Temperature plays a huge part in how successful you will be at planting grass seed. However, you must note that different types of grasses require different conditions for them to germinate.
Cool-season turf does well even when the temperatures are a bit low such as in fall, while warm-season grass needs higher temperatures.
The following piece will tell you how cold is too cold to plant grass seed so you can better prepare for it.
Why Does Temperature Matter When Planting Grass?
Remember when you learned the requirements for germination in school?
Warmth is one of them, which is why you can’t plant and expect grass seeds to grow when it is too cold. It is essential to match the type of seed that you are planting with when it thrives best by checking the kind as well as your region.
Different types of grass have different growing cycles that depend on where you are. Some places are a lot warmer than others in the same season, and this is why you need to align the type of grass with your area.
If you are planning on planting perennial ryegrass or Kentucky bluegrass, which are common cool grasses, you need cooler temperatures. This works well late in summer when it is still a bit warm but cold enough due to fall. These grasses are, therefore, best to grow in the northern parts of the country.
Warm grasses such as Zoysia, Bermuda, and Centipede grass do well in warmer temperatures. They are mostly grown in the western and southern parts of the country mainly in spring to early in the summer.
Many stores will stock the type of grass that does well in the region, so you may not have to struggle to look for a particular one. The most important thing to remember is to time your planting correctly so that you can maximize the peak periods.
ALSO READ: Does Grass Seed Go Bad When Frozen
When Is It Too Cold to Plant Grass Seed?
Cool-season grasses are excellent for growing in fall even when temperatures get a bit low. This is because, in early to mid-autumn, the ground still has adequate heat left from the long summer months. Therefore, the grass thrives in the average retained heat and the temperatures outside that are already lowering.
These kinds of conditions are perfect for cool grasses as it promotes germination so that even if the temperatures lower, the grass will already be ready for the first mowing. However, check that the warmth is around 65 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but it is fine if, during the day, it goes up to 75 degrees.
Check this too: How Long Should I Let New Grass Grow Before Cutting?
Usually, the northern parts of the country will experience colder temperatures much earlier than in the south. This means that you should plant the grass seed late in summer so that by the time you get the first fall frost, the turf is already growing. As a result, you need to seed the lawn by September to mid-October.
Generally, by the time you get the first fall frost, it is already too late to plant grass seed. This is because the seeds will absorb too much water from the snow and rot. Also the lower the temperatures, the less likely the seeds are to germinate since there will no longer be warmth in the ground. If you are wondering what temp is too cold for grass seed, know that anything below the 50 degrees Fahrenheit mark is too low, and you should wait.
Does frost kill grass seed?
If you planted your grass seed a bit late in the fall or early in spring, you may be curious to know whether the grass seed can survive frost. The seed itself may be pretty resistant to freezing if you plant just a day or two before the first sighting in autumn. This is because grass seed will likely become dormant through the rest of fall and winter then will sprout in the spring.
This means that if you aren’t planning on growing your grass till, after winter, you can still plant it just before it starts snowing, so the seed goes into hibernation. However, it is essential to note that if the grass germinates before it becomes icy, it will all die, and you will have to lay them again.
You should also know that if the frost isn’t constant and it frequently thaws due to a temperature increase, the seeds will not go into hibernation. The best thing to do if it is too late, save your seeds till after winter to lay them, and you can be sure of an excellent lawn.
Finding out the types of grasses that thrive in different seasons will give you an idea of when you should lay the grass seed. Remember that you can plant grass seed in cold weather but may cause the seeds to go into hibernation, or if they germinate, they may rot so your grass won’t grow. Be very keen when planting cool-season grasses, and you can be sure of excellent results.
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