Having a nice lawn is such a pleasure. You can rest your eyes on the verdant grassy field, walk barefoot on the cool blades of grass, enjoy the bragging rights when talking about lawn care with your neighbors. But, caring for the lawn is not a joke. It requires quite a lot of knowledge and plenty of sweaty labor. Your learning starts with what grass seeds to choose.
When browsing through the garden center, you must have noticed that two companies dominate the seed world: Scotts and Pennington. So, deciding between Scotts vs Penington grass seed means you should learn a bit about what these two companies offer and why should you choose one company over the other when purchasing your seeds.
Scotts Grass Seeds
Scotts has a range of seed product lines that include seed mixes that are appropriate for different kinds of lawns. They also have seeds for different conditions and different uses – sun or shade, new lawn or patching and repairing. Their most popular seed mixes are:
- EZ Seed.
- Thick’R Lawn.
- Patch Master.
- Turf Builder.
Most of their seed mixes come coated with additives such as mulch, fertilizer, and other seed enhancers. The Heritage seeds are pure and uncoated.
One of the two most popular Scotts’ products is The Turf Builder Tall Fescue, very popular with home gardeners whose lawn is in a predominantly warm climate and on a sunny spot. The other popular seed mix is the EZ Seed, coated with fertilizer and growth enhancers.
When to choose Scotts
Scotts has a pretty good range of grass seeds. They all have a guarantee for sure germination. This is not a small thing if you are an inexperienced gardener. Scotts grass will germinate for sure and will grow fast.
Scotts seed mixes that contain good quality mulch germinate and grow especially well because the mulch helps your seed to better hold water.
Scotts EZ Seed mix includes resistant, hardy varieties of grass such as ryegrass and bluegrass. They can grow anywhere. Scotts offers a guarantee or they will return your money.
Pennington Grass Seed
Pennington is known for a bigger range of grass seeds for different environments and different uses than Scotts.
The Pennington main seed products are Smart Seed as well as Lawn Booster. The company claims that Smart Seed needs 30% less water than any other seeds. That makes it a perfect choice for the areas that frequently suffer from drought. Smart Seed has seed mixes that work for cool as well as for warm-season grasses, such as tall fescue, red fescue, and fine fescue, ryegrass, and Kentucky bluegrass. The most popular with home gardeners and the most economical is tall fescue.
Together with its regular and popular products that work with lawns that have a mix of sun and light shade, Pennington also produces mixes for particular conditions like dense shade as well as areas of high traffic. Pennington also offers One Step, a seed mix specifically created for loan patching.
When to choose Pennington
Pennington offers a large percentage of seed in each pound of their seed mixes.
They also offer a better range of seeds for various purposes and different weather conditions. If you need a kind of seed to use for a patch in your lawn, or your grass is exposed to heavy traffic, Pennington has better grass seed options for you.
So, should you choose seeds made by Pennington or by Scotts?
The decision to purchase Scotts or Pennington’s grass seeds generally depends on what is it that you need and how knowledgeable and how much experience you have in lawn maintenance.
Check this experiment and decide for yourself:
Scott seeds have the reputation of being fairly foolproof for inexperienced gardeners. Most of their seeds are mixed with the appropriate fertilizer and also include mulch. Mulch pretty much makes the seed grow just about anywhere.
But, grass seed is not cheap. You would be paying more money for fewer seeds per pound when buying Scotts.
Pennington seed mixes are better if your lawn is in a difficult location, you need a lawn patch or you plan to overseed your lawn.
Fix a patchy lawn:
More about Grass Seeds
Before starting to work on your lawn, you need to learn a few things about the kind of grass that grows best in your area.
Where is your grass going to grow?
The most important facts you need to know when selecting grass seeds are:
- Your climate. Depending on where you live, you have a choice between two basic types of grasses: Cool-season grasses, which remain green until temperatures fall below 32 degrees F. These grasses can survive occasional subfreezing temperatures. Warm Season Grassesmuch prefers the southern climates and the heat. Their main growing season is in the summer. They prefer temperatures between 80°F and 95° F.
- The conditions in the area where you plan to grow your turf. The flat area can grow different grasses from the uneven, hilly areas.
- Whether you have sun or shade. Most lawns grow in the mix of sun and shade, but some have deep shade or are exposed to the consistent sun. Some seeds do well in the mixed sun/shade areas, but would not survive deep shade. For such areas, you need a specific type of seeds.
- Whether your soil is wet or dry, how often it rains and how much rain your soil receives, or do you plan to install an irrigation system. All grasses need water, but some can tolerate short or extended drought better than others. Some seeds tolerate having their roots wet occasionally. If these are your conditions, you need a specific type of grass seeds.
- How cold or hot it gets in your area. In the areas that have wide fluctuations in temperature – very hot summers and freezing winters, you need the type of grass that is resistant to such extremes. Most grasses are suitable for warm or cool climates, but not for extreme changes.
How much time you are planning to devote to lawn maintenance
You also have to be honest with yourself: how much regular maintenance you plan on doing. That means irrigating, mowing, fertilizing, treating weeds, getting rid of insects, and preventing diseases.
You might be enthusiastic at the beginning, but your enthusiasm will wane if you are a busy person who needs a weekend to rest and not to spend it mowing the lawn or spreading fertilizer. It is a good idea to be realistic and accept that you cannot do it all and line up help in the form of a neighbor’s kid or a lawn maintenance company.
The grass is not cheap
Choosing the right seeds will not only result in a wonderful lawn but will save you a lot of money. The right grass seeds that are appropriate for your location and for the amount of maintenance you are willing to provide will do well. Wrong seeds will quickly show to be more trouble than they are worth it.
Keep in mind that what you buy in a bag of grass seeds is not all seeds. Have a look at the bag and check which percentage are seeds and what else has been added to the grass. The additives can be mulch, which makes your grass germinate better, or fertilizer, which will save you the money you would have to spend on fertilizing. You have to decide how much more you want to pay for such additions.
It is never really finished
Even when you have a well-established lawn, you still need to take care of it so it stays lovely green and healthy. One of the maintenance chores you have to do is plant new seeds every 3-4 years. You do it when you see that the grass started to thin, there are some bare spots or your dog decided to bury his bone in the middle of the lawn. Overseeding is a regular part of lawn maintenance and you have to include it in the costs.
So, who makes the grass you need? Which one is better: Scotts or Pennington? Let’s make a comparison between these two biggest grass manufacturers.
To make your choice for the appropriate grass seeds, we need to look at the best options for seed both companies offer. They are both known for high-quality seed mix products. The right seed mix will greatly depend on what you need and your experience with lawn maintenance.
Here’s a brief summary of the differences between the two companies and how to make the right choice when deciding between Scotts vs Pennington grass seed:
- Pennington has more seeds per pound.
- Scotts seeds are known to have a superior germination rate. The company offers a firm guarantee.
- Pennington Smart Seeds are the best when the water is not easily available and in frequent drought conditions
- Scotts seeds are foolproof for the gardening novices and the normal areas with the combination sun-shade areas.
- Pennington is known for a bigger range of seed mixes.
You might find out that there are other manufacturers in the market offering the same seeds as Scotts and Pennington, but the larger manufacturers are well-established and have a good reputation for providing what they advertise.
You can also check with your neighbors, or on the various gardening forums when the time comes to spend your hard-earned money on the right grass for your lawn.