When to plant grass seed depends on the type of seed & the area you are planting in because of the difference in the climates of different areas regionally. The situation will vary from state to state.
Types of seeds are broken down into two categories. Cool weather types and warm weather types. What’s the best time to plant grass seeds? We will briefly cover what you need to know when planting your grass seed.
What to do when preparing for planting grass seeds
We all would like to have a good-looking lawn so these are the 8 steps you should follow to achieve it prior to planting. This correlates to whatever time or region you are in at the time of planting your grass seed.
Seed Planting Zones & Times
Below are charts that give you the zones and times to plant your grass seeds to help you choose the right time of year for your particular location. They show the warm weather regions & the cold weather regions. You can get a better look by right clicking on the image and open each one up in another tab.
This is a chart to help determine what type of seed to use according to the climate. The type of seed in reference to climate will be determined if you are in the cool or warm region of the United States. This will be explained later in this post.
Preparing The Site & The Soil
This is where you want to get the planting area ready. You dethatch your lawn removing all dead grass and debris. It is good if you can aerate the soil as well. This is done by punching holes in the soil using an aeration tool or equipment.
The really good thing to do is to test the soil. This calls for being a little bit more advanced with it. I’m sure most people don’t worry about doing this step. If you decide to you can buy test kits and send it off for results. You are checking for Nitrogen, Phosphorus & Potassium in the soil (N, P, K).
Also, the pH levels are checked. There is Alkaline (above 7 pH) & Acidic (below 7 pH). The best level is 6.5 to 7 for the best results. Then if your soil needs to be treated you can with fertilizers or compost.
Choosing The Best Seed
There are two different types of seed. Each type has a variety of seed that falls into each category.
Cool Season Grasses – The best time to plant these types are Mid- August thru Mid October.
They thrive in regions where winter temperatures reach below freezing and temperatures from 60 degrees. They also grow during Spring & Fall then goes dormant in the Summer. They also have long fine blades and are maintained at a higher mowing level. The types are as follows:
- Bentgrass, Bluegrass, Fine Fescue & Ryegrass
Warm Season Grasses – The best time to plant these types are March thru September.
They thrive in weather above 80 degrees and go dormant in the cooler weather of late Fall or Winter. They grow during the Summer and need less water which makes them drought tolerant. Their blades are wide and coarse and should be mowed low to the ground. The types of these are as follows:
- Bahia, Bermuda, Carpet Grass, Centipede, St. Augustine & Zoysia
Planting The Seed
If you are seeding a new lawn spread it generously to get a good bed of grass. Make sure to add compost to help protect the seedlings. If you are overseeding your existing lawn, you are basically trying to thicken the thin spots or making the warm season grass keep its color with some cool season grass seed.
Watering Your Lawn
We want to water a newly seeded lawn twice daily to keep the soil moist. As the roots set in you can lessen the watering. Usually around two weeks. As you are inspecting the seed establishment you will know when the time comes. Remember not to water in the heat of the day. Try mornings instead and avoid late evenings. And do not over water and wash the seedlings away.
Mow & Maintain
As the grass is growing refrain from cutting it until it is about 3 to 3 1/2 inches long. Make sure your blades are sharp and don’t cut below 2 inches long preferably 2 /12 to 3 inches long. Once it is being cut, never remove more than 1/3 of the blade of grass.
Steps After Planting
After you have planted, you should start to see results no later than two weeks and a soon as a few days. Remember to keep the topsoil moist during seed germination. It should germinate in 5 to 30 days.
Do your best to keep feet off the area as much as possible. that can compact the soil and seeds germinate better in loose soil. and supply plenty of water the first two weeks.
You can help the grass take quicker & stronger by fertilizing but top soiling with compost is better. The compost will help supply the necessary nutrients but also assists in keeping the soil from compacting.
Do this, and you should have decent results with your lawn.
Thank you for visiting and I hope this post gave you some insight on a project you may be considering. Please leave any comments or questions to help out the other visitors. That is what this is all about. Feel free to sign up for Lawn Care News to stay informed.