Pearl's Premium Grass seed is not your everyday grass seed blend, shade loving or otherwise. Pearl's specializes in ultra low maintenance grass seed blends for sunny, shady , and sun/shade conditions. I tested out the shady seed blend on a dark, north-facing part of my lawn.
Pearl's grass seed is ideal for those who want to mow their lawn less and not water it at all. Once established, a Pearl's lawn claims to be almost maintenance free. All while providing a lush, barefoot soft lawn.
Specially blended fescues make the difference
Pearl's Premium shady mix is made up of four different species of fescue, each chosen for specific properties like drought tolerance, disease resistance, traffic tolerance, and root development. Within the different species, certain cultivars also possess desirable characteristics and it is in the mixing and matching where quality seed blends stand out from their competitors.
Fescue grasses are slow growing and as a result need to be mowed much less than conventional lawns consisting of ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass. Conventional lawns usually need to be mowed once a week in the summer while a lawn consisting of Pearl's grass seed can be mowed as little as once a month.
Fescues are also known for their drought tolerance and ability to go without water for extended periods. Pearl's special blend takes advantage of these atributes and can survive without watering once established.
Pricey but not comparable to regular grass seed
When comparing prices, Pearl's is more expensive than most grass seed blends coming in at almost double the price per pound at about $7.20 per pound. By comparison, a leading name brand of shady seed costs about $4.00 per pound and some blends can cost under $3.00 per pound. However, we are not really comparing apples to apples here.
Leading name brand seed blends do not make the same claims as Pearl's though. Conventional seed blends are in line with conventional lawn care which requires regular watering, fertilizing, and mowing, all activities that will be eliminated or drastically reduced when using Pearl's.
As with many low maintenance/organic alternatives, initial costs tend to be higher than conventional products but in the long run, the costs decrease over time as the maintenance and inputs required decrease. A higher priced grass seed pays off in the future when there are no watering costs and mowing is reduced to once a month.
Successful germination, awaiting long-term results
I used my 5 pound sample to overseed a sparsely turfed area on the north side of my house under some shade trees. A shady area if there ever was one. The moist spring weather was ideal to get the seed going and I can attest that germination was successful and the grass is thriving.
The most important part of seeding is providing the proper conditions for germination. Maintaining moisture during the germination process is the most important factor, especially for fescues which can take up to two weeks or more to sprout and take root. The surface should be rolled or topdressed to ensure adequate soil to seed contact and ideally the weather would be warm and sunny during the day with the cool nights of spring and fall.
My maintenance practices should be ideal for Pearl's to thrive as I do not water my lawn and only mow bi-weekly at a height of 3.5 inches. Pearl's is a new type of seed blend aimed at the low maintenance/organic lawn crowd. Ideal for overseeding and establishing a lawn from scratch.