Planting grass seed requires certain investments such as money, labor, and time. The best time to plant grass seeds depends on your type of lawn grass and where you reside.
Can you grow grass in the fall?
Grass can be grown in the fall and other seasons, depending partly on their type.
Grasses come in two distinct categories: warm-season and cool-season. Cool-seasoned grasses are typically planted in the fall or in early winter. Warm-season grasses are planted under warmer weather conditions.
Being successful when repairing rough spots, renewing existing turf, and seeding new lawns requires proper timing.
In this article, we will discuss the types of grasses that are best for fall seeding and some planting tips.
When Is the Best Time to Plant Grass Seed?
When planting grass seed, do not apply weed control to the grass at the same time. Instead, wait until your grass seed has germinated and been mowed at least 3 times; then apply weed control.
Tips for Grass Seeding in the Fall
When you need to reseed your lawn, fall is the best time to do so. This is because the change seasons favor different grasses.
Seeding different grass types in areas with different winter and summer conditions can be beneficial in the fall.
Before doing this, ensure you choose a good grass type and understand the process.
When to Seed
Early to mid-fall is the right time to overseed in regions with warmer climates. Grasses are divided into cool and warm season grass types
Two different grass types are required for a successful lawn.
To ensure the lawn stays green in the winter, overseed with a winter grass type. If you have a patchy and unhealthy lawn, reseed with a grass type that fixes the problem.
What Types to Use
Grass types like the perennial ryegrass are perfect for fall planting.
This variety can thrive if planted in cool and shady areas all year round. Some other fall varieties include annual ryegrass and red fescue.
How to Seed
You will need to prepare your existing lawn and ground before seeding.
Mow your lawn and rake the grass blades. Remove any thatch buildup in the soil.
Next, aerate the soil to increase water and oxygen flow before you lay down the seeds. Seed the lawn as desired.
Ensure you fertilize the lawn with the recommended fertilizer for the grass species you have planted. Water the grass continuously and allow it to grow in for a few weeks before you mow the lawn again.
You have to wait till spring to seed your patchy lawn with warm weather grass. While you wait, you can decide to cover the patches with a cool-season grass type.
Best Grasses for Fall Seeding and Planting
Here is a list of grasses that can be planted successfully in the fall:
- Improved Tall Fescue
- Needle Grass
- Mexican Feathergrass
- Cat Grass
- Japanese Forest Grass
- Chinese Silver Grass
- Feather Reed Grass
- Hakone Grass
- Pampas Grass
- Purple Fountain Grass
8 Tips for Planting Grass Seed
1. Time It Right
Make sure you plant new grass seeds at the right time. If you want to plant cool-season grasses like perennial ryegrass, the best time is spring or early fall.
When you plant cool-season grasses in the winter or summer, they may not survive the extreme cold and heat and might not germinate.
For warm-season grasses like Bermuda grass, early summer planting is the best. Warm-season grass seeds need warm soil to germinate.
2. Choose the Correct Grass Seed
Find a seed that suits your budget and lifestyle.
It is also important to know the type of lawn and grass that grows in your area.
3. Test Your Soil
Testing your soil helps you know what nutrients and amendments are needed to improve your soil.
4. Prepare Your Soil
To prepare the soil, remove any existing grass on the lawn first.
Next, remove any debris and large rocks, and then fill any low spots. If the soil is compacted, you will need a tiller to loosen it up.
Use a garden rake to even out the soil surface as much as you can.
5. Seed and Feed on the Same Day
Once you have prepped your soil, you may seed your lawn. Feeding your new grass seedlings is necessary as it gives them a head start.
You may choose which to start with: the fertilizer grass or the seed. But remember, not all fertilizers go on at seeding time, so be sure to choose the proper type for your seeds.
6. Cover Up
Once you are done applying the grass seed to the lawn and fertilizing it, cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. Doing this ensures the grass seed does not dry out or wash away.
To do this, lay down a layer of soil about ¼-inch thick over the seeded area. Then, gently drag the back of the rake over it.
If you are planting on a hill, using a thin layer of straw or mulch is your best option to keep seeds from washing away. Make sure you can see the seedbed beneath the straw.
If you want to reduce water usage, you can mulch your new lawn with straw.
7. Keep on Watering
When watering, keep the top inch of soil consistently moist. You might have to mist the seedbed at least once a day. If the weather is hot and dry, you will need to mist more often.
Once your seeds germinate, keep the top 2 inches of soil moist. When the new grass reaches 3 inches, you can start mowing.
After mowing, reduce the rate of watering to twice per week. Doing this will soak the soil more and will encourage the roots to grow deeper into the soil.
8. Maintain Your Lawn
When mowing your lawn, ensure only the top 1/3 of the grass blades is removed.
Cutting the lawn too short weakens the grass and leaves the door open for weeds to sneak in.
Avoid too much foot traffic when your grass is still new and in the developmental stage.
You can grow grass in the fall, as long as the right conditions are in place. For one, ensure the soil temperature is cool to 55°F. Depending on the climate, you can also plant grasses when the daytime temperature stays between 60-75°F. You should also choose the right grass for your location.