Is it still a good time to sow lawn seed?

Author: Stefan Palm   Date Posted: 15 May 2023 

It's been an unusual Autumn, weather-wise. There have been some wet moments in the metro area and perhaps some dryer times to come - many people are asking, "Can I still sow lawn seed?"

The answer is both yes and no. Mid-May is too late to sow warm-season varieties like couch and kikuyu because these types slow down and become dormant during the cooler months. There isn't enough time left to germinate and establish them before Winter. Having said that, it is an ideal time to sow cool-season grasses like fescue, rye and bluegrass. These varieties love this kind of weather and will germinate and cover quickly.

For New Lawns:

Establishing a lawn from seed isn't as popular as it used to be, however, it's still an excellent and cost-effective alternative to turf. While you can't sow warm-season varieties now, you can sow a cool-season variety for cover now and through winter, and then oversow with a warm-season variety in the Spring. While it may seem arduous to sow a lawn twice, it's a good option and one that will cost you only a fraction of the cost of instant turf

If you do sow now, expect a slower germination time due to the cooler weather and cooler soil temperatures. 

For Oversowing

Oversowing can be a real handy solution if you find yourself with a patchy or poor-looking lawn now leading into Winter. As lawns like kikuyu, couch and buffalo start transitioning into Winter dormancy, you can find that they can become patchy and can loose colour. Oversowing is often overlooked as a means to improve the appearance of a lawn; however, it can be a really good way to green up your lawn now and through the winter months. If you're looking to sell your home, it's a fantastic way to green up a lawn quickly. 

For oversowing couch: Use fine leaf rye. This variety has a fine blade similar to couch and will blend in really well. It's shade tolerant and will look good now and right through Winter. Germination typically takes 14 days or more at this time of year.

For oversowing kikuyu and buffalo: Use tall fescue. Once mature, Tall fescue has a broad blade, similar in colour and texture to these varieties and, like fine-leaf rye, will germinate now and look good throughout winter. Germination typically takes 14 days or more at this time of year.

Autumn is an excellent time to sow cool-season grasses, but it's best to act quickly. While you will still get germination during Winter, you will get much faster results now while there is still some warmth around.

Comments (2)

Sowing warm season grads

By: on 16 April 2022
Hi, wondering when is a good time to sow warm season grass such as couch from seed. Cheers

Paul Munns Instant Lawn Response
Hi Jeremy Thanks for your enquiry The ideal time to sow warm season lawns such as Couch is in Spring and Summer Thank you Andrew

Oversiowing kikuyu

By: on 28 September 2021
I have a kikuyu lawn with bare patches. Can I throw some kikuyu seed over these patches and do I need to cover with soil. If so how much soil do I need over the kikuyu seed?

Paul Munns Instant Lawn Response
Hi Morrie Thanks for your enquiry I would recommend raking the bare patches first, then apply the seed and lightly cross rake the area. You don't want the seed covered too heavily with soil Thank you.....Andrew

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