Not all lawns are the same, as many gardeners have experienced first-hand. Because only with the right seed mixture at the appropriate location can the lawn be enjoyed over the long term. One of the most important prerequisites for the successful cultivation of lawns is the selection of the right type of lawn, which is precisely tailored to the intended use. In addition to the soil conditions (dry or tending towards waterlogging), the lighting conditions (sunny or shady) are also important. In addition, the stress on the lawn is one of the decisive criteria. An ornamental lawn is only for decorative purposes, hard-wearing lawns can withstand children playing and barbecues.


In Germany, the Federal Plant Variety Office lists around 350 different lawn grasses that have been specially bred for lawn use. Dozens of grass varieties are added every year. The three most important types of grass include red fescue, meadow meadow grass and perennial ryegrass. About 88% of the grass species listed are descended from these three grasses.

The breed

There are different types of grass on the market. It is important to choose the right mixture depending on the location and the demands. The seed for the lawn does not consist of a single type of grass, but of a mixture of very specific types of grass. The main criterion for the selection of lawn seed is the intended use, because depending on the stress, different demands are made on the grass. Therefore one distinguishes:

1. Zierrasen

Decorative lawns are usually used in home gardens, such as front gardens. This type of lawn is characterized by a dense, carpet-like turf of fine-leaved grasses and is not intended for children or pets to play. The resilience of these grass varieties is rather low. So that the maintenance effort is not too high, these are usually grasses that do not have particularly pronounced growth. Bent grasses (Agrostis species), red fescue (Festuca nigrescens) and hairy fescue (Festuca trichophylla) are usually used here.

2. Utility Lawn

Utility lawn varieties are quite drought resistant and tolerate a moderate level of stress. They are usually used in public green spaces, in housing estates or in private gardens.

3. Hard-wearing lawn

If the lawn is to be used as a sports field, parking lot or lawn, the grass must be able to withstand high loads. All year-round robust lawn types with low to medium maintenance requirements are therefore summarized under the term hard-wearing lawn. When there is a high level of stress, it is important that any bald spots that have formed grow back quickly, which is why these types of lawn contain a large proportion of fast-growing grasses. The disadvantage is obvious: It has to be mowed correspondingly often. Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and meadow meadow grass (Poa pratensis) can almost always be found in hard-wearing lawns.

4. Deep cut lawn

Some lawns must be kept very short for their use, such as on golf greens. Not all types of grass tolerate this and the maintenance effort is extremely high. For the home garden, these types of grass are of little importance.

5. Landscape Lawn

If the soil is to be protected from being washed out by the rain (erosion), types of lawn are required that require almost no maintenance effort and are resistant to drought. Grass varieties for landscape lawns are primarily used on the edges of traffic routes and recultivation areas.

Special shade lawn

If the lawn is to be laid out primarily in shady areas, such as under trees, special types of lawn are required that contain types of grass (such as the grove meadow grass) that get along with less light and can assert themselves well against weeds and moss. On the other hand, these types of lawn are usually not so hard-wearing and must not be cut too short.

Note: Among the many types of grass there are also those that only contain annual grasses. These only serve to reseed sports turf in order to improve its suitability for winter. They are not suitable for laying out a new lawn.

Most common types of grass in the lawn

The following types of grass, which are used in lawns, sometimes differ significantly in terms of their appearance, root formation, growth rate and the demands on location and soil:

1. German (perennial) ryegrass (Lolium perenne)

  • robust and hardwearing type of grass
  • Root system: finely branched and dense
  • Germination time: about a week
  • Culms: narrow to medium-wide leaves
  • little penetration of weeds
  • drought tolerant
  • multiplies independently
  • susceptible to snow mold and red thread
  • needs sufficient light and nutrients
  • Use: main grass in almost all lawn mixtures, especially in sports and play turf (garden)

2. Regenerierendes Weidelgras (RPR, Regenerating Perennial Ryegrass)

  • very high tread resistance
  • Root system: very dense
  • forms a network of horizontal spurs
  • fast germination
  • very fast growth
  • best ability to regenerate
  • low penetration of weeds
  • Culms: medium coarse
  • Use: exclusively for heavily used areas (soccer pitches), also useful for heavily frequented gardens

3. Wiesenrispe (Poa pratensis)

  • robust and hardwearing type of grass
  • Root system: less pronounced than that of ryegrass
  • Germination period: three weeks
  • Culms: medium-wide leaf
  • good regenerative ability
  • sensitive to drought
  • multiplies independently
  • forms subterranean spurs
  • grows slowly and low
  • susceptible to rust diseases
  • needs sufficient light and nutrients
  • Use: Main type of grass in play and sports lawns for gardens

4. Lägerrispe (Poa supina)

  • very sturdy
  • Root system: well developed
  • Germination period: three weeks
  • Culms: medium-wide leaf
  • very competitive
  • best shade grass
  • seed very expensive
  • needs a lot of water and sufficient nutrients
  • Cutting height: up to a maximum of 5 cm
  • Use: in mixtures for shaded lawns and hard-wearing lawns

5. Rotschwingel (Festuca rubra)

  • medium load capacity
  • Root system: fine, but dense
  • very adaptable to different locations
  • Germination time: about two weeks
  • culms: fine leaf, bristle-like
  • clump-forming and very dense
  • little penetration of weeds
  • prone to redness
  • low demands on water and nutrients
  • if the proportion in the lawn is high, severe thatch formation is often possible
  • Commonly available in the variant Red Fescue (Festuca rubra communata), Red Fescue with short stolons (Festuca rubra trichophylla) and Red Fescue (Festuca rubra rubra).
  • Application: Component of lawn mixtures for sports and play turf

