WHY FALL IS BEST FOR COOL-SEASON GRASSES – Numerous advantages make autumn the optimal time to grow cool-season grass seed. The earth is still warm from months of summer light at the beginning of October. Warm soil, moderate daytime temperatures, and mild evenings promote rapid germination and establishment of newly sown cool-season grass seed.
- When soil temperatures approach 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, cool-season grass seed germinates optimally.
- This corresponds roughly to midday air temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
- A low-cost soil thermometer, available at garden centers and on the Internet, can help reduce the element of chance.
The further north you reside, the sooner fall’s perfect temperatures and planting seasons arrive. For instance, Upper Midwest Minnesotans seed cool-season lawns between mid-August and mid-September.1 September and October are the optimal months for sowing cool-season lawns in the transitional zones of central and northern Arkansas.2 The fall planting of cool-season grasses is complementary to their natural growth cycles.
- Plant cool-season grass seed at least 45 days prior to the projected date of the first autumn frost, before soil and air temperatures become less suitable.
- Your grasses will experience a complete autumn season and a second chilly growth season in the spring.
- Your local county extension agent can provide guidance on average frost dates and the ideal time to sow grass seed in your region.
Newly planted seed need regular soil moisture, and fall planting is advantageous in this regard as well. Fall often brings more precipitation, which minimizes the likelihood of cool-season seeds drying out and your need to water them more frequently. Using quality drought-resistant, water-conserving grass seed solutions, such as Pennington Smart Seed and Pennington One Step Complete, further reduces the chance of difficulties.
How late may grass seed be planted in Minnesota?
When to latent seed – From late October through early December in Minnesota, temperatures are chilly 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.
Why is autumn the optimal season to sow grass seed?
Autumn is the greatest season. Autumn’s mixture of warm soil and chilly air is ideal for sowing grass seed and allowing new grass roots to establish before the onset of winter. It is also a good time to fertilize in order to develop stronger, deeper roots throughout the winter, which will result in a thicker, greener lawn in the spring.
The correct response is ‘not necessarily’. November is too late to plant grass seed for the autumn growing season, but there is a technique known as dormant seeding. Grass seed can be planted in November by latent planting, when the temperature is cold enough to keep it dormant until spring.