Fall is quickly approaching, which means it’s time to plant grass seed. The ground isn’t too cold yet, so the seeds will have plenty of time to grow before winter sets in and kill them off. It’s also easier to plant than it is during the spring or summer when we’re all out and about enjoying ourselves. This article provides tips on how to successfully plant grass seed in the fall months.
When you Should Plant Grass Seed?
When winter hits, it is important to prepare your lawn for what lies ahead. One of the best ways to do this is by planting fall grass seeds that will help grow strong roots during the winter before they sprout in spring when warm weather starts again. And if you are re-sodding an area in your yard, it is best to plant grass seed during the spring. Spring planting allows for more time before hot summer weather starts and there is less chance of an early frost killing off young plants that haven’t had sufficient chance to mature properly.
Related: Tips to Get Your Lawn Ready for Fall
Planting Grass Seeds in the Fall
October is the perfect time to plant grass seeds in most parts of North America. Here are some reasons why you should consider doing it now:
Prepare your soil:
It is important to properly prepare the soil before planting grass seeds. You can do this by removing any rocks or debris that may be in the area and then turning over the top few inches of dirt with a shovel. Be sure not to turn it up too much as you want there to still be some loose earth for when you begin sowing the grass seeds.
If you have soil that is compact, it’s good to work on fixing this before planting grass seeds. To do this, turn over the dirt and mix in peat moss or compost until the texture becomes looser. If needed, make some small holes through your yard with a post-hole digger so air can get down into the ground more easily.
Choosing the right grass seed:
Next, you will need to decide which type of grass seed is best for your yard. There are numerous varieties available and it’s important to choose one that matches the conditions in your area as well as any specific requirements.
Choosing a mixed grass seed blend is usually the best choice. This provides an even green color throughout your lawn and covers up any bare spots or patches that you may have in your yard.
Fine leaf fescue grass seeds are lower growing than most other types and this makes them great for areas of your yard that are more sensitive to foot traffic or wear and tear. Adding Kentucky bluegrass seeds with it is a great way to ensure your lawn will stay green through the winter and continue growing strong during warmer weather.
Keep in mind that different types of grass seed take varying lengths of time before they sprout.
Planting grass seed
Now that you have chosen the right grass seed for your yard, it’s time to put everything into action.
To plant your grass seed, you will want to use a drop spreader. This is much better than trying to do it by hand as it ensures that the right amount of seeds are being put into place and helps cover up bare patches or dirt more easily. There are also several types of spreaders available so be sure to choose one based on what you are trying to accomplish.
When you have finished sowing your seeds, you will want to rake the area so it is smooth and even. This helps blend in any seed that may be sticking up or was not spread evenly by the drop-spreader. Once you have raked the area, it’s time to use a lawn roller. This will help press down any loose dirt and flatten out any seed that may be sticking up.
Watering grass seed
For the next week or so, it is important to water your grass seed on a daily basis. This will help keep everything moist until the seeds have germinated and started growing.
In most cases, you can stop watering once they begin sprouting as this means that roots are beginning to develop below ground level which helps strengthen them against any hot or cold weather. Make sure to keep an eye on the weather forecast and stop watering if it looks like there is a chance of rain coming in the near future.
What to do when grass sprouts?
After the seeds have begun sprouting, it’s time to take care of your lawn in a different way.
You should still water the area daily but try to promote your grass’s growth by mowing frequently. This will help keep it at a manageable height and make sure that there aren’t any dead patches in the yard when spring rolls around again.
As you’ve planted seeds in October, they won’t be completely safe from the cold weather. You’ll want to rake up any dead grass and add some mulch on top of it so that there is a barrier between your yard and the snow, ice, or rain.
Having good drainage will help prevent puddles in winter which can kill off patches of seedlings if they sit for too long underneath the water.
If there are any bare patches left in your yard once the snow melts, it’s time to reseed those areas. This will allow you to have a lush green lawn all year round and only requires a minimal amount of effort from you.
James, the D.I.Y Expert, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from Colorado State University. Love writing blog posts and guides to help others learn how to garden!