When to Plant Grass Seed in the UK : What Time of Year is Best?

When is best to grow grass seed?

Putting down grass seed in the UK

What month is best to plant grass seed?

It's best to sow grass seed in the late summer to early/mid Autumn.

Grass seeds love warm & moist soil which allows them to germinate quickly.

You can also sow the seeds throughout Spring, Summer & Autumn but weather conditions vary across the UK.

Continue reading to find out how to get the most from your grass seeds at any time of year.

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Should you put grass seed down before it rains?

Soil moisture is one of the most important factors for success when planting grass seed.

Rain is certainly easier than watering with a sprinkler or watering can. If there is a forecast for showers or rain then why not let nature do some of the work for you?

During the summer months rainfall may not be enough to keep your new lawn in tip top shape, you should water with a fine spray or sprinkler.

Is heavy rain bad for grass seed?

Do not plant before a torrential downpour, the force of water will cause the seeds to move and all your hard work re-seeding your bare patches or evenly spreading your new lawn will be undone.

Can you plant grass seed in the winter?

Planting grass seed in the winter

We certainly do not recommend it, results will be much poorer than in the Spring or Autumn.

The seeds may germinate but the resulting grass will be much weaker due to the cold soil temperatures.

It's extremely rare to get a warm enough winter here in the UK.

If you really must then we recommend a pure Ryegrass mixture and ensure your ground is free draining.

 TOP TIP: Can you grow grass seed in winter? See here 

What happens if it freezes?

Grass seed will survive freezing temperatures. They will lay dormant until the conditions allow them to germinate in the Spring, the birds may eat them first though!

Too much moisture from snow fall or on and off again freezes may rot the grass seed before Spring.

If your grass seed has germinated the seedlings will die within a couple of days of a frost.

Young seedlings are extremely susceptible to freezing temperatures, the roots aren't deep enough and will freeze - preventing them from taking in water.

Watch out for the birds!

Birds love grass seed, they will quickly gobble up any they find, more so in winter when other food sources are thin on the ground.

Can you grow grass seed in the summer?

plant grass seed in summer

Yes! Here in the UK the summer can be an ideal time to put down some fresh grass seed.

Summers in the UK can be very wet & warm especially in the northern half of the country - perfect conditions for planting grass seed in your new lawn.

During spells of warm weather with little rainfall you should consistently water your lawn with a fine rose out of a watering can or with a sprinkler / hose.

If your worried about prolonged hot weather then try a drought resistant grass seed.

How long does it take to grow in the summer?

As long as you keep the seedbed moist you will see results quite quickly.

Every place has it's own unique conditions but quick growing grass seed will start to germinate within 7 days.

What's the best grass to plant in the summer?

Kentucky Bluegrass and deep rooting Tall fescue are by far the most popular drought resistant grass seed combination. They are bred for shady areas, low maintenance and are extremely hard wearing in addition to being very visually pleasing.

Water, water, water!

Summers can be very wet in the UK but if your seedbed isn't properly prepared all that rainfall may not reach deep below to nourish the roots of your new seedlings.

The summer sun can quickly evaporate any rainfall therefore it's very important to keep your new seeds moist and prepare in advance by aerating your lawn.

Which month in Spring is best for planting?

Sow grass seed in the Spring

Depending on where you are in the country late March to late April are the perfect times.

Air temperature should be around 10 degrees.

Watch out for cold & frost!

One problem with planting in the Spring here in the UK is the late frosts. The further north you are the more likely it is you will see a late Spring freeze or even snowfall.

The further north you go the later you should leave it. 

Weeds can be a problem

Weeds are problem at this time of year. They will have laid dormant all winter waiting for Spring as soon as the ideal conditions come along they will germinate & compete with your grass seed for space and nutrients.

Why is Autumn best for putting down grass seed?

Why Autumn is good for planting grass seeds

The temperatures are much like Spring, there is plenty of moisture around and you will have had all year to take care of those pesky weeds. You can also enjoy your lawn all summer without worrying about damaging your seedlings by stepping on them.

Long hot summers can also burn/scorch your new lawn seeds, to prevent this you have to water the seeds often. Not so much of a problem in the Autumn when it's typically cooler and there is more rainfall.

When is the best time?

Mid to late September will give your seeds plenty of time to get off to a good start before winter comes.

Remember to fertilise

Like all plants - grass requires feed to maintain vigour, a little time and care will prevent problems such as moss, weeds and dying grass from unfolding in the future.

Now you know the best time to put down your grass seeds, if you have any questions please leave a comment below - we're always happy to help.

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About the Author

Hey there, I am founder and editor in chief here at Good Grow. I guess I've always known I was going to be a gardener. I'm on a mission to share my UK based weed control & lawn care tips with you all. If you have any queries please post in the comments below.

  • doug main says:

    could i so noww pasture seed in scotland

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