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How to Plant Grass Seed in Ohio

Planting grass seed at the proper time is crucial for your lawn's success. In northern Ohio, the best time to seed a lawn is between Aug. 15 and Sept. 15, but you can plant as late as Oct. 15. In central and southern Ohio, the optimal month is September, but you can plant as late as Oct. 30. If you miss those planting windows, it is best to wait and plant your grass seed in spring.

Choose a high-quality seed that contains a blend of grass types and little to no weed seed fillers. A good mix for Ohio includes tall fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass, fine fescue and rye grass.

Loosen clumps of soil and remove roots or rocks by raking the area where you plan to plant your grass seeds.

Use a seed spreader to evenly distribute the grass seed.

Spread straw mulch over the newly planted seeds. This is especially important because of Ohio's cold climate. The mulch insulates new seeds from harsh weather variances. Another benefit of applying straw mulch is protection from soil erosion during the state's wet fall and winter months.

Water the entire area thoroughly for first two weeks after you plant the seeds unless your area of Ohio is getting regular, soaking rain. Newly planted seeds need a lot of of water. It is crucial to the success of growing a new healthy lawn.

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.


Keep foot traffic to a minimum on your newly planted seed. Water the new lawn throughout the growing process.

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