6. Fescue (Festuca species)

  • medium load capacity
  • Root system: medium dense
  • very adaptable to various locations
  • Germination time: two weeks
  • very drought tolerant
  • Culms: fine leaves, clump-forming
  • Common varieties: Festuca ovina (common sheep’s fescue) and Festuca trachyphylla (predatory fescue)
  • Use: extreme locations where more demanding grasses no longer grow

7. bent grasses (Agrostis species)

  • medium load capacity
  • Root system: profound
  • Germination time: two weeks
  • culms: narrow leaves
  • – forms subterranean spurs
  • asserts itself well against foreign grasses
  • undemanding
  • susceptible to lawn diseases
  • strong felt formation
  • needs a lot of water and nutrients
  • Use: mainly on ornamental lawns and landscaped lawns, also suitable for deep cuts

Pay attention to quality

As everywhere, good quality is also a feature when buying lawn seeds. Instead of looking for imaginative names, you should rather rely on the advice of experts which lawn mixtures are recommended for your very special requirements. Not all types of lawn are suitable for every garden, after all, soil quality, lighting conditions and the load in every garden are individual. Regular seed mixtures (RSM) are therefore a good choice. Only proven types of grass are used in these lawn seed mixtures, and high quality is also guaranteed.

Note: The high-quality seed mixtures are identified by a green label that lists the exact RSM with the proportions of each grass variety used. Cheap lawn mixtures are not allowed to use this marking.

seed mixes

Lawn seed is rarely made up of just one type of grass, but contains different types of grass. A mixture of lawn seeds is always put together according to function. The individual species have different leaf structures (green aspect), germination behavior, growth characteristics, resilience and care requirements. Commercial lawn seed mixtures contain sensible combinations of different, useful types of lawn. The mixtures for new sowing and those for resowing also differ. Lawns that are little used, such as landscape lawns and ornamental lawns, usually contain fine-leaved fescue grass. In contrast, perennial ryegrass and meadow meadow grass dominate in seed mixtures for heavier loads. Of particular importance for shady locations is the Lägerrispe,

1. Regular seed mixtures for ornamental lawns

  • RSM type 1.1 ornamental lawn Variant 1: for example 80% Festuca rubra ssp. plus 20% lolium perenne
  • RSM type 1.1 ornamental lawn variant 2: for example 100% Festuca rubra ssp.

2. Utility turf mixtures for dry locations

  • RSM Type 2.2 Utility lawn for dry locations Variant 1: 60% Festuca ssp., 40% Poa pratensis
  • RSM Type 2.2 Utility lawn for dry locations Variant 2: 70% Festuca arundinacea, 10% Lolium perenne, 20% Poa pratensis

3. Utility lawn for playing fields

  • RSM Type 2.3 Utility lawn play lawn: for example with 30% Lolium perenne, 40% Festuca ssp., 30% Poa pratensis

4. Utility lawn herb lawn

  • RSM Type 2.4 Useful grass-herbaceous grasses: 17% herbs, 5% Agrostis capillaris, 50% Festuca ssp., 30% Lolium perenne, 30% Poa pratensis, 5% Poa trivialis

5. Sports turf for the new system

  • RSM type 3.1 new sports turf system: for example with 40% Lolium perenne (2 types), 60% Poa pratensis (3 types)

6. Sports turf for reseeding (regeneration)

  • RSM type 3.2 sports turf regeneration: for example with 85% Lolium perenne and 15% Poa pratensis

7. Seeds for parking lots

  • RSM Type 5.1 Parking grasses: 40% Lolium perenne, 20% Festuca rubra ssp., 38% Poa pratensis and 2% Achillea millefolium

8. Lawn mix for green roofs

  • RSM type 6.1: about 35% herbs, plus a wide range of grass species such as Poa pratensis, Festuca ssp., Agrostis capillaris, Poa compressa and many more

9. Landscape grass for dry locations

  • RSM type 7.2: is available with and without added herbs, can be used well in extremely dry locations and on south-facing slopes, for example 55% Festuca ovina, 30% Festuca rubra ssp., 10% Lolium perenne and 5% Bromus erectus

10. Landscape lawn for wet areas (danger of waterlogging)

  • RSM Type 7.3 Landschaftsrasen-Moisture layers: 50% Festuca rubra ssp., 20% Festuca brevipila, 10% Poa trivialis, 10% Lolium perenne and 10% Agrostis ssp.

11. Landscape grass for shadier locations

  • RSM Type 7.4 Landscape lawn half-shadows: for example 35% Festuca rubra ssp., 25% Festuca ovina ssp., 15% Poa pratensis, 10% Lolium perenne and jeweis 5% Poa nemoralis, Poa supina and Agrostis ssp.
Tip: There are even lawn mixtures for biotopes (biotope development areas RSM 8) that are particularly rich in species and are sometimes adapted to extreme conditions (e.g. nutrient-poor grassland or lawn for very calcareous subsoil).

Only the right type of lawn guarantees good growth and low maintenance costs for the lawn area. Therefore, the seed mixture must be adapted to the soil and light conditions as well as the stress. Regular seed mixtures (RSM) are recommended, which offer tried and tested grass varieties of very high quality for every possible use.

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