Grass Seed Amounts – How Many Pounds Do You Need Per Square Foot?

Last update: January 1, 2022

Having a beautiful lawn full of green healthy grass is the absolute dream, but it doesn’t come by itself.

It requires a lot of regular care and maintenance, and a lot of using the right products, in order to get that heavenly result everybody wants.

Depending on your lawn, and your location, you will have to use one type of grass seed or another, to ensure that you’re getting the suitable grass that will be easier to maintain and care for.

But once you have that grass seed purchased…how much of it do you use?

Generally speaking, you should purchase the grass seed knowing in advance how many pounds of it you need per square foot (as that is the most common way of measuring it out).

Too few grass seeds, and you won’t get much coverage on your lawn, too much and you will be wasting a lot of it, plus it will become a little much. You need just the right amount!

Of course, getting the right amount of grass seed depends on the type of grass seed you need and a few other factors. Let’s look into it!

Different Types Of Grass Seed

The first thing that you need to know is that there are different types of grass seed and that you have to pick the right one depending on your location, your lawn, the season and climate, and your personal preferences.

As a general rule, different types of grass seeds are classified into two different main groups: warm weather grass, and cold weather grass.

Grass Seed Amounts

Let’s take a look at the main types of grass seed from both categories:

Warm Weather Grass

Warm weather grass is all of the types of grass that thrive in climates with hotter temperatures, or that do better during the summer months.

For example, within the US, warm weather grass is usually found in the southern regions, in places where the temperature averages out between 75 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Here are some of the most common grass seeds pertaining to the warm weather grass category:

  • Bahia grass
  • Bermuda grass
  • Centipede grass
  • St. Augustine grass
  • Zoysia grass

Cold Weather Grass

Cold weather grass, much as the name suggests, includes types of grass that are able to withstand colder temperatures, and that do better in places with warm summers and cold winters.

All of the types of grass within this category tend to grow a lot faster during the spring and fall seasons and they do the best in places where the temperature averages out between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Here are some of the most common grass seeds pertaining to the cold weather grass category:

  • Bent grass
  • Kentucky bluegrass
  • Rough bluegrass
  • Fine fescue grass
  • Tall fescue grass
  • Creeping fescue grass
  • Perennial ryegrass

How Many Pounds Of Grass Seed Per Square Foot You Need

Now that we have talked about the main different types of grass, it’s time to address the main question: how many pounds of grass seed do you need per square foot?

This is very important, as you need to be using the right amount of grass seed within the space of your lawn. Not too much, and not too little, the right amount. So…how do you figure it out?

Well, the amount of grass seed that you should use, depends on many different factors. But the main factor that you should pay attention to, is the specifications of the specific type of grass seed that you are using.

This is why it is vital that you always read the label instructions and the product specifications!

To help you out, we’ll go through some of the main types of grass seeds that we already mentioned, along with some other ones, and we’ll include the specifications about how many pounds you need per square foot:

  • Bahia grass: 8 to 10 pounds per 1000 square feet (for new lawn coverage) and 4 to 5 pounds per 1000 square feet (for overseeding coverage).
  • Bent grass: 2 pounds per 1000 square feet (for new lawn coverage) and 1 to 2 pounds per 1000 square feet (for overseeding coverage).
  • Bermuda grass: 1.5 to 2.5 pounds per 1000 square feet (for new lawn coverage) and 1 pound per 1000 square feet (for overseeding coverage).
  • Buffalo grass: 3 pounds per 1000 square feet (for new lawn coverage) and 1 to 1.5 pounds per 1000 square feet (for overseeding coverage).
  • Carpetgrass: 2 pounds per 1000 square feet (for new lawn coverage) and 1 pound per 1000 square feet (for overseeding coverage).
  • Centipede grass: 0.5 to 1 pounds per 1000 square feet (for new lawn coverage) and 0.3 to 0.5 pounds per 1000 square feet (for overseeding coverage).
  • Creeping red fescue grass: 5 pounds per 1000 square feet (for new lawn coverage) and 2.5 pounds per 1000 square feet (for overseeding coverage).
  • Fine fescue grass: 5 pounds per 1000 square feet (for new lawn coverage) and 2.5 pounds per 1000 square feet (for overseeding coverage).
  • Kentucky bluegrass: 2 to 4 pounds per 1000 square feet (for new lawn coverage) and 1 to 2 pounds per 1000 square feet (for overseeding coverage).
  • Perennial Ryegrass: 9 to 10 pounds per 1000 square feet (for new lawn coverage) and 5 to 6 pounds per 1000 square feet (for overseeding coverage).
  • Zoysia grass: 2 pounds per 1000 square feet (for new lawn coverage) and 1 pound per 1000 square feet (for overseeding coverage).

Factors That Affect The Amount Of Grass Seed Per Square Foot You Need

There are many different factors that affect how much grass seed you should use per square foot in your lawn, but here are some of the main ones that you should pay the most attention to:

Whether It’s New Grass, Or You’re Overseeding

When you are installing new grass, on top of already existing grass, then this is called overseeding. This is something done in order to fill in your lawn a bit more or cover up any thin or bald patches. When overseeding, you don’t need as much grass seed, because you are basically just adding extra.

With new lawn grass, however, you are installing grass where there is none, and therefore you need a bigger amount of seeds.

grass seeds for your lawn

If Your Lawn Is In The Shade Or The Sun

In order for grass seeds to germinate, they need moisture. And the location of the lawn very much affects the levels of moisture.

If your lawn is in the sun, then moisture will tend to evaporate a lot faster, so as a general rule, you should use bigger amounts of seeds, to give the grass a better chance of success.

If your lawn is in the shade, however, the moisture will be retained a lot better, so you don’t need as many grass seeds, because they will germinate with a lot more ease.

Nevertheless, you should always be within the recommended range, indicated on the product specifications of the grass seed that you are using on your lawn.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Space Will A 50-Pound Bag Of Grass Seed Be Able To Cover?

This answer depends on many different factors, with the most important being the specific type of grass seed that you are using.

It also depends on whether you are overseeding a lawn, or if you are planting a new lawn from scratch, as this affects the amount of grass seed you should be using.

We will use Bermuda grass as an example, as it is one of the most popular options. One pound of Bermuda grass seed will cover 1000 square feet of lawn if you are overseeding.

So the 50-pound back would cover a lot. Approximately, the bag of 50 pounds would cover around 50,000 square feet. So well over an acre of land!

That being said, again, it is important that you check as it depends on the specific type of grass seed you are using.

How Do I Calculate How Much Grass Seed I Need?

In order to calculate the amount of grass seed that you need you to have to ask yourself the following questions:

  • How many square feet do you need to cover?
  • What type of grass seed are you planning on buying?
  • Are you overseeding or starting a new lawn?

Depending on the answers, you will need more or less grass seed. As a general rule, we’d say that the average is around 5 pounds per 1000 square feet.

How Much Does Grass Seed Cost Per Square Foot? 

This depends on the price of the specific grass seed that you are purchasing.

Buffalo grass, for example, is one of the cheapest types, and it will usually cost you between $0.09 and $0.16 per square foot. More expensive types of grass seed can cost up to a full $1 per square foot.

Final Thoughts

The exact amount of pounds of grass seed that you need per square foot depends on many factors. The main one is the specific type of grass seed that you are using, as different types will be able to cover more or less space.

The second most important factor is whether you are overseeding a lawn, or starting one from scratch, as this will determine whether you have to use the upper or lower range of grass seed amount.

Always check the specifications of the product that you are using!