So you wanna’ have the best landscaping on the block, but that means starting everything off on the right foot, with the right lawn.
And in order to get that “perfect” lawn all your neighbors are bound to be talking about, then first you need to know the best time to plant grass in the first place… am I right?
Knowing the perfect time to put down your grass seed (or sod) is going to be critical in getting that healthy, beautiful lawn you’ve been lookin’ for.
Do it when it’s too hot and you may struggle to get anything to grow; do it when it’s too cold and the frost will make sure any attempt at winning Neighborhood Lawn Of The Year is a “no-go”.
Jokes aside, let’s jump to your question…
When’s The Best Time To Plant Grass?
As long as you aren’t planting at either temperature extreme (too hot or too cold), then the best time of year to plant grass is going to depend on what type of grass you are putting down and your location.
The different types of grasses are broken down into two different categories:
- Warm-Season Grasses – Generally, these grasses thrive in regions where temperatures are between 70 and 90 degrees. Southwestern states are usually home to these types of grasses. During the cooler weather, warm-season grasses will go dormant by turning brown and dying off until warmer weather returns near the springtime. The most well-known grasses that fit the warm weather category are Zoysia, St. Augustine, Bermuda, Bahia, and Centipedegrass.
The best time of year to plant warm-season grasses are late spring through early summer when temperatures are not too hot
- Cool-Season Grasses – These grasses are just as they sound and do very well in climates that usually have cooler weather between 60 and 75 degrees. One benefit of being able to grow cool-season grasses is that they do not go dormant. Some examples of cool-season grasses are fine Fescue, Ryegrass, Perennial, Kentucky Bluegrass and Tall Fescue. These are great because they can be blended together for different needs and put in areas with high traffic or sun and shade mixes.
The very best time to plant cool-season grasses is between the spring and fall when they do most of their growing.
What’s The Transition Zone?
The transition zone is an area across the middle of the United States from the west coast to the east where warm season grasses and cool season grasses can both grow moderately well. Some grasses such as Zoysia grass and Centipede grass can both withstand a little bit of heat and a little bit of cold and can do well in the transition zone.
See the map below to find out what grass grows best in your area:
Different Types of Grass
So now you’ve got a general idea of what some warm season and cool-season grasses are as well as a visual map to see what grows best in your part of the country, I’ll break down the major types of grasses with their advantages and disadvantages:
- Warm season grass.
- High traffic tolerance
- Requires full sun and a graded yard for good drainage.
- Grown usually in the southernmost States.
- Fastest grow rate out of any of the different types
- Cool season grass that has some heat tolerance.
- Very disease-resistant.
- Great four states in the northern part of the country and a little bit of the transition zone.
- Can withstand drought and shade.
- Cool season grass.
- Can withstand harsh winters with some varieties being able to take some heat and drought.
- Not very shade tolerant.
- Not for high traffic areas.
- Cool season grass.
- Very good cold tolerance.
- Can grow reasonably well in lightly shaded areas.
- Grows quickly and has fast germination.
St. Augustine grass
- Warm-season lawn.
- Great lawn for the Southern States.
- Very heat resistant.
- Not for high traffic areas.
- Great combating weeds and other types of grass is growing in it
- Cool season grass.
- Great for the transition zone and northern states.
- Grows well in sun or partially shaded area.
- Stays green during modest summers and normal winter.
- Great for high traffic areas.
- Most common grass throughout California
- A warm-season lawn that can withstand some cold.
- Great for the Southern States and some of the transition zone.
- Good for high traffic areas.
- Best in the sun but can also grow in lightly shaded areas.
How To Grow Grass Quickly
So you know what grass grows best in your area and you’ve found out some of the characteristics of that specific grass but now you want to know how to grow the grass as quickly as possible preferably without killing it right? There are just a few simple steps that you need to take in order to get your grass germinating and growing fast. You’re only a few steps away from having the most vibrant beautiful luscious grass on the Block and all your neighbors are going to be jealous that you’re the talk of the neighborhood.
Are you still with me? Great..let’s get into it:
#1 Test Your Soil – We’ve all got soil but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily equal. In order to have a lawn that’s going to grow quickly and look it’s very best you’re going to need to test your soil and find out the pH level. Doing so will tell you what type of fertilizer you’re going to need to use and what kind.
#2 Prepare The Area – Preparing the area you’re about to put the seed or sow down is probably the most critical part of this whole process. If you get this part wrong you’re going to pay the price and it’ll be a lot harder to maintain and manage your new lawn.
- Make sure you get rid of any weeds or roots that are currently in the existing soil. If you have stubborn weeds that won’t go away consider using some type of chemical weed killer to get rid of them completely. Rocks and other debris should also be removed so that you have a nice consistent flat surface.
- Next, use a rototiller to mix up your core current soil with any compost that you may want to throw in. It’s usually best to put some type of compost in to give your existing soil a little boost of fresh nutrients. It’s also going to help later on when you need to level out the area and make sure you have a smooth and flat surface.
- Remember to aerate yearly so your grass can continue to thrive and grow.
Sod vs Grass Seed: What’s Better?
Hands down, sod is going to be faster when it comes to being able to grow grass quickly because well, it’s pretty much already grown for you. But the one downside of sod is the price as it’s going to be a lot more costly. But, if you’re in need of lawn quickly and don’t want to take the time to seed and nourish your lawn then sod is the way to go.
While seeding may take a little bit longer, for those who have the time and patience it can definitely produce some great results and minimize the amount of money you’re going to be shelling out.
Overall it doesn’t matter whether you sod or seed your lawn as long as you’re doing the prep work thoroughly, both are going to come out fantastic, it just depends on the amount of money you have and time have to invest.
We’d love to hear what type of grass you decided to grow in your area and when you decided to do it. Also, do you have any tips or tricks for getting a lawn to grow faster and look better? Leave a comment below!