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When To Seed Lawn In The Fall

The Best Time To Reseed Your Lawn

Fall Cool Season Lawn Seeding Tips // When? What Grass Seed?

If your lawn is looking thin or bare, it might be time to sow it with a layer of grass seed to restore it to its lush, green state. The cool-season grasses of Pennsylvania fare best in the fall when the air is cooling down but the soil is still warm, giving grass a few months to grow before winter comes around. Read on to learn more about why fall is the best time to reseed your lawn.

Can You Plant Grass Seed In The Fall Season

Yes, and you should! Autumn is ideal for planting grass seed thanks to all the favorable conditions that come along with it. The high temperatures of summer are gone so the newly planted seed stays moist. Germination occurs more quickly this way. The young, growing plants will have a much easier time maturing without the extreme heat they would face in the summer months. Weeds, which are fierce competition for grass, are usually under control by the time fall comes. By planting in this season, you can make sure your grass has plenty of time to mature. It can grow stronger through autumn and spring, meaning it will be ready for the heat when summer comes back around.

Although spring is a time for growth, planting in that season might not bring favorable results. In the spring, the soil is usually cooler. The cooler soil can delay germination, and the increased moisture can be a problem for newly planted seed as well. Theres also the issue of competition, as the springtimes early months can bring lots of weed growth.

The early fall is believed to be the best time for planting grass seed. The days tend to be cool, and there is often rain, which is perfect to keep the seeds from drying out. At the same time, the soil is still warm, and therefore ideal for germination. The sunlight during autumn is also still plentiful enough to help the seeds grow, meaning your grass can get established before winter sets in.

Does The Ideal Time Differ Depending On Whether You Use Seed Plugs Or Sod

Yes, it does. First, the ideal time for planting St. Augustine seed isnever. St. Augustine grass is almost impossible to grow from seed even sod farmers use their leftover runners to grow new turf. No one grows St. Augustine grass from seed.

As far as plugs versus sod, the ideal time for planting does differ between these two options. Plugs take at least a few months to fill in, which makes spring best for giving new grass the longest growing season.

Sod, on the other hand, can become fully established in as little as 30 days, given the right conditions. So, if planting sod, the best time could be later in the year.

I wrote another piece that talks in greater depth about the differences between St. Augustine plugs vs sod.

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How Much Watering Do You Want To Do

In addition to the seasons of peak growth, you probably want to know which planting time will require the most watering. Im guessing you dont want to run sprinklers or stand outside with a hose for a whole month. If you live in Texas, or another region where the summers are hot and dry, your new St. Augustine grass may need to be watered as much as several times a day!

When the grass is first planted and putting down roots, it must be kept constantly moist. If it dries out during this time, the turf may be damaged beyond repair. This extra watering is not only a hassle for you and a negative for the environment, it may also be illegal in areas affected by drought conditions.

How Late In The Fall Can Grass Be Planted


Up to mid-October, this is the last you can go to plant seeds in the lawn so that the seeds can germinate. The best time is in September to plant the seed to get the best result but if you are late and cant plant the seed in September then you can plant the seed until mid-October to get the seed to germinate.

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When To Plant Grass Seed In Fall

Its best to plant cool-weather grasses in the fall.

This is because they dont have to deal with the scorching heat of the summer. Additionally, the grass has a chance to germinate and then go dormant into winter, building up essential nutrients. Then, in spring as grasses come out of dormancy, they continue to fill in, using these built up nutrients to thrive.

When To Overseed Your Lawn In Fall

The fall months are the best time to overseed your lawn to bolster your backyard ideas, explains Rachel Crow, garden editor for Homes & Gardens. Between late August and early October, the grass is typically at its thinnest, meaning grass seed can more easily reach the soil and germinate before the harsher, colder winter months.

It is a good idea to choose a day with mild weather, preferably after rainfall, so your lawn is moist but not muddy. Selecting a day with little wind will also reduce the chance of your grass seed being blown away.

The still-warm earth and natural rainfall that tends to arrive in September will help to nourish and stimulate the newly sown seed, as well as reduce the time youll have to spend watering or trying to beat any hosepipe bans, says Guy Jenkins consumer manager for Johnsons Lawn Seed. By waiting until later in the year you will avoid the summer droughts which spell death for tender young seedlings that havent managed to reach deeper groundwater.

Another benefit of September is that any weeds which find their way into your newly sown lawn will have a chance to germinate and can be easily removed before their own roots have a chance to develop. In the meantime, your grass can grow strong roots in later autumn and will be in the best possible shape to withstand early droughts come the following spring or more serious summer droughts that might be on the cards, Guy adds.

