With so many different types of grass seed options available one of the biggest mistakes people make is choosing the wrong type of lawn seed and not getting the results they want.
This is especially true when trying to grow grass seed in the cold weather however, with the correct knowledge and right type of grass seed reseeding your lawn in winter is still very much possible.
In this article we will discuss:
- The best type of grass seed for cold temperatures
- How cold is too cold for grass seed germination?
- Getting the best results when seeding your lawn over winter
- Key benefits of Winter lawn Fertilising
There are a number of important factors to consider when reseeding your lawn over the winter period.
What Makes a Grass Type Cold-Resistant?
Before diving into the specific type of grass seed that is best for sowing in the cold temperatures, it’s important to understand what makes a grass seed cold-resistant in the first place.
Cold Resistant Grass Seed Qualities
Below are some of the qualities of cold resistant grass seed which makes it more tolerant to the colder temperatures than other grass seed mixes:
Deep Roots and Cellular Hardiness: Cold-resistant grasses have deeper root systems and stronger cellular structures, making them more resilient to freezing temperatures.
Disease and Cold Resistance: Cold-resistant varieties are generally more resistant to diseases that thrive in cool conditions, providing a hardier lawn.
High Endophyte level : Some winter grass species have a high endophyte level which means stronger root growth, quicker establishment and a high resistance to insect attack
How Cold Is Too Cold To Seed Your Lawn In Winter?
Temperature plays a crucial role for grass seed germination. Generally speaking, grass seed struggles to germinate when soil temperatures drop below 50°F (8-10°C).
The metabolic processes that enable germination slow down significantly below this temperature, leading to poor seed development or total failure to sprout.
However, the good news is some grass types, like perennial ryegrass have a better chance of germinating during winter as they are more tolerant to the cold conditions.
Our grass seed for cold weather contains high-quality rye grass and is specifically designed to germinate in soil temperatures as low as 5°C.
Choosing a cold tolerant grass seed mix that can withstand the colder temperatures can be key to healthy growth over the winter period.
It’s also essential to consider that soil temperature is not the same as air temperature. While air temperatures might fluctuate wildly during the winter months, soil temperatures tend to change more gradually lagging from the previous season.
For example, in November the soil temperatures can still be warm from the summer heat whereas in early spring time the ground temperatures can be very cold after a cold and frosty winter.
Tips for Planting Grass Seed In Cold Weather
For best results when seeding your lawn in the winter period, here are some top tips to follow:
Choosing the right seed: As discussed above it is important to choose the best type grass of seed depending on the temperatures at the time of seeding. Our Cold Start Grass seed is our winter active mix which will germinate in soil temperatures as low as 5 °C.
Soil Preparation: Regardless of the grass type, preparing the soil is crucial for successful germination. It is important to ensure good seed to soil contact, this can be done by rolling or treading down the seed into the soil.
Seeding Rate: Cold-resistant grass types can different seeding rates compared to warm-season varieties. Make sure to consult the seed package for specific recommendations
Watering Schedule: While cold-resistant grasses may require less water, they still need moisture for successful germination and growth. Adjust your watering schedule based on weather conditions and soil moisture levels.
READ NEXT: How to overseed your lawn
Can You Put Grass Seed Down In A Frost?
Laying grass seed during frosty conditions is not recommended. Frost creates a frozen layer on the ground, making it hard for the seeds to connect with the soil.
This hinders their growth and development. Additionally, freezing temperatures can damage young grass seedlings, leading to uneven growth and patchy areas in your lawn.
It’s best to wait until the frost has passed and the soil has thawed, usually in spring, to give the seeds a better chance to grow into a healthy and lush lawn.
Should I Fertilise My Lawn In Autumn/ Winter?
Fertilising your lawn in late autumn going into winter can be a game-changer for its health and appearance, especially as winter approaches.
The colder months can be harsh on grass, reducing its natural ability to absorb nutrients from the soil.
A well-timed fertilisation in the late autumn, going into winter can boost your lawn’s nutrient reserves, providing it with the sustenance it needs to weather the cold.
Opting for a slow-release, granular fertiliser can further enhance your lawn’s resilience. Our specialized Dark Green Autumn/ Winter Fertiliser is perfect to apply to your lawn going into winter before the frosty weather sets in.
For more information please read our article on How to apply fertiliser to your lawn.
Moreover, using an autumn / winter fertiliser can set the stage for quicker recovery and lusher growth when spring arrives.
Your lawn will have the nutrient foundation it needs to spring back to life as the temperatures start to rise, giving you a head start on lawn care in the new year.
Taking care of a lawn in cold temperatures is undoubtedly challenging, but with the right information and tools, it is entirely possible to maintain a lush, green garden year-round.
By understanding the types of grass best suited for cold weather, mastering the art of cold-season lawn care, and investing in high-quality products, you can achieve a lawn that not only survives but thrives in the cold conditions