If you are wanting a new lawn, you’re likely impatient to start, but the key to success is knowing the best time to sow grass seed. The best time to do it is between late summer and mid-autumn. There’s a few reasons for this: firstly, the soil is warm and damp from rain, which provides the ideal environment for your seed to germinate. Another advantage is there’s less competition from weeds around this time of year.
Take some time to read the instructions of your seed packets, as different mixtures have different requirements. Be sure to follow them as closely as possible.
When to sow grass seed
If the ground is drier than usual for this time of year water the lawn after sowing seed and keep moist until the lawn is established.
A fantastic lawn isn’t as difficult as you think and doesn’t need to be costly either. Armed with the right information, you can figure out when the best time to sow grass seed is, how to choose it, sow it, and look after it. Get to grips with the basics with our tips and tricks.
The warmer the ground is, the faster the germination process will happen, but expect it to take 2-3 weeks. Try to make sure the ground is disrupted as little as possible during this time.
Regardless of when you install your new lawn from seed, the soil preparation is the same. Here is the step by step process:
You are now ready to install your grass seed.
Early Spring is the second-best time to start a lawn from seed, but it has some drawbacks: the young grass has less time to become established before the hot weather of summer sets in, and the results can be generally unsatisfactory. You’ll usually end up having to assess your lawn again anyway in the late Summer and Fall and then over-seed where it did not grow as well.
PREPARE YOUR SOIL
Most people might think of Spring as the best time to start a new lawn, but the truth is that late Summer and early Fall are far better for starting a new lawn from seed. Any time after August 15 th is prime lawn time; the warm soil in combination with cooler air temperatures will encourage far better seed germination. Weeds are also typically not as aggressive late in the season, so grass seedlings don’t have to compete for nutrients.
Select the appropriate grass seed based on the amount of sunlight in the area during the growing season. Jonathan Green has developed blends which can grow in sun or shade. A Sunny blend will need at least 6 hours of sun in order to thrive, while shady blends can live in sun or shade. We recommend Jonathan Green’s Black Beauty seed blend for a lush green lawn with improved drought and disease resistance.
Whether you’re repairing bare spots, overseeding an existing lawn or starting from scratch, you can generally expect grass seedlings to emerge within seven to 21 days when grown under proper conditions. It may take another three to four weeks of growth before grass is long enough to mow. For fall-planted seed, this can mean waiting until spring for your first mowing. Some grasses, such as Zoysia grass, may need several months of growth to fully establish.
Do your research to understand what’s in a bag of grass seed and the company behind the seed. Pennington is committed to producing the finest grass seed products possible and providing you with educational resources to help your seed project succeed. By timing your lawn tasks properly, you can maximize your advantage and seed your way to the lawn of your dreams.
1. Mugaas, R. and Pedersen, B., “Seeding and Sodding Home Lawns,” University of Minnesota Extension.
WHY SPRING IS BEST FOR WARM-SEASON GRASSES
As a general rule, warm-season grasses planted at least 90 days before the first fall frost have time to establish well before winter. These summer-loving grasses go dormant once temperatures drop near 55°F, so late-planted seedlings can’t prepare for what’s ahead. With proper timing, warm-season grass seed gets a natural boost from summer’s warmth and a full season of active growth and development before cooling temperatures bring on winter dormancy.
Proper timing allows all types of grass seedlings to root well and get established before natural stresses hit. What that looks like in your lawn can vary depending on your grass type, your growing region and the conditions in any given year.
Warm-season grasses germinate best when soil temperatures are consistently in the 65°F to 70°F range. This generally corresponds to daytime air temperatures near 80°F or more. Planting in late spring and early summer gives warm-season grasses the advantage of warm soil and early seasonal rains, which help keep soil moisture available during germination and establishment.
As with cool-season grasses, best warm-season planting times vary by location. In California, mid-April to mid-May is prime time for seeding warm-season lawns. 3 In central and southern Arkansas, lawn owners plan their warm-season grass seeding for late May through June. 2 It’s tempting to get out and seed at the first hint of spring, but patience pays off. Wait until all danger of frost has passed and soil warms. Cold, wet soil is a recipe for poor germination, rotting seed and disease. Your county extension agent can help with expected frost dates and timely advice when unexpected weather conditions factor in.