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Can I Plant Grass In November

Through dormant seeding, grass seed can be planted in November when the weather is cold enough to keep it dormant until the following spring. Seed in the Fall 1. Choose a location that is warm enough for the seed to germinate, but not so warm that it freezes.

For example, if you live in a cold climate, you may want to plant grass seeds in your yard in late fall or early winter. However, in warmer climates, it may be best to wait until spring, when temperatures will be warmer and the grass will have a chance to warm up before being planted.

If you dont know the temperature of your area, check the National Weather Services website for information on how to determine the best time of the year for planting. Dig a hole about 6 inches deep and 6 to 8 inches wide. Cover the hole with a tarp. Place a piece of cardboard or a plastic bag over the opening.

How Often Should You Overseed The Lawn

Fall Lawn Care | How To Grow Grass From Seed & Overseed In Fall

The answer to this largely depends on the environmental conditions. If harsh weather, such as repeated droughts, takes its toll, grass could need overseeding annually to keep up with the damage. However, in most cases overseeding will only be necessary every couple of years. Essentially, if you notice your grass is looking thin and worse for wear, thats a sign that its time to overseed.

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How To Fertilize Your Lawn In The Fall

Approach your fall fertilizer application just as you would any other. Follow the coverage recommendation for the chosen product. Its always a good idea to split the application in half and then make two passes in different directions. For example: if your fall fertilizer bag says it will cover 5,000 square feet, find the setting on your spreader for 10,000 square feet . This will close the spreader gate allowing only one-half the recommended rate to flow through. Then make two consecutive passes at this spreader setting. This will apply the total recommended amount using two passes instead of one. This ensures even, uniform coverage, reducing the risk of missing parts of your lawn.

After youve finished your fall fertilizer application, make sure you thoroughly wash your spreader. This removes any remaining fertilizer residue that can corrode spreader components over the winter. Refer to your owners manual for additional recommended maintenance before winter storage.

No Matter Where You Live In The Us Learn The Best Time To Reseed Your Lawn And How To Do It


Left alone, grass has no problem providing its own seed and replenishing itself. A manicured lawn often cant because repeated mowing chops off most, if not all, of the seeds before they mature. Thats why its important to reseed your lawn from time to time, especially if it gets a lot of wear and tear. Planting fall grass seed is one trick.

Heres more information on how long it takes for grass seed to grow.

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When To Plant St Augustine Grass

If youve done your research and found that St. Augustine grass is perfect for your lawn needs and location, you are likely wondering: When is the best time to plant St. Augustine grass? Obviously, getting the timing right on any new planting will have a major impact on the result, so before you start, you want to make sure the conditions are optimal.

Which Type Of Grass Seed To Plant In The Fall


To choose the best seed for your lawn to plant in the fall, first, you need to see which type of lawn you have. Is it a warm-season lawn or a cool-season lawn? After deciding this you need to observe some other details like how much shade you have in your lawn. How much water is available for the lawn and how much time can you give to maintain it every week?

If you are just reseeding your existing lawn or filling up a patch then match the seed with the grass you already have in your lawn. After taking all of these things into consideration you can choose the best grass seed for your lawn.

Most common cool-season grasses: Kentucky Bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and tall fescue.

Most common warm-season grasses:Bermudagrass, Zoysia grass, Bahiagrass and Centipede grass.


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How Much Do I Need To Water My New Grass

Once youre done seeding a new lawn, you want to keep that area evenly moist.

What this means depends on your soil type. If your soil is heavy clay, itll take longer to saturate than sandier soil. Water each section after planting new grass to get the water down an inch or two into the soil. Your goal is to keep the seeds moist — not submerged — at all times.

When youre thinking about watering, pay attention to weather conditions. If your seed dries out during the day and theres no rainfall, youll need a second watering each day to ensure consistent moisture until those seeds germinate. This takes about 10 to 14 days.

Once the seed germinates, you can reduce watering to once a day for 20-30 minutes until your lawn is established.

Many times, people will water right away until germination, but then they stop watering, thinking the job is done. Dont neglect irrigation until those last seeds germinate and tender lawn shoots have a chance to grow strong. This can greatly improve your seed germination rate.

