Buying grass seed can be overwhelming thanks to the hundreds of different types available. To make things more confusing, many of them are blends of different types of grass seed, designed for specific situations.
So, if you’re looking for the best grass seed for small spaces, hopefully this article will help. We’ll go over some considerations before listing the best varieties to look out for.
If you’re in a hurry, here’s a brief rundown of our top picks:
1. Best for Least Invasiveness (and Balconies) – Scotts Zoysia Turf Builder
This grass seed blend is low maintenance and not invasive, making it perfect for balconies and other small spaces.
2. Best for Dense Shade – Pennington Smart Seed
If you’re growing grass in a shady area, this blend will be perfect for you.
3. Best for Dog Toilets – Scotts Perennial Ryegrass
Dog pee can burn grass easily, so you’ll want to pick a hardy blend, such as this one.
4. Best for Full Sun – Scotts Kentucky Bluegrass
Like shady areas, full sun spots need specific types of grass seed. This blend is perfect for south-facing areas that get the sun almost all day.
5. Best for Low Maintenance – Pennington Tall Fescue
For a low-maintenance lawn, you’ll want grass that grows slowly. This blend is ideal and doesn’t mind you forgetting to mow it every now and then.
Generally, if you’re setting up a new patch of grass, sod is the best option. This is true even for small spaces, as you can buy individual rolls. But there are some situations where buying grass seed is preferable. These include:
- Building a lawn so small that buying a roll of sod isn’t worthwhile
- Repairing an existing lawn
- Setting up a doggy toilet
- Adding pots of grass to your outdoor space
Although we’re focusing on grass seed here, the same picks will be true for sod, too. If you decide buying rolls of sod is the better option, you should be able to find these types of grass seed as fully-grown rolls.
The main consideration before buying grass seed is making sure you get the right type for your space. To do so, you’ll mainly want to consider the following:
Most types of grass seed are determined by hardiness and light levels. For example, you’ll find types suited to full sun or partial or full shade. It’s one of the most common factors when buying grass seed.
Grass is a pretty invasive plant. This isn’t as much of a problem on larger lawns but is something to think about when using it in small spaces. After all, invasive grass could end up everywhere, making cleanup a big job.
A bag of grass seed can cover up to 3,000sq. ft. of space. This will likely be too much for your small garden, so look out for smaller bags. They’ll either be listed as weight or area. As a rough guide, 1lb. of grass seed will cover 200 sq. ft.
We’ve rounded up the best kinds of grass seed for small spaces. However, they’re listed as a best of for different things, so check them out before deciding which is best for you.
This grass seed is Zoysia, which is one of the least invasive types of grass. It means it won’t spread too much outside its area, making it better for small lawns surrounded by pots or planters.
It’s also low maintenance and looks fine if you forget to cut it for a while. It’s drought-tolerant (ideal for balconies) and will thrive in both full sun and partial shade.
- Not very invasive
- Ideal for balconies
- Suitable for sun or partial shade
- Doesn’t grow very fast
Dense shade refers to areas under trees or north-facing spaces. In short, this grass seed is for anywhere that gets 2-6 hours of sunlight, either direct or indirect.
It’s a mix of tall fescue and fine fescue, which gives both height and density. It’s also pretty hardy, meaning it can be walked on without balding. As such, it’d be ideal for kids or pets to play on.
- Great for shady areas (such as balconies)
- Fairly drought-resistant
- Easy to care for
- Can be invasive
Ryegrass is ideal for dog toilet areas because it’s fast-growing and incredibly hardy. While it won’t completely resist dog pee, this grass seed won’t burn as quickly as other varieties.
It grows well on compacted soil and is fine for shady spots. As such, you can use it to grow a new lawn or repair patches in your current lawn. It does have deep roots, though, so isn’t best suited for balconies.
- Suitable for dog toilet areas
- Thick and hardy
- Will grow almost anywhere
- Has a deep root system
Kentucky Bluegrass grows fast and is incredibly drought-tolerant. This mix is ideal for sunny and warm areas, such as south-facing lawns and balconies. Unlike the ryegrass mix, its root system isn’t too deep, meaning you could grow it on a balcony.
It is a bit more invasive than other kinds, though, particularly if it gets a lot of sunlight. This won’t be an issue if you’re only setting up a small lawn. But if you’ve got border beds, consider the Zoysia blend. Alternatively, if you live in a hot area, go for a heat-tolerant mix.
- Suitable for full sun and warm climates
- Can be grown on balconies
- Easy to mow
- Can become invasive in the right conditions
For a low-maintenance grass seed, you’ll want either Zoysia or fescue seeds. This blend is tall fescue, which grows slowly but produces a thick lawn. However, you could use the other fescue blend linked above instead.
A low maintenance grass seed will grow slowly, as that’s the easiest way to control how often you must mow it. This does mean it’ll take longer to establish if you’re growing it from seed, though.
- Produces a thick lawn
- Very low maintenance
- Tolerates shade and sun
- Will take a long time to establish
Hopefully, there should be a grass seed on this list that meets your needs. Keep a look out for these types of grass seed, as different companies sell them under different blend names. Once you know this, it should be easy to narrow down your choices.