Thinking of creating a new lawn or touching up the old patchy one? If so, you’re probably wondering when to seed a lawn.
Seeding a lawn is quite simple and can be done from around mid-March to late October. There are a few factors that will influence this timeline, however. Basically, a lawn needs five things to grow: An even distribution of seeds, warmth, moisture, light and good contact with the soil. Provide all that and you’re good to go.
Let’s take a closer look at the best time to seed lawns.
When can you seed a lawn?
You can start seeding your lawn as soon as the soil has warmed up enough to work with. The best month to start sowing grass seeds is March. In early March, the soil might still be a bit frozen, but around mid-March, the soil temperature should be around 6-8°C and getting warmer. This is sufficient for seed germination.
If you’re not sure how to measure soil temperature, take note of the air temperature instead. When it’s around 10°C outside, the soil temperature should be around 6-8°C.
You can sow grass seeds through summer until late October, but only if you’re prepared to care for the grass during the dry season. In November we usually start seeing some frost which might kill your newly sprouted grass. You can sow into November, however, if the weather allows.
When is the best time to seed your lawn?
You can start seeding in March, but a little patience will work in your favour. The best time of year to seed your lawn is in September. The reason is that it’s after the dry season and any weeds will have already made their appearance. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of seeding a lawn each season:
Sowing lawn seed in spring: pros & cons
If you just can’t wait to get started, you can start sowing grass seeds from around mid-March. There are a few challenges waiting for you if you start to seed in spring, however.
- Your lawn will have a head start and grow in sooner.
- More seeds will be stocked by nurseries. If you’re looking for something specific, spring will be the best time to find it.
- Spring is the natural season for seeds to germinate.
- You don’t need to worry about debris like falling leaves smothering your new seedlings.
- You will need to provide some extra care such as regular watering in the dry season.
- Your seedlings will die if you live in an area with a hosepipe ban.
- You might need to reseed due to seedling losses over the summertime.
- The soil might not be warm enough for roots to become established. The optimal temperature for root growth is 13°C.
- You might have issues with products that ward off weeds.
Sowing lawn seed in summer: pros & cons
It’s possible to sow grass seed in the summer months, but it’s not recommended for those who live in areas with frequent droughts or hosepipe bans. Seeds and seedlings need a lot of moisture to germinate and grow. If left without water for even just a day, you’ll need to reseed once autumn comes around.
- The soil is nice and warm for germination.
- There’s plenty of light.
- Depending on your climate and area, summer brings hosepipe bans and droughts. Seedlings left without moisture even for just a few hours usually don’t make it.
- Seedlings get scorched in the hot sun.
- Birds and other wildlife tend to make a snack out of your seeds or newly sprouted seedlings.
- Weeds grow faster than grass seedlings. The weeds might outcompete your seedlings if left unattended.
Sowing lawn seed in autumn: pros & cons
Sowing lawn seed in autumn: pros & cons
The best time of year to sow grass seed is in September. During this month there’s still plenty of light, the soil is warm and most weeds have run their course.
- Plenty of natural rainfall
- Plenty of light
- Warm soil
- Less competition from weeds
- Clay soils are easier to work with.
- Leaves and other debris might smother your seedlings.
- Cool-season weeds might become competition for new seedlings.
- Growth will naturally slow down as the growing season ends and winter approaches.
Lawn seeding tips
Whether you’re a seasoned lawn seeder or a first-time grass grower, take a look at our top tips:
Get to know the soil in your garden
Knowing what kind of soil you have will make it easier to choose the best grass species for your garden. If you plant the wrong grass, you’ll have very poor germination rates. The best way to determine your soil type is to inspect it and test the pH to figure out what you’re dealing with. Read our article about different soil types for more information.
Don’t skip any soil preparation or planting steps
There’s a reason for every single step. Soil preparation is key to reducing the number of weeds you’ll need to deal with, fertilising the soil and loosening it for easier germination and root penetration.
Grass seeds don’t need to be buried, simply scatter them around the area and keep the soil moist. Make sure to not place too many in one area since they’ll need to compete with each other for resources and will grow more slowly as a result.
Know what you’re getting in a bag of grass seeds
Not every bag of grass seeds is the same. Make sure you get a type of grass that will do well in the soil you have and one that’s suited to the aspect of the garden and your needs. You might need to buy grass seed for shady areas or choose a type of grass that’s more hardwearing.
Don’t skip any autumn lawn care procedures
Lawn care will help your newly grown lawn to survive winter. Make sure to study up on autumn lawn care and do as many of the steps as possible.
You Might Also Like: 10 Autumn Garden Jobs to Do Right Now
There’s really no “wrong” time to sow lawn seed
Do you feel more confident in your timing for seeding the lawn? Don’t worry, you can’t get it wrong. When to sow lawn seed isn’t that important since the seeds grow almost all year round, some seasons just work better than others. Hang in there, your perfect lawn is coming.
Happy lawn seeding!