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When to Plant Grass Seed in Kentucky

4 min read

If you are thinking about when to plant grass seed in Kentucky, the answer may require a little more preparation than you think. Instead of tossing out the seed and hoping for the best, these tips from the experts at Jonathan Green should help.

The Jonathan Green name has represented high-quality grass seed, innovation, integrity, determination, and a commitment to excellence since 1881. Today, six generations later, we remain committed to producing superior lawn and garden products.

Best Times to Plant Grass Seed

Early fall is the very best time to plant grass seed. Soil temperatures are still warm (55° to 65° F), which is necessary for optimum seed germination, and cooler air temperatures are better for grass growth. There will also be fewer weeds for the grass to compete with at this time of the year. With adequate sunlight, rainwater and fertilizer, you can expect the new grass seedlings to be well-established and ready for winter.

How to Plant Grass Seed

The first step to planting grass seed is to prepare the soil. Rake through the soil to loosen it up. At least half an inch of loose soil is required for proper seed germination and new root penetration. If the soil is typically hard and compacted, our Love Your Soil® special soil food can help. It is designed to loosen the soil and support root growth by releasing trapped nutrients in the soil. With more porous soil, air, water and roots can move more easily from the surface deep-down through the soil.

The next step is to regulate the pH of the soil so that it is within ideal levels for seed germination. Soil should have a pH between 6.2 and 7.0. Mag-I-Cal® Plus for Lawns in Alkaline & Hard Soil can be used immediately before seeding to begin to correct the pH of the soil. The soil’s pH determines the availability of nutrients in the soil. Soil that is too acidic or too alkaline will “lock-up” nutrients, preventing them from being absorbed by the grass plants. It may take more than one application of MAG-I-CAL to adjust the pH, so continue testing the soil until you have changed the level adequately.

Here is a chart that will help you to know how much Mag-I-Cal you’ll need to balance the pH in your soil.

  • For proper seed germination, the soil pH should fall between 6.2 and 7.0. Soil that is below 6.2 pH should be treated with MAG-I-CAL.
  • If the pH is 6.0 – 6.4, apply Mag-I-Cal once a year
  • If the pH is 5.6 – 5.9, apply Mag-I-Cal in the spring and fall
  • If the pH is 5.1 – 5.5, apply Mag-I-Cal every other month until the pH is above 5.5, then follow above suggestions.
  • If the pH is 5.0 or below, apply Mag-I-Cal at 1.5 times the regular rate for three consecutive months.  Two weeks after the third application, test for pH, then adjust application schedule accordingly.

You should now be ready to plant top-quality grass seed, such as Jonathan Green Black Beauty® Original Grass Seed. This seed is genetically formulated to have a waxy coating (like an apple) which makes it much more drought tolerant and disease resistant. The roots of our Black Beauty grass grow up to four feet deep for superior heat resistance. The dark color of the Black Beauty lawn is prized by homeowners and commercial sod growers and landscapers alike.

Next, apply a seed-safe fertilizer. Incorporate Veri-Green Starter Fertilizer for Seeding & Sodding to increase your chances of success. Once the grass has grown two or three inches, it is ready to be mowed. We call this giving the grass a haircut; it invigorates the young grass and causes the root system to grow deep.

To learn more about when to plant grass seed in Kentucky and find the best products for your lawn care needs, visit JonathanGreen.com or visit your nearest independent retail store for valuable lawn and garden advice.

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