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Is it too late to put down grass seed?

4 min read

If you’re thinking it’s too late to put down grass seed, think again. At Jonathan Green we have helped people to grow gorgeous green lawns for over six generations. Sometimes your lawn benefits from seed being put down in springtime and sometimes a late season seeding is better. It takes a little expertise to know the right time to sow. The right grass seed at the right time When choosing your grass seed, think ‘time and type’. There are four different climate zones for planting in the US (according the United States National Arboretum), and one ‘wild card’ zone.

  1. Cool-Humid Very northwest; Upper Midwest; Ohio Valley, Northeast
  2. Cool – Arid Some Northwest & West; Northern Rockies & Plains; Some Southwest
  3. Warm-Humid South; Southeast.
  4. Warm-Arid Some Southwest & Some South.
  5. Transition Zone A changing climate zone stretching from parts of the Northeast to the Southwest and the Upper Midwest to the tips of the Southern States.

Lawn care gets complicated, burdensome and expensive when you try to put down grass seed at the wrong time in the wrong place. It doesn’t matter if you are reseeding your lawn, repairing dead patches or starting your new garden, you must ask – what seed will work in this area? Try the USDA plant hardiness map available here, to identify your climate first. Then, there are two types of seed, warm weather or cool weather grass seed. If you have cooler winters and summers, choose cool weather grass seed, like our Blue Panther, or Black Beauty Fall Magic. If you live with hot summers and warmer winters, opt for the warm weather grasses like Black Beauty Sunny or Black Beauty Sun & Shade. These peak in growth during late spring and summer. Consider the ‘transition zone’ where many lawn lovers are challenged. Cool weather grass seeds fair well here. We often prescribe our customers a clever mixture of both types, depending the State. So if you can’t decide which is the right grass seed for you, then contact us for advice. When to NOT put down grass seed Planting alongside Mother Nature will give your lawn the best start against stresses, such as weather. What grass seed needs is to get going during its natural period of peak growth. This ensures the lawn establishes quickly. Put down cool weather grass seeds at the end of the summer or early autumn when the soil is still warm, and it will be well watered by the oncoming rains. Any later and these seeds become too stressed by summer heat just as they are trying to shoot. Other plants and grasses in the garden will begin to go dormant just as they are coming up, meaning less competition for nutrients. Warm weather grass seed should be sown anytime from early spring to mid-summer, presuming the temperature is over 65°F each day. These seeds need the warmth of summer and infrequent rains to set down strong roots. Both warm and cool weather seed can germinate if it is sown in the ‘wrong climate’. Be certain you plant for type and not for time here. The time to put down warm weather grass seed in a cool climate is in the spring. Plant cool weather grasses in a warm climate in the early fall. Depending on your climate, it’s never too late to put down grass seed, and as experienced growers ourselves we know there are myriad reasons to sow outside the guides. So check-in with Jonathan Green online or locate your nearest independent retail store before you buy for a seeding that takes root.

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