To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

The best grass seed you can buy in 2024 – tested by us

Bags of grass seed

The best lawns start with the best grass seed. We reveal our favourite seed mixes for growing your own lush green carpet

If you want to create a fabulous lawn you’ve got two main options: buy turf (which is expensive) or sow grass seed (which is not). The best grass seed is widely available in more varieties than turf, giving you the freedom to create the kind of lawn you want.

The best grass seed products are a mix of varieties, balanced to meet certain needs. For example, some seed mixes are tailored to growing quickly in the UK climate, so you’ll want to acquaint yourself with the best lawn mowers to keep it trim. Other mixes are specially formulated, to create a hardwearing family lawn or avoid being eaten by birds for instance.

To help you choose the best seed mix for your garden, we analysed the pros and cons of dozens of bestselling products, then tested the best six in our own drizzly suburban garden in April. Our mini-reviews below will help you choose the best grass seed mix for you and your garden, and our buying guide will then explain the different seed types available.

lightbulb emoji

Don’t want to risk mowing the cable?
Read our rundown of the best cordless lawn mowers you can buy

Best grass seed: At a glance

Best hardwearing grass seedSprogs and Dogs (~£15 per kilo)Check price at Amazon
Best fast-growing grass seedPronto Speedy Seed (~£12 per kilo)Check price at Amazon
Best low-maintenance seedGroundmaster General Purpose (~£10 per kilo)Check price at Amazon
Best grass seed for dry summersGro-Sure Smart Lawn Seed (~£13 per kilo)Check price at Amazon

lightbulb emoji

Want to learn more?
Jump to the buying guide

How we test grass seed

best-grass-seed-mix_how-we-test grass growing in grow bagsAs you may expect, we tested our grass seed mixes by planting them and waiting for the grass to grow. This didn’t happen quite as quickly as we might have liked, because we planted in March when the weather was perhaps too chilly, dark and soggy to encourage fast growth. But once April turned into May, we finally had a patchwork of grass that needed mowing and reviewing.

It was tempting to give the highest marks to the grass that grew fastest, but that’s not always a sign of quality. After giving all the seed mixes a chance to grow over several weeks, we compared the resulting grass for softness, robustness, consistency and colour. We also noted how well they survived dry spells once we were into June.

The type and quality of soil you plant your grass seed in has a significant impact on the way your grass grows, so we kept things as consistent as possible by planting each of our seed mixes in an inexpensive grow bag, carefully dug over first to enable drainage. We watered them well (luckily, the rain largely took care of that), and put them in a west-facing spot that gets plenty of sun, at least when the sun is out. We also used the mixes to patch existing areas of grass.

The diversity of the results surprised us. Grass most definitely isn’t “just grass”. One thing we noticed was how some of the slowest-growing grass was the softest and lushest – and remained greenest when the weather turned warm.

The best grass seed you can buy in 2024

1. Sprogs & Dogs: Best hardwearing grass seed for busy lawns

Price when reviewed: £15 (1kg) | Check price at Amazon

best-grass-seed-mix_Sprogs-and-Dogs_2 showing grass seed bag and new grass

  • Great for… growing a thick lawn for heavy use
  • Not so great for… growing a lawn in days

This mix of dwarf ryegrass and creeping red fescue has been developed over a decade by Lawn UK to create a thick, “sports strength” turf for lawns that regularly double as football pitches, dog playgrounds and shortcuts to the garage.

During testing, the seeds germinated fairly quickly after we planted them, with shoots appearing in about 10 days – roughly midway between the fastest and slowest growers in our test. The grass that appeared over the following weeks was much finer and softer than the name “Sprogs & Dogs” had led us to expect. It’s a lovely rich green colour, too, perhaps thanks to its regular drenching throughout spring.

We haven’t tested the grass using actual sprogs or indeed dogs, but we gave it a good trample and it sprang back relatively unscathed. When the rain stopped and June turned up the heat, Sprogs & Dogs soldiered on healthily; in our tests however, its shade wasn’t the greenest. Long-term user reviews are wholly positive, saying that the grass grows back well after snowy winters and heatwaves.

Key features
Seed typesDwarf ryegrass, creeping red fescue
When to sowSpring or autumn
Mowing heightUp to 4cm;
1kg coversAround 30m²

2. GBW Grass Seed: Best grass seed for green grass

Price when reviewed: £12 (1kg) | Check price at Amazon

best-grass-seed-mix_GBW-grass-seed showing grass bag and growth

  • Great for… growing a beautiful green lawn
  • Not so great for… overnight growing success

A perennial bestseller in Amazon’s Garden & Outdoors category, this DEFRA-certified grass mixture is designed to grow fast in the UK climate.

We’ve tested GBW Grass Seed twice, and had excellent results both times. First we planted it in early September when the ground was quite hard and dry, so we soaked the seeds overnight to help them germinate. We saw shoots within three days of planting, and good growth within a month. Several months later, the lawn is soft but thick and strong.

