Spring is the best time to sow Lawn Seed
Author: Stefan Palm Date Posted: 1 October 2013
Sowing lawn seed is cheap and effective way of establishing a lawn and spring is by far the best time to do it. Spring weather has the best of both worlds – Good amounts of rain and, of course the sun comes out and warms up the soil without the extreme temperatures of summer. Lawn seed needs these two elements for good germination.
Speaking of those two elements, while they are the two things that promote good germination, they are also the two things that that can lead to failure. Let me explain…
The soil needs to be a minimum temperature for most seed to germinate, especially when it comes to warm season varieties such as couch and kikuyu so waiting till the middle of Spring is your best bet to ensure that whatever you plant has the best chance of germinating. If you sow your seed any earlier, one of two things will happen. Either the seed will wait till the weather warms up to germinate, or it will rot in the ground before spring comes around. At the very least it will be slow and sporadic to germinate. Warmth and water are kings to germinate seed! Which brings me to my other point – water.
It’s not a good idea to let your seed dry out during the germination period. If your seed begins to germinate then dries out, it will most probably die. It’s the leading cause to seed failure. When this happens, it’s easy to think to yourself, “I must have had a bad batch of seed”. Almost all the seed that comes into Australia comes from the USA and is certified by the Australian Government to have a minimum purity and a minimum germination meaning that is very unlikely that you’re going to buy dud seed. If it doesn’t germinate, in most cases it was either too cold or it didn’t get watered frequently enough (or the birds ate it all…) so keep that in mind when you’re planning to sow seed. Generally speaking the warmer the weather, the more frequently you have to water. The minimum is twice per day however when you get into the mid 20’s then an additional water in the middle of the day is essential. Once the temperature hits the 30’s then 4 times per day is required. I probably wouldn’t attempt sowing seed in the high 30’s – you’d be out there all day watering!
Germination times range from 7-10 days for a rye grass to 3 weeks for a kikuyu which means you need to keep up this watering intensity for at least 2-3 weeks.
You can continue to sow lawn seed right through to early autumn but as I said earlier, I’d avoid extreme temperatures.