How much grass seed do I need

If you’re making a new lawn from scratch or overseeding an existing one it is important to know what amount of seed to purchase and use. The seeding rates will differ in accordance with such variables as cool-season or warm-season grass types as well as the total amount of square footage of your lawn.

This article will help you calculate the number of seeds you’ll need, as well as the number of grass seed bags that will be needed to establish an attractive healthy lawn.

A pile of grass seeds
Grass seeds

How much seed per square foot should you use?

In general, when it comes to lawn maintenance, everything is measured in 1,000 square feet increments. For instance, you’ll require around 3 pounds of fertilizer 24-0-6 to provide 3/4 pounds of Nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Also, you’ll require 4 1 oz. of Propiconazole per gallon, per 1,000 square feet. to avoid the growth of snow mold. This is also the case for grass seed.

How much grass seed per acre should you use?

Make sure you read the directions on the bag you bought. Different varieties of grass seeds will have different uses. The majority of instructions will provide information on coverage in terms of 1000 square feet. This is where you’ll need to calculate.

One acre covers the equivalent of 43,560 sq ft. Divide it by 1,000, which is equal to 43.56. Next, multiply the quantity of grass seed required per pound by 43.56.

For instance, if you intend to make use of Kentucky Bluegrass to overseed your lawn, you’ll require two pounds per 1000 square feet. 2 . times 43.56 equals 87.12. You’d need around 87.12 kilograms of Kentucky bluegrass seeds to overseed an acre.

General rules for picking the amount of grass seed

If you’re short on time and you’re asking yourself “How much grass seed do I need for my lawn?” ” There are some general rules you can follow.

The majority of grass types will require at minimum 1-5 pounds of grass seed per 1,000 square feet of yard area. However, some types of cooler season grasses require more while certain warm-season grass varieties require less.

Another guideline is to use 3-4 pounds of grass seed per 1,000 square feet for new lawns and 1 to 2 pounds of grass seed per 1,000 square feet for overseeding.

To get the most effective results, you’ll need to estimate the amount of grass seed per square foot you’ll require to account for several factors

Factors affecting how much grass seed you should use

  • Type of grass seed
  • Shady vs sunny location
  • Overseeding vs new grass lawn

Type of grass seed

Planting pure seed vs seed with coatings

Naturally, the grass variety can greatly impact the number of seeds you’ll require per 1,000 square feet, but another important factor is the type of seed itself. If it’s a pure seed product without coatings, fillers, inert material, or starter mix then you’ll apply a smaller quantity to your land as opposed to other varieties.

The majority of seed bags are filled with inert materials to help establish the seed. The coatings that are applied to seeds are typically designed to retain moisture and aid in keeping the rates of germination up.

Certain bags will also include filler materials to ensure that when you sow the seeds, it’s blended into a mixing mix made of peat moss, soil, or some other growth medium. These materials occupy the space and weight, and though they are able to help guarantee that the seeds are in contact with the soil to ensure germination, they can add to the cost and bulk of the seeds.

The majority of grass seed brands will have a section either on the labels or packaging that explains what is the ideal amount for your lawn, based on the seeds included in the bag, as well as the inert ingredients included in the bag.

This is the most efficient method to establish the most suitable spread rate. The exact number will be displayed directly on the package of the brand of grass seed you purchase.

You can also a grass seed calculator such as that from Lowes which can help you in determining the amount of grass seed you’ll need.

Grass seed species

Grass seed species typically are classified as cooler weather and warmer weather grass.

Warm weather grass

The warm weather grass thrives in areas with high temperatures in summer. In the US warm weather grass grows in the southern regions of the nation. It thrives best when temperatures are between 75 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

The most well-known kinds of warm-weather grass include:

  • Bahia
  • Bermuda grass
  • Centipede grass
  • St. Augustine grass
  • Zoysia grass
Cool-weather grass

Cool-weather grasses can grow well in areas with hot temperatures in the summer as well as during cold winters. The grass grows fastest during autumn and spring when conditions are mild (65-80 degrees Celsius).

The most popular kinds of cool weather grasses are:

  • Bentgrass
  • Kentucky bluegrass
  • Rough bluegrass
  • Fine fescue
  • Tall fescue
  • Creeping fescue
  • Perennial Ryegrass

Shady vs sunny location

There are many different blends and varieties of grass seed are equally effective at growing in the same spots. Certain varieties of grass are specifically made for shade however, others can thrive only in bright, well-lit regions of your lawn. Be aware of this when choosing the amount of grass seed for your lawn.

If you want to get the seeds to sprout, you need to ensure that the soil surface, as well as the seeds, are always moist. That’s why there’s a difference in treatment for grass in sunny and shady areas.

Watering the grass
Watering a grass lawn with a hose

Grass seed for sunny areas

It’s difficult to keep the seeds damp if your lawn is a hot or sunny place. If you anticipate that your seed will germinate in seven days, then you must be prepared to keep a gentle watering regimen. In a sunny area, some seeds tend to dry out, causing an uneven rate of germination.

It is possible to water your lawn several times throughout the month while waiting for the full germination or plant a larger quantity of seed and then change to a normal schedule of water after a short period of time.

If cost is not a major obstacle to your seeding plan we’d suggest applying more seeds on ground surfaces in full sun with the assumption that not all seeds will germinate within an acceptable amount of time due to weather conditions.

Grass seed for shady areas

Shady areas are generally more able to keep seeds damp and allow grass to grow. They are not only protected from the scorching sun but are also shielded from wind and other possible influences.

Overseeding vs new grass lawn

Overseeding an existing lawn involves the process of putting in new seeds with existing grass. It’s used to eliminate the bare patches of the lawn. It is evident that overseeding requires fewer seeds than establishing the new lawn from scratch.

