When to seed lawn in fall

It is feasible to sow grass seed at any time of year, but doing it in the fall has several benefits: there’s more mildew, less sun, and colder temperatures. So, if you’ve been thinking about allowing grasses in your garden this winter, all you need are some pointers. The following tips will give you all the information you need to get started.

The best time to sow grass seed is in early fall, before the end of September. This is because the temperature and moisture levels are still optimal for germination, but there’s less chance of the seeds getting scorched by summer heat. If you sow later than this, you may still get a good result, but it’s more likely that the new grass won’t come up until spring.

Grasses are grown in a step-by-step process that starts with determining the correct seeds and progressing through seeding, growth, maintenance, and harvesting. Fall grass planting is a complex procedure that has several useful suggestions to assist you to get started. See below for additional information:

Tips for Planting Grass in the Fall snippet image

Table of Contents

Fall or Spring? Which is the Best Season?

Well, the answer depends on which grass species seed you’re choosing to plant. Early fall is perfect if you’re planting cool-season grasses. Some examples of cool-season grasses would be perennial ryegrass, Fescue, and Bluegrass.

The optimum temperature for grass seed germination of cool-season grasses is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooler, longer nights in the early fall can assist with the success of these grasses. During this period, crabgrass and foxtails are less likely to harm grass development.

Bermuda grass, fescue, and Kentucky bluegrass are all warm-season grasses that should be planted in the early summer or late spring. These grasses benefit from a long growing season; therefore, they should be sown after the final frost has passed.

plant cool season grasses

When is the Ideal Time?

Around Labor Day is the best time to plant grass seeds in your garden. That’s because your grass seeds will get enough time to germinate before winter and won’t be affected by the scorching summer heat.

You should also keep an eye on the weather forecast to avoid a cold snap or hot wave, which can have a major influence on germination. Rain showers will be beneficial after sowing seeds, but a thunderstorm’s downpour might wash them away.

Check for any weed-control chemicals that have been used in the region after you’ve seeded grass seeds. If you find any, wait at least one month before reseeding. You can do so by consulting the label of the weed-control product.

dead grass

How to Prepare Soil?

Here are the most important 3 tips that’ll help you to ensure a perfect growing environment for the grass seeds in your garden:

  • Cleaning the Planting Area: The first step is to clean the area by removing all debris, stones, and wood.
  • Raking the Soil: Start by scratching the soil surface by 1-2 inches using a garden rake and a spade. If the soil has too much clay, you need to do a little hard work to ensure the soil allows proper drainage.
  • Leveling the Soil: Finally, smooth the surface out by adding seeding soil on top of the existing soil. Filling the sunken areas is essential to ensure an even planting surface. You can take the help of a landscape rake to complete this task.

Make sure there is at least 3 inches of deep soil that’s rich in quality for sprouting the seeds. If you’re not using seeding soil that already contains fertilizer, you can spread a starter fertilizer over the soil with the help of a spreader.

compacted soils

How to Plant Grass Seeds?

To get started, you need to choose a good quality grass seed as that’ll ensure a healthy lawn. Then, you need to measure the area where you want to plant seeds. You can read the label of the grass seed packaging to know the exact usage amount recommended per square foot.

Usually, about 4-8 lbs of grass seeds are required for every 1000 square feet of planting area. Here, you should be very careful not to use more than the recommended seeds as that won’t result in a thicker lawn and instead, will lead to overcrowding, which will harm grass growth.

If you want uniform coverage, different types of garden spreaders can help. For larger areas, you need a drop or broadcast spreader whereas, for small areas, you need a hand spreader.

soil moist

How to Ensure Germination?

Here are the 3 steps that’ll help you to get a lush, healthy lawn:

  • Rolling the Lawn: First, you need to tamp down the seeds using a lawn roller loaded with sand or water. It’ll not only help you to prevent erosion but also prevent birds from eating the grass seeds.
  •  Mulching: The second step is to mulch the soil with a sleek layer of straw as that’ll prevent the grass seeds from washing away in the downpour. If it’s a sloppy area, you can consider using a seed mat for added protection.
  •  Watering the Seeds: For any kind of plantation, ensuring adequate water is a must, and grass growing is no exception. You need to keep the soil moist during the germination process. The water should be enough to penetrate the soil by 6-8 inches.

The ideal times for watering grass seeds are morning and night. In dry falls, watering 2-3 times a day might be required to keep the soil moist. Since the seeds may wash away with harsh watering, you need a gentle sprinkler for this purpose.

lawn roller for grass seed in fall

How to Secure Grass Growth?

Usually, it takes only two weeks for the cool-weather grasses to sprout. If you don’t see seeds sprouting, you may need to try again by reseeding.

Once you spot the seedlings, regular watering is required till the grass is half-inch high. When the grass is ready to mow, you need to reduce watering a little every week. During this phase, you should water less frequently but intensely rather than doing it every day. The roots will soon establish healthily and your grass will be all set to survive the upcoming winter.


When you understand the fundamentals of grass growing, it won’t be as difficult. If you follow the guidelines outlined above, you will be able to produce grass seeds in the fall that will endure all year. Taking adequate care of your lawn is a requirement if you want your grass to thrive. Good luck and happy gardening!

specific lawn care in fall

People Also Ask

Is it worth putting grass seed down in October?

Yes, it is definitely worth putting grass seed down in October! The cooler temperatures and longer days of fall are perfect for grass growth, and you’ll be able to get a head start on a beautiful lawn for next spring. Just be sure to follow the tips outlined above to ensure success.

What is the best time to seed your lawn?

The best time to seed your existing lawn is in the fall when the weather is cool and the days are long. This provides ideal conditions for grass growth, and you’ll be able to get a head start on a beautiful lawn for next spring. Just be sure to follow the tips outlined above to ensure success.

Should I wet the ground before planting grass seed?

Water the area thoroughly at the end of site preparation for grass seed planting. Seed planted on wet soil sprout faster and gets immediate moisture to developing roots. Before planting, moistening the area is a crucial step in the procedure.

moisten the ground before seeding

Do you put topsoil over grass seed?

You may put a tiny amount of organic matter on top to help the seed germinate, but don’t cover it with topsoil. It’s never a good idea to cover grass seed with soil, according to Yamaguchi. You should also avoid covering grass seedlings with black plastic mulch as this will not allow them to grow properly because it will suffocate them.

Is April too early to plant grass seed?

Is it possible to plant grass seed too soon in the spring? Yes, grass seed may be planted early in the spring. Planting ahead of schedule can lead to poor germination, which could harm the developing seeds. As a result, wait for the air and soil temperatures to rise sufficiently before planting your grass seed.

Do birds eat grass seed?

The majority of the birds that visit your garden are granivorous. Sparrows, finches, buntings, and even parakeets are just a few of the seed-eating birds you’ll need to be on the lookout for. In late summer through mid-autumn, grass seeds should be planted.

finches on the grass in the fall
Share your love
Default image
Oliver Wright

I hope you enjoy reading some of the content and ideas from this site, I tend to share articles and product reviews on a daily basis, so be rest assured… you won’t run out of things to read!

Articles: 264