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Whether you reside in the Deep South with hot and humid summers or in the Northeast with long and cold winters, one thing we all have in common is the desire to grow a luscious and green glowing lawn.  What’s a better way to impress the neighbors than to have a full and healthy head of grass sprouting from every square inch of your front yard?  When it comes to the annual ceremonious grass seed planting, we often hear many questions about how to achieve successful growth that can be enjoyed throughout the year.  One of the seemingly hardest questions to pin an answer to is the question of WHEN.  If you’re searching for the best time of the year to plant your grass seeds, it is important to know how the climate of your region affects grass growth.  

Cool Season Grasses vs. Warm Season Grasses

Making the executive decision regarding when to plant your grass seeds in order to cultivate a beautiful green lawn depends on whether or not you are planting “cool-season grasses” or “warm-season grasses.”  Cool-season grasses typically thrive in the Northern half of the United States where the summers are temperate, and the winters are extremely chilly.  This includes regions such as the Northeast, Upper Midwest, and Pacific Northwest. 

On the other hand, warm-season grasses find greater growth success in the Southern regions of the United States, with generally hot and humid summers, spanning from parts of California all the way to the tip of Florida.  If you live in the DC area, Maryland, or Virginia, chances are the grass you want to grow is considered cool-season grass.  Although you can theoretically plant grass seedlings any time of the year, some planting times will require much less vigilance and close observation throughout the growth period to guarantee success.  For cool-season grasses, the best time to plant your grass seeds is during the Fall as opposed to the Spring.  

Cool-season grasses rely on a cool soil temperature of around 50-60 °F (which correlates to an air temperature of around 60-75 °F during the day) in order for the seeds to germinate rapidly.  By planting cool-season grass seeds in the Fall, around a month and a half before the projected first fall frost, you can ensure that the soil temperature will be in the ideal range for seed germination and sprout growth.  It is important that this planting takes place a substantial amount of time before the air and soil temperatures drop drastically, as at this time there is a significant stall in plant growth.  Furthermore, planting in the Fall instead of the Spring will prevent you from running into the problem of oversaturation of the soil as a result of early Spring showers.  Having too much water soak into the soil of your grass seedlings is an easy way to cool down the soil too much and create an environment that invasive weeds can thrive in.  By planting your cool-season grass seeds in the Fall as the warmer summer days give way to cooler temperatures, you give your grass the best chance of successful growth.  You also reap the benefit of having two periods of rapid growth due to ideal soil temperatures in the Fall and Spring seasons before temperatures begin to rise again during the Summer and inhibit grass growth.

I Have Made the Decision of When – Now What? 

Though the timing is one of the most important factors to consider when planting your grass seeds, there are also a variety of other necessities that you must consider to cultivate your dream lawn.  For example, you live in the DC area and have decided to plant your “cool season grass” in the Fall a few weeks before the average temperatures typically drop significantly.  Now you have to figure out just how to plant your grass seeds and how to upkeep your yard during the growing period.  One of the most important steps in accomplishing this is implementing quality soil in your yard to give the grass seeds an ideal place to cast their roots and obtain nutrients.  

Topsoil is considered the layer of soil at the very top of your lawn and ought to be rich with microorganisms and nutrients that promote the growth of newly planted grass seeds.  Having healthy topsoil for your grass seeds to germinate and grow in is absolutely necessary.   Saunders Landscape Supply can provide those in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas with topsoil that will take your lawn growth to the next level.  Not only can Saunders Landscape Supply provide you with the topsoil needed for grass growth, but they can also offer you the highest quality compost to contribute to nutrient availability for your cool-season grass.  Compost is typically made of broken-down plant and food waste along with other organic materials and serves as a fertilizer for your lawn.  Compost typically supplies growing grass with important micronutrients such as phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium.  Saunders Landscape Supply has all of these topsoil and composting materials ready for their clients, along with FREE delivery right to their own front lawn.  

The Waiting Period: Cultivating Success

By laying down a fresh layer of topsoil with compost on either your whole dirt lawn or on bare areas of your existing grass lawn, you can give your newly planted grass seeds the ideal environment for them to establish and grow their roots.  Once you have planted your grass seeds, remain calm if you do not see blades begin to sprout after several days.  Depending on the type of grass seeds, you may not see them sprouting above the ground until one to three weeks after planting.  

Be sure to do your research beforehand and figure out the timeline of expected grass growth along with the appropriate times to water and cut your grass with a lawnmower depending on the specific kind of cool weather grass seeds you are planting.  With the right timing and the help of Saunders Landscape Supply, you can have the best-looking front lawn in the neighborhood and make your friends envious of the professional-grade grass sprouting from every corner of your lawn.