Many people think about reseeding the lawn in the spring but many periods during the fall are actually better for most grasses than spring seeding. Exactly when this seeding window is depends on where you’re located and the type of grass you are putting seed down for. This may lead some people to believe that any time late in the year is ideal for reseeding and unfortunately, that isn’t actually the case.
If you reseed your lawn at the wrong time of year, there’s a good chance you won’t get the results you expect. If your grass is thinning or damaged, this may result in bald patches come spring that require more work to correct. To avoid this, look into when you should and shouldn’t reseed your lawn and why.
Why Reseeding in the Fall Works
Depending on the seed you’re using, the window for reseeding is usually late summer/early fall. This is the time when your existing grass is slowing down its growth in preparation for winter. The soil is still warm and the winter frosts are still weeks, if not months, away. There is also a decent chance that you’re still getting frequent enough rains to keep the soil moist and the leaves on the trees haven’t started falling in huge numbers yet.
So what makes this time period best for reseeding? The warm wet soil will help the seeds start germinating quickly. The surrounding grass isn’t growing as aggressively though, so the germinating seeds will experience less competition for moisture and nutrients as they establish their roots. By the time the leaves fall, your new grass will be getting established and will receive extra protection throughout the winter and a burst of nutrients as those leaves decompose. It’s about the best start that young grass could want.
Reseeding in the Winter
Unfortunately, the same situation does not exist if you reseed in the winter. Even if you’ve had a fairly mild winter early on. the colder nights will result in colder soil overall. Depending on your area, rain can be less common so you’ll have to supply more of your own moisture to the growing grass. Moist soil cools quicker so the cool nights become even more significant with the increased likelihood that a frost could damage or kill your fragile grass.
All of this assumes that your grass can germinate and establish itself at all. Average temperatures and the cycling through colder nights might result in the seeds not germinating and the increased scarcity of food will make the seeds you spread more appealing to birds and insects if you don’t keep the grass seed covered. The fallen leaves that provide protection to your seeds and germinating grass during fall can create a barrier that keeps them out of the soil come winter as well. If winter has come and you need to reseed your lawn, it is best to wait until early to mid-spring and reseed then.
If your lawn has significant issues, there are options available to you. You may be able to replace patches with sod or even look at alternative ground coverings that thrive in colder weather. There are many landscaping pros that can discuss your options and help you develop a plan to get the lawn you desire. We would love to help you find the right professional for you as well as answer any further questions about your home. We want to be your real estate resource for life.