It is that time of year when this site will soon be flooded with questions about what type of seed people should buy to plant a new lawn or overseed an existing one. I thought I would post this because it is also the time of year when you can buy really nice, fresh turfgrass seed in bulk for a fraction of what a box of stuff costs packaged for retail. And if buying at a box store, it may have been sitting for over a year. You will miss out on the pretty picture of lawn on the packaging if you buy bulk though. If ten people from this site PayPal $1.39 each I will post a picture of a pretty lawn. For $2 each I will add lawn ornaments.
The most common turfgrass seed mixtures mixtures contain hybrid forms of PERENNIAL (grows from season to season) rye, fescue and bluegrass. You can also get things like zoysia and bermuda in seed form but these are more specialized and climate senstive turfgrasses.
Anyhow the mix of seed you choose will depend on your soil conditions, anticipated traffic on the turf, need for drought tolerance, irrigation or other water availability etc. Packaged mixes will contain enough of the different grass seeds to adapt to your situation but buying in bulk lets you customize your blend. Why pay for seed that will never make it in the shade if that is what you have to deal with? Here is an article explaining basic turfgrasses.
Beware the marketing hype. You will see some inexpensive grass mixtures marketed to germinate within 7 days. They are sometimes marketed as exclusive contractor blends. If you look carefully at the label you will see that they contain large amounts of ANNUAL (grows only one season) rye or other grass seeds.
Note that grass seed will only germinate if kept moist. As mentioned, annual varieties will sprout quickly in 7 days or less. Perrenial rye grasses will start popping up in about 7-10. Bluegrasses and fescues can take 14-21 days to do their thing and start growing. You have to be patient and remain diligent during the differing germination periods.
Anyhow, bulk seed tends to sell out quickly so read up, figure out what type of turfgrass will do best for your situation and get ready to rototill, level off, plant and roll!