What's the Best Grass Seed for PA: Pro Tips for a Thick Lawn

A thin or unattractive lawn can easily be a major source of frustration. It can make your entire yard an embarrassment. If your lawn is thinned out or bare in areas, you know that you have to seed—the problem is, you may not be sure what’s the best grass seed for a Pennsylvania lawn.

In fact, if you’ve ever stopped to look at the options while shopping, then you already know there are a plethora of choices and the last thing you want to do is waste your time or money on the wrong one.

At Joshua Tree, we often get a lot of questions about the best grass seed for Pennsylvania lawns. Many times these come from homeowners who have tried something in the past and not had much luck. We understand that choosing grass seed can be complicated and we want to help you make the best choice possible. That’s why we’re happy to be your guide in choosing wisely.

Choosing the Best Grass Seed for Pennsylvania

Choosing the best grass seed for your Pennsylvania home is a bit more complicated than most people realize. That’s because of a few common misconceptions and points of confusion. Let’s explore them to help you choose wisely.

  • Beware of Marketing Gimmicks: The various labels on grass seed bags can really make the shopping process confusing. That’s because it’s easy to get sucked in by claims made on the bag. But it’s important to avoid getting misled by remaining wary of gimmicky claims. For instance, a bag may claim that it is the “fastest growing seed.” However, if it’s a grass type that you don’t even want in your lawn, that’s not going to do you any good.
  • Don’t Shop on Brand Alone: Another way that homeowners may get misled during the grass seed shopping process is to get wrapped up on brand name. Fancy or colorful packaging and even well-known names may lead you to choose a grass seed for the wrong reasons. Again, it should have more to do with what type of seed will work best for your lawn and less to do with a name you know or an attractive bag.
  • Failing to Read or Understand the Label: The label can also be a source of confusion but is actually the best way to choose the right grass seed for your lawn. Be sure to take the time to read it! You might be surprised to learn that it provides the percentage of how much of the content consists of weeds and nuisance grasses, which cannot be controlled by selective weed controls.

grass seed label for sunA lot of times the Pennsylvania grass seed that can be purchased from big box stores use a lot of filler. It could also be a low-grade seed. Seed is evaluated by independent laboratories for how much of it will actually germinate when you plant it. It could be you’re buying a bag of seed which only 75% will grow in the first place. This seed is simply not going to measure up to the quality of a 90%+ blend that’s being used by a reputable landscape professional.

The Best Grass Seed for Sunny Areas

The best grass seed for sunny areas is going to be Turf Type Tall Fescue. This turf type has been determined to work well for soil conditions in Pennsylvania. It is more drought-tolerant as well as lower maintenance.

We utilize a blend that is much higher quality than anything you would purchase in a big box store. This means we’re not just planting weeds in your lawn that you’ll have to deal with later.

The Best Grass Seed for Shade

You can still use Turf Type Tall Fescue in the shade, though you may want to use a shade mix that blends some other fescues, which are a bit more shade tolerant. Even so, it’s important to be aware that growing grass in the shade can be a challenge. That’s because even shade mixes require at least some sun (at least 5 to 6 hours’ worth each day).Shade grass seed label

Once planted, you must treat your shaded grass more cautiously. Shade grass will get stressed if over-fertilized or over-treated with herbicides (including both pre-emergent and post-emergent). Instead, you should only spot treat as needed. There is also no need for crabgrass control on the grass under your trees since crabgrass only grows in sunny areas.

You should also beware of seed bags that boast being a “Combination Mix.” This is another marketing gimmick. It may mean that half of it is a sun species, meaning half of it would not last if you have shade. You could wind up with areas of your lawn where 50% of the grass will die out.

Want a Healthy, Green Lawn? Learn Best Aeration & Seeding Practices in Our  Expert Guide!

Lawn Seeding Success  

Ultimately, the success of your grass seed depends not only on choosing the best grass seed for PA, but also on your methods for soil preparation. Getting grass seed to grow is a lot more complicated than just tossing it on the ground and watering it.

grass seed application

In order for grass seed to germinate, it needs good seed to soil contact. This can be achieved with lawn aeration. When lawn aeration and overseeding are performed at the same time, it allows the seeds to fall into the holes created by aerating.  


Being successful with your seeding also requires ongoing lawn care including regular watering. New seed need to be watered lightly a couple times a day to keep the seed moist for the first three weeks. After that, you can move toward every other day for approximately a week to keep the soil most to a couple inches below the surface. Ultimately you can transition to twice a week as it starts to mature.

In addition, being part of an ongoing professional lawn care program will also ensure that your grass continues to get what it needs to thrive. Without a healthy lawn your grass may be more likely to succumb to disease, pests, or even environmental stressors. Plus, having a professional on your lawn regularly will help ensure trouble is spotted early on.

When it comes to your yard, we understand how important your lawn is and we are here to help. By choosing to work with Joshua Tree you can feel confident that not only is the best grass seed being used for your lawn, but that the proper soil preparation steps will also be taken to ensure you have seeding success. You’ll no longer have to worry about an unattractive property as it will fill in to be the lush lawn you desire.

Dealing with thinned out or bare patches in your lawn? We’d be happy to provide a free estimate for aeration and overseeding and discuss our lawn care programs to help maintain your new lawn. Check out our service area to see all of our service locations.


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