Best Time of Year to Plant Grass Seed - Backyard Boss
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Best Time of Year to Plant Grass Seed

A lush, green lawn can be a source of great pride for an avid gardener. It’s one of the most iconic aspects of outdoor home landscaping, elevating curb appeal and providing enjoyment to spending time outdoors.

Whether you are looking for ways to maintain a healthy lawn or help break up an area with something new, this list has got you covered! Here is everything you need to know about preparing for, selecting, and planting grass seeds.

Best Time of Year to Plant Grass Seed

grass seeds
Image credits: Elena Elisseeva via Shutterstock

Depending on the type of grass seed and regional climate considerations, planting times can range from early spring to late fall.

To get the most out of your grass-growing efforts, it’s crucial to understand when the ideal time for planting is in order to maximize growth potential.

Cool-Season Grasses

The best time of the year to plant grass seed for cool-season grasses such as sheep fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and tall fescue is from late summer to early fall. This timing gives you the perfect conditions to ensure your root growth will be strong. It also allows you to have a lush green lawn come late fall and even winter season. Planting in October is usually ideal, but planting as early as mid-September can give you an extra boost when it comes to rooting your new grass seeds.

Getting the right temperature is key for these cool-season grasses. They need soil temperatures usually available in colder seasons, like in the spring or fall. Aim for soil temperatures around 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit or lower depending on your specific type of grass.

Warm-Season Grasses

To get the most out of their active growth period, which typically falls between 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s important to know when the best time of year is to plant grass seed for these types of grasses.

For grasses like zoysiagrass, bermudagrass, or St. Augustine, aim to plant your seeds right at the start of summer. From late spring onwards, soil temperatures need to be consistently over 65 degrees Fahrenheit for germination and growth. For that reason, it is best to choose this time as the optimal planting season for warm-season grasses.

How to Plant Grass Seeds

Closeup man's hand inspecting green grass lawn, healthy tall fescue, water, watering, damaged grass, new over seed grass, fertilizer application, thick grass, caring for your lawn, no weeds, weeding
Image credits: Jon Rehg via Shutterstock

With the right tools and know-how, you can achieve a beautiful green carpet of grass in no time! From preparing the soil to watering and mowing, here are the steps necessary for successful grass seed planting.

Choose the Right Time

As mentioned above, the ideal time to plant grass seeds is early spring to early fall, when temperatures are mild and there is ample rainfall.

At this time of year, the soil should be warm enough for the seeds to germinate quickly, but not so hot that the seedlings will struggle to survive. Planting in springtime can also yield excellent results. However, because of higher levels of rainfall, keep an eye out for weeds such as crabgrass, which can compete with your newly planted grass shoots.

Water

To ensure the healthiest and most lush lawn possible, give it sufficient water. For newly seeded lawns, give them frequent light watering to encourage germination and keep the soil moist so the seeds don’t dry out before they can root firmly in their new environment.

For two to three weeks keep it lightly moist with daily misting but don’t give it so much that you see puddles forming. Once you see growth emerging, switch watering gears to twice or three times per week. Each watering session should be about one inch of water total.

Fertilizer

To ensure that your new seedlings get off to a strong start, apply a starter fertilizer before or directly after planting.

If you plan on using herbicides near the newly planted area, read the label carefully first. Seedlings are vulnerable to these chemicals and may not survive if they are too harsh. For crabgrass control needs, make sure that any product used is specifically formulated for this purpose.

When fertilizing grass seed, be careful not to use too much, as over-fertilizing can damage young plants or interfere with growth.

Protect the Seedlings

If you’re planting grass seeds in your lawn, the best way to protect seedlings is by using a light layer of straw or landscape fabric. This will help keep the soil moist, prevent any excess foot traffic, and provide some insulation from harsh weather conditions.

Remove this covering as soon as possible since it can prevent grassroots from maturing and developing properly. The time needed for germination will depend on the type of seed being planted. On average, it could take up to 28 days before you start seeing signs of growth.

Let Your Grass Dreams Come True

Maintaining a green, healthy lawn is important to many homeowners and can be a source of great pride. Selecting the right type of grass seed for your climate and sowing at the right time is critical for success. This list provides everything you need to know about when to plant grass seeds so you can have the lush lawn of your dreams.

Do you have any other tips for growing grass from seed? Share them in the comments below!

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