Although Tennessee is renowned for having a moderate climate, you cannot simply plant any grass seed on your property. Before selecting the grass s
Although Tennessee is renowned for having a moderate climate, you cannot simply plant any grass seed on your property. The reason is the entire Tennessee valley falls within the hardiness gardening planting Zone 7 that reaches across approximately fifteen U.S. states from east to west. In other words, you’re too far south to have a good bluegrass lawn and you’re too far north to have a good St Augustine lawn.
Before selecting the grass seed for your property in Tennessee, keep in mind additional aspects than the climate. If you’re serious about growing turfgrass, you must consider the appropriate type of grass seed for your particular zone, the aesthetic you desire for your lawn, and care advice, to name just a few considerations.
Climate and Planting Zone in Tennessee
Tennessee has four distinct seasons and pleasant weather all
Tennessee has four distinct seasons and mostly favorable weather all year long. Its summers are usually warm with high humidity and some instances reaching severe heat stress temperatures during August and into early September.
Tennessee’s winters can occasionally maintain subfreezing temperatures but typically don’t last too long. The annual snowfall rates are historically low. You will see many days throughout the winter months of December, January, and February where daytime temperature resides routinely in the 50’s and 60’s range.
Home builders will attempt seeding every month of the year with varying degrees of success, mostly dependent on daytime temperatures and moisture by rainfall or irrigation.
Grasses in the Fall
Any region’s cooler climate season like the fall period is ideal for cool-season grasses like Tall Fescue to flourish. Their leaves typically won’t turn brown during the winter because of their strong winter tolerance and reduced winter dormancy. That is unless the region encounters a severe Siberian Express artic blast from the north. