green 10323 Black Beauty Ultra Mixture
What Is The Grass Seed?
Grass seed is a part of nearly every lawn, but what exactly is it? The literal answer is that it is the medium through which grasses are grown.
There are many different types of grass, and each has specific needs. The key to having a healthy lawn lies in selecting high-quality seeds with attention to detail.
For example, some grasses require more sunlight than others, and some require more water or fertilizer.
It’s also important to consider your climate when deciding which type of grass you want in your yard.
For example, if you live in an area where temperatures get below freezing regularly during the winter months, then you might want to opt for a type of grass seed that can withstand and germinate in relatively lower temperature conditions.
That includes rye or fescue. Similarly, the grass seed should also tolerate drought and other infestation. Always remember, choosing a good grass seed can make your plan half complete.
Types Of Grass Seed In Northern California
There are many factors that go into choosing what type of grass seed to purchase for your yard.
But to help you determine what might be best, here is a list of some of the best types of seeds available.
Feel free to choose any of these varieties or seek out more information on other types from your local landscaper or garden center.
1. Drought resistant type
Seeded lawns that have been specifically bred to withstand drought conditions will thrive in Northern California’s climate, requiring less water and helping you save money on your water bill while still maintaining a lush green yard.
When purchasing your seeds from a local nursery or garden center, be sure to ask about drought-resistant varieties. The best types of seeds for drought conditions are fescues, ryegrass, and fine fescues.
2. Shade-tolerant type
If you have a shaded yard, it’s best to purchase shade-tolerant seeds that will grow in lower light conditions.
The best types of seeds for shade are Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescues, and perennial ryegrass.
3. Disease-resistant type
Certain types of seeds are bred to resist certain diseases, so it’s best to purchase seeds that will resist whatever disease is prevalent in your area.
The best types of seeds for disease resistance are perennial ryegrass, fine fescues, and Kentucky bluegrass.
4. Water-conserving type
Lawns that have been specifically bred to require less water will thrive in arid conditions and help you reduce your water bill at a time when conservation is more important than ever.
5. No-mow type
If you’re looking to reduce your lawn maintenance, consider purchasing seeds that will grow into a no-mow variety of grass. For no-mow conditions, the best types of seeds are fine fescues and perennial ryegrass.
6. Season-extending type
Some seeds are bred to grow during different seasons, allowing you to maintain a green lawn year-round and extend your growing season by several months.
The best types of seeds for extending your growing season are fescues, ryegrass, and fine fescues.
7. Disease Resistance Type
Many types of diseases can afflict your lawn, including grubs, fungi, and powdery mildew.
Make sure you purchase seeds that will resist whatever disease is prevalent in your area to keep your lawn healthy and green all year long.
8. Wear Recovery
Some types of seeds are bred to have a higher resistance to wear and tear, allowing you to keep your lawn looking its best longer than other varieties.
The best types of seeds for wear recovery are Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescues, and perennial ryegrass.
9. Fertilizer requirement
Some types of seeds are bred to require less fertilizer than others, making them a good choice if you’re looking to save money on your lawn care budget.
The best types of seeds for low fertilizer requirements are Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescues, and perennial ryegrass.
Choosing The Best Grass Seed For Northern California
To choose the best grass seed for Northern California, you can follow these points. it will help you determine the best grass to grow in California
1. Weather adaptability
Consider whether you need cool-season or warm-season grass. Cool-season grasses grow well in Northern California but will not tolerate intense heat.
In contrast, warm-season grasses thrive during hot weather and can only be planted during certain times of the year. Make sure your choice is appropriate for your climate.
2. Native or non-native
Native grasses are typically more drought-tolerant and require less maintenance than non-native varieties, but they will not spread as quickly and may be more susceptible to local pests.
Choose a grass that is best suited to your needs. If you have kids or pets, consider whether you need a soft or hard-to-mow variety.
4. Drought tolerance
Choose a variety that is best suited to your region’s water supply and climate. Cool-season grasses are better at conserving water than warm-season varieties. Still, they are also more susceptible to frost damage in areas with extreme winters.
5. Grass color
Consider whether you want a variety that will stand out or blend in with your lawn’s aesthetic. Some varieties even change colors throughout different seasons, like green in spring and tan in fall.
Consider whether you want to spend more money on a higher-quality variety or less on a lower-quality option. Higher-quality varieties will typically have fewer weeds and be more drought-tolerant.
Still, they may require more upkeep to stay healthy. Lower-quality varieties are typically cheaper but will need more maintenance to stay healthy and attractive.
5 Best Grass Seed For Northern California Reviews
1. Scotts EZ Seed Patch and Repair Sun and Shade
Scotts EZ Seed Patch and Repair Sun and Shade is a combination of high-quality seeds with a fertilizer blended together. This is one of the best grass seeds for California.
This combination will help repair bare spots in your lawn, reduce soil compaction, and create a healthier environment for your lawn’s root system. The special tackifier reduces the wash away of seed from bare spots making it easier to sow seeds or transplant plugs into your lawn. This product is made in the USA and contains no animal byproducts. When used as directed on the package label, it is safe around children and pets.
In addition, it is 100% biodegradable and can be safely disposed of after use. Scotts EZ Seed Patch and Repair Sun and Shade will give you a great start on growing healthy lawns.
- This product is a combination of fertilizer and seeds, so you don’t have to buy two separate products.
- It includes a tackifier that helps prevent washing away from bare spots.
- It can be used on most lawns, including Bermuda, Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, and other cool-season grasses.
- It’s easy to use. Just follow package directions.
- When used as directed on the package label, it is safe around children and pets.
- It does not contain any crabgrass preventer, so you will need to purchase that separately if you want to prevent crabgrass from growing on your lawn.
2. Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Heat-Tolerant Blue Mix
Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Heat-Tolerant Blue Mix is the best northern California grass seed. It is produced with heat-tolerant bluegrass that grows in full sun. The company developed a formula to ensure tall fescue seeds germinate quickly and retain their green color while also preventing weeds from growing.
A bag can cover up to 1,000 square feet when applied correctly. Reviewers say it’s easy to use and takes little time to establish. One reviewer said he used it on his front lawn after getting tired of mowing it so often because of its thick growth.
He said he was pleased with how well it grew back after cutting but noted that there were some patches where he had accidentally cut too short or missed spots.
Another reviewer said she uses it on her backyard lawn as well because she likes how soft it feels underfoot. Why you should use it: It’s easy to apply and can be used on various lawn types. It germinates quickly and is resistant to weeds.
Who should use it:
Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Heat-Tolerant Blue Mix For Tall Fescue Lawns is best for homeowners who want to create a beautiful lawn without a lot of effort. It’s also good for people who have trouble growing tall fescue in their area.
Who shouldn’t use it:
People with allergies to tall fescue or bluegrass might not want to use Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Heat-Tolerant Blue Mix For Tall Fescue Lawns.
- It’s easy to apply and grows quickly.
- It’s resistant to weeds.
- It doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.
- It comes in different varieties, so you can find one that works best in your area.
- It may not work well if you don’t apply it correctly or if you don’t water it often enough.
3. Pennington One Step Complete Sun & Shade Grass Seed
This quick-drying, all-in-one seed comes with pre-emergent weed protection to keep your yard looking healthy. However, it’s not intended for use in areas with a lot of water. It won’t germinate in high temperatures or near bodies of water.
If you’re willing to do some weeding and watering on your own, though, One Step Complete makes a great choice. It comes with a several-year guarantee, so Pennington will replace your purchase if anything goes wrong within that time period.
We found it best suited for small bare spots in shade or sun; larger areas might require more than one bag. Best of all, it’s easy to apply. Just sprinkle over your soil (no tilling required), then add water. That’s it! You should see results in just two weeks.
Why you should use it:
It’s cheap, easy to apply, and quick-drying. Plus, Pennington has a 10-year guarantee on all of its products.
Who should use it:
If you live in a high-humidity area and/or don’t have time to water and weed regularly, opt for a more permanent option.
Pennington sells many types of grass seeds that do well in the sun or shade, depending on your specific requirements.
The downside is that these options are a bit more expensive, especially if you buy them online.
- Great price.
- Easy to apply.
- Good choice for smaller areas.
- Not intended for use in high-humidity areas or near bodies of water.
- If you have a large area to cover, it might be best to opt for a more permanent option.
4. Drought Resistant Tolerant Wildflower Seed Mix
This drought-tolerant wildflower mix seed is made of a blend of our best species of native North American wildflowers, native grasses, and low-growing shrubs.
It features early spring annuals like Baby Blue Eyes, Bee Balm, Black-Eyed Susan, and perennial summer favorites, including Blanket Flower and Joe Pye Weed. It also includes late-season bloomers such as Sunflowers (Mexican Blanket), Lupine, New England Aster, and Coreopsis.
This drought-tolerant wildflower mix with its perennials will continue to flower every year. It can become a beautiful addition to your backyard with just one application. No mowing is required!
And they are bee-friendly, so you’ll get tons of pollinators in your garden. Plus, you’ll be supporting local bees by providing them with nutritious pollen and nectar from these flowers that are sure to attract lots of pollinators into your yard.
These are all non-GMO, 100% natural seeds collected from California areas where they grow naturally without any human intervention or pesticides or herbicides.
They’re even certified organic, so you know you’re getting only the best quality product on Amazon! These wildflower seeds work great in all soil types, from clay to sand but do best when planted directly into well-drained soil after rain or watering.
Why you should use it:
There are many reasons why we love these wildflower seeds. Here are just a few of them:
They’re easy to plant and grow – even if you’ve never planted anything before, these seeds will be easy to plant and grow.
They have everything needed to germinate and take root right out of the package – all you need is some well-drained soil, water, and sunlight!
Who should use it:
These wildflower seeds are great for anyone looking to add some color and beauty to their yard. They’re also great if you want to attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators into your garden.
- Great for anyone looking to add some color and beauty to their yard.
- Easy to plant and grow.
- Attracts bees, butterflies, and other pollinators into your garden.
- Great for people with a black thumb.
5. Jonathan Green 10323 Black Beauty Ultra Mixture
This mix of fescues is an excellent choice for full sun in cold climates like Northern California. The combination of drought tolerance, hardiness, and low maintenance make it a popular choice.
It has fine-textured blades that are softer than other grasses on the market, so it doesn’t get damaged when people walk on it but needs to be mowed with care.
It’s best used in smaller areas, such as yards or front lawns. You can plant from seeds or sod. Also, Perennial Ryegrass, elite Kentucky Bluegrass, and Black Beauty Tall Fescues are good choices.
These three types of grass provide a little more color and texture than other varieties but still have many of their qualities. For instance, Perennial Ryegrass is drought tolerant and hardy with fine-textured blades that stand up to foot traffic but still require a bit of maintenance.
The downside is that it needs lots of sunlight to grow well. Both elite Kentucky Bluegrass and Black Beauty Tall Fescues also need plenty of sun to be happy. Still, they can live in both warm and cold climates without issues.
Like Black Beauty Ultra Mixture, these two types of grass have finer blades than others on the market, so you should care when moving them to avoid damaging them.
They’re best used in larger areas like backyards or golf courses. You can plant from seeds or sod.
Why you should use it:
It’s low maintenance, grows well in all climates, and doesn’t need a lot of sunlight to thrive. It has fine-textured blades that stand up to foot traffic without being damaged. It’s also drought-tolerant and easy to grow from seeds or sod.
Who should use it:
People who want a low-maintenance lawn don’t need a lot of sunlight to grow well.
It’s also good for people who want a softer, finer blade than other varieties offer.
The only downside is that you have to be careful when mowing it to avoid damaging its blades.
