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WHEN TO PLANT?

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SPORTS FIELDS
WHEN TO PLANT - PLANTING RATES

Planting sports fields is specific to the region where the grass will grow, allowing for the most time to "mature" the species to adult stage. (Best growing window with ideal temperatures / moisture.)

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PLANTING & RATES / BY ZONE

Read more on when to plant.

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SportsGrass.com - Transition Zone

TRANSITION ZONE
In the transition zone cool season grasses are seeded in Fall and Spring, though the optimum time is FALL for Tall Fescue. (generally between mid-August and mid-October).  Planting in winter at temps below 55 degrees will not allow for germination to occur.  SPRING plantings of Tall Fescue are also done and are considered second best planting time.  Planting in Spring may be required to repair fall use damage.  March and April are best months.  Tall Fescues should be seeded in early FALL for use the following spring.  Fescue generally requires about 4 months growing time for adequate establishment to occur for usage.

Warm season grasses such as Bermuda should be planted in LATE spring / early summer when soil temperatures are 65 to 70+ degrees.  Buy a soil thermometer to determine planting conditions.   The hotter the soil the faster the germination / grow in time provided sufficient moisture is present. Overseeding of Bermuda should occur in the fall.  Perennial Ryegrass provides a nicer playing surface than does Annual Ryegrass on Bermuda turf.

SPORTS PLANTING RATES:
Tall Fescue: 10-15 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.
Tall Fescue Blends 8-15 lbs. per 1000 sq.ft.
Bermudagrass: 2-3 lbs per 1000 sq. ft (coated seed)*

*Note: On Bermudas as you move far North cut rate by 1/2 - this results in less plants, but larger plants per sq. ft.  A key to helping bermuda become hardy and establish in order to avoid winter kill in cool Northern areas. Expect establishment to take 2 years to fill in.

SportsGrass.com - Cool Season Zone

COOL SEASON ZONE:
In the cool season zone planting can occur just about all year (when soil can be prepared)  The best time is in the Fall from mid August to mid-September.  Germination temperatures are important, with lower temps after September increasing the risk of poor or non-germination.  Late planting can also result in the grass plant NOT reaching a large enough size before dormancy occurs, which often results in winter-kill (dead) plants.  50-55 degree soil temperature is required for germination to occur.  Keep in mind that Bluegrasses can take from 2 weeks to 2 months to germinate.  This is one reason why Perennial Ryegrasses are also used as germination can occur in 7-14 days. Bluegrass takes about 1 year for establishmen to complete for normal usage.  Perennial Ryegrass and Tall Fescue generally requires about 4 months growing time for adequate establishment to occur for usage.

Spring is also an acceptable time to plant (2nd after fall).  Overall, planting can occur from around the middle of April to around the first of October in Northern areas (seeds & sod).  Perennial Ryegrass can generally be planted a little later than other species and still have satisfactory germination.  Planting in summer usually requires the use of irrigation to provide water for establishment and growth.  Planting in spring is not as desirable because more weeds generally grow during spring establishment.

SPORTS PLANTING RATES:
Kentucky Bluegrass: 2-3 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.
Perennial Ryegrass: 7-10 lbs per 1000 sq. ft.
Bentgrasses: 1/2 to 1 lb. per 1000 sq. ft.  - Slightly higher with coated seed.
Mixtures of Ryegrass & Bluegrass: 4-8 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.  The more the % of Ryegrass the higher the planting rate.

SportsGrass.com - Warm Season Zone

WARM SEASON ZONE
In warm season areas the best time to seed is from mid-spring to mid-summer.  Generally soil temperatures need to be 65-70 degrees or higher and all danger of freeze / frost past.  In most cases an average 80 degree high is needed to create 65-70 soil temps.  Check soil temps to determine best time.  Early in spring / summer is better BECAUSE this allows for the most growth to occur over the summer optimum growing period and thus for better coverage of your turf grass the first year. 

Many warm season grasses (Bahiagrass, Centipede, Zoysia) take 2 years to fully establish, though Bermudagrass often can be established in 6-10 weeks.  A planting window of around April 15 to August 15 is considered best in Southern Areas.  Later plantings run higher risks as well as do earlier plantings.  Sodding can occur pretty much year-round.  Sprigging and plugging is best done during the same date range (above) as with seeds.  Best planting time for warm season grasses is just prior to summer temp peaks... from around May 15  to July 15.

SPORTS PLANTING RATE:
Bermuda Grass: (Hulled / Coated Seeds) 2-3 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.
Bahiagrass: 5-10 lbs per 1000 sq. ft.
Zoysia Seed: 1-2 lbs (un-coated seed) / 2-3 lbs per 1000 (coated seed)

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