How Much Grass Seed Do I Need Per Square Foot

How Much Grass Seed Do I Need Per Square Foot?

The most asked questions regarding lawn are, How Much Grass Seed Do I Need Per Square Foot? Do you think that it is easy to sow seeds and grow grass? However, it is not as easy as you have believed. Without the right seeding technique, you will find a thin and uneven lawn. You have to know the way to grow a lush, green lawn on your property. The most important thing for you is to learn about the seeding rate.

You may have bought a bag of seeds to sow them on your lawn. But you may be asking yourself, how much grass seed do I need per square foot? Well, you are at the right place. Here is a guide that will help you in this matter.

The average amount of seeds needed per square feet

When you have chosen grasses for warm and cold season turf types, you may need 1 to 5 lbs of seeds per 1000 square feet of your lawn. The amount can be higher in the case of the cooler season grasses. You can find considerable differences in the seeding rates based on what type of grasses you have chosen. Thus, your first task is to decide on the grass varieties that you prefer for your lawn. 

A comprehensive guide will help you to know the perfect seeding rate for your grass species.

Use calculators to learn about the number of seeds needed per square foot

You can find websites with calculators to let you find the number of seeds to be sown per square foot of your lawn. For this reason, it is easy for you to identify the right amount of seeds that you must sow on your lawn.

These grass seeds are available in both online and offline stores. However, in most cases, grass seed brands mention the number of seeds needed for your lawn in the package with proper instructions. It is one of the easiest options for you to know the perfect seeding rate. You will get the right instructions on your grass seed bag’s label. 

However, it would be best to focus on some other factors mentioned below before making the final decision.

  • Grass seeds and the presence of any fillers

One of the most relevant factors affecting the seeding rate is the grass seed type. However, as we are talking about seeds, you must understand that they are free from coatings, fillers, and inert materials. You may apply a small amount of these seeds over your lawn. 

In some cases, you can find inert materials in your seed bags. There are coatings on grass seeds to retain the moisture level and keep up the high germination rates. Moreover, coatings also let the seeds germinate at a faster rate. These seeds do not dry out within a short time.

Some seed bags have filler materials, and thus, while sowing the seeds, you can find a blend of peat moss, soil, and other fillers. Those fillers add weight and consume much space. But, they help seeds in having contact with soil essential for germination. The cost for these seed bags may be slightly higher.

More information about the grass varieties and accurate seeding rates

Kentucky Bluegrass, Tall Fescues, and Perennial Ryegrass are commonly grown in colder climates. In southern America, the climate is slightly warmer, and you can choose grass species such as-

  • Bermudagrass
  • Centipede
  • Zoysia
  • Bahia
  • St. Augustine

You can start sowing 2 to 3 lbs of grass seeds (per 1000 square feet) based on the –

  • The region where you reside 
  • The climatic condition
  • The breed of your grass seeds

We will now provide you with detailed information about some grass breeds and the new lawn seeding rate per 1000 square feet.

  • Perennial Rye- 9-10 lbs (Overseeding rate- 5-6 lbs)
  • Tall Fescue- 8-10 lbs (Overseeding rate- 4-5 lbs)
  • Kentucky Bluegrass- 2-3 lbs (Overseeding rate- 1-2 lbs)
  • Bahia- 7-10 lbs (Overseeding rate- 4-5 lbs)
  • Bermuda Grass- 1.5-2.5 lbs (Overseeding rate- about 1.25 lbs)

You must know some other relevant facts about the most popular grass breeds like St. Augustine. You may prefer some sods and install this grass on your lawn rather than grow it from seeds

Moreover, while purchasing seeds, you have to focus on the presence of any coating on them. The uncoated raw seeds have a low application rate. On the contrary, the coated seeds need a higher application rate. 

Zone with high foot traffic-

The frequent foot traffic can have an effect on how you will distribute your seeds. For instance, Perennial ryegrass’s normal seeding rate is 4 to 5 lbs per 1000 square feet. But, for recreational lawn, its seeding rate can be 2-5 lbs per square foot. Read your package label carefully before taking any step.

Location and condition of your lawn- Sunny versus shade

It is one of the important factors to affect your seeds’ germination rates. Let us assume that you will grow grass in a controlled environment on your home lawn. In that case, most of the grass seed varieties take 5 days for germination. When you find the first few seeds sprouting on the 5th day, the last ones will take another 5 days.

Make sure that your seeds and the soil surface are moist throughout the day. It is better to water them regularly. Frequent watering is important for the germination of seeds. However, it would be best if you waited for a few days to find the grass blades. Then, you can slightly reduce the rate of watering the grass.

It may not be easy to keep your grass seeds moist, especially when your lawn receives direct sun rays. Your seeds can take a week to germinate. Continuous watering is essential for about 14 days. The baby grass needs watering very frequently, and you have to do it for a month until you find full germination.

