Lowes Grass Seed- When To Plant In All 50 States

Starting a lawn from seed is an easy and inexpensive way to transform your home with a new lawn. Cool-season grasses grow best when temperatures are between 60-80 degrees.  Warm-season grasses grow best when temperatures are between 75-90 degrees.  Generally, the best time to plant grass seed is late spring or early fall.

This Will Tell You When To Plant Grass Seed

Before planting grass seed in a new area, it’s important to properly prepare the soil. First, work the soil using a sharp garden tool. Remove existing plants, weeds, rocks and stones. Then, mix in some organic material to help the soil retain water and rake it smooth. Next, spread starter fertilizer, not weed and feed fertilizer, over the prepared soil to improve germination and help the new grass grow.

Afterwards, sow the grass seed evenly by hand or with a spreader, according to the directions. Rake the seed into the top 1/8″ of soil. However, the key to growing grass seed is WATER.  Keep new grass seed watered for 10-14 days after planting.  Keep the soil moist and do not let it dry out.  Lack of water is the number one reason new grass seed does not grow.

grass seed state map

Cool weather grass types include Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescue and Rye.

Warm weather grass types include Bermuda, Zoysia and St. Augustine.

Transitional grass types include mixtures of both warm and cool season grasses.

Your StateBest Time To PlantBest Type of Grass
AlabamaMid spring – SummerBermuda, Zoysia
AlaskaLate Spring – SummerBluegrass, Fescue
ArizonaSpring – SummerZoysia
ArkansasLate Spring – SummerBermuda
CaliforniaEarly Fall & Late Spring/SummerFine Fescue/Bermuda, St. Augustine
ColoradoEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass
ConnecticutEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass, Rye, Fescue
DelawareEarly Fall & Early Spring/SummerKentucky Bluegrass, Rye,Fescue/Zoysia
FloridaLate Spring – SummerBermuda, Zoysia, St. Augustine
GeorgiaLate Spring – Summer/Early FallBermuda, Zoysia, St. Augustine/Fescue
HawaiiLate Spring -SummerBermuda, Zoysia
IdahoEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass
IllinoisEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass, Rye, Fescue
IndianaEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass, Rye, Fescue
IowaEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass
KansasEarly Fall & Early SpringTall or Fine Fescue
KentuckyEarly Fall & Early Spring/SummerKentucky Bluegrass, Tall Fescue/Bermuda
LouisianaSpring – SummerCentipede grass, Bermuda
MaineEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass
MarylandEarly Fall & Early SpringTall Fescue
MassachusettsEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass
MichiganEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass, Rye, Fescue
MinnesotaEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass, Rye, Fescue
Mississippi Mid spring -SummerBermuda, Zoysia
MissouriEarly Fall & Early SpringTall or Fine Fescue
MontanaEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass
NebraskaEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass, Fine Fescue
NevadaEarly Fall & Early Spring/SummerKentucky Bluegrass, Fine Fescue/Bermuda
New HampshireEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass
New JerseyEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass, Rye, Fescue
New Mexico Mid spring – SummerBermuda
New YorkEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass
North CarolinaEarly Fall & Early Spring/SummerKentucky Bluegrass, Fine Fescue/Bermuda
North DakotaEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass
OhioEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass, Rye, Fescue
OklahomaEarly Fall & Early Spring/SummerKentucky Bluegrass, Fine Fescue/Bermuda
OregonEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass, Rye, Fescue
PennsylvaniaEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass
Rhode IslandEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass
South CarolinaEarly Fall & Early Spring/SummerKentucky Bluegrass, Fine Fescue/Bermuda
South DakotaEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass
TennesseeEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass, Rye, Fescue
TexasLate spring – Early SummerBermuda, St. Augustine/Tall Fescue
UtahEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass
VermontEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass
VirginiaEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass, Rye, Fescue
WashingtonEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass,Bentgrass, Fine Fescue
West VirginiaEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass, Rye, Fescue
WisconsinEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass
WyomingEarly Fall & Early SpringKentucky Bluegrass

Note: The new low maintenance brands of grass seed such as Cutting Edge and Pearls Premium should only be planted in cool or transitional grass states.  

Make your first application of fertilizer about 4 to 6 weeks after germination.  If you plant in the spring be sure to use a weed and feed fertilizer recommended for your state. Weed and Feed is a common term which refers to fertilizer that contains weed killer for broadleaf weeds such as dandelions or grassy weeds like crabgrass. Try Scotts Turfbuilder Plus2 Weed and Feed or Sta Green Southern Weed and Feed.  If you plant in the fall use a fertilizer specifically for fall or winter. Try Sta Green Fall and Winter Fertilizer.

When To Fertilize Your Lawn

Southern lawns and Northern lawns cannot use the same type of fertilizers! They contain two very different chemicals that must be applied according to instructions.
Trimec is usually found in weed and feed for northern and transitional state grasses like Kentucky Blue.  It is a selective, contact, systemic herbicide that is a combination of three chemicals: 2, 4-D, dicambra and mecoprop, all of which are damaging to warm season grass.  Applied to a wet lawn, the granules of Trimec stick to the wet weeds and effectively kill them.

Atrazine, used in weed and feed formulas for warm season grasses like St. Augustine, is a selective herbicide that kills systemically through interruption of photosynthesis. The weeds absord the atrazine through its roots.  That stops the weeds ability to absord energy from the sun and they die.  Atrazine based product needs to be applied to a dry lawn.
Read more about fertilizers here

In many states, early fall is the best time to seed because of its shorter days, cooler nights, and heavier dews. Your most successful seeding time is right around Labor Day. Seeding at this time gives your new seedlings time to build strong roots before the winter. Spring is also a great time to plant cool-season grasses because of moderate temperatures and heavier rainfall. However, spring also provides a good environment for crabgrass to begin germinating.

If you want to prevent crabgrass from invading your newly planted grass, we recommend using Fertilizer Plus Crabgrass Preventer.  Applying this to your established lawn will boost root development and prevent crabgrass.  Whether you’re planting a lawn that’s new or fixing an old one, some important elements should be considered before just throwing any grass seed around. The type of lawn seed you choose is very important, and planting it properly is the only way you’ll have a healthy lawn.

 

By Victoria Stone