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Pennington Smart Seed Dense Shade Mix

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating
User Rating 1.5 Star Rating (6 Reviews)


Pennington Smart Seed Dense Shade Mix photo © Kelly Burke

The Bottom Line

I needed a specialized grass seed for my small, very shady backyard and I just happened to see a three pound bag of Pennington Smart Seed Dense Shade Mix at my local big box store.

The price was reasonable and if the claims on the label were true, I couldn't lose. Pennington Smart Seed is inoculated with mycorrhizae, which are fungi that form a relationship with the grass roots and work together to improve nutrient and water uptake, enhance drought resistance, and promote root growth.

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  • Excellent germination results
  • Improved seed varieties that thrive in the shade
  • Inoculated with mycorrhizae


  • Costs about $13 for a 3lb bag, a little pricey compared to other seed


  • Mix of improved varieties of fine bladed, lower maintenance fescues.
  • Seed mix changes for different regions of the country, providing a grass seed specifically formulated for each climatic zone
  • Contain Pennington’s exclusive MYCO Advantage technology
  • Contains Pennington’s exclusive Penkote technology

Guide Review - Pennington Smart Seed Dense Shade Mix

I have a very shady backyard that had previously been nothing but dirt and weeds, so I needed a specific mix, predominantly fescues, specialized for deep shade. With some reluctance and low expectations, I bought a three pound bag of Pennington Smart Seed Dense Shade Mix grass seed from my local big box store. My backyard is so shady I didn't think anything would grow back there anyway but I thought I'd give it a shot.

Pennington Smart Seed mixes come tailored to suite your specific region. I live in New England (Zone 6) and my Dense Shade mix contained 34% "Seven Seas" Chewings fescue; 34% "Camilla" Red fescue; 19.5% "Shining Star" Perennial ryegrass; and 9.6% "Brooklawn" Kentucky Bluegrass. These are well rated varieties of their species, chosen for their shade tolerance, not generic filler seed found in low quality mixes.

In addition to the mycorrhizae inoculation, Pennington Smart Seed is treated with it's own Penkote technology. Penkoted seed has been treated with a liquid seed coating containing a fungicide, a natural insecticide and a growth stimulant. The greenish color of the seed is a result of the Penkote which also has the added benefit of making the seed less desirable to birds.

I had great conditions with plenty of moist rainy weather complemented with warm sunny days. I also used a starter fertilizer containing the pre-emergent herbicide Tupersan (Siduron). A week after planting,seedlings were sprouting everywhere. A couple of weeks later, it got mowed for the first time.

The three pound bag is labeled to cover up to 750 sq. ft. I went a little heavy, using the whole bag for a lawn of about 500 sq. ft. The results speak for themselves, I now have a brand new lawn with only a few bare patches to repair and some light overseeding to make it complete. With minimal upkeep this lawn will be lush, mature, and amazing by fall.

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User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 1 out of 5
smart seed, Member pineway

dont waste your money, very expensive and only some of it germinates

5 out of 9 people found this helpful.

See all 6 reviews

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