#28- When is the best time to seed my lawn? Cool season grass (Kentucky Bluegrass)

We get this question a lot so, so here’s a mini episode with my thoughts.
In Utah (cool season grass) I recommend seeding in the fall when there are a lot fewer variables to work around and the weather is on your side.

Transcript:

Hey, Hey, what is up everyone? This is Ete with another quick episode of EcoLawn Science. We get a lot of the same questions. So I’m gonna make some shorter, you know, three to five minute episodes to get more to the point and answer your question. So the question that came in is, “When is the best time to seed my lawn? I have bare spots. I need to repair them.” The short answer is: the fall. We are, it really depends on where you’re located and what type of grass you have. Are you in the Northern region of the country in the South, East, West coast. It’s called the zone. What zone are you in? And you can actually, there’s a map online. If you Google “what climate zone,” it will show you. Once you have that, you need to understand what type of grass you have.

So in Utah, we’ve got a lot of KBG, Kentucky Bluegrass, different varieties or species of it. But for the most part, the majority of lawns are that. Kentucky Blue is a cool season grass, which means the best time to seed it and repair it is the fall. There’s a few reasons for that. Best time is autumn and that’s because the soil is still warm from the heat of the summer. And then you also have your evening temperatures begin to cool down. And so the cool evenings are going to encourage that fast germination. But the, the warm days are going to help it to, to grow, to germinate. Cool season grass like Kentucky Blue, it does best when the soil temperature, not the air temperature is, between 50 and 65. And so this roughly is gonna match the air temperature of 60 to 75 degrees. So for us here in Utah, it’s kind of the end of summer. 

The general rule for cool season grass, like Kentucky Blue is to seed at least 45 days before the estimated date of your first frost. So if your first frost is October 15th, you want to back it up 45 days and apply your seed. Now generally it’s not always going to be perfect, but that’s the best estimate. One of the advantages is you have a lot of natural moisture when you, as you know when you seed a lawn, you need a lot of water and most people are not set up to do it properly. So by doing the fall you increase taking advantage of dew and natural moisture, which is going to significantly help your grass to grow. And so fall is the best time. The second best time is going to be the spring. In the spring you do hit some conflicts. One of them is, you know, you have all these weeds that, you know, the soil temperature start hitting 50 degrees and higher. They want to pop up first, they want to germinate. So you’re going to have a lot of competition with weeds if you plant in the spring versus the fall when the weeds aren’t as active and you’ve got them under control. Another thing is if you are using a crabgrass pre-emergent that is going to potentially slow down and work against you with your seed. And so those are the few reasons. A lot of people here love to do it in the spring. I try to push fall, fall, fall seeding, aerating, thatching, renovating, anything in the fall is the best time. 

So one last quick thing is when you seed in the spring, let’s say you get it and you time at right. And, you know, you do it as soon as the grass begins to be dormant.But then what can happen is if you have an early summer or heat wave and that lawn, that new seed is not established, the roots aren’t deep enough that could come and wipe it out. So one more reason why the spring could be dangerous. Now it could work out, you could have the perfect timing, no heat wave right into July and you’ve got it made. And that’s awesome, but it’s definitely more risky and there’s more chance of not having the success that you want. 

I hope that answers your questions. If you have any more questions, feel free to send me an email or reach out and our contact info is below in the notes. Thank you.

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