If you have a yard that looks a little thin, summer can be the perfect time to fill it with lush grass. Planting grass seed in summer may seem intimidating, but there are several advantages to doing this seasonally.
In this blog post, we will look at why now is just the right moment for seeding your lawn and how to take advantage of summer weather conditions when starting your new grass. From finding the planting supplies you need through watering regiments and other maintenance tips – plus suggestions for dealing with weeds – we’ll go over everything you need to know about growing green patches in those once-barren spaces!
Can You Plant Grass Seed in the Summer?
Summertime might not seem like the ideal season to plant grass seed, but with the right approach and careful steps, your new lawn can thrive even in the summer heat. Many people think about whether you can plant grass seed in the summer and how to plant grass seed in the summer.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to plant grass seed in summer, ensuring a healthy, lush lawn.
Step 1: Prepare the Soil
Before planting the grass seed, you must prepare the soil to make it receptive to the new seeds. Start by removing debris, weeds, or dead grass from the area. Use a rake to break up and loosen the soil. This will help in better seed-to-soil contact and ensure that the grass seed penetrates the soil for optimal germination.
Tip: Use high-quality grass seed best suited for your region’s climate and soil conditions.
Remove any existing weeds.
If you’re starting a new lawn from seed, removing any existing weeds before planting is essential. This will help the grass take hold without competing for water, oxygen, and sunlight. After your lawn is established, you may still need to do weed mitigation to keep them at bay. Consider using a starter fertilizer with an added pre-emergent like this one on Amazon which I have used and recommend. That way, your lawn has the extra help it needs while preventing crabgrass from germinating.
Step 2: Choose the Right Grass Seed For Summer
Selecting the appropriate grass seed for your specific situation is crucial to the success of your new lawn. Consider sun exposure, soil type, and climate factors when deciding which grass seed to use.
Tip: Be meticulous about watering, especially during the summer when evaporation occurs rapidly.
- Bermudagrass is an excellent choice for areas with sweltering heat and little rain, as it can be cut at a shallow height.
- Centipedegrass thrives in sunny, warm climates with sandy, acidic soil and requires minimal fertilizer.
- Zoysiagrass is most common in the middle part of America and has impressive cold-hardiness compared to other warm-season grasses; however, it grows slowly and may take over a year to become fully established.
- Bahiagrass flourishes in hot, dry environments and particularly benefits from its suitability for sandy, acidic soils–making it perfect for regions near the southern coastlines.
- Pensacola bahiagrass features a finer leaf texture and greater cold tolerance, while Argentine bahiagrass has a darker green color and wider blades.
Step 3: Apply the Summer Grass Seed
Evenly spread the grass seed across the prepared soil. You can use a handheld broadcast spreader or a walk-behind drop spreader to ensure an even distribution of seeds. Lightly rake the soil to cover the seeds for better seed-to-soil contact and protection from birds.
Tip: Watch out for hot days with heavy rain, as this can lead to seed runoff, making seed distribution uneven.
Step 4: Water and Fertilize
Watering is crucial for germinating grass seeds, especially during the hot summer. Keep the top layer of soil consistently moist until the new grass reaches a height of approximately 3 inches. Then, gradually reduce the watering frequency and increase the depth to encourage more profound root growth.
Fertilizing the new grass seed will help promote healthy growth. Apply a starter fertilizer with high phosphorus content when planting the grass seed. Follow up with a nitrogen-based fertilizer when the new grass reaches a height of approximately 4 inches.
Tip: Know that hot, sticky nights can lead to grass disease, so be prepared to address any potential issues as they arise.
High temperatures above 65 degrees F and excess moisture, particularly at night, can be stressful for young grass seedlings. Lawn diseases such as damping off (Pythium) and brown patches (Rhizoctonia) thrive under these conditions and can even kill the seedlings. To avoid this, ensure the planting area is well-drained before seeding and follow the instructions on the bag to ensure you don’t use too much seed in one area.
