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How to Plant Grass Seed in the Winter

Planting grass seed is usually done from spring to fall, but it can be done in the winter with certain varieties of grass seed and in certain climates. Specifically, the best regions to plant grass in during the winter are arid, desert climates, such as Arizona, Mexico and New Mexico. For colder climates, you can plant grass seed in the winter for overseeding purposes. These include cool season grasses, such as ryegrass, fescue and Kentucky bluegrass, which will germinate and then flourish in spring when snow has melted. There are some key things to keep in mind when planting grass seed in the winter months.

Stop watering your warm season lawn about 10 ten days to two weeks before planting the grass seed in the winter. Late October, before it is too cold for the seed to germinate, is a good time to plant grass seed.

Use a lawn mower on the lowest setting to cut back the summer grass. This is called scalping, which will ensure that the winter grass seed settles into the soil.

Spread the grass seed, mostly commonly rye, all over the lawn in a thick even layer.

Water the lawn immediately after planting the grass seed, for about 10 minutes so the water seeps deep into the soil. The seeds should germinate within a week. Continue watering as the weather allows.

Use your lawn mower to control the height of your winter grass once it begins to flourish. Sometimes it may flourish when it warms up, or it may grow rapidly in cooler weather with no snow. Make sure it is at a higher setting.

Grass To Seed Out

Stop mowing the grass in the area that you want to let seed out. In dry conditions, water the grass as needed to ensure that it continues to grow and thrive. Wait for the seed heads to develop completely and begin drying out. Harvest the seeds by grasping the stalk with one hand and sliding the fingers of the other hand up the stalk and over the seed heads; provided that the heads are fully developed, the seeds will come loose between your fingers. Mow the lawn after harvesting the seeds, setting the blade high so that you remove no more than one-third of the grass height in the first cut. Store harvested grass seed in a cool, dry location.

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