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Now Is the Time to Seed Lawns

University of Minnesota Extension, Stearns County News
August 23, 2017        
Source:  Haely Leiding, Extension Intern
University of Minnesota Extension
Stearns, Benton, & Morrison Counties


Now is the time to seed lawns
By Haely Leiding, University of Minnesota Extension

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (08/16/17) — The best time to seed grass in Minnesota is late summer, mid-August to mid-September. The warm soil temperatures and the milder, consistent temperatures increase germination. Another benefit of this time of year is there is less competition from weeds. Also, with this time of year there is still plenty of time for the new grass to establish itself before winter.

You can seed in the spring but the hot summer temperatures and weeds are often issues that make the seeding less successful. Most of the weeds that compete with grass are spring germinating. With spring planting there is also only a short time frame for grass to develop roots that are strong enough to brave the summer heat.

Soil preparation is very important for both seeding and sod. This step is usually overlooked and can determine the ease of maintenance for years to come. The first step is to take a soil test to find out what the soil is like that you are working with. To learn more info about soil tests visit:

Once you learn about your soil there may be changes that have to be made to it in order to make it the best growing environment for the grass. Once the additions are added the area can be fine graded and the appropriate fertilizer can be added. Now the soil is ready for the seed.

Seed should be spread in two steps at a half rate in perpendicular directions. It is also important to make sure the soil moisture is present in the top 4-6 inches. After seeding, water only as needed. Stop watering when puddles are present. When the seeds begin to germinate, begin to regularly water when the seedlings are small. Slow the watering as the plants grow larger. Usually it takes between 6-12 weeks for the grass to be established. The lawn will take a full season to be mature.


Beth Berlin
Extension Educator, Horticulture
(320) 255-6169
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