Hello again, savvy savers! Though many of us are still in the midst of a winter freeze, we are now officially one month out of Spring! Woohoo! I’m not sure about you, but I’m ready for warmer, milder weather to start ushering in the change of seasons in my neck of the woods! Though we are in winter, there are still gardening chores which need our attention at present, including planting various types of grass seed in winter.
So, why plant grass see in winter? A lush green yard is the envy of every neighborhood, but it can be a challenge to obtain. There is much more to green grass than simply sun and water! A beautiful green yard is often the result of using the correct fertilizer, aeration techniques, type of grass seed used, and most importantly, when the seed is planted.
Here’s why: The time in which the grass seed was planted is the most important factor in determining proper seed germination. A lush green yard is the envy of every neighborhood, but it can be a challenge to obtain. There is much more to green grass than simply sun and water! A beautiful green yard is often the result of using the correct fertilizer, aeration technique and type of grass seed. The time in which the grass seed was planted is also an important factor. To complicate matters further, the type of grass seed planted and when to plant it varies from state to state, but a general rule of thumbs is that Fine Fescue Grass, Rye Grass, and Kentucky Blue Grass should always be planted in winter.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when planting Winter grasses:
- First, look for any storms that may be coming up. You’ll be more successful if you sow the seeds just prior to a rain shower, but not a down pour, to avoid washing your seeds down the drain.
- Secondly, do not plant during an extreme cold snap; temperatures of 40 degrees or over during the day are ideal.
- After you plant your grass seeds, you should see new sprouts no later than two weeks afterwards.
- If it has been two weeks and there are no grass sprouts or very few then reseed and make sure you water thoroughly.
- The soil you plant your seeds in should remain moist during germination; moist, not saturated.
- Do not walk on grass seeds once planted. Grass seed germinates and grows best in dirt that is loose and not compacted.
- Compost. Be sure to add compost over seeds when planting.
Beyond these tips, my greatest piece of advice I can give to those planting grass seed in winter? A natural, organic ground cover! For me, I like to create a re-usable seed blanket for my lawn using Autumnal Display Hay Bales, as so many people use bales as part of their Fall Garden Displays, which were torn apart, and thrown over top of scattered grass seed.
Here how I did it:
- Clear your area. I used a blower and mulched under all debris left from the Winter.
- Rake your area. Rake, till, or shovel your area until the top soil is loose and easily moved.
- Purchase seeds for your yard; find the appropriate type of seeds based on the amount of sun, wind, rain, and what forms of recreation will occur on your seed.
- Spread your seed! Lightly and evenly is key here!
- Cover your seeds with hay!
- Water your seeds daily. In my case, I layered seed today as it was going to rain. Be diligent and water daily, by hand, and do not use a sprinkler.
- Lay the Hay! That’s right, shake it up, shake it loose, shake it down to the ground! I danced my way to a covered first tier.
- Do not walk on the seeds. Like tile work, work your way from corner to corner, and work your way backwards, and away from your projects!
- Allow your seed to grow. Your lawn will begin sprouting in 2-3 weeks.
- Maintenance. If you grass has patches where seeds have not grown, use emergency my tried-and-tested seed repair kit, bird seed mix! Take two cups bird seeds, add water until its porridge-like, and apply to the ground! The water will detract birds, and help jump-start the seed germination.
- Grooming. Yes, grass should be groomed, too! Be sure to wait a full two months to mow your new lawn for the first time, and when you do so, make sure your mower is not adjusted down too low, and be sure to be even in your cutting!
- Aerate your lawn. Use cleats, spikes, or the like to aerate your soil twice a year, in April and October.
- Water your lawn. Water your grass three times a week in Spring and Fall, and daily in Summer, unless prohibited by drought; if drought is an issue consider other means like rain barrels or collected bath water.
- Feed your lawn. Be sure to feed your law appropriate lawn-feed in Autumn, and a grass-supported food, bi-monthly in warmer weather.
- Weeding. If you need to remove weeds, use white vinegar in a spray bottle!
So, that’s it! That’s how you can achieve your best lawn, for those with Fine Fescue Grass, Rye Grass, and Kentucky Blue Grass, is to plant your lawns in winter!
Here’s to gardening,