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Piedmont 06-10-2011 02:48 PM

Anyone have any luck with Scotts grass seed?
This is my 3rd year using Scotts and honest to God I get so frustrated with their seed! Does anyone else think it's awful?

3 years ago I rototill my back yard which is a little bit of a hill. Worried about making mistakes I get the whole Scotts package. The special coated seed that doesn't need as much water, the starter fertilizer, Scotts spreader, Sprinkler(s), rake, I'm good to go! After doing about 80% of my yard I run out of Scotts seed. I go to my local Mom & Pop hardware store and they just have some regular ole grass seed which I use to finish the job.

Fast forward 2 weeks, that Mom & Pop seed has annual ryegrass to hold the dirt, and it is growing nice while the Scotts coated grass is just beginning to show signs of life (it doesn't seem to have annual ryegrass). A huge thunderstorm comes, and the mom & pop stuff held because of the annual ryegrass while the Scotts was devestated by washout since it hadn't grown or had anything to hold it in place. So, I go to the store and I'm looking at the Scotts patch builder... and I wonder. Do they intentionally try to have their seed wash away so you have to buy their patch/repair stuff? That mom & pop stuff came up much faster and fuller and better designed with the annual ryegrass. Fast forward to fall. The mom & pop stuff looks like it belongs on a golf course or could be used for Sod it is lucious while the Scotts grass looks like it's struggling. Everyone who comes into my backyard asks, "Did you use different seed over here?" I say yup... that's the cheap stuff. Come Spring, the Mom & Pop stuff is looking fantastic and has filled in, Scotts has a lot of bare spots that need patch/turf builder and again... I think to myself I wonder if they do this on purpose... they probably want holes in their grass so I go and buy their patch/turf builder product.

Last year, I rototill my front yard and use the Mom & Pop stuff except for one section that's really dry I use the Scotts special water holding seed. Once again, big storm comes and I am so thankful for the annual ryegrass in the mom & pop stuff. Come Fall, my front yard is lush except the area I used Scotts. No matter what I do the Scotts struggles.

This spring once again I have holes where I planted Scotts, the Mom & Pop stuff looks like it belongs in a commercial and it has filled in nice. That dry spot I used Scotts water holding seed last year NONE of it survived.

Anyone have luck with it? I feel like I'm being taken, I paid big bucks for it all only to have the cheap stuff beat it in every way come Sunday.

oh'mike 06-10-2011 08:19 PM

I've used Scotts seed many times---just the regular lawn mix not the fancy coated kind.

I never had a complaint.----We have exellent soil in this area.

rollinastang 06-11-2011 08:35 AM

i had the same problem with scotts. i had a bunch of posts removed from and old dog kennel so i used scotts to rebuild the grass...i put peat moss and straw on top of it and 3 weeks into the project no grass was popping up at all...i watered regularly and everything...after spending good money on the scotts i was very frustrated. not wanting to spend a mint on fixing it as i already dropeed a pretty penny i went to tractor supply and they had a 50lb bag of tall fescue seed for 35 dollars.i put it right ontop of the straw.. i also had a ton leftover to i reseeded most of the yard off my patio as well. i used a stiff rake with the flat backside down to knock the seed down through the grass to the soil and to my surprise in 7 days i had a nice start of grass coming up in all areas. it has been 5 weeks since i used the cheap stuff and i have a beautiful looking yard.apparently the fancy names and coatings don't mean anything if u plant the grass seed right and take the proper measures to grow it! i will never use the overpriced scotts season i am doing my front yard and i will be using the cheap stuff!!!

user1007 06-12-2011 07:00 PM

Nothing beats the freshness of seasonal, open stock, lawn seed from your farmfeed/seed store or nursery. There is nothing wrong with Scotts though although it gets a little gimicky with the bird proof and sunburn coatings. The generic stuff has no pretty pictures of lawns on the packaging 4 times as large as it needs to be.

However, you really have to check expiration dates and consider how the seed you are being might have been handled/shipped, stored and displayed and for how long. Box stores may say they rotate inventory when it has aged but you have to be diligent and check everything because it ain't not true! If it was sitting in the back of a truck waiting to be unloaded at 30 below somewhere in the Midwest in January you do not want it.

piste 06-13-2011 12:42 PM

I gave up on Scott's products years ago for reasons similar to yours. I think there are much better options out there. I do use Scott's "hardware" like spreaders and stuff...and maybe potting soil..but none of their seed or fertilizer. They are great example of marketing overcoming for mediorcre-at-best product quality. Not a fan at all.

CoconutPete 06-14-2011 01:43 PM

I had similar results to you w/ the Scott's bag o' seeds I tried on the bare spots on my lawn last fall.

I removed a stump and a small hill this summer and filled the giant hole I was left w/ with topsoil. Now I had roughly a 6' x 8' area I needed something for. I spread that Scott's 1/3 seed 1/3 fertilizer 1/3 shredded newspaper all over the area and I actually had great results with that. The grass there grew phenomenally and looks better than any other piece of my lawn. Of course the weather was perfect for it even though it was technically a little late to plant.

High Gear 06-14-2011 09:07 PM

Scotts Classic Sun and Shade has perennial rye in the mix at 25% if I

remember right.

I've had good luck with it on establishing a hilly new lawn.

Its not Scott's fault you didn't read the label.

You may consider erosion control blankets in trouble prone areas ( a landscape or farm service will have these ).

Straw also helps hold the soil and moisture IMO and I've done this also with

very mild to no incline .

Some of the Scotts products are gimmicky and overpriced IMO .

marym 06-25-2012 05:43 AM

I have used regular Scotts seed in the past without problem. This year, I bought the coated seed---it did not germinate! No more coated seed for me.

DrHicks 06-25-2012 02:35 PM

I've used Scotts' Seed, and it has been fine, but you're paying a premium for the name.

I prefer to hit up a local nursery, or even the TSC Store for grass seed. It's usually an off-name, which means it's a smaller company growing & selling it.

bubbler 06-25-2012 03:04 PM

I think the trouble is that Scotts is selling you the product you expect to buy--all premium seeds and no "cheap" stuff, where-as the Mom & Pop brand is selling you a "cheaper" mix.

Read the labels, find a blend of Scotts that includes Rye that you need, or if you can't find it, buy some Rye specifically and mix it yourself.

My anecdotal experience with Scotts:

The good:
1) EZ Seed DOES work. Grass comes up fast and reliably with it, particularly if you aren't prepping the area well. Just be sure to spread it to 1/4" thickness like they say, because it is 98% mulch/dirt/fertilizer.

2) "Landscaper Mix" comes up quickly, especially if you spike it with some of their Starter Fertilizer

3) "High Traffic Mix" does very well for me on my front yard where I have no walk way and there is daily traffic between front door and driveway--I'm honestly impressed with how well it holds up and how nice it looks

The not so good:
4) Patchmaster, the stuff with the shredded paper, is essentially crap in my eyes... I bought it a few months ago lured in by the slightly cheaper price vs. EZ Seed, but it really didn't do very well at all, I had the same results last year but didn't learn then... 3X will be shame on me.

5) Their "Smart Coating" reduces the actual seed weight vs. bag weight by 50%. Last year I put down a lot of it in a certain area (a dense shade mix) it did come up, but was spotty. In hindsight I wish I had simply bought a regular seed and had 2X for the same price. At the time I thought that I applied too much starter fertilizer, but now I'm wondering if the issue was the coating causing a germination problem... it seemed like I was finding the little pale blue seeds around for a weeks afterwards... they just never seemed to make it.

I've bought Pennington's competitive versions of the various products and can honestly say I haven't been that impressed, particularly considering the relatively minor price difference.

Overall I'm happy with Scotts products.

DrHicks 06-25-2012 03:18 PM


Originally Posted by bubbler (Post 951396)
I think the trouble is that Scotts is selling you the product you expect to buy--all premium seeds and no "cheap" stuff, where-as the Mom & Pop brand is selling you a "cheaper" mix.

I don't disagree with your assessment, and obviously not your personal experiences, but I do disagree with this statement.

While it is possible that there are some small "mom & pop" outfits that are just selling cheaper seed, and hoping you'll buy it, that's probably the exception to the rule.

Most smaller operations work harder to maintain their small customer base, and hopefully expand. Also, they have much smaller overhead and operating expenses (it takes a heckuva lot of money to bag & ship Scotts' products all over the country). So sometimes - with a smaller supplier - you're just paying less money for better, fresher seed.

You're right though, the bottom line is that we as consumers need to be informed enough to make wise choices.

CopperClad 06-25-2012 03:31 PM

I live in Phoenix. I use Scotts for everything pretty much seed, fertilizer, weed-n-feed.. I can only grow Bermuda because of the blazing sun but have always been very satisfied of my lush green lawn. Lawns here are like anything else, consistent proper maintenance from the sun or you lose. So I recommend Scotts all the time, follow the instructions to the T and its a quality product. After reading the OP post however.. I am now in my backyard with a shovel. I will never use it again...

Thunder Chicken 06-25-2012 07:02 PM

Bottom line is, if your soil is really dirt, nothing is going to grow in it. Scotts product works just about as well as fresh farm store seed in half-decent soil. I had landscaping work done in my back yard where they backfilled with good loam and topdressed with compost and hydroseeded. I almost wore out my mower trying to keep that lawn under control this spring.

The parts of my lawn that were not graded are pretty quiet. All I can get to grow in there is clover and weeds. Every fall I topdress with more compost and overseed and I get a few more feet of real lawn every year. I've used Harts (a local seed mix) and Scotts (when I was in a box store and decided to grab a bag) and it doesn't seem to matter if it is spread on decent soil.

Rocket Ronnie 05-10-2013 08:38 AM

Scotts Useless Coated Grass Seed
I bought $74 worth of Scott's coated grass seed and sowed it over triple-mix, high quality topsoil, raked, rolled and watered. I kept watering faithfully every day for two weeks. Guess what? Not a single blade of grass came up!

I am so sorry I bought the hype: "I can almost picture it!" from the television commercials.. It is simply the worst grass seed I have ever used and would never buy it again.

I ended up over-seeding with a general, all-purpose grass seed for half the price and am now awaiting results. It can't be any worse than Scott's useless coated grass seed.

user1007 05-10-2013 09:23 AM

Look, as mentioned when I posted to this thread two years ago, now is the best time to buy good, fresh, seed in bulk. Mix whatever you want and that fits your needs in kraft bags without pretty lawn pictures on them and get on with it!

Seed of any kind is not going to sprout if it is old and outdated. It may not be Scotts fault and they should demand old stuff be pulled but box stores will carry the inventory over from season to season. And it may sit in boxes on an overheated or frozen truck in waiting to make it to the warehouse for stocking. The Blowe's or HD shipment of tacky lawn ornaments and gnomes was all the guys/gals could get to unloading during their minimum wage, part time shift.

And let us please not compare annual ryegrass to a nice perrennial rye hybrid. Of course it will germinate the minute it hits to soil and you water it. So you stop keeping the perennial rye (takes 7-10 days to germinate) and bluegrass and fescues (take 14-28 days to germinate) moist and scream germination failure. The annual rye sucks all the nutrient resources but is, although rather harsh looking and scary to walk on in bare feet, green.

That is not playing fair. Annual rye does not a real lawn make either!

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