10 Best Grass Seed for Shade to Buy in 2020

10 Best Grass Seed for Shade to Buy in 2020

Achieving a dewy and luscious green garden or lawn is something that most of the homeowners merely dream of but fail to achieve. Most of us end up with a yellowish-brown lawn that is decked with bare soil spots. While the task is a bit hectic, it is surely doable. To create an aesthetically soothing lawn, you need to pick from the best grass seed for shade.

Covering your well-prepped lawn with a top-notch grass seed mix can help rejuvenate the lawn and cover the bare spots as well. If you are a novice when it comes to preparing the lawn for grass seed plantation, you can look for several explanatory videos on YouTube for the soil preparation process. After you are done with the prepping process, choosing the right option will enhance the beauty of your garden. With proper research and our guide, you can surely achieve your emerald green fantasy by picking from the list of popular options reviewed below.

Our Favorite Picks

Best Overall Pennington Sun & Shade Smart Seeds Mix Best Value JRK Premium Dense Shade Grass Seed Mix Best Budget Titan RX 5Lb
Best grass seed for shade in Virginia Best grass seed for dense shade Best Grass Seed for Shade
  • Tough and survives most climatic conditions
  • Works even with sandy soil
  • Low maintenance with less watering requirement
  • Perfect for places with frequent shade
  • Soothing green shade
  • Minimal need for fertilizers
  • Creates an attractive and durable turf
  • Resistant to pests
  • Better rhizome growth

10 Best Grass Seed for Shade with Reviews

1. JRK Premium Dense Shade Grass Seed Mix – Best grass seed for dense shade

Best grass seed for dense shadeIf you are in search of the perfect grass seed for dense shade, opting for the JRK Premium seed mix could be the ideal choice. This grass seed mix comes from four different variants of fine fescues that are shade adapted. It houses around 20 percent of the Poatrvialis (Rough Bluegrass) along with 10 percent perennial ryegrass. This mixture grows perfectly in the situations or climates that experience frequent shade. However, if you plan on keeping them till the summer arrive, you will experience a browned out and stressed the grass.

That is why it is critical to use this seed mix only in places where there is enough shade else the grass will look diseased and worn out. If your lawn has a dense canopy comprised of trees, that could be the best place to seed out the grass. The JRK has a seeding rate of 6 to 8lbs per 1000 sq.ft. for new lawns along with the overseeding rate of 5 to 6 lbs for 1000 sq.ft.

  • Designed for moist and shady areas
  • Doesn’t require ample fertilizer input, just four times per year
  • Comes packed in breathable bags made of cloth
  • Tends to brown or die under intense sunlight creating a distinctive patch in the garden

2. Titan RX 5 LB – Best Grass Seed for Shade

Best Grass Seed for ShadeJust like the titans, this particular seed mix has been designed to withstand conditions that aren’t sunny and bright all the time. The maker, Titan, is well-known for catering attractive and durable turf for your garden. The Titan RX Turf-Type Tall Fescue comes as the fourth in the line from the Titan variety. The company continues its legacy by combining the best features from its predecessors while bringing more to the scenario. With features such as improved color, strong resistance to browning, heat resistance, as well as increased growth of the rhizome, you get your hands on an excellent grass seed mix with high tolerance and growth rate in shades.

The best thing about this mix is the fact that it can grow in both shades as well as the sun, making it a versatile option. Titan is also known for creating varieties that are highly resistant to heat with no visible browning. Plus, you can expect an increased resistance from grass diseases such as red thread, brown patch, rust, and so on.

  • Great color for your lawn
  • Pest resistance variant
  • Dense growth with upright growth for a beautiful look
  • Some packages might show a lower germination rate

3. Pennington Rebel Tall Fescue Seed – Best grass seed for partial shade

Best grass seed for partial shadeThe Rebel Tall Fescue Seed by Pennington is a variety of seed designed to germinate into high quality and tough turfgrass. Planting these seeds in your lawn will give you access to a wonderful lawn that will withstand insects, heavy traffic, as well as drought. This seed variant can maximize the lawn’s chances to thrive even during the tough summer months.