We tested a new batch during 2024’s wet spring. Shoots appeared more slowly than some other mixes, but the grass that grew was soft, consistent and a lovely dark green. When the rain dried up in June, this remained one of the best-looking and greenest grasses while a few others took on a faintly frazzled summer look.

Customer service is also top notch. Impressively, GBW emailed us sowing and growing instructions before our seed bag arrived, and we didn’t have to avail ourselves of its promise of a full refund if we weren’t happy.

Key features
Seed typesDwarf ryegrass, creeping red fescue, bentgrass
When to sowSpring/autumn
Mowing height1.2cm
1kg covers35m² (new lawn), 55m² (existing lawn)

3. GroundMaster General Purpose: Best grass seed for overseeding and fixing patches

Price when reviewed: £9.99 (1kg) | Check price at Amazon

best-grass-seed-mix_Groundmaster-General-Purpose_2 showing seed back and grass growth

  • Great for… greening up and fixing patches in your lawn
  • Not so great for… speedy germination and growth

This ryegrass-fescue seed mix has been cultivated to germinate in difficult weather or terrain conditions, and it coped well with our cold, wet April. The seeds germinated and grew moderately fast (including when we overseeded rough patches of ground that don’t get much sun) and delivered thick, hardy green grass within a month.

Growth in our tester growbags was patchy at first, but after we gave it an initial trim and waited a couple more weeks the grass grew much more consistently. It also looked good and felt soft to the touch, and the seeds are great value. The dry days of June didn’t seem to bother it, and it has remained one of the healthiest looking grasses in our test.

Some user reviews have complained that this is one of the seed mixes that birds most like to eat, but we didn’t find this to be the case with any of our mixes. Mind you, this may have been because there was a bird feeder full of tastier treats a few feet away.

Key features
Seed typesPerennial ryegrass, creeping red fescue
When to sowYear round but ideally during warm humid weather
Mowing heightUp to 4cm
1kg covers30m²

4. Gro-Sure Smart Lawn Seed: Best grass seed for a lawn that survives dry summers

Price when reviewed: £13 (1kg) | Check price at Amazon

best-grass-seed-mix_Gro-Sure-Smart-Lawn-Seed_2 showing seed box and grass growth

  • Great for… a lawn that survives the summer
  • Not so great for… growing fast in spring

Gro-Sure’s special “aqua coated” mix is designed to cope well with dry weather, so we weren’t that surprised to find it struggling in rainy April. It was the slowest seed of all to germinate in our test, and when the grass did start to grow it was very patchy. As a result, and despite its great packaging and good brand recognition, we expected to place Gro-Sure quite low in our round-up.

However, as the days began to dry up and most of our other grasses wilted in the heat, Gro-Sure turned into the tortoise that beat the hare. It’s thick, soft, upright and green, even under the June sun. It also springs back beautifully after being walked on, so it should cope well with picnics and kick-abouts.

Key features
Seed typesStrong creeping red fescue, perennial ryegrass
When to sowMarch to October
Mowing height5-8cm initially, then no lower than 2.5cm
1kg covers30m² (new lawn), 40m² (existing)

5. Pronto Seed Speedy Seed: Best fast-growing grass seed

Price when reviewed: £14 (1.4kg) | Check price at Amazon

best-grass-seed-mix_Pronto-Speedy-Seed_2 showing grass seed box and grass growth

  • Great for… growing or patching a lawn within a week
  • Not so great for… soft, dainty grass

Speedy by name, speedy by nature. Pronto’s Speedy Seed was the first to germinate in our spring test, and the grass was fastest to grow. Shoots appeared within days of planting, and three weeks later we had long, thick, robust grass. Not at all bad for one of the cheapest mixes in our test.

We found the grass to be incredibly hard wearing and weed-resistant, but it’s also quite sturdy and wild-looking. Also bear in mind that a fast-growing lawn needs work, so it’s not the best choice for a low-maintenance garden. This is especially true during dry, hot weeks, when this grass can get a little hay-like underneath.

Speedy Seed also gets bonus points for being packaged in a recyclable cardboard box rather than the standard plastic bag.

Key features
Seed typesMix of annual and perennial ryegrass
When to sowLate March to early October
Mowing heightUp to 8cm
1kg covers30m² (new lawn), up to 60m² (existing)

6. Grow Pure Grass Seed: Best grass seed for wet weather

Price when reviewed: £11 (1kg) | Check price at Amazon

best-grass-seed-mix_Grow-Pure-Grass-Seed_2 showing grass seed bag and grass growth

  • Great for… growing grass in wet, shady spots
  • Not so great for… dry summers

These seeds germinated slowly and grew inconsistently, at least at first. The grass that did grow was deliciously soft and green – just a shame there were so many patches where the seeds hadn’t taken. We re-seeded and gave the grass a chance to grow during May, when it responded well to plenty of rain and little sun.

Now we’re into dry June, the grass is less happy. It’s still a little patchy despite re-seeding, and it has yellowed near the roots. If we had kept up daily watering, I suspect it might have retained its softness and thickness, but watering that often isn’t feasible for most of us.