Watering Thoroughly But Not Too Much

Once the seeds have been properly sown and lightly incorporated into the existing soil, water the area thoroughly and leave until next spring. By this time of year, our cool to cold temperatures and short days will help keep the areas moist far longer than in summer. While just barely damp soil is okay, it is important that the area does not become soggy and saturated with water. If the weather does turn a little warmer and drier and the area starts to dry out, it may be necessary to lightly water the area just to keep it damp and prevent it from becoming too dry. However, in most cases it will be unnecessary to do this.

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Can You Plant Grass Seed In The Fall

Nov 15, 2021Lawn Service

Can you plant grass seed in the fall? Timing is everything when trying to achieve a healthy, green lawn thats the envy of the neighborhood. Regardless of the type of seed you use, youll want to plant it at the right time. Although the climate where you live will impact your lawns health, starting seed in the right season can be the most important factor to consider. Planting in the fall can ensure you have a healthy, green lawn when spring rolls around.

Dormant Seeding Lawns: Last Chore Of The Season

How To Overseed An Existing Lawn – Fall Lawn Renovation and Overseeding Step 4

Bob Mugaas, University of Minnesota Extension Educator

Photo 1 : Thin lawn area that could benefit from dormant seeding. Bob Mugaas.

One last shot at lawn improvement can be done even yet this fall. By early November, most lawn care chores and activities are completed lawn mowers are put away, watering has ended, hoses are drained and stored for the winter, irrigation systems have been blown out and winterized and, the last, late season nitrogen fertilizer has been put down. Yet, there remains one activity that can still be done to help repair or thicken the lawn for next year. In fact, prior to the early part of November , it would be have been too early to do this task. That task is known as dormant seeding. It is best employed when wanting to reseed bare soil areas or help thicken up thin lawns. It is not as effective, where lawns are thick and dense with little opportunity to achieve the good seed to soil contact necessary for the grass seeds to germinate and grow next spring.

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Prepare Your Grass With Dormant Seeding In Late Fall

Though early fall is great for planting grass seed, its entirely possible that youve missed this ideal time frame and are now wondering if youre out of options. Luckily, thats not the case at all! Dormant seeding can help ensure your lawn is prepared to start growing when spring comes. You can do this even if youve missed your chance to plant in early fall. As an added bonus, dormant seeding can save the day if you havent kept up with watering the way you should have.

In late fall, when its starting to get cold but things havent frozen, youve likely stopped many of your outdoor chores. Watering and mowing the grass isnt required anymore. But this time of year is perfect for preparing your lawn for next spring. In fact, dormant seeding is better suited to conditions in November. The grass will be thinner, allowing more contact between the soil and your seeds. In late fall the ground is cold enough to keep the seeds from germinating until spring. If they germinate this late in the season the seedlings will be too young to survive the winter conditions.

This practice will allow you to thicken up a thin lawn, or patch up bare spots for spring if youre worried about gaps in the plant-life. Dormant seeding is a great option for those of us who didnt put down seed in early fall. Instead of sitting around worrying about the future grass, you can get a head start on next years lawn!

You Can Plant Grass Seed Anytime During The Growing Season But Doing So In Fall Takes Advantage Of Cooler Temperatures And Milder Sun

How many plants are in your yard? If you have a lawn, the answer is: Too many to count. The average quarter-acre lawn contains millions of grass plants.

Fortunately, these plants start easily from seed. As one of the most common plants on the planet, grass is easy to grow. Still, timing and technique are important. With fall is in the air, its a great time to start thinking about sowing some grass seed to have a lush green lawn in the spring.

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When Can I Use Weed Control On My New Grass

When youre growing new grass, you want to create an ideal environment for seed to germinate. Naturally, weeds may want to join the party. But they arent invited!

In your quest for a weed-free lawn, its important that you dont use any preventive or curative weed control products until youve mowed your newly planted grass about two to three times — or approximately four to six weeks after seeding. This ensures you give your seeds the chance to germinate and the lawn to establish itself.

What To Do After The Grass Sprouts

Scotts 18290 15 lbs. Fall Mix Grass Seed

Once the grass has sprouted and grows to half-inch high. Start reducing the frequency of the watering in the lawn and start doing heavy and deep watering so that the water can get deep into the soil.

This will make the roots go and search for water in the soil and make your grass heat and drought resistant and your lawn healthy and thick even in the summer.

Once the grass has established itself after the sprouting. Check the grass by pulling it from the soil lightly. If the grass is not coming out then you can start mowing the lawn.

For the initial mowing, dont cut a lot of grass. Just remove a little bit of grass from the top as cutting a lot can stress the grass. After this then slowly decrease the height of the blade. This will also encourage the grass to grow sideways and make your lawn look thick.

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