There are two types of grass-warm season grass and cool season. Once the warm season grass turns brown in the fall, it's time for Kentucky gardeners to plant cool season grass. Warm season grass cannot survive in some parts of the state because the temperatures drop 5 to 20 degrees. If you plant a new lawn in November, you'll be able to enjoy your beautiful landscape through the winter months, too.
Pull up the warm season grass that you had planted over the summer. It usually dies when the soil temperatures drop to 70 degrees F. Getting rid of it will make way for the cool season grass.
Check the soil temperature with a thermometer. Cool season grass seeds need the temperature between 50 to 65 degrees F to sprout.
Determine which cool season grass you want to plant. There are many varieties of bluegrass and ryegrass that grow well in November in Kentucky. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, however, recommends against planting fescue because it is a poor wildlife habitat.
Take the recommended soil pH into account when choosing a grass seed type. Test the pH in your yard with a test kit, obtained from a nursery or planting center. Make sure the pH is in line with what the grass needs or your lawn will be unhealthy and discolored. It takes a few weeks to get soil samples back from your cooperative extension.
Add hydrated lime to boost the alkalinity of acidic soil. Add ground rock sulfur to the yard if your soil is too alkaline and needs to be more acidic. Follow the application instructions that come with each substance.
Broadcast the grass seed over the planting area. Use a mechanical spreader for a large yard and a hand spreader for smaller areas. Go back and forth for even coverage. Consider working in a perpendicular pattern for best results. Roll a grass roller to press the seed into the ground.
Rake the seed so that it becomes covered with 1/4 to 1/2 inch of soil. Water until moist to encourage germination. Keep the grass seed moist until it sprouts.