Why Is Grass Seed So Expensive?


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The grass is always greener… and more expensive on the other side. The perfect home isn’t complete without a luscious lawn full of bright green grass. But unfortunately, not every yard is lucky enough to have naturally growing grass. That’s why many homeowners turn to grass seeds to help them grow the yard they’ve always dreamed of.

While grass seeds can be extremely useful, they can also be quite expensive…

Grass seed is expensive because the cost of producing grass seed is high. Producing different types of grass seed requires varying amounts of labor, machinery and space. All of these factors cost money which brings up the cost of the seed.

There are several alternatives to purchasing grass seed, such as purchasing sod for example, but if you’re looking for a long-lasting solution, this is the way to go. Before you get started on your project, make sure you’ve taken into consideration the cost of grass seed, the cost of labor, and more. The last thing you want is to be hit with a lawn bill you can’t afford.

If you are looking for a more DIY route, there’s a way to do that too. No matter what you decide on, we’ve got you covered and have provided you with all the information you could possibly need.

Costs of Different Grass Seeds

The total cost of your new lawn depends on the type of grass you choose to plant. There are around 11 different types of grass, all ranging in different costs. Now this already may sound overwhelming, but it helps to know that the type of seed you should buy all depends on the region in which you live. For example, Kentucky bluegrass thrives in the Northeast, while Fescue flourishes well in the Midwest. 

Once you’ve narrowed down the types of grass that grow best in your region, you can go about deciding which type you want to grow. Some grass is more expensive than others, so pay close attention to cost when making up your mind.

Fescue

In appearance, Fescue has a dark green color and narrow blades. It has a deep root, about 2 to 3 ft. in length. This type of grass tends to grow in clumps as opposed to individually. 

Cost

If you’re a Midwesterner, Fescue tends to be on the less expensive side of things coming in at about $60 to $75 for 25 pounds or 5,000 sq. ft. Of course, if your yard is much larger than this, the cost adds up. 

Kentucky bluegrass

Those in the Northeast will love the Kentucky bluegrass. Kentucky bluegrass is the type of grass that people picture when they think “perfect lawn.” It does require more maintenance than most other grass, but is very versatile. Unlike the Fescue, the roots on the Kentucky bluegrass are much more shallow.  It grows much slower than most other types of grass that thrive in cool weather but grows individually instead of in small clumps. 

Cost

Kentucky bluegrass ranges from $80 to $100 for 25 pounds or 5,000 sq. ft.

Bermuda

Those living in the Southeast region will want a grass seed that can stand warm weather. Bermudagrass would be your best bet here.

Bermudagrass is perfect for dry and hot weather, hence why it thrives best in the Southeast. This is because it originally comes from tropical climates. Despite its affinity for heat, it does require a lot of maintenance. 

Cost

This type of grass can be a little pricier, costing around $105 to $130 for 25 pounds or 5,000 sq. ft.

Ryegrass

The Pacific Northwest prefers Ryegrass in their lawn thanks to its ability to survive cold weather and the diseases that riddle grass during the rainy season.

Ryegrass is mostly used in agricultural settings, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used in private lawns. Ryegrass is popular because it germinates quickly and in abundance. This type of grass is ideal for places that don’t get much rain as Ryegrass is pretty tolerant of drought.

Cost

A 50-pound bag of Ryegrass seed will put you at about $53 per bag. Each bag covers up to 10,000 sq. ft. 

Bahiagrass/Centipede

People who live in the deep South or near the Gulf Coast will want to plant Bahiagrass or Centipede grass. Both types of grass are able to survive drought and higher temperatures year-round.

Bahiagrass is low maintenance and very coarse, while Centipede grass grows a little slower and can easily thrive in soil that has little to no nutrients. This in turn, can also cut the cost of fertilizer. Already, you’re saving money here.

Bahiagrass has a deep root that also makes it tolerant of drought. Although it can be much more coarse than regular grass, it is preferred thanks to its durability and versatility. It can even survive sandy soils that are often found in the South.

Centipede grass tends to be one of the favorites among lawn enthusiasts and professionals. It’s low maintenance, tolerates acidic soil, and does not have a period of dormancy. This means that the grass stays green all year. It’s no wonder why it’s preferred over other types of grass.

