Best Grass Seed For Clay Soil – Review With Buying Guide

Planting grass in clay soil may look easy, but there are many things to consider. One of them is, which is the best grass seed for clay soil?

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We believe that the best choice is the Scotts Turf Builder Tall Fescue Mix Grass Seed. It is highly resistant to diseases, insects, and even droughts. It has a special coating that helps it absorb and retain water much better than its competitors.

Most importantly, this seed mixture is the only one capable of growing in both full sun and shady areas. You can grow it practically anywhere due to this kind of versatility.

Top 5 Best Grass Seed For Clay Soil

Scotts Turf Builder Tall Fescue Mix Grass Seed – Best Overall

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First of all, we are pretty impressed by the Scotts Turf Builder Tall Fescue Mix Grass Seed’s versatility. It is not an overestimation to say that it is the only seed in this list capable of growing both in full sunlight and shade.

The WaterSmart+ coating for each seed is also excellent, as it keeps the seed moist much longer. Moist seeds have a better chance of thriving with higher insect resistance.

The only issue that we have is not about this best growing grass seed but more about Scotts’ customer support team. You may need to wait as much as 2 weeks to hear back from them.

What We Like

  • Capable of growing in both partial shade and full sun
  • Superior resistance against heat, insect, and drought
  • 4-in-1 WaterSmart+ coating making it absorb water better

What Can Be Improved?

  • Long customer support response time

Pennington Perennial Rye Smart Grass Seed – Best For Insects-Resistant

Pennington Smart Seed Perennial Rye Grass Seed, 3 lb
1,145 Reviews
Pennington Smart Seed Perennial Rye Grass Seed, 3 lb
  • One of the easiest types of grass to establish - FAST...
  • Produces a fine-textured lawn that maintains a dark green...
  • Naturally resists insects

The most significant advantage that the Pennington Perennial Rye Smart Grass Seed holds over its competitors is its resistance against insects. The basis of this resistance is the Penkoted Seed Tech, which is a coating enveloping each seed.

The resulting grass also has quite a fine texture, as there is no insect damage. Furthermore, it’s possible to store the product for up to two years after its test date. You only need to ensure the storage area is cool and dry.

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This grass type is not that good against heat, so they cannot grow strongly in Southern lawns. In other words, it is a type of grass for wet clay soil.

What We Like

  • Among the most accessible grass type to establish
  • Naturally resistant against insects
  • Good grass texture

What Can Be Improved?

  • Only good as grass for wet clay soil.

Jonathan Green Ultra 10322 Grass Seed Mix – Best Coverage

Jonathan Green (10322) Black Beauty Ultra Grass Seed - Cool...
2,971 Reviews
Jonathan Green (10322) Black Beauty Ultra Grass Seed - Cool...
  • PROVIDES A DARK GREEN LAWN - This grass seed mix produces...
  • RETAINS MOISTURE - With roots that can grow up to 4-feet...

The Jonathan Green Ultra 10322 Grass Seed Mix has, undoubtedly, the single most extensive coverage area on this list. One 7-pound packet is enough to cover up to 2800 square feet. For comparison, the same weight of Scotts Tall Fescue struggles to cover 1750 square feet.

The seed diversity is also quite commendable. You get a mixture of three seeds, including the Black Beauty Tall Fescues, Perennial Ryegrass, and Kentucky Bluegrass.

Due to its wax coating, this seed mix is good against drought. However, this coating also limits its environment. If you aren’t growing grass in clay soil, you will not see satisfying results.

What We Like

  • Huge 2800 square feet coverage area
  • Highly diverse in seed types
  • Extremely good against droughts
  • Wax coating, capable of retaining water for long periods

What Can Be Improved?

  • No result if you aren’t growing grass in clay soil

Pennington Bermudagrass Smart Fertilizer And Grass Seed Mix – Best For Fast-Growing Ability

Pennington Smart Seed Bermudagrass Mix with 2x faster...
722 Reviews
Pennington Smart Seed Bermudagrass Mix with 2x faster...
  • Bermudagrass grass seed mix for southern, sunny lawns
  • Contains just the right amount of fertilizer to help your...
  • Formulated mix that helps Bermuda lawns start strong and...

This seed mix is the only one on the list that incorporates fertilizer within its mixture. Due to this feature is almost guaranteed that the grass will grow quicker than any other option.

Each seed has its nitrate enhancement, meaning that the grass will be much more robust against traffic. This feature and its fast-growing nature mean newbies can use it to learn how to grow grass in clay soil.

This grass seed mix has one massive weakness of only being capable of growing in areas with at least 8 hours of sunlight.

What We Like

  • Incorporating fertilizer meaning it is the best growing grass seed
  • Exceptionally good traffic resistance
  • Capable of growing under all circumstances
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What Can Be Improved?

  • Only capable of growth in areas with at least 8 hours of sunlight.

