When to Plant Grass Seed in Michigan? (The Best Time)

Written by

William Golder


Dorian Goodwin

when to plant grass seed in michigan

While most people believe that grass could barely flourish in cold climates, other species of them are actually adaptive to lower temperatures.

In Michigan, the average climate is cold with rare hot summers. It is unbearably cold for most tropical plants but home to some of the hardiest grass seeds.

But to achieve the ideal time for planting, waiting for the state’s seasonal warm climate is what you must do.

So, when to plant grass seed in Michigan? For a healthy sprout, plant them in fall or spring with a soil temperature of 50-65°F and an air temperature of 60-75°F.


The Best Time to Plant Grass Seeds in Michigan

1. Plant Grass Seeds in Fall or Spring


  • Planting grass seeds in fall

When to seed lawn in Michigan? The best time to start the grass seeds on your lawn is in the fall, around September.

The warm soil from the residue of the recently passed summer makes the best time to plant them, as it will help them and their roots get established before the cold season starts.

  • One advantage of planting them during the fall is a few weeds only are present in the planting space of grass seeds.

It is because once fall comes, the cool air temperature makes them go dormant, making it the best time to pull them from the soil to make more expansive space for your grass.

  • Another benefit is that once summer ends, there will be more frequent rain, which will help your grass seeds grow by keeping them moist in the soil.

However, if you weren’t able to plant them during this time. You can plant grass seed in November in Michigan instead. The alternative way you can do it is by dormant seeding.

It is planting your seeds in the soil, while it is not yet too cold to preserve them once they go dormant in winter and will only germinate once the warm soil comes in spring.

Since winter in Midwest states like Michigan and Minnesota usually starts in December, dormant seeding around November in fall when the soil is not too cold is ideal.

But when doing this method, proper watering is what your seeds need to ensure that they will keep moist until spring comes.

Water them thoroughly after seeding and let the cold temperature in winter do its thing to keep the soil moist until spring comes.

  • Planting grass seeds in spring

By following the Michigan planting guide, the other best option to plant your grass seeds is in in mid-spring.

After winter in the state passes, the temperatures warm during spring, making it the best time to cultivate them and have them in full bloom once summer comes.

However, one problem you may face is the weeds growing in spring. If the grass seeds flourish in mild temperatures, so are the weeds.

Weeds most likely grow in late spring to summer, but most of them usually flourish after mid-June has passed.

So try to plant your seeds in mid-spring and prepare to pull the weeds off the ground once weed seedlings grow to exclude them from your lawn.

However, if you missed the opportunity to plant them in spring, wait until the fall arrives again to start your seeds and not in summer.

You cannot plant grass seeds during summer in July in Michigan.

It is because cool-season grass seeds suitable for Michigan’s usual cold climate have a low chance of thriving in the summer heat.

2. Plant Grass Seeds When the Soil Temperature is 50-65°f


The optimal soil temperature when growing grass in Michigan is 50-65°F to help the cool-season grasses to germinate well.

Once fall or spring comes, wait until the soil temperature has warmed to this range before planting your seeds.

  • Frequently water the seeds

When spring comes, since the soil temperature has warmed, you might need to water them often to help them grow faster.

However, they only need a small amount of water to keep them moist and not too wet. So sprinkling the planted seeds only is ideal instead of heavy watering.

  • Plant on the right type of soil.

Planting them in the proper type of soil is essential because each grass seed has a distinct soil type where it can grow.

For example, Tall Fescue thrives on clay soil because it can hold a lot of water suitable for reaching the entire length of its deep root system.

It is helpful for deep-rooted grass seeds to keep them moisturized, especially during summer when temperatures are a bit high.

Fine Fescue is the best grass seed for sandy soil in Michigan because of its dry tolerance and the fact that it grows best when the soil is not overly wet.

Therefore, sandy soil is the ideal type to grow them in because of its ability for quick water-draining.

3. Plant Grass Seeds When the Air Temperature is 60-75°f


When is it safe to plant grass seed? Once fall or spring comes, you can sow them when the air temperature ranges between 60-75°F.

Planting them around these temperatures will help your seeds germinate well and get through too high and too low temperatures when they grow.

Along with that, since Michigan is a cold state, planting cool-season grass seeds is the best to cultivate in the region because they can thrive in its usual cool climate.

Moreover, if you are living in Michigan, these guides on the best time to plant tomatoes and vegetable gardens are made for you!

What is the Best Grass Seed for Michigan?


1. Kentucky bluegrass

One good option to grow is the Kentucky bluegrass. It is the most used because of its cold tolerance.

Aside from that, it can recover fast when damaged and has a prolonged life when taken care of.

Tall fescue is also one of the best grass seeds to grow in the region because of its disease tolerance, ability to adapt to dry conditions, and a good-quality lawn.

2. Perennial ryegrasses

If you prefer quick seed sprouting, Perennial ryegrasses are an excellent option to plant in Michigan since it grows the quickest among all the lawn grass types.


We now find that the trick for perfect grass seed planting in Michigan’s usual harsh cold conditions is to sow in the months when they have mild climates and warm temperatures.

Knowing what type of grass seed you intend to plant, as well as the type of soil to use, can help us grow the best grass seeds we can produce on our lawn.

Now that you know when to plant grass seed in Michigan, I hope you can finally establish lush and beautiful green grass on your lawn. Thank you!

Before you go, don’t forget to check our related articles on grass seeds planting in other states:

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