- Fine-textured blades that don’t get damaged by foot traffic.
- Doesn’t need a lot of sunlight to grow well.
- Drought is tolerant and easy to grow from seeds or sod.
- Good choice for small areas like yards or front lawns.
- Requires care when mowing so you don’t damage its blades.
- Needs lots of sunlight to thrive.
- Not good for large areas.
How To Grow Grass In Northern California?
The best way to grow grass in Northern California is by planting a healthy lawn. Here is the guide on how to plant and grow grass in Northern California-
1. Prepare land:
For best results, you need to prepare your soil before planting grass. You can do it by adding organic matter like compost or manure and topsoil (or both).
You should also remove weeds and debris from your lawn area and any dead patches of grass that may be present. This will ensure that your new lawn has a solid foundation to grow.
2. Soe Grass seed
Once you’ve prepared your soil, it’s time to plant your grass seed. You can choose from a variety of different types of grass seeds, depending on what type of lawn you want to create and how much maintenance you want to put into it.
After you’ve planted your grass, it’s important to keep it well-watered so that it can grow strong roots and establish itself in your lawn area. In general, you should water your new lawn once a day for about 15 minutes each time or depending on your climate.
Once your lawn has established itself, you’ll need to fertilize it in order to keep it healthy and strong. You can apply a fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) once a month during the growing season.
5. Disease Control
To prevent diseases, you’ll need to regularly mow your lawn and remove dead patches of grass that may be present. You should also check your lawn regularly for weeds and treat them before they get out of hand.
If you notice that your lawn is thinning out or that there are dead patches of grass, you may need to reset it to fill in these areas. You can spread more grass seed over your lawn and water it regularly until new growth appears.
7. Weed Control:
While you’re waiting for your new lawn to grow, it’s important to keep weeds at bay so that they don’t overtake your growing grass. You can apply a pre-emergent weed killer or a manual weeding tool like a dandelion digger or hoe.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What type of grass is best for Northern California?
We’ve found that certain types of grasses grow faster and require less water, making them perfect for more arid regions. The two best types of turfgrass to use in Northern California are Bermuda Grass and ZoyZoysiagrass.
Which grass is best for Bay Area California?
A lot of homeowners have a difficult time choosing between Bermuda and Fescue when it comes to Bay Area lawns. Both are very common, are native to many areas, and require little maintenance once established. However, Fescue grass is best in this case.
When should I plant grass seed in California?
It’s not just about where you live; it’s also about when you live. That is, where and when you plant your grass seed in Northern California will depend on your climate. However, mid-April to mid-May is the best time to plant grass in California.
What is the best grass seed for cool climates?
For cool climates, the best grass seeds are Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, and creeping red fescue.
These varieties are more durable in cold temperatures, require less sun than other types of lawns, and help suppress weeds that cause problems in low-maintenance lawns.
They also have higher levels of nitrogen than other types of grasses. Nitrogen is vital to helping your new lawn grow thick and lush right away.
Should you choose grass seed or sod in Northern California?
There’s really no such thing as a bad type of grass; it all depends on your climate and what you have to work with. The best grass seed for your specific situation will depend on soil conditions, shade, climate, and budget.
Can I put grass seed on top of grass?
If you want to put down a new lawn but don’t want to waste your time and money doing it right, I can see why you’d be considering putting down new grass on top of your old lawn.
You are, after all, probably thinking that it might save you some time or money compared to tearing out your old lawn and starting over with a fresh layer of soil. But before you do anything, let me tell you: DON’T DO IT! Grass seed needs a bare ground in order to germinate and grow properly.
When it comes to choosing the grass seed for Northern California, most people want to go with a tried and true option. For many, that means selecting seeds that can handle a wide range of temperatures and moisture levels. With so many options out there, one might feel overwhelmed by their choices.
The truth is finding good seeds takes time, but once you do find them, it’s important to know how to plant them properly, so they have an opportunity to spread throughout your lawn.