Spring Seeding vs. Fall Seeding: Which Is Best?

So your grass is looking a little sparse, or maybe you’ve got bare patches or damage from pets. Whatever the reason, you’re wanting to see your lawn and you’re wondering if now is the right time. We all know that seed can’t sprout in the dead of winter or in the blistering heat of mid-summer. So that leaves spring and fall. If you’re asking yourself if one is better than the other, the answer is yes.  

Yes, You CAN Seed Your Lawn in the Spring

Spring is not necessarily a bad time to seed your lawn especially if you just have some bare patches to repair. The temperatures are generally mild enough and it does rain often enough that you’ll have to water less. But there are two good reasons seeding in the spring is not ideal…weeds and weather.  

You Can’t Apply Weed Control at a Crucial Time
If you’ve seeded in the spring, then you can’t put down any pre-emergent weed killers.They keep weeds and other seeds (including grass seeds) from germinating. You can’t apply it until the lawn has been mowed two times and by then, it will be too late to prevent all of the weeds. Your lawn will have crabgrass and other weeds by then. Skipping the weed preventer step can cause a problem because of how quickly the crabgrass can spread. Unfortunately, crabgrass also grows most freely in the thinner areas of your lawn, such as the ones you may have seeded! 

The Upcoming Weather Will Be Hot

While the springtime weather may be fine for growing grass seed at first, it won’t be long until the temperature soars and the hot summer sun starts to take its toll on tender, new blades. You may think that winter is the most challenging time for grass but it’s actually  summertime. It’s very difficult to keep brand-new grass seedlings alive with the heat of the summer sun beating down. 

Shade Is an Exception
If you have a heavily shaded lawn, it’s okay to seed in early spring. Crabgrass won’t grow in the shade, so you don’t need to apply a preemergent in heavy shade areas. Plus, you don’t have to deal with falling leaves covering the new seedlings. However, because there isn’t enough light to establish a good root system to survive the heat of summer, a heavy shade area may need to be seeded annually.

The Best Time to Plant Grass Is in the Fall

Not only does this allow you to use the weed control products in the spring season, but weather conditions in the fall are ideal for new seedling growth. You actually hit the trifecta – the weather is cool, the ground is moist, and the soil is still warm. In these conditions, your lawn will develop a healthy root system that will allow it to become established in plenty of time before the summer stress sets in. Additionally, you can still apply broadleaf weed control in late summer or early fall, get rid of most of the weeds, and not have to worry about them for the rest of the fall. Just apply the weed control approximately a week before you want to seed your lawn. 

If you’re wondering specifically when to plant grass seed in fall, the optimal time is anywhere between late August through mid October. It depends more on the weather conditions than an exact time.

If you need help seeding your lawn, just give us a call at (913) 396-6858 and we’ll be happy to help. Visit our website to learn more about our quality seeding practices.