I’ve started watching a new show on Netflix. Suggested for me because I’m a devout Sherlock fan and watched the excellent, but gruesome, Hannibal series, was a show called Luther. Being a British show, you get to hear some of their quirky lingo, some of which my Grandmother (born and raised in England) still uses today despite being a Canadian citizen for close to 50 years.
So last night after a day unpacking from a short summer vaca, picking the tomatoes that ripened while I was away, and hand-pollinating my corn, I sat down with some blueberry pie and resumed where I left off in Luther – episode three.
I’m half-way through the show when the head of the police department yells at Luther, the main character. “Sod off!” she says as he walks out the door.
And then it occurs to me. It’s time to overseed my lawn! And also, since when is yelling at someone about grass supposed to be threatening? But that’s a debate for another day.
Choosing Grass Seed
An interesting look at the history of the lawn (I know, I know, interesting and lawn history in the same sentence seems, well, impossible. Trust me though, it’s a good read).
There is SO much choice out there today. Years ago when the ‘lawn’ became a thing (see American Green for the details) there wasn’t much variety in either species or retailers. Today, though, it can be daunting.
My advice: know your space, know yourself, and know the company.
Know Your Space
In short, this means the soil, sun, and moisture your area receives. Use this to gauge the type of product you should be buying. Some work well in only certain conditions while others are much more versatile.
What do you want? How much time do you have to devote to your lawn? And then there are those pesky water rates (which are only increasing, by the way). What kind of product are you looking for – something that looks great when the sod is rolled out and terrible when a typical summer drought swings by; or something long-term that has a better chance of survival during that same drought?
Know The Company
Who are you buying the seed from? What guarantees can they make? What do other people say about them? Do they have a good reputation (environmentally, socially, etc)? What other products do they sell (i.e. can you tell they’re making a conscious effort to be environmentally responsible throughout the company)? Do your homework and take what you read on the Internet with a grain of salt – remember, anybody can say anything they want online. Call the company and speak with someone about their products. If no one answers, maybe take that as a sign.
Here are a few things to consider:
1. Coated seed is just half the seed for a greater price. You’re paying for half seed and half coating. (Psssttt, it doesn’t actually perform any better than non-coated seed).
2. Price matters…sometimes. Look at the ingredients listed on the bag: if you’re paying a heck of a lot more for something the company calls, “Other”, put the bag back. If you don’t know what’s in the bag, put it back. Good grass seed should be all grass, no weeds and no filler. A good quality grass seed will be a little pricier but you’re paying for the product, not stuff put in to make the bag look fuller.
3. Look for certification. Yes, grass seed can be certified and this bounces right back to the price debate above. Certified seed is more expensive but you’re paying for quality. Certified seed undergoes yearly testing to determine germination rate and how well it performs under various circumstances. If the germination rate is below 85%, the seed does not meet standards and will not be certified. So when you buy certified, you buy quality and there are numbers on papers to prove it.
4. Don’t think you can’t switch over. You may have a lawn now or you may not. Your current lawn situation may be somewhat disheartening and it only gets worse when your water bill comes. Don’t think you’re stuck with what you have – there are options!
And now for the shameless Eco-Lawn plug…
I’m not going to tell you it’s the best product out there because, as I said earlier, anyone can write anything on the Internet. I am going to tell you that thousands of people across Canada and the US have been extremely happy with their Eco-Lawns.
These people enjoy less watering, green grass in August, and the extra time they have to do the things they really want to be doing because mowing the lawn every Saturday is not on their ‘to do’ list.
Eco-Lawn has a long list of benefits that range from your bank account to your watershed and repeat customers are more than happy to tell us they’ve converted their neighbours to Eco-Lawn just by growing it out front where it can be seen.
If you want the super short, ‘putting green’ lawn, Eco-Lawn is not for you. If you want something sustainable, non-GMO, and low-maintenance that will save you time in mowing and money in watering and fertilizing, consider Eco-Lawn. Or at least consider reading a bit more about it and about seed certification.
And, cut or uncut, it doesn’t look half bad.
In the end, you will choose the product you believe is the best and I sincerely hope you are happy with your purchase, no matter what it is.