Cost

Bahiagrass costs between $120 to $160 for 25 pounds or 5,000 sq. ft. while Centipede grass will set you back $340 to $385 per pallet or about $0.75 to $0.85 per sq. ft.

Zoysia/Tall Fescue

If you happen to live in the area known as the “Transition Zone” otherwise known as the central tier of states from the Atlantic Coast west through Kansas, you’ll need Zoysia grass or Tall Fescue to keep your lawn looking healthy all year. Zoysia grass is also pretty low maintenance and has a decent tolerance for cold weather. Tall Fescue on the other hand, grows well in hot weather and can survive through a drought thanks to its deep roots. 

Zoysia grass is able to tolerate any type of weather, from extreme heat to extremely cold weather. It’s versatile and flourishes nearly anywhere it’s planted. It’s thick and dense where it grows and has a deep root system. This type of grass will go dormant; however, it is one of the quickest types of grass to flourish. 

In case you can’t tell, there’s much to consider when purchasing grass seeds. It’s not just about the overall result, but also about how it will thrive in the long run and keep up with the climate it’s planted in. 

So as you can see, planting grass from scratch isn’t an inexpensive venture, nor is it an easy one. When it comes to cost, there’s more reasons than one for the astronomical price tag.

Cost

Cost wise, Zoysia grass sells for around $240 per pallet or $0.55 per sq. ft. Tall Fescue is $160 to $295 per pallet or $0.35 to $0.65 per sq. ft. 

Grass Seed Cost Factors

As mentioned earlier, there are several reasons why grass seeds are so expensive.

Grass seeds are typically grown on farmland

This means that many farmers have to allot a certain amount of land to grow grass as opposed to their other crops, which may be more valuable to them. As a result, farmers are typically paid extra for grass they grow so as to match the amount of money they would’ve made via produce had that extra land been used for that.

Machinery costs

Another reason why growing and harvesting grass is expensive is because of the fact that it requires a lot of special machinery – machinery that comes with a hefty price. Grass seeds must also be coated to get them to survive being transported. This also adds to the cost of grass seeds.

Many manufacturers also justify their high costs by claiming they are doing continued research to try and find better varieties of grass. Another reason given by manufacturers is that shipping costs have increased over the past few years, resulting in their price increase.

How to Save Money Planting Grass

If you’re eager to grow a beautiful yard in your home but simply don’t have the budget for it, there are still ways for you to get the lawn of your dreams.

Buy in bulk

If you’re working on a big project and know from the get-go that you’ll need a lot of grass seed to get the job done, you should start buying in bulk. It’ll be much less expensive in the long run and you can always save whatever you don’t end up using.

Choose an appropriate grass type

The next step you can take in ensuring you stay on budget is by researching the best types of grass that grow in your climate, and then going with the least expensive alternative.

The cost of seeds vary depending on the type, but you don’t always have to go with the priciest option. Keep in mind that you still want to buy grass seed suitable for your yard as despite saving money on seeds, you’ll end up spending more on upkeep if you buy seeds that aren’t ideal for your region.

Cut labor costs

Much of the cost of planting new grass comes from the seed itself, but paying for manual labor is another aspect of it. The bigger the yard, the more you’ll have to shell out for the cost of labor. But if you’re willing to get the job done yourself (or with a group of friends), the less you’ll have to pay. 

Before you decide to take on this big task yourself, however, make sure you do as much research as possible. You don’t want to take on something you can’t do on your own, and there are some tasks that are simply better off with the professionals. 

Maintain your lawn

Last, but not least, a great way to save money on growing a whole new yard is by simply taking good care of the one you have now. Don’t wait until your lawn is entirely dead. The moment you notice a brown patch or that your grass isn’t getting enough water and nutrients, do something about it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cldlNUr-3Zs

Costs to Seed Your Lawn

So why is grass seed so expensive?

The total cost to seed your lawn can depend on a slew of things. For one, the type of seed you choose. As we discussed earlier, some seeds are more expensive than others.

Another thing to factor in is the size of the area you’re planning on working on. Seeding can range from simply fixing a dead patch in your yard to planting several acres of grass.

Renovation is the term for fixing patchy pieces of land or sprucing up already existing grass. Renovating is typically less expensive as it involves less manual labor and less seeds. Replacement, however, is the term for putting in an entire new batch of grass. 

