We recommend fall seeding, whenever possible, but spring is also a good time.
Sept 1 until the soil is partially frozen. (dates vary by location)
- Seed overwinters and comes up in spring on its natural schedule when conditions are right. This breaks most seed dormancies naturally over winter.
- Flowers have increased spring germination with fall seeding.
- Recommended for droughty, sandy soils because seed germinates earlier in the season, before summer heat when moisture levels are optimal.
- Recommended for clay and wet soils. Clay and wet soils are easier to work in the fall than in spring. Fall seeding on clay and wet soils encourages earlier germination and better root development prior to the onset of summer.
- Fall seedings do not require watering, as the seeding is dormant.
- Warm season grass seed typically exhibits reduced germination.
- There is no opportunity for early spring weed control by cultivation or herbiciding.
- Be careful on erosion prone sites. Plant erosion prone sites paired with a nurse crop of annual rye or oats to help hold the soil over the fall and winter.
- Annual Rye is planted at a rate of 15 pounds per acre in fall (and 5 pounds per acre in spring).
March – April (dates vary by location)
- Results in better flower germination than in late spring.
- Spring rains make watering less critical.
- Warm season grass seed has better germination than in fall.
- Best option for sandy soils if unable to plant in fall.
- Limited opportunity for early cool season weed control.
- Clay soils are too wet in the spring, and by the time they can safely be worked, the heat and drought of summer are upon us, which can reduce the success of seedling survival.
- Not recommended for heavy soils, as it is difficult to work these soils if wet in spring.
May – June
(dates vary by location)
- More time for good soil preparation-particularly important on heavy soils.
- More time for spring weed control prior to seeding.
- Optimal time for ideal germination of warm season grasses.
- Increased chance for low moisture conditions or the onset of drought later in season.
- Reduced germination of some flower species.
Up next: Soil Type and Moisture Determination…
Designed for areas of 1000 square feet or more, we’ve designed 24 native seed mixes for virtually any soil or condition: http://www.prairienursery.com/store/seed-mixes
Establishing a native plant seed mix is a long-term investment in your landscape, which requires careful planning. When questions arise a one-on-one conversation may be the best way to get the information you need. Don’t hesitate to call us at 800-476-9453, Mon. – Fri., 8am – 5pm, CST. Or, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to discuss individual complexities in order to make your planting a success.