Grass Seed

Mad About Lawns

Grass Seed

Grass seed is very important in what we do.
It plays a major role in renovating and fixing a lawn.
There are many types of grass seed, from very fine bents and fescue to slightly larger ryegrass.
These days a nice lawn can be had with either fescue or dwarf perennial ryegrass or a mixture of the two.

It’s important to know that the size of the grass seed will determine the overall size of the plant when grown.

So a very tiny almost invisible pin prick-sized seed will produce a very small and fine grass as a large bulky grass seed will produce a larger plant.


In the olden days, Ryegrass was a swear word amongst gardeners. The mere mention of the word would have nay-sayers shaking their heads in disgust.

Now though it is every greenkeeper and lawn mans best friend.  Modern varieties of ryegrass, especially the dwarf kind, are very easy to keep and look after.

They stay green most of the year round and hold on to their moisture during hot dry Summers and times of drought.  The benefits of using ryegrass are plenty.

Ryegrass creates no thatch or at least very little of it, because of this you will be able to scarify less often.  It is very well suited to the climate of the UK.  It is very fast germinating and keeps these characteristics when it’s growing.


Ryegrass grows very quickly when the soil is warm and there is plenty of moisture around.

The fact it grows about four times quicker than fescue.  It is very good at standing up to disease and pests. Although if you grow it in a damp shaded part of your garden it will more than likely become infected by leather jackets.  You can tell you have ryegrass if your leaf blade ( also known as the Lamina,) is medium broad. And has capillaries on one side and a waxy back and spine on the other.

But don’t confuse this with weed grass like meadow grass that will be a lot paler in colour.  Ryegrass is found on fairways, football pitches and some tennis courts in its use on sports fields.  Ryegrass is found mostly in clay or heavy soils that hold onto water and nutrients well.  It will die out when there is a lack of nutrients and water.  Your ryegrass likes to be cut on a high setting and won’t thank you for cutting it too low.  A popular cultivar of ryegrass is a double platinum dwarf perennial.  (platinum dwarf Lolium perenne).


Fescue is a popular cultivar of grass but it will require a lot more work to keep your lawn in tip top condition.  You can identify fescue by its very fine leaf, almost pointy like a needle.  Fescue is very slow growing.

It will mostly turn yellow in the Summer or in very dry conditions.  THATCH!!!  Fescue is a THATCH MACHINE!!!  Almost always when you find fescue you will find THATCH!!!  Because fescue is prone to die back, pests and diseases it will create a lot of dead roots and leaves. Add this to the dry nature of the leaf that won’t break down or decompose very well you have THATCH!! your lawn’s worst enemy.  Be prepared to scarify and aerate your lawn on a regular basis.

Be warned that if you don’t you will quickly find yourself with a dry yellow dead ill-looking lawn that will eventually be taken over by moss.


Fescue will make for what’s known as an ornamental lawn.  In the domestic environment and has many uses in the sports turf industry.  I call it grass for lawn care experts or retired people that have plenty of time on their hands.  You will most likely find an abundment of fescue growing in dry, sandy and shaded soils where water and nutrients drain away very fast.  Although fescue is a high-maintenance grass type, it is also very strong and will hold on for dear life when other grasses have long since departed.

Fescue is very prone to problems with chafer grubs, I put this down mostly to the fact that fescue and chafer grubs are both found in sandy or loose soil conditions where the grubs can move around easily in this kind of soil.  Red Thread and Pink Patch as well as Fusarium love to attack your fescue in the Spring and Summer months, you should really be brushing the morning due from your grass each day to help combat this, the morning due will act like a greenhouse for these diseases.

You can mow your fescue fairly regularly and quite short if the weather is mild, but like all grass, in the domestic environment, you should let it grow in drought.  You’ll find fescue being used to make bowling greens and putting surfaces.  Its needle like leaf can take shortcuts and will stand up vertically so that there is less friction and resistance to the ball in games like gold and bowls, thus creating a faster green or playing surface.  A popular cultivar of fescue is creeping red fescue and it behaves like its name. (Festucs)

Brown Top Bents

It’s probably best to leave brown tops bents to the sports turf industry.

These are mostly found on links golf courses. (Agrostis capillaris)

Mixed 50/50  or  30/70 Rye / Fescue


So, in most cases, you will want a mixture of the two types of grass and a safe bet would be to use a 50/50 or 70/30 mixture.  In this way, nature will decide for you what cultivar will be best suited and one type eventually will dominate the other and ultimately take over.

While fast-growing ryegrass will quickly form a lawn the slow-growing fescue will creep around and fill the gaps, creating a nice balance of thicker sward.  As long as the grass is watered or not cut too short in the Summer and has plenty of nutrients you shouldn’t have too hard of a time looking after it.

Mad About Lawns Seed Bed

We carry a large quantity of grass seed and have a large stock of different cultivars that we can use.  From all types of domestic to any kind of sports turf.

When your lawn is too bad that it becomes beyond economic repair using the traditional methods, either for cost or time reasons.  We can strip your lawn back to basics and perform a complete overhaul using grass seed.

These are always fun to do and the results never fail to knock the pants off people and even surprise us sometimes with how beautiful the new lawn is and what a transformation we have been able to achieve.

Try us, I’m sure we can help.