Replacement is more complicated than renovation since it requires removing the old lawn, turning the soil, adding fertilizer, measuring the pH, and more. Believe it or not, there are also specific months out of the year that make for a more successful planting. The fall months are ideal for growing grass as it offers the perfect type of climate. 

When you start creating your budget, keep in mind how much land you plan on working with. Typically, you can expect to pay about $90 to $180 per 1,000 sq. ft. to seed a new lawn or fix up an already existing one.

Your total cost will also depend on whether or not you decide to hire a professional lawn company to do it for you, or you go the DIY route.

DIY Seeding Versus Hiring A Lawn Seeding Service

You have two options when it comes to seeding your yard: doing it yourself, or hiring a lawn seeding service. There are pros and cons in each option that you should take into consideration before making up your mind.

The DIY Route

The DIY route is certainly less expensive. You can even choose to harvest your own seeds. This of course, can only happen if the type of seed you want to harvest is the same as the grass that you already have growing in your yard. This process is time-consuming and requires dealing with an unmanicured lawn for quite some time.

If you do decide on this, you have to first let your grass grow to the point where it will start to sprout flowers. From here, you will have to let the seeds that grow in the flower dry to the point where you can easily pluck them off. The process seems pretty simple, but it involves having to constantly check the blades of grass for potential seeds, and having to care for an unruly yard.

If you simply don’t have the time or the money to spend on planting an entire new lawn, you can always plant herbs in place of dry patches. These are known as groundcovers and although it won’t make your lawn look even, it will cover up any parts of your lawn that are missing green.

Professional Service

On the other hand, you can always hire a professional to get the job done. Grass seeds may be pricey, but at least you won’t break your back trying to get that perfect lawn. There are many benefits to hiring a lawn service, including saving time and getting your new lawn installed using professional equipment and previous experience, among other things.

When you hire a lawn service, you are also guaranteed continuous lawn care in the form of monthly or biannual visits by the company to make sure your grass is still in good shape. They will also spray it with fertilizer and make sure your grass is getting all the nutrients it needs.

The negative aspects of hiring a service on the other hand, are also something to consider. For one, getting your lawn done doesn’t always coincide with your schedule and your home may be chaotic for a while until the job is finished. You’ll also have to do your fair share of research to make sure you’re hiring a reputable company to do the work properly.

The amount of time you want to spend growing your new lawn is also something to take into consideration. It takes about two years for grass seed to fully grow, and if you’re not willing to wait that long, you can always buy sod. The only catch is, sod is almost double the cost of grass seed. Coming in at around $16,000 per acre, you might reconsider and go for the seed instead.

In Summary

Lawn care is not easy, plain and simple. But if you start early, you can save yourself the hassle of eventually having to redo your entire lawn. When it comes to replacing your lawn, however, it’s important to consider the type of grass seed you’ll need, the climate you live in, and whether or not you want to do it yourself. Consider your budget and how much you want to spend before you make any decisions, and consult as many experts as possible if you end up taking on the project yourself. 

Although it’s a hassle, having a beautiful yard is certainly worth it. Besides, don’t you want to be able to brag to your friends about having the best looking lawn in the neighborhood?

Here are some of my favorite lawn care products

Thanks a lot for making it to the end of this post! I hope you found it useful. Here are some lawn care products that I use and that I think you’ll also find helpful. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a commission.

In all honesty, these are some of the basic products that I use and recommend to everyone.

Broadcast Spreader

This Scotts Elite dual rotary spreader is not a professional grade model but it’s excellent for homeowners.

I really like the edge guard on it. It’s really easy to switch on and off so it’s great for going around my driveway and flower beds.

If you’re not looking to spend hundreds of dollars, I’d definitely recommend this model. It spreads out a wide path and is great quality for the cost.

Backpack Sprayer

This 4-Gallon sprayer is my absolute favorite. It sprays for a really long time. I’ve had this sprayer for quite a while and I’ve never had the battery run out.

The adjustable pressure switch is a really import feature to me.

You can order a lot of accessories for this model but I’ve never really found much of a need for it.

Head Aerator

Hand aerators are great for small spots if you’ve got construction debris or a spot that constantly dries out.

You can also fill these holes with organic matter that will hold a bit more moisture.

This one by Yard Butler is an absolute bargain. It pulls nice long cores. I also use it for taking soil samples around the yard!

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