Cool-season varieties of grass such as tall fescue or bluegrass can be planted in the fall. These types of grasses have a growing season that stretches throughout the fall and winter. While it’s best to plant your grass seeds at the beginning of September, you can also plant them in mid-September or even October. Let’s look at how late in the fall you can plant grass seed.
Answer: Later Than You’d Think
It’s best to plant cool-season grasses at the beginning of fall in early September so that the seeds have a chance to germinate and establish themselves before the cold weather. Many homeowners leave it until mid-September or October before seeding their lawn.
Grass will often thrive if it’s planted within the first two weeks of October. The problem with fall planting is that the days are shorter and the temperatures colder, which means that seeds will take longer to germinate. In some cases, the grass seedlings may die of cold, especially if you live in a harsh environment.
Constant freezing and thawing will affect your grass and the soil. If your new lawn isn’t well established before the frosts arrive, the health of your lawn may be affected.
Tips for late seeding
- Prepare your soil correctly by aerating, proper irrigation, and flattening the area.
- Keep the upper layer of the soil damp to allow seeds to germinate
- Use a starter fertilizer after you’ve seeded your lawn
- Don’t let grass seedlings grow too long, mow your lawn when they reach 2 to 3 inches.
- Rake up fallen leaves to prevent them from suffocating young grass seedlings
- Don’t use herbicides until your lawn is well established.
Conclusion: You Can Plant Grass Seed Well Into Fall
If you’ve missed the early fall planting dates, you can still seed your lawn using a cool-season grass variety as late as the 15th of October. While it’s best to plan ahead and plant earlier, get your seeds planted even if the weather is starting to get colder.
Ensure you correctly prepare the soil by aerating and using fertilizer. The above tips will help you increase the winter hardiness of your lawn and allow it to thrive.
There’s still plenty you can do around your lawn and garden in the fall. You can even plant a fall garden.
Best Time of Year to Plant Fescue