Grass Seed FAQs


Until very recently, we’ve had a mild winter.

And that run of unusually warm weather has brought many people to both Van Beek’s Garden Supplies locations asking about grass seed.

So we’ve collected all of the common questions we’ve heard over the past few weeks and put them together here for you.


Q: I’ve heard oat grass is safe for my cat. Is that true?

Yes it is.

And it’s also healthy for humans too.

In fact, many people purposely set aside areas of their lawn or garden to plant oat grass.

Not only is oat grass tasty to cats (and people), it’s also full of healthy vitamins and minerals too:

  • Vitamins A, B, C, E, K
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Protein

grass Q: Is it possible to use too much grass seed?

Grass seed – just like those plants and flowers – need space for their roots to grow and spread.

If you spread too much grass seed on your topsoil, it can lead to a multitude of problems:

  • Seed competition: The roots of the grass seed will fight for space. Some will grow faster and take the moisture and nutrients vital to growth. Others won’t grow strong roots. The result? You’ll have a patchy lawn.
  • Weak grass: Grass that actually germinates from densely populated seed will be thin. They also can’t withstand the pressure of people walking on it as well. Eventually, when summer hits, the grass may die. Even after it’s already established.
  • Slow germination: With too much grass seed, each seed doesn’t have the same access to soil. Seeds piled atop another won’t even touch the soil. Grass seeds at the bottom will take a longer time to push through the seeds on top of it.

Q: What’s the best shade tolerant grass seed to use?

Grass – like most plants – aren’t too fond of the shade.

And if you have plenty of shady trees (or low light conditions) on your lawn, it’ll be tough to grow a thick, lush lawn.

Some of the best shade tolerant grass seeds you can use in Ontario include:

  • Creeping red Fescue: The temperatures in early spring are still somewhat cool. Creeping red Fescue thrives in lower temperatures and has a great reputation as a shade tolerant grass seed.
  • Perennial Ryegrass: Fast acting and very effective in the shade, a layer of Perennial Ryegrass will last about a year. Use this grass seed in areas which are very shady and difficult to grow grass.

Q: What’s the best temperature to start seeding?

Grass seed germinates best when the soil temperature is 17˚C or higher.

Q: When should I lay down grass seed?

Most people who come to us are thinking about planting a new lawn in the spring.

If that’s you, then you should begin as soon as the soil is dry enough to work. That’s usually mid-April to mid-May.

This will give the new grass plenty of time (grass germination typically takes between one and three weeks) to settle in nicely before the warm, hot and dry weather sets in.

Download FREE ebook



Download this FREE eBook on identifying and avoiding poor topsoil for your grass seed




Q: What are endophyte seeds?

Endophytes is a fungus that infects your lawn. However, it isn’t harmful.

Rather, endophytes make your grass undesirable or poisonous to grass-munching pests like:

  • Chinch bugs
  • Webworms
  • Billbugs

Endophyte seeds can also make your lawn stronger and more durable during the hot, dry summer months.

Two things to know about endophyte seeds:

  1. As a grass seed, they can be used on new or existing lawns
  2. Do not use endophyte seeds if any livestock will be grazing on your lawn or grass

Q: Should I wait until fall to plant a new lawn?

Actually, if you can wait until autumn to buy grass seed and lay it down, you should.

Why? The seedbed (where the grass seeds will rest) won’t dry out in fall (whereas a very warm and hot spring is possible).

Unlike the spring, fall offers a longer window (approximately 45 days vs. 30 days) that’s ideal for planting grass seed: mid-August to the end of September.

Q: Can I over water my grass seed?

Too much water can harm your newly planted grass seed in a variety of ways:

  • Seeds will wash away: Over watering before the seeds are fully rooted will result in them washing away. For the seeds that remain, they’ll be buried in puddles and clump together. This means they won’t have room to grow.
  • Erosion of topsoil: If you water too much, the topsoil in your yard will erode. This will create an uneven surface or slopes where grass won’t grow properly. It’ll also move any loose topsoil and redistribute it in other areas of the yard.
  • Fungus: Yes, fungus. Fungus will grow pretty much anywhere, but it loves super wet environments. Fungi will damage new grass as well as established sod What’s even worse is that the more you over water, the more widespread the fungus will be.

Watering grass seedQ: What’s the right way to water my grass seed?

Follow these tips to make sure your fresh grass seed gets the right amount of water:

  • Only use enough water to keep the soil moist, not drenched
  • Don’t water all at once; divide your watering to 2 or more sessions per day
  • Water only a few minutes at a time

Once the grass is about 3”-4” in height, you can start mowing it and stop with the frequent or daily watering sessions.

Come to us for all your grass seed needs

No matter if you need high-quality grass seed mulch products or advice on how to correctly plant your grass seed, Van Beek’s has the information you need.

It may be winter (even though it doesn’t feel like it), but you can get ready now for planting grass seed in the spring.

Contact us for a FREE quote on all our grass seed products.

Contact Us