Maryland is a transition zone, meaning it has both tropical and temperate climates and does not follow the typical planting seasons of other US states.
Due to this, the schedule for planting lawn in Maryland may be confusing, especially if you want an active lawn for the whole year but don’t know which grass types can thrive in the area.
So, when to plant grass seed in Maryland? The best time for cool-season grass is in March or late September. Meanwhile, it would help if you planted warm-season grasses from 20th April to 10th May.
Best Time to Plant Grass Seed in Maryland
Temperate and tropical climates often clash in the state of Maryland, resulting in a unique pattern of survivability for different grass types. These grass types are generally classified as cool-season and warm-season grasses.
If you want to seed lawn in Maryland, then you need to take these types into consideration. Cool-season grasses thrive in cold, temperate areas, while warm-season grasses thrive in hot, tropical areas.
If grass stop growing in Maryland, then that probably means the temperature in the area isn’t ideal for the type of grass you are trying to grow.
Maryland’s climate conditions can make it hard for a green lawn to be active for the whole year, but certainly not impossible to achieve. This guide is for Northern or for Southern Maryland.
- Cool-season grasses
The best time to plant grass seed in Maryland is in March or in late September, as the climate conditions during these months are temperate enough to not require a substantial amount of water to grow.
During these seasons, the soil and air temperatures are not too hot nor too cold, which is perfect for cool-season grasses as they require around 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit to grow. If you want a beautiful green lawn in cooler months, then definitely take note of this.
Some of the best grass seed for cool seasons are tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass.
If you overseed in Maryland, make sure to be on the lookout for the first frost date. You may need to schedule to overseed in October in Maryland.
Typically, you need to count 45 days before the first frost date and set your Maryland lawn care schedule on the first day.
For dormant seeding, always schedule it before the 15th of October for the best results. Seeding later than October 15th might not ensure that the seeds have enough time to adapt to the soil and germinate.
- Warm-season grasses
For warm-season grasses, the best time to seed lawn in Maryland is in late spring and early summer, especially in late April or early May, as they are hot enough to foster a spring grass seed.
Warm-season grasses need higher temperatures to photosynthesize efficiently and grow more. The best time for grass seed to grow is during the days when the soil temperature reaches around 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Warm-season grasses don’t need much water as they are highly resistant to heat, which is perfect for a picturesque green lawn in hotter months.
According to the Montgomery County government, you can also overseed in the spring. Always remember to keep the soil moist for a better germination environment for the seedlings.
How early can I plant grass seed in the spring?
- Cool-season grasses
The earliest you can plant them in the spring in Maryland is in early March, as the ground will not be as hard and cold by then, and the temperatures are not warm enough unlike in summer.
The best time to reseed lawn is in August, as it’s usually the month when temperatures transition from hot to cold, giving the soil the perfect temperature for germination.
- Warm-season grasses
The earliest you can plant them in the spring in Maryland is in March to late April. Warm-season grasses will have higher survivability and efficient germination as the temperatures are already warmer during this season.
The best time to overseed lawn is in late March because of favorable weather.
Is April early to plant grass seed?
April is the earliest you can plant warm-season grass seeds. It might not be suitable to plant cool-season grass seeds in April due to warm weather.
Remember that early seeding is beneficial as it can protect your grass from weed buildup.
What is the best grass seed to plant in Maryland?
The best grass seed to plant in Maryland is the turf-type tall fescue. It is a cool-season grass that is highly adaptable to the sporadic climate of this transition zone.
The turf-type tall fescue is very resistant to drought; therefore, it is perfect for the summer as most cool-season grasses fade into brown during this season. If you prefer a green lawn for the whole year, then the tall fescue is your best bet.
Other than that, you can also choose your Maryland grass seed from this list:
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Fine fescues
- Perennial ryegrass
- Zoysiagrass ( for warm area in the state)
What is the best quality of seed to plant in Maryland?
Always remember to buy Maryland certified grass seed to ensure the highest quality grass for your lawn. You can always refer to this list published by the University of Maryland Extension to find which turfgrass is suitable for your area.
In this article, we show you when to plant grass seed in Maryland. With time and dedication, you’ll surely achieve your dream lawn all year round, even in a transition state like Maryland.
Feel free to share our article with new gardeners who want to create lush grass at their place.