Pennington’s Rebel Fescue can grow as much as 40 percent more roots as compared to ordinary grass. It goes to a deeper depth with excellent resistance to drought-like conditions. It has an excellent nutrient uptake which helps the lawn thrive and become more fertile with time. The color produced by this variant is greener, denser, as well as darker than that of Kentucky-31 or similar tall fescues. The Rebel is known to maintain an even green color throughout its growing season.

  • Resistant to drought, heat, or well-known diseases
  • Less mowing required
  • Can cover as much as 5000 sq.ft.
  • Might not germinate well when planted in cold winter months (planting advised during spring or autumn)

4. Kentucky 31 Tall Fescue – Best grass seed for Central Florida shade

Best grass seed for Central Florida shadeIf you are looking for a perfect & low maintenance lawn with high heat tolerance, you can definitely go for the Kentucky 21 Tall Fescue. It is designed to suit areas that tend to experience a substantial amount of sunlight as this seed mix is resistant to drought-like situations. Even though the Kentucky 31 variant has been designed specifically to adapt to the cool zones for planting seeds like those in the North of the U.S., it goes well in the warmer locations like Central Florida as well.

This seed variety works best when planted in early spring/early fall. This allows for germination of a soft, thick, and green turf with low maintenance and resistance to diseases. If your lawn tends to experience a lot of footwork, this Fescue works best for such instances. Kentucky grows fast, resulting in a fairly healthy lawn that comes with soothing colors.

  • Low maintenance grass
  • Economical and drought-tolerant variant
  • Produces thick grass with a darker shade of green
  • Tends to be a bit expensive
  • Not perfect for the pastures with cattle or horses grazing around

5. Jonathan Green  10765 – Best grass seed for shade acidic soil

Best grass seed for shade acidic soilThe Jonathan Green Fall Magic is the perfect choice for your need to cover any bare and unsightly patches in the soil. If you have plans to start a medium to small-sized lawn, this particular seed mix meant for shade is an ideal choice. You can use this seed mix for places that have experienced summer damage. Given the fact that Jonathan Green 10765 has been engineered to be resistant to insects or diseases, you can plant them as a replacement for infected areas.

The Green Fall Magic seed mix has been specially formulated to germinate during the late summer or early fall. The seed mix is comprised of various species, which include bluegrass, ryegrass, as well as the fescue variant named creeping red. These seeds come with tolerance to different types of soil conditions when it comes to ideal growth, especially in acidic soil. Before you plant your seeds, you can test your soil at home with ease and confirm the pH level.

  • Faster germination
  • Affordable
  • Attractive color that matches very close to dark green shade
  • You might have to purchase more bags to cover a large lawn

6. Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Mix – Best grass seed for shade in North Texas

Best grass seed for shade in North TexasWith the Scotts Turf Builder, covering the bare spots present in the garden gets much easier. All you need to do is simply get this seed mix and plant it in a place with proper shade. This mix free from any weed will do well in shady as well as sunny areas with proper aeration. The grass can provide an even coverage going as far as 750 sq.ft.

This variant of grass seed mix has been designed specifically to be used in the states aligned towards the northern periphery of the country. Scotts Turf Builder comes with a mix of perennial ryegrass that is known to grow best when planted in temperatures ranging from 60 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degree Fahrenheit. These seeds start showing up rich green-colored blades in a matter of 1 week when planted in small areas. However, in larger areas, the coverage might take as much as 2 weeks.

  • Even coverage with erosion control
  • 99.9 percent free from weed
  • Faster germination rate
  • Not meant for planting in large lawns

7. Pennington Smart Seed (Sun & Shade) – Best grass seed for shade in Virginia

Best grass seed for shade in VirginiaIf you are in need of a popular choice in grass seeds available online, you should definitely check out the Pennington Smart Seed Mix. This product has a definite fan following in the North-laying U.S. states. Being a versatile form of seed mix, it has been engineered thoroughly to handle issues such as diseases, heat, or drought-like situations. It can easily survive in most climatic conditions as well as the soil types.

