Knowing when to plant warm-season grasses is crucial for those living in the UK areas where the weather is warm, primarily all year round. Timing is everything when it comes to planting this type of grasses and making sure that they thrive well. Lawn grasses come in two different types, namely, warm-season and cool-season grasses.
As the name implies, warm-season grasses are grasses that grow best during the warm season or when the temperature of the environment reaches 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Since they’re heat-loving plants, they thrive in the southern part of the United Kingdom, where the sun is abundant throughout the year. You can commonly see these types of grasses grown on most homes with lawns, parks, and sports fields.
When Should You Plant Your Warm-Season Grasses?
Warm-season grasses are most active during the last days of spring, throughout the summer season, and early autumn. Their best growing time is during mid-summer when the temperatures are at their peak. When the temperatures start to drop, some warm-season grasses won’t die, but they will lay dormant until the temperatures reach warmer levels.
The best time to start planting or installing your warm-season grasses depends on your location. One important thing to note is that warm-season grasses germinate best in soil with temperatures ranging from 65°F to 70°F at night. This temperature usually rises to 80°F during the daytime, which is the optimal temperature for the growth of your grasses.
Timing is essential in planting your warm-season grasses. When planting your seeds, it’s necessary to give it at least 90 days to establish its roots and get the right amount of nutrition it needs before the temperature drops below 55°F or when the first UK autumn frost comes. Seeds that planted late won’t establish strong roots and are more likely to fail to thrive throughout the colder seasons.
Care Tips for Warm Season Grasses
In general, warm-season grasses are low-maintenance compared to cool-season grasses. Although they grow best in warm temperatures, they can still survive cooler seasons, given that they receive the proper care and maintenance. Your warm-season plants will need a different type of care for every season, so it’s essential to be aware of their needs to ensure that they will continue to thrive all year long.
When planting or restoring your plants in spring, one of the most important things is to fertilise them. During winter, your grasses will turn brown because of the lack of nutrients as a result of the colder temperature. For this reason, it’s essential to feed them with the right fertiliser (one that is rich in nitrogen) for grasses, so the nutrients that they lost during their dormancy given back to them.
Summer is the time for aerating your grasses. Aeration will improve your grass’s growth because it can relieve soil compaction, allowing air to pass easily through the soil and reach the grass’s roots. Summertime temperatures are the most optimal for the growth of your warm-season grasses, and with aeration, growth and development for your grasses will be better.
Once the autumn season comes, there will be lesser sun available for your grasses, so the most important thing to remember here is to remove fallen leaves that could form a blanket over your lawn grass and block sunlight. Be sure not to leave fallen leaves on your lawn for more than a few days.
There’s not much maintenance to do for your lawn during the winter since your grasses will be dormant the entire season unless you live in the southern part of the country. If you’ve done the necessary maintenance in the previous season, you’ll be able to see your grasses emerge by the time the snow melts.
If you live down south, make sure to water and fertilise your grasses now and then make sure that they’re growing well and maintain their lush green colour. Also, make sure that they get enough sunlight.
Growing Grasses in Hobby Greenhouses: Is it Possible?
It is possible to grow your grass seedlings in a hobby greenhouse before transplanting them on your lawn. Starting your lawn from already established grass plugs has a better survival rate than planting the seeds directly on the lawn. Here are the other benefits of growing grass or other plants inside a hobby greenhouse:
Better Light Distribution
Good light distribution is one of the perks of having a hobby greenhouse. When sunlight hits the glass or plastic film covering the greenhouse, it can spread the sun’s rays and distribute the light evenly throughout your plants. Spreading the light ensures that your plants will get the recommended amount of sunlight every day.
Pest Control and Disease Prevention
Since hobby greenhouses are enclosed spaces, fewer pests will infiltrate the area, and therefore, your plants. It will also provide a way for disease prevention as you can quickly isolate diseased plants and keep them away from infecting the healthy ones. With fewer pests and diseases, you won’t have to use any pesticides.
Protection Against Extreme Temperatures
Hobby greenhouses also protect plants against the damages of extreme temperatures. Suppose you’re still establishing your warm-season grasses, and the cold season is approaching before it creates successfully. In that case, a hobby polytunnel can be a perfect place to place your grass in so it can continue growing. Inside, you can control the temperatures through fans and heating pads, thus giving your plants the perfect environmental condition.
When to Plant Warm Season Grasses: Timing is Key
If you’re looking to find some answers regarding when to plant warm-season grasses, the best solution is to find the right timing. Essentially, you should be able to plant and allow your grasses to establish before the appearance of the first frost in your UK area. When planting, make sure that the soil temperature is between 65°F to 80°F for optimal results.