When you have no tight budget for your seeding activities, you can try to sow more seeds on the lawn. Look for a site that is full of natural light. Weather conditions and some other factors can cause a difference in the seed germination time.

Shady zones make it easy for you to keep up the moist condition of the grass seeds. There is no effect of harsh sun rays. The grass can start growing within a short time. Moreover, the shades also ensure protection against heavy rainfall and wind.

However, the reaction to the sun rays may vary with the chosen grass breeds. Some grass blends are preferable with shade sites, while others start faster germination in the sunny, well-lit zones. That is why you need to research grass seeds before buying the desired breeds.

Make a blend of different grass species

How Much Grass Seed Do I Need Per Square Foot?

One of the smartest options for you is to make a perfect blend of different types of grass seeds. For instance, with 40% of Kentucky bluegrass, you can combine 40% of fescue. You may also add some perennial ryegrass (10%). While using this blend, the seeding rate can be 4 lbs per 1000 square feet.

Overseeding and the number of seeds to be sown

Reseeding a yard is different from the application of seeds over a new yard. When your yard already has some grass, you need only a few seeds.

In some cases, when you think of overseeding a healthy, thick lawn. You have to sow fewer seeds. Make sure that there is no big gap between grasses.

Some lawns have thinner turf grass with gaps. You have to increase the overseeding rates for these lawns. 

In most cases, grass seed brands advertise that users must not sow more than 5 lbs of seeds for 1000 square feet. It is safe to stick to 3 to 4 lbs of grass seeds for the new lawn. Similarly, 1 to 2 lbs of seeds are essential for reseeding 1000 square feet of your lawn. 

You must check the grass seed bag label before putting down those seeds.

Sowing a high amount of grass seeds- What will happen?

Some property owners think of sowing lots of seeds. However, the result will not be desirable in this situation. Some of us think that we will have a full-bodied, lush, thick lawn by sowing several seeds. However, the concept is not true. You will have no additional value from sowing a high amount of grass seeds per square foot of the lawn. Moreover, there is a chance of wasting seeds.

Whatever be the way of spreading your seeds, every grass blade needs some ground surface. Moreover, they have to get the right amount of water, sunlight, nitrogen, minerals from the soil.

If you sow a high amount of seed, your grass will not get these nutrients properly. The amount of nutrients available for every grass will get lowered. Thus, the adjacent grass seeds will not have consistent growth due to the lack of nutrients. You will also find uneven grass growth due to the absorption of nutrients by several surplus seeds.

On the contrary, when you have considered under-seeding, there will be no issue. You have a chance of filling in the gap with more seeds. You will find a steady growth of the grass. 

Overseeding can waste your effort and time. However, proper fertilization is essential when you have sown a thick layer of seeds. Fertilizer plays a vital role in the growth of strong roots. But, the choice of the right fertilizer is another relevant factor for growing grass.

The seeding rates and the climatic factors- Do they have any relation to each other?

We have already discussed some factors affecting the amount of seeds to be applied over every square foot. However, the climatic effects and seasonal changes can affect how much seeds you should sow in your lawn. Thus, it is essential to read the instructions written on the package. Correct temperature and timing are important for growing grass from seeds. 

The early part of the summer season is not perfect for sowing the cool-season grass seeds. Although you have sown the right amount of seeds and fertilizer, you must focus on proper timing.

To get a positive outcome, you can choose the early autumn season. During this time, the air temperature slowly gets lowered, while the soil becomes hotter. It is a favorable condition for the germination of seeds and their root growth.

To be honest, the proper amount of seeds (of any grass seeds) per square foot will work best when you sow them in the right season. Moreover, the temperature, light, and soil conditions must be good for proper germination. In this way, you will have the optimal yield.

Is it essential to adjust the seeding rates?

When you have not found the best conditions for seedling survival and germination, you need to adjust the seeding rates. You can increase the seeding rate by 50% to manage the unfavorable conditions, like-

Low-quality soil- The soil may have drainage problems, nutrient deficiency, improper pH level, salinity, and compaction.

 Seeding time is not ideal- Early summer and late spring, heat stress, weed growth, early winter problems, and frost leaves

No proper seedbed- Too much tilling and mulching, the presence of rocks at the soil surface, and steep grades can cause soil erosion.

The better seeding conditions reduce the need for sowing several seeds. That is why you have to focus on these factors before applying grass seeds.


We can conclude that multiple factors play a vital role in deciding on the amount of seeds to be sown for growing seeds. Moreover, the application of seeds on the fresh area and old lawn also makes a difference. When you feel confused, you may rely on the information we have provided. 

We have also presented info about a few grass breeds. Make sure that you have chosen one of those grass breeds and follow the instruction. With minimal effort, you may easily grow grasses on your lawn. Based on your lawn size, you can buy the right number of seeds.

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