The secret behind this variant is the use of Myco Advantage tech that helps in creation of a root system that is dense while allowing the grass to endure drought by retaining the water through tough heat in summers. Further, the Penkoted technology added to the mix, you get access to a seed that is completely protected from deadly form of any fungus with faster germination stages.

  • Resistant to heat, drought, as well as diseases
  • Ideal for shady and sunny areas
  • Low maintenance
  • Expensive

8. Scotts EZ Seed Sun & Shade – Best grass seed for shade in Minnesota

Best grass seed for shade in MinnesotaIf you happen to live in an area that is hardly ever exposed to strong sunlight with prolonged hours of shade, you should definitely opt for the Scotts EZ Seed Sun & Shade. This latest offering from a respected and unique brand comes with an improved formula that reduces any chance of the seeds being washed away during irrigation or rains, especially when planted on the hillsides or areas with high traffic. The grass seed grows 2 times the thickness of any standard grass.

To use this grass seed, you need to prep your lawn by taking away the dead grass & raking the hard soil to allow the tiny roots from the seedlings to penetrate. You need to apply the seeds evenly throughout the lawn while making sure that the seeds are still visible above the ground.

  • Can grow almost anywhere
  • Improved formula prevents seeds from being washed away
  • Twice as thick and dense as any standard grass
  • Small coverage area

9. Pennington 100522284 – Best Grass Seed for shade

Best Grass Seed for shadeAnother one from the popular maker Pennington is its 100522284 seed mix variety. Essentially created as a grass seed for repair of the existing lawn, this particular variant allows for coverage of 2500 sq.ft. It can easily repair the lawn’s bare spots within 2 weeks and restores the beauty of your garden.

Featuring the combination of mulch, grass seed, as well as fertilizer, this one-step easy process can ensure the growth of thick & beautiful blades of grass. After a few weeks of application, you get access to a luscious lawn that brings in elements such as water-saving and even coverage for patchy lawns. Pennington 100522284 has been designed so that you do not have to shop for any additional mulch or fertilizers.

  • Offers around 2500 sq.ft. coverage
  • Saves a lot of water
  • Achieves the desired result in 2 weeks or less
  • Might contain weed

10. WaterSaver Grass Seed Mixture – Best grass seed for shade in the South

Best grass seed for shade in the SouthWaterSaver Grass Seed Mix, as observable from the name is known to reduce the water wastage with minimal requirement and strong hold in the soil. The mixture can easily cover a lawn expanding as far as 2000 sq.ft. It can also be used to knit the law together with faster repair of the damaged spots. Further, the WaterSaver Grass Seed is optimal for a transition form of climate zone. It can grow perfectly under the shade or the sun.

Apart from that, a strong variant of root system can be achieved through the seed’s patented Fescue named RTF. This results in less overseeding with fewer issues in terms of weed growth. Additionally, the grass seed can grow pretty well when put under any extreme weather conditions. With the WaterSaver in your lawn, you can easily expect constant protection against drought or diseases in your lawn.

  • Repairs the bare spots with minimal effort
  • Covers around 2000 sq.ft. of the lawn
  • Reduces mowing and watering needs
  • Can start browning under extreme cold or frost-like climate

Buying Guide

Types of Grass Seeds

  • Cool Season Seeds: This type of grass seed tends to thrive in the humid and cool arid zones that stretch all along the northern as well as the northeast states of the U.S. The cool grass seeds can fair well in the cold temperatures while doing just as well in the warmer temperatures as well. These types of seeds are generally planted during the onset of the fall season to ensure that the seeds take root prior to the appearance of the frost. Typical cool grass seed includes varieties such as Red Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass.
  • Warm Season Seeds: These grass seeds grow perfectly during the hot summer months & tend to be highly resistant to any potential drought. It is perfect for the lawns that dominate the USA’s southern periphery. However, with things getting colder, the grass can start turning brown and regain the color once summer comes back. A popular example of warm-season seeds includes Zoysia and Bermuda.