This will help to keep air circulation optimal, prevent water from accumulating excessively, and discourage disease. Saturated or water-logged soils also rob roots of oxygen which stops them from absorbing necessary nutrients and may eventually lead to death. The same heat, humidity, and soil aeration issues that can stunt large crops like soybeans and corn can be fatal to grass seedlings, so it’s best to avoid planting them during these times of extreme stress.
After That, Monitoring for Hot Days with Heavy Rain
Once the grass seed is planted, it’s essential to keep the top inch of soil consistently moist but not soggy for 2-3 weeks. This means misting the seeded area daily or more in hot and dry weather. After sprouting, keep the top two inches moist but allow some drying out between waterings to encourage more profound root growth. Reduce watering once your lawn reaches a mowing height; ensure the first 6-8 inches are moist before watering again. This will help stimulate more profound root growth. Remember to water once or twice a week if temperatures are high; young grass seedlings at this stage are still susceptible to drying out.
Additional Tips for Planting Grass Seed in Summer
- Choose the Right Type of Grass: Different grass varieties have varying heat tolerance levels, so choosing a heat-tolerant grass type for the summer months is essential.
- Aeration Before Seeding Can Help: Aerating the soil before planting can help improve the soil’s structure and increase the success rate of grass seed germination.
- Fertilizing New Grass: The new grass is essential to ensure healthy growth. Apply a balanced fertilizer according to the grass type and the soil’s needs.
Is Summer Sun – Good or Bad?
The summer sun can be both beneficial and detrimental to grass seed germination. Plus, it helps warm the soil for better seed germination. However, too much direct sunlight can lead to drying out of the top layer of soil and can cause older seeds to fall off or die off due to lack of water. Keeping your lawn in a partial shade environment will help regulate the temperature and moisture necessary for successful grass seed growth.
You should Monitor Soil Conditions.
Don’t forget to watch the soil conditions regularly. Check that it’s moist but not soggy every few days, especially during hot weather. Adjust your watering so the grass seedlings have enough moisture without overly saturating them. Also, adjust mowing heights depending on the weather so the grass doesn’t become too stressed.
Know The Heat and Stress Management
Grass seedlings are vulnerable to heat stress in summer, especially if they don’t receive enough water or nutrients. Monitor your soil moisture levels and adjust watering throughout the season accordingly. If you notice any wilting or discoloration of grass blades, reduce the mowing height and increase fertilization to help reduce plant stress.
What is the best grass seed for summer?
Buffalo grass is the best variety of grass for summer. Its types are heat-tolerant, drought-resistant, and low-maintenance. It is also relatively slow growing, so they don’t require frequent mowing as other common lawn grasses do.
How to grow grass quickly in summer?
One key to quick grass growth is choosing the right grass seed for your area and soil. Another essential factor is watering your lawn consistently and deeply, especially during the hot summer. Use fertilizers and mulch to promote healthy growth and protect the soil from evaporation and heat. You can have a perfect lawn in no time by following these simple steps.
How often should I water my grass seed in the summer?
The water needed for your grass seed will depend on several factors, such as temperature, soil type, and humidity. Generally, during hot weather, you should water your seeded area at least twice weekly to ensure proper germination. Keep the top 2 inches of soil consistently moist but not soggy. Reduce watering once your lawn reaches mowing.
Growing grass in the summer is not always easy, but it can be done with the right type of grass seed and some extra care. Be sure to choose a grass type suitable for your area, water regularly and sincerely, fertilize when needed, and monitor the soil conditions closely. These steps will help ensure that your grass seeds have a chance to sprout and develop strong roots for healthy growth. With some dedication and patience, you’ll be enjoying a lush green lawn in no time.
Douglas Mackalie is a Founder of Mackalies Garden. He is one of the most exciting people you’ll ever meet. He has 25 years of experience in horticulture and gardening, most of which he’s spent outdoors getting his hands dirty.