Tips for Planting Grass in the Fall

Fall is the perfect time for planting certain types of grasses with heavier dews and lower temps. Follow these fall grass planting tips to establish a strong and healthy lawn.

Should You Be Planting Grass in the Fall or in the Spring?

Most people automatically think yes but it actually depends on the type of grass seed. Early fall is the best time to plant cool-season grasses, such as Fescue, Rye and Bluegrass. These grasses grow great when the temperature is between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and benefit from the shorter days and cooler nights. There is also less competition from weeds like crabgrass and foxtails. However, warm-season grasses should be planted in late spring/early summer, after the last frost date. These include Bermuda, St. Augustine and Zoysia.

Be On Time

The best time for fall grass planting is within a few days of Labor Day. This will allow the new seeds to grow a little but and be strong enough for winter. Keep an eye on the weather forecast. Make sure you are watching the weather though because dramatic weather swings in either directions will negatively impact the new grass seed. If you use a weed control product read the label and make sure you can still plant grass.

Prep Work Is The Most Important

Here are some tips:

  1. Remove all debris, wood or stones from the area.
  2. Loosen up the soil with a metal rake.
  3. Make sure you have 3 inches of good soil before laying seed down.

Plant the Seeds

Purchase the highest quality seed you can afford for a healthy lawn.

You’ll need about 4-8 lbs. per 1000 square feet so make sure you measure the area to buy the proper amount. Don’t over seed, it actually hurts more than it helps. Use a spreader on large areas for consistent coverage. For small areas, you can use a hand spreader.

Speed It Up

Following these three steps will help protect the seeds and encourage sprouting:

  1. Use a lawn roller to impact the seed into the ground.
  2. Put a thin layer of straw down. This keeps the seed moist.
  3. Keep the soil moist with consistent watering.

Once It Sprouts

After two weeks you should have grass, If not start again. Once the grass is tall enough you can mow it!