Key features
Seed typesPerennial ryegrass and creeping red fescue
When to sowMarch to early October
Mowing heightUp to 8cm
1kg covers30m² (new lawn), 60m² (existing)

7. Germinal A26 So Green: Best grass seed for a green lawn all year round

Price when reviewed: £15 (500g) | Check price at Germinal

  • Great for… vivid greens in every season
  • Not so great for… keeping costs down

Germinal is so confident about the world-beating hue of its So Green grass, which uses specially-cultivated Abernile ryegrass, that it planted the stuff on the side of a house for its product photo (above). Yep, that sure is green. And it promises to stay green all year round, even during droughts. It’s pricey (although still cheaper than buying turf), but it is a reliable grass that’s particularly good at resisting disease.

Key features
Seed typesAbernile perennial ryegrass, fescue, bentgrass
When to sowSpring/autumn
Mowing heightOptimum 2.5cm
500g covers14m²

Check price at Germinal

8. The Grass People Steadfast Ultra Shade: Best grass seed for shaded areas

Price when reviewed: £39 (2kg) | Check price at The Grass People

  • Great for… gardens that don’t get much sun
  • Not so great for… large, exposed lawns

Steadfast Ultra Shade is one of The Grass People‘s more expensive mixes, at around £20 per kilo, and we found the seeds to be very slow to establish. But if other grass types struggle in your shady garden, you may find that this is the one that eventually succeeds where others failed.

It contains unusual grass varieties cultivated for areas that never get direct sun, such as under trees or below fences in built-up areas. Ingredients include smooth-stalked meadowgrass (‘poa pratensis’), a deep-rooted grass that’s great at surviving drought and cold, and a super-strong variety of bluegrass (‘poa supina’) that thrives in shade. If this stuff doesn’t grow under your tree, nothing will.

Key features
Seed typesSmooth-stalked meadowgrass, chewings fescue, supina bluegrass
When to sowMay-September;
Mowing heightMay-September;
1kg covers20m²
Check price at The Grass People

How to choose the best grass seed for you

How much will I need to spend?

Good grass seed costs between £10 and £15 per kilo, and covers an average of 30m2 – that’s a sizeable lawn measuring about 4 x 7.5m. If you’re patching an existing lawn, one kilo of seed should cover an area twice that size. So it’s an inexpensive way to transform your outdoor space.

As we discovered when testing, over-sowing seed in one spot doesn’t mean you’ll get more grass. It can have the opposite effect by overcrowding the seeds and preventing them from germinating. Only sow as much as the instructions tell you to.

Even the priciest grass seed costs significantly less than buying rolls of turf, but it does require more patience and work to create a lawn from seed than from turf.

What is grass seed made from?

That’s not a silly question, honest. All the products we tested are seed mixes, made up of different grass varieties that each have their pros and cons.

To see which varieties each mix contains, check the ‘Key specs’ under each bite-sized review below. We’ve listed the main ingredient first, food label-style.

Three varieties turn up most often in grass seed mixes:

Ryegrass is the most common type of grass seed, and the one that turned up most often in the seed mixes we planted. It’s coarse, versatile, hard-wearing and fast to grow. Technically speaking it’s a ‘bunch grass’, which means it’s a cool-season grass that thrives in most soil types and conditions.

Fescue is also hardy and versatile but a little finer than ryegrass, so it’s softer beneath your feet and creates a thicker look. It’s also good at growing in the shade, unlike most other grass varieties. Its main downside is that it needs warm soil to germinate, so it won’t grow if sown in cooler months.

Bentgrass is a fine ornamental grass that can be mown very short for a beautiful velvety lawn. It’s rather high-maintenance, so it’s usually mixed with fescue to make the lawn harder-wearing and weed-resistant. Many all-purpose grass seed mixes include a dash of bentgrass to soften the overall look of your lawn.

What grass seed mix is best for me and my garden?

That mainly depends on how you use your lawn and the amount of work you want to put in.

Football pitch vs posh lawn: If your lawn needs to withstand endless close encounters with kids, pets and BBQ guests, then go for a predominantly ryegrass mix. But if you want a smooth ornamental lawn, avoid ryegrass completely and go for bentgrass, with some fescue in the mix to help it survive underfoot.

Sun vs shade: Most types of grass prefer full sun, but fescue is a shade specialist (and will also grow in sunny spots). A ryegrass/fescue mix – which made up many of our tested mixes – is the most reliable choice if your garden has shady bits.

Mowing height: Fine ornamental grass can and should be mowed quite close – as low as 1cm. Coarse ryegrass performs better if you let it grow a little more – up to 4cm. That said, any type of newly-sown grass should be left to grow up to around 7cm before you cut it for the first time.

Weeds: Coarse grass is good at competing with weeds, but fine grass isn’t. So, if you have a soft bentgrass lawn you’ll have to work harder to keep weeds at bay.

Soil type: Most UK soil is loam, sand and/or clay. Loam is best for grass because it drains better than clay but holds moisture better than sand. Fescue grasses fare OK in clay-heavy soil, while finer grasses can thrive in sandy soil

↑Return to top

Read more

Best Buys