Patchy lawn
A patch on a lawn that needs overseeding

How much grass seed do you need for overseeding?

When it comes to overseeding, a lot depends on the kind of grass seed you select. For cool-season grass- Kentucky Bluegrass (KBG), Perennial Ryegrass (PRG), Tall Fescue (TTTF) – you’ll get different amounts of pounds per square foot.

Kentucky Bluegrass seeds are considerably smaller than Perennial Ryegrass and Turf Type Tall Fescue seeds. 1 pound of KBG may contain up to 6 times the number of seeds than Tall Fescue and PRG.

KBG can also be rhizomatic meaning that the root growth doesn’t only develop downwardly, but laterally within the soil and back up through the soil. Self-repairing grass makes a wonderful combination along with cool-season grasses.

It is very similar to other rhizomatic grasses such as the warm season grass, Bermuda.

Kentucky Bluegrass: 2 pounds per 1,000

Perennial Ryegrass: 5 pounds per 1,000

Tall Fescue 5 pounds per 1,000

Some general seeding rates:

Overseeding a healthy lawn: 3 – 6 pounds for square foot.

Overseeding a poor lawn: 6-8 pounds of seed per square foot.

How much grass seed do you need for a new lawn?

Once you’ve determined the size of your new lawn (in square feet total) and selected your preferred seed mix, you can calculate the amount of grass seed needed.

When using planting seed to make a brand new lawn we recommend a minimum of 7 pounds of grass seed for every 1,000 square feet.

To prevent a patchy lawn you should have extra seeds available for filling in unbalanced or un-seeded areas.

Kentucky Bluegrass: 4 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.

Perennial Ryegrass: 10 pounds. per 1,000 sq. ft.

Tall Fescue 10 pounds. per 1,000 sq. ft.

Some general seeding rates:

Seeding of a new yard on the barren ground: 8 – 10 pounds for every 1000 square feet.

Planting grass seeds in the soil
Proces of seeding

How much coverage will a bag of grass seed provide

When shopping for seeds for your lawn you will likely purchase either a 25 or 50-pound bag of grass seed. Once you know how many pounds of chosen grass seed variety you need, you can start to have an idea about how many bags of seeds you need to buy.

How much land a 50 pounds bag of grass seed will cover?

There are many solutions to this question since there are many things to consider when you are considering grass seed. What kind of grass seed is yours? Are you putting up a brand fresh lawn? Or overseeding?

If you’re overseeding your lawn using Bermuda grass 1 pound of grass seed will fill 1,000 sq. ft. A 50-pound bag of grass seed will make a huge difference! The 50-pound bag of Bermuda grass seed will provide approximately 50,000 square feet of lawn that’s more than one acre.

If you’re planting a new lawn and using grasses like Tall Fescue grass or Perennial Ryegrass the grass seed won’t get far. It will take about 10-pounds of seeds for one square foot of grass. The 50-pound package of seeds can cover approximately five thousand square feet.

How much land a 50 pounds bag of grass seed will cover?

In the end, grass seed coverage can be influenced by several variables and the most significant aspect is the type of seeds that you’re dealing with. For instance, let’s say you’re making use of tall Fescue grass seed to establish the lawn. It is recommended to use five pounds of grass seeds for 1 square foot. So, 25 pounds of grass seed will cover around five thousand square feet.

Can I use too much grass seed?

This is an instance where too much of something can be a be thing. If you’re planting too much seed, then you might not have the best results for your lawn.

It’s sort of counterintuitive. You’d think that the more grass seed you plant the more likely you’ll have a lush, full-bodied lawn.

Whatever number of seeds you plant, each blade of grass will end up battling for a limited amount of the ground’s surface and nutrients that come from the soil such as water, minerals, sunlight, nitrogen, etc.

If you plant an excessive amount of seed the resources will be spread thinly among the competing seeds. Some will not grow and instead of getting a beautiful uniformly spread lawn, there could be uneven growth since certain areas are choked with the overflow of seeds.

You can do a test by dumping additional grass seeds in one small area of your yard. As it grows, the grass in the midst of a crowded area will begin to fight each other for sunlight as well as airflow and oxygen and root growth, and water. The grass will expand to the point that there isn’t any airflow and diseases and fungi will quickly take over the plants. In the end, if it’s not the fungus that destroys grass, the plants will get choked out and start to die. Airflow deficiency is beneficial for fungus and bad for your lawn.

If you’re unsure, plant at the rate indicated on your bag of grass seed, or perhaps even a little less. While it might seem counter-intuitive it allows the seeds to spread throughout and provide a good amount of nutrients. This ensures that even if you have fewer seeds in total but the seeds that you have will be large and sturdy enough to ensure that the lawn appears the way you would like it to.

In addition, even in the case that you planted too few seeds, you’ll be able to return next year to fill the gaps by planting some extra seeds once you’ve got at least small, steady growth.

Bakyard with a grass lawn
Beautiful grass lawn


The correct amount of grass seed per square foot could differ based on the type of seed and the time of the year you’re sowing the seed.

Calculating how many seeds you’ll need according to your location isn’t that difficult. Take a look at the label on the bag of grass seeds. If you don’t have the bag that came with it, search for the brand on the internet and locate the exact version you’re using. It should be possible to determine a specific quantity in pounds per 1,000 square feet that will inform you of the exact amount to use.

Remember to seed your lawn in moderation. If you overseed the lawn, it will make your lawn look uneven and scraggly. Simply determine the number (or choose an approximate measurement of a couple of pounds per square foot) and get out there and begin helping your lawn grow. It’s not as difficult as it sounds and you definitely will be able to do it. 

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