Choose the Appropriate Season – The planting season has a direct effect on the success of grass seed. Timing ensures that your grass seed will germinate properly, grow rapidly, and remain healthy as new seedlings establish themselves. The optimal time to plant grass seed depends on your grass-growing region and the type of grass you cultivate.
Cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, and perennial ryegrass are commonly found in lawns throughout the northern United States. Planting during cool weather in the fall and spring coincides with these grasses’ most active growth periods. In Massachusetts, for instance, planting grass seed in early autumn is optimal.1 This time of year, the soil is still warm enough to promote germination, but the days are cool and occasionally rainy.
This mixture helps prevent newly planted seeds from drying out. There is also enough daylight in early autumn for new grass to flourish and become established prior to winter. The second-best method for planting cool-season grasses is in the spring. Aim to sow seeds early in the season, but only when daytime temperatures are between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
This roughly corresponds to the optimal soil temperature for the germination of cool-season grass seeds. Springtime sunlight and precipitation both contribute to robust grass growth. Warm-season lawn grasses such as Bermudagrass, Zoysia grass, Bahiagrass, and Centipede grass dominate the southern half of the United States.
These grasses should be planted in the spring and early summer, not in the fall, during their optimal growth period. Plant warm-season grasses when daytime temperatures remain at or above 80 degrees Fahrenheit and all risk of a late spring frost has passed in your area.
When can grass seed be planted after the winter?
Late winter is the second-best time to sow grass seed for lawns. Is it true that grass seed can be planted over snow in the winter? What is the best grass type for this region? This is partially accurate. Late winter to early spring is an acceptable time to start a new lawn or to thicken an existing one.
Depending on the weather, the second-best time for lawn grass seeding is typically mid-February to late March, although September is the optimal time. Wait until there is no snow on the ground, and do the seeding when the ground is not frozen or muddy, so that the seeds can be covered with loose soil.
From late spring to midsummer, seeding is typically unsuccessful due to weed competition and moisture stress. In Kentucky, cool-season grasses are recommended for residential lawns. Even though we have many high-quality Kentucky bluegrass lawns, tall fescue is the grass that is best adapted to Northern Kentucky.
Tall fescue should almost always be planted on problem lawns with shade, poor soil, or heavy foot traffic. Additionally, fine (red) fescue and perennial ryegrass have limited applications in lawns. If you already have a relatively healthy bluegrass lawn, however, you should overseed with bluegrass and not fescue.
Never combine the two. Do a soil test immediately (provided for free by your local county Extension Service Office in Kentucky) to determine the exact lime and fertilizer requirements of your lawn. Excess lime can result in poor nutrient uptake. New lawns should be seeded into loose, prepared soil, or by renting a power seeder, also known as a vertical or slit seeder, which cuts grooves in the soil, drops the seed in the grooves, and then lightly covers it, all in one pass.
To avoid obvious rows of seedlings, you must make a second pass at a right angle. In pre-loosened soil or for small patches, a rotary seeder or the typical drop-type seed and fertilizer spreader is typically used for sowing. Per 1,000 square feet of lawn, utilize six pounds of tall fescue seed or four pounds of bluegrass seed.
Cover the seed with a light rake or a roller with water-ballast. Straw should be used to mulch the region. The mulch layer should be thin enough to expose approximately fifty percent of the soil surface, which equates to approximately one bale of straw per one thousand square feet of area.
Frequently water your plants, especially if you do not use mulch or if precipitation is scarce. Keep the soil’s surface moist for several weeks until the seedlings are well-established, or they will perish. Refer to the Cooperative Extension publication “Weed Control Recommendations for Kentucky Bluegrass and Tall Fescue Lawns and Recreational Turf (AGR-78)” for information on weed control.
Unfortunately, the majority of lawn herbicides also kill grass seedlings. Review product labels thoroughly. Don’t be afraid to mow a new lawn. After the grass has reached its normal mowing height (about 4 inches), you can begin your early spring mowings (once or twice per week), cutting bluegrass and fescue to a height of approximately 212 inches.
You should never remove more than one-third of the blade’s length at once. By mowing early and not allowing excessive grass to accumulate, the texture will become finer, numerous upright weeds will be eliminated, the turf will become denser, and the lateral spread will increase. Mike Klahr is the horticulture extension agent for Boone County.
For more information on seed starting and gardening, as well as updates on upcoming Extension classes, and to win free vegetable seeds for your spring garden, visit or. Late winter is the second-best time to seed lawn grass
How late can grass seed be planted in Minnesota?
When to dormant seed – From late October to early December in Minnesota, temperatures are cold enough to dormant seed. Once the temperature of the soil falls below 50 degrees, grass seed will no longer germinate. The planted seed will remain dormant under the snow throughout the winter. When the temperature rises in the spring, the snow will melt and the grass seed will begin growing immediately.