Grass seed germination in July

Asked July 11, 2019, 6:55 AM EDT

I'm required to establish grass along a roadway at the front of my business. The soil is freshly laid and I don't have a mechanism for watering new seed. I have seen the highway dept sowing seed and covering it with the straw mesh. If I copy their method now will it result in germination of the seed? If it is too dry now will the seed be okay to germinate when fall rains arrive if I sow now? I will be using a cool-season blend of seed. Thank you, Bud

Macomb County Michigan lawn

1 Response

Hello Bud,

You will have to try it and see. With some luck - meaning adequate rainfall that is spaced close enough together- you will get some germination.

Most seed will germinate when wetted, and if it doesn’t receive adequate moisture to develop a good root system, it dies.

For low maintenance lawns there are types of fine fescue grasses, called Hard and Sheep fescue, that are used in median of roads where they will not be fertilized or watered. Hard and sheep fescue are often planted with a small percentage of common Kentucky bluegrass which will fill in between the bunching type fescue plants. Another grass to use is a blend of cultivars of tall fescue which has a deeper and larger root mass than other cool season grasses and is hardy in areas where there is low fertility and water.

Yes, there are mulch ‘nets’ used to hold soil and seed down. These are used by road crews and landscape companies, and you may be able to order some online. Search on ‘straw netting’, jute mesh, mulch netting, or erosion control.

As it finally comes up you will see where you need to add more seed. The best time to get grass growing is spring when soil temperature warms, or late summer as temperatures cool and rains begin. Expect to have to do some weed control, too.

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