Scotts Turf Builder Zoysia Grass Seed And Mulch – Best For Full Sun

Scotts Turf Builder Zoysia Grass Seed & Mulch, Grows a...
3,351 Reviews
Scotts Turf Builder Zoysia Grass Seed & Mulch, Grows a...
  • Zoysia grass seed & mulch is designed for full sun and light...
  • Combines mulch and grass seed to grow a tough, durable,...
  • Extremely versatile seed mix that's 99.9% weed free

The Scotts Turf Builder Zoysia Grass Seed And Mulch mixture’s grass result is incredibly durable. The mulch also makes the whole thing as low-maintenance as possible, as long as Excellentenough sunlight.

Full sun exposure can quickly burn any other option, but this seed mixture can survive it thanks to its water-blocking mechanism.

It can only thrive in areas with lots of sunlight. While it can grow in areas with dense shades, the result will not be satisfying.

What We Like

  • Grass and mulch combination ensuring durability and low maintenance needs
  • Inherently capable of fighting and destroying weeds
  • Highly resistant to diseases
  • Water-locking mechanism

What Can Be Improved?

  • Only capable of thriving with lots of sunlight.

Buying Guide

Popular Grass Types For Clay Soil Lawn

Warm-Season Grasses

Bermuda is probably the most well-known type of warm-season grasses. High heat tolerance is a necessity for warm-season grasses in clay soils, and Bermuda grass is among the best in this regard.

Another popular one is the buffalo grass. Despite its popularity as warm-season grass, buffalo grass can grow in various climates. The secret behind buffalo grass’ versatility is its deep root system.

Zoysia is a notoriously tricky grass, as it is highly drought tolerant. This grass type can also form a dense and beautiful lawn, leaving no growing space for weeds. However, it cannot survive the winter, eliminating any chance to serve as a cool-season grass.

Cool-Season Grasses

There is no denying that when we talk about cool-season grasses, the first thing we think of is tall fescue grass. Whether in heavy clay or sandy soil, tall fescue’s roots can reach 2-3 feet deep, allowing them to withstand extreme weather.

Kentucky bluegrass is also among the most popular cool-season grasses. After all, most people associate it with the image of a perfect lawn, as its lush and deep green appearance can entrance anyone.

Last but not least is the Perennial ryegrass, which is wholly different from annual ryegrass. It germinates pretty fast, so it’s best suited as a new lawn seeding method.

Feature To Look For When Choosing Grass For Clay Soil


Clay soil is a type of soil consisting of only mineral components and almost no organic material. As such, it takes quite a while for clay soil to warm up in the spring thoroughly.

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The grass is among the most temperature-dependent types of seed, especially warm-season grasses. That is why you cannot make the mistake of planting the wrong grass in the wrong region.

Also, clay soil, with its mineral richness, can heave a lot in winter. This places a lot of pressure on the root system. As such, if your grass does not have strong roots, it will not survive.

Ensure you know what type of grass your seeds are in and which season they can fit in before buying.

New Planting VS Reseeding

Planting a whole new lawn is entirely different from reseeding an existing one. Seeding onto a new lawn means you need to apply seeds onto bare dirt. On the other hand, reseeding means you only need to thicken the lawn.

New planting means your seed will need to deal with weeds, so it must be able to drive them out.


Different types of grass have varying levels of resistance against foot traffic. If you plan on turning your clay soil lawn into a playing area, you need grass types that can keep growing despite taking lots of abuse.

“Zoysia” by hey skinny is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Maintenance Level

We all want to give our clay soil lawn the best care possible, with long hours of lawn maintenance. However, most of us have more pressing matters to attend, such as work or social meetings.

Some grass types are not that fussy about the care you must give. A prime example is the Zoysia grass, which only requires annual dethatching.

Sun Exposure

Each clay soil grass type has its unique requirement about the amount of sunlight it can receive. For instance, Bermuda grass needs to be under the full sun constantly. On the other hand, tall clay soil fescue grass cannot thrive without any shade.

That is why you need to carefully access your clay soil lawn’s sun exposure level before deciding on the type of grass.

Fortunately, the manufacturers tend to write the specific requirements explicitly on the package. Reading them will let you know clearly how to plant grass seed in clay soil for optimal sun exposure.

Is there a grass seed that works best on clay soil?


With this best grass seed for clay soil guide, we hope you can now pick the best choice for your situation. If you are still unsure, test the water with the Scotts Turf Builder Tall Fescue Grass Seed.

It is capable of perfectly resisting heat, insects, and even drought. You can grow it practically anywhere, and its water absorption ability is simply unmatchable.

If you want to choose a different seed type, remember to pay attention to climate, traffic, and sun exposure. The maintenance level is dependent on whether or not you have free time.

Last update on 2024-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Jill Sandy

I am a sustainable focus gardener. I love decorating my home backyard with beautiful landscape design and creative garden care techniques I develop myself.