There is perhaps no greater love-hate relationship home owners have than with their lawn. Many DIY landscapers may not realize that installing a lawn can be much easier than it’s made out to be – with one caveat: timing. As with many things in your yard, a picturesque lawn comes down to more of when then how. Get the timing right and your lawn will flourish with ease. Get it wrong, however, and you may be faced with a losing battle all year long.

When speaking of timing in regards to your yard, lawns will produce the best results when seeds are planted in September. Temperatures begin to cool off and provide enough consistency for excellent seed germination, between 60 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, comparing 2015’s fall weather data* in the table below shows us just how critical that September time frame is for new and existing lawns.

Figure 1: Data illustrating how many days fall within a 60 and 80 degree Fahrenheit range between August and November 2015. *Data was obtained from weather.com
Figure 1: Data illustrating how many days fall within a 60 and 80 degree Fahrenheit range between August and November 2015. *Data was obtained from weather.com

You may notice October 2015 did see more days within the ideal temperature range for germination, the chart shows the necessity of preparing your lawn in September so the month of October does not go to waste. In fact, if you seed your lawn in early- to mid-October, you run the risk of not having proper temperatures throughout the entire germination process, as temperatures quickly change to being much cooler. You will notice the number of days below the temperature range in November; far too cool for germination.

September’s superiority also applies to sod, which is much more established than seeding, but still does require some careful maintenance. As such, sod should be installed in September but can be put in all the way through November without too many negative consequences, as long as there the ground the sod will be installed upon has been prepared appropriately. We have made this easy for you; simply follow the tips on the corresponding pamphlet.

But is that it? Actually, yes! Cooler and steady temperatures combined with shorter days allow seed and sod to flourish through September and October. Think about it like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. In August it is too hot, and in November it is too cold; but install a lawn in September and it will be just right.