What to look for when buying Grass seeds?

When purchasing grass seeds for shade planting in your lawn, you need to cross-check several things before investing your hard-earned money. Proper research can help you land the best and top-quality seed to create a fairytale lawn.

  • When picking the grass seeds, read through the details in the cover and pick the ones with a germination rate that is 75 percent or higher.
  • Now, most seeds come with weeds, but some brands filter out the same and keep the weed content to a minimum. So, look for the brands that contain weeds 0.5 percent of the total or less.
  • Select the grass seed for the shade that has 0 percent noxious weed listed in the ingredients. This is because the presence of noxious weed can damage the lawn and stop the original grass from growing properly.
  • An inert matter like dirt, chaff, or similar filler items needs to be 2 percent or less. The lower the amount, the better your seed quality.
  • Other crops like Timothy can also be a part of your seed’s ingredient list. So, allow just 1 or 2 percent and nothing more.
  • Avoid purchasing seeds that have attained 10 months beyond their expiration date. This could lead to failure in germination. So keep this in mind.

How to use the Grass seeds for your lawn?

When trying to cover your lawn with a spread of fresh, green grass, you need to prepare the soil that is to be planted.

  • Loosen the initial 2 to 3 inch of soil
  • Now remove the debris from your lawn
  • Break the clumps of soil, if they are larger than coin size
  • Avoid fine soil, having small clumps is acceptable
  • Don’t use the weed killers before or after the plantation of seeds
  • Use a seed planter or spread out the seeds with your hand in an even way throughout the garden
  • Water the seeds regularly but do not flood the area

If you already have a lawn, you can overseed by following this procedure:

  • Mow your existing grass to their shortest possible height
  • Loosen the initial few inches of soil from the bare spots
  • Remove any dead grass or debris
  • Spread the seeds evenly throughout the garden with double the amount in the bare spots

Must-Know Tips About Grass Seeds

  • Lawns in the warmer areas can easily be reseeded during the winters for access to greener grass throughout the year.
  • All variants of cool-season seeds can germinate from the seeds.
  • Some of the warm season grass seeds need to be grown from the grass sprigs or sod.
  • Use small pots or lawn spreader to evenly spread out the grass seeds
  • Mulch your lawn’s seeded section with the garden straw or fabric to help retain moisture
  • Water the lawn daily until the germination process occurs, slowly reduce the watering frequency but keep the water amount heavy
  • When your grass reaches a height of 3 inches, you need to remove its mulch and mow the lawn lightly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to test the soil before planting the grass seeds?

Answer: Before planting the grass seeds, you can use the testing meter to check the soil’s pH level. This offers immediate results after the meter is inserted into loose soil. Another method is the testing, kit which would need you to prepare samples & send it off for proper analysis in a reliable testing lab. Most lawn owners generally prefer the testing meter for a quick analysis.

What should be the frequency of fertilizer application after planting the grass seed?

Answer: Yes, you can opt for planting the seeds immediately post the application of fertilizers. However, you need to make sure that the garden doesn’t have any weed preventer present in your fertilizer. This can prevent your grass seed growth or germination.

Do I need to reseed the dead patches present in the lawn or, will the grass grow back on its own?

Answer: Dead grass isn’t going to re-grow on its own. You need to re-apply the seeds on the dead patch to ensure full coverage. However, before you do so, please check for the presence of insects or any diseases.


Now that you have thorough knowledge about the pros and cons of picking the popular grass seed options for shade, you can safely choose as per the requirements of your lawn or garden. Remember to look for a variant according to the pH of the soil depending upon the climatic conditions.

Do not forget to confirm the planting season for the seeds to ensure that they germinate safely with more than 75 percent success. And yes, do not forget to keep an eye on the lawn after planting the seeds so that the birds do not make a meal of the best grass seed for shade. A green and healthy lawn makes up for the aesthetic appeal of your home, so choose the best with low maintenance needs.

10 Best Grass Seed for Shade to Buy in 2020

Written by Charles Hart

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