When to Plant Grass Seed in Virginia
By Matt Smolsky
, last updated January 24, 2012
If you're wondering when to plant grass seed in Virginia, you're in luck. You live in an area blessed with warmer weather and have a lot of options when it comes to planting grass seed.
Be sure to know which USDA Hardiness Zone you live in. The zones represented in Virginia are 5b through 8a, with most of the state being in zones 6 and 7. Another alternative to the zone system is dividing the state between the Northern Piedmont and areas to the west of the Blue Ridge from the Southern Piedmont and Eastern Virginia. However, the USDA's zone system is a universally accepted standard so most gardeners use it to determine plant hardiness.
The most common type of grasses in Virginia are cool season varieties such as Kentucky bluegrass, rough bluegrass, ryegrass, fine fescue and turf type fescue. As you go further south, you'll find zoysia, which is a warm season grass not suited for colder climates. If you live in zone 8, you may even be able to plant Bermuda grass. Warm season grasses are best planted during warm periods, late May to about August 15th.
Cool Season Grasses
Cool season grasses should be planted when soil temperatures have dipped to 55 - 65 degrees F. If you live in zone 5, that's going to be earlier in the fall. If you live in zone 8, it's going to be a bit later. However, keep in mind that the ideal time to plant cool season grass seeds is between August 15th and October 15th (depending on your zone and the type of seed you're planting). Too early and the hot weather will burn out your baby grass. Plus, it will have to compete with weeds that are still growing, and you certainly can't put down weed killer since that would also kill the new grass. If you plant too late, you're seedlings won't have a chance to establish a root structure.