Living in Canada, you may already be wishing for spring and some warmer days. And with the thought of spring on your mind you may also be wondering if you can plant grass seed in winter. Well, planting grass seed in winter is not only possible, but it could also give you that lush, green lawn you’ve been waiting for.
The process of planting grass seed in winter is called ‘dormant seeding.’ The grass seeds will essentially lay dormant until the ground stays at 13 degrees Celsius for a prolonged period. Then, the seeds will open, take root, and grow, making their way up to the soil surface to create the beautiful spring lawn you have been dreaming of.
Best Grass Seed to Plant in Winter
As you know there are many different types of grass seeds, but not all will do well when planted during the winter. So what is the best grass seed to plant in the winter? Here is a list of types that fair well during winter months: Kentucky Bluegrass, Improved Tall Fescue, Perennial Ryegrass, and Velvet Bentgrass.
Now that you know which type of seed to choose, here are some tips you can use to help your winter grass seed survive and thrive until spring:
Proper Soil Prep
Before planting grass seed in the winter, you should aerate your soil. However, depending on how harsh the weather in your region has been, this process may have to wait until you get a few warmer days. Aeration breaks the top layer of soil so that air can flow freely beyond the surface. The process also helps remove some of the debris that could otherwise hinder plant growth. While it is best to aerate with a unique, spiky tool called an aerator, you can also use a rake to break up the soil’s surface before spreading your seed.
If you have snow in the ground right now you may be wondering, “can I plant grass seed in wet soil?” The answer is, yes you can. In fact, wet or moist soil is the idea environment for the growing seedlings. So even if there is snow on the ground, you can spread grass seed on top. As the snow melts, the seeds will make their way into the moist soil and have a good base to grow.
Broadcasting seed doesn’t mean telling all your neighbours that you have just planted your spring lawn. When it comes to grass seed, broadcasting is the method by which the grass seeds are scattered across a specific area, either by hand or with a spreader. It’s best to spread the seeds thinly over the area, aiming them into furrows created by aeration or the rank. Broadcasting seed is faster than row planting seeds and is the best method to use when planting grass seed in the winter.
After seeding, consider taking the time to seed your lawn once again, in a process called “overseeding.” This is when you broadcast seeds over the same areas you seeded earlier. Overseeding can help to fill in any bare spots and can produce a nice, thick lawn. Once overseeding is complete, water your lawn thoroughly and refrain from watering again until the spring. If the temperatures are lower in your region and watering is not an option, don’t worry. The soil should remain moist throughout most of the winter - so watering immediately after overseeding may not be necessary.
Delay Herbicide Use
Avoiding using an herbicide on your lawn until about four months after seeding the area. This helps ensure the grass you planted is established enough to handle a reaction to the herbicide. Unfortunately, even the most gentle or targeted herbicide could affect young seedlings, so following this guideline is essential to maintain the health of your new seed. Generally, early spring is the best time to apply an herbicide. It’s also important to note that applying herbicide incorrectly could cause dead patches in your lawn, so make sure you follow the application instructions carefully before using.
Professional Care and Guidance
Having a beautiful spring lawn doesn’t have to wait until summer. Planting grass seed in the winter will give you a great start on a beautiful lawn this spring. If you have questions about lawn care like, how to revive dead patches of grass, the experts at The Grounds Guys can help. We have helped thousands of homeowners keep and maintain beautiful lawns and landscaping all year long. To learn more about our residential landscaping and lawn care services give us a call 888-972-8063 or schedule an appointment online today.