The best types of grass seed to sow in North Carolina clay soil are tall fescue or Bermuda grass. Tall fescue is a cool season grass, while Bermuda grass is a warm season plant.
Tall fescue is a type of grass that thrives in both North Carolina and other areas with clay soil because of its ability to survive extreme temperatures and its long roots. A gardener needs to start sowing tall fescue grass seed in late summer to early fall when temperatures start to drop. If planted in the spring, a temporary grass needs to be sown alongside it to help the tall fescue seed survive through the hotter months. Every 1,000 square feet should be planted with 6 pounds of grass seed.
Bermuda grass is an emerald-green plant that produces deep rhizomes that thrive beneath the clay soil surface and thrives in the heat. Some cultivars are even cold-tolerant. A gardener needs to sow Bermuda grass between March and September at a rate of 2 pounds of seed for every 1,000 square feet. Because Bermuda grass grows a layer of thatch consisting of dead grass and organic matter, it is necessary to dethatch and aerate the lawn regularly.