Most pre-packaged seed you buy in a store will be either a mixture of several types of grasses (Kentucky bluegrass + perennial ryegrass) or a blend of several varieties of one type of grass (Kentucky bluegrass: ‘Baron’ + ‘Chateau’ + ‘Courtyard’).
Mixtures are designed to take advantage of the characteristics of several types of grasses for use in areas with varying conditions. The most common example of a mixture is a sun/shade mix. This type of seed mixture may contain Kentucky bluegrass and creeping red fescue. In sunny locations, the Kentucky bluegrass will thrive and dominate the stand, while in shaded areas the fine fescue will dominate. Perennial ryegrass is commonly added to sun/shade mixtures as a nursegrass since it germinates rapidly and provides protection for the slower emerging grasses. The percentage of perennial ryegrass in a mixture should be less than 20% so that it does not overwhelm the other grasses. Blends of several varieties of one type of grass are designed to take advantage of the desirable characteristics of each variety, for example, disease resistance. There are hundreds of varieties available for each of the grass types and blending several of these together helps guard against diseases as well as increases the environmental adaptation of the grass. Make sure to check the label when purchasing blends and avoid buying those with ‘variety not stated’ since these tend to be older, out-dated varieties.
Many nurseries and home garden centers provide grass seed. A listing of nursery members of the Idaho Nursery and Landscape Association can be found at their website: www.inlagrow.org/locate.htm