Montana weather can be troublesome for people looking to grow a healthy lawn. In the summer, it‘s hot, dry and windy. In the winter it‘s cold, dry and windy.
If you don‘t like your grass to look like straw or freeze into place during a blizzard, you‘ll want to do something about it. The grass will not grow if the weather is too extreme for it.
When you think about Montana, you don‘t necessarily picture the most lawn–friendly state in the country. I mean, it‘s a pretty big state with a lot of land—but is it enough to support a healthy lawn?
The best grass seed for Montana should be easy to sow. Often, weeding is a major chore for the homeowner. You do not want to spend hours in your yard pulling weeds or spraying chemicals on them.
The best grass seed for Montana should also be able to withstand the hot summer days and cold winter nights. Montana is home to both sunny and rainy conditions, so it is important that you find a type of seed that can handle all weather types.
Montana has a very short growing season, so you need seeds that can germinate quickly and sprout fast if they are going to survive at all.
The ideal grass seed for Montana will thrive in poor soil conditions and will be resistant to drought as well as pests and disease. If possible, choose grasses that require little water once established; this will save you money on watering costs, especially during the hot summer months when water supply may be limited in your area.
Best Grass Seed for Montana (Cool Season)
Grass seeds for cool seasons should be able to handle the effects of cold weather and still germinate. They should be able to withstand periods of drought without becoming dormant. In some cases, it may even be possible to sow grass seed in winter when temperatures are freezing but the ground is not frozen.
Kentucky bluegrass is a great grass seed for Montana because it is extremely drought resistant and will grow in even the most adverse conditions.
The fact that it is a perennial grass also means you don’t have to do any maintenance work like mowing or seeding.
However, if you want your lawn to look like a golf course, Kentucky bluegrass may not be the best choice for your yard because it doesn’t form into that perfect green carpet-like lawn that some people want.
Scotts Turf Builder Grass Kentucky Bluegrass is our recommendation because it has been one of the top-selling and highest rated grass seed for years now.
It is one of the most popular varieties of grass in the U.S., and is particularly great for lawns in states like Montana where there are spells of drought or extreme cold.
Kentucky bluegrass is also very low maintenance, requiring mowing once every two weeks and watering plants during dry spells after they have been planted.
Our next grass seed recommendation for Montana is perennial ryegrass because of its excellent use for overseeding. It also provides a good quality turf in terms of density, color and wear tolerance.
This grass is widely used on golf courses and athletic fields in Montana because it is drought tolerant and has a long persistence after seeding.
Weed control can be an issue with ryegrass, but you can avoid this problem by applying a pre-emergence herbicide to your lawn before planting it.
If you don’t want to apply the herbicide yourself, then you should wait until spring to have us do the job for you.
We will make sure that we kill any weeds, including dandelion, that are currently growing in your lawn before we seed it with ryegrass.
Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Perennial Ryegrass Mix is our recommended brand for residential applications because of its excellent performance and high quality.
This seed is for use in every zone in Montana. This grass can also be used in commercial lawn applications, such as athletic fields.
Fine fescue grass seed is also a great choice for Montana because it can stand up to the hot summers and cold winters. It is very tolerant of both heat and cold, so it will grow well all year long in Montana.
Fine fescue grass seed is also very drought tolerant. The only time you should water it during periods of drought is when the top inch of soil has become dry.
This will prevent it from drying out completely. However, it is resistant to drought, so you don’t have to worry about water often if at all with this type of grass seed.
You can plant this type of grass seed in your yard or on your field as an ornamental or a forage crop for livestock as well as food for wildlife such as birds and deer. You can also use it to cover over weeds that are in your lawn too!
Fine fescue grass seed is best suited for areas where you want something low-maintenance that won’t need much care at all after you plant it because fine fescue lawns require little to no mowing which saves you time and money!
Grass Seed for Montana (Warm Season)
Grass seeds for warm seasons need a long growing season with hot weather and warm nights. The seeds should germinate quickly after sowing so that they can get established before the hot, dry summer months set in.
For warm seasons in Montana, we recommend buffalo grass because it adapts to a variety of soil types and even tolerates some shade. It is also a great alternative for areas where deer are a problem because it’s not as palatable as other species.
Buffalo grass is more drought tolerant than bluegrass and maintains its green color well during dry times. It is also known to be more cold hardy, as we experienced during the harsh winter of 2017-2018 when temperatures dropped below zero for several days in January.
In most cases, buffalo grass can be planted at any time of year but it should not be seeded into existing turf since it will compete with your existing lawn.
Instead, find an area that has little traffic or use bare ground between your driveway and sidewalk if you have one.
Buffalo grass seeds are very fine so you don’t need to worry about over-seeding your lawn with them because they will get taken out by the wind when they fall off the seed heads in the fall anyway.
What grass grows best in Montana?
The grass that grows best in Montana depends on where you live. If you live in the mountains, broadleaf and fescues are best because it tends to be cooler up there.
The hottest parts of Montana are the plains, so buffalo grass and blue grass are good choices for those areas. Perennial ryegrass is the only option for lawns in northern Montana.
Non-native grasses are completely inappropriate for Montana because they can’t survive our cold winters. Other states may have a different climate and better soil, so they can grow foreign grasses, but that is not the case here.
What is the easiest grass to grow?
The easiest grass to grow is either Kentucky Bluegrass or Perennial Rye. These are the grasses that have been selected for ease of establishment and low maintenance programs.
In most areas, these grasses will be the easiest to grow, and are generally available at most lawn and garden supply stores.
What is the best grass seed for high traffic areas?
Tall Fescue is best for high traffic areas. Not only is it very wear tolerant, but it has a nice green color all summer long. It does not require the same amount of water as other grasses either, if you are going to use a sprinkler system in your yard.
However, fescue should be mowed to two inches and kept that way. It will not look good if you let it grow too long and get ratty and scraggly looking.
What is the best grass seed for shade?
Buffalo Grass or Perennial Ryegrass are great choices for shady areas of your yard where other grasses may struggle to grow well in hot weather conditions. They do need more water than other types of grasses do though, so don’t forget to water them during dry spells!