When to Plant Grass Seed in Spring

When you plant grass seed, you want your new lawn to grow in green and healthy.

How can you make that happen? Well, timing plays a huge role. Planting grass seed at the right time of year is one way to make sure your lawn can flourish.

Let’s talk about one particular time—April. Is April a good time to plant grass, or should you aim for a different date? Keep reading for the verdict.

When to plant grass seed in spring

If you have your heart set on planting grass in spring, early April is, in fact, the best time to do it. But, depending on where you live, spring seeding could come with complications.

Here’s the thing—spring elements in the Midwest or Northeast (i.e., temperatures in the 60s and 70s and steady rainfall) are actually great for growing cool seasons grasses. The problem is, weeds also thrive in these elements. That means your grass will be forced to compete with unwelcome weeds as it tries to grow. Not to mention, if springtime weather isn’t just right, like for example, the soil is too cold or it’s overly drenched by rain, you probably won’t have much success growing new grass. Also, if your lawn is scheduled to have pre-emergent weed control applications around this time, be aware that this will inhibit grass seed from germinating.

Now, let’s say the weather is perfect for planting grass in April. Should you do it?

You could, but there’s a chance you’ll run into issues come summertime. Stressful summer heat could slow or completely stop the growth of cool-season grasses. Warm-season grasses, on the other hand, are meant to be planted in late spring or early summer.

So yes, you can plant cool-season grass in spring, and you should shoot for April if you’re doing so. But, your lawn will have a much better chance at survival if you wait until later in the year.

Best time to plant grass seed in the Northeast

If you live in the Northeastern U.S., the best time to lay new grass seed is mid-August to mid-September. Here’s why:

  • The warm days and cool nights are perfect for seed development
  • The soil is still warm from summer, which helps with seed growth
  • Lawns that have time to establish themselves in fall are much better equipped to handle hot summers than lawns started in spring

Best time to plant grass in the Midwest

Cool-season grasses are also prominent in the Midwest, so fall is the best time to plant grass seed in this area. Again, aim for mid-August to mid-September.

Why the best time to plant grass seed differs

You’ve read about two different types of grasses here: warm season and cool season.

As their names suggest, each one grows best in certain regional weather elements. In a nutshell, cool-season grass needs mild daytime temperatures and cooler nights to thrive. Warm-season grasses grow best when the days are warm and when they have time to establish before things cool down in fall. You can read more about these grass types here.

Your region also determines when other lawn care should happen. Do you see any bare patches or bald spots? If so, consider overseeding your lawn.

Here’s why and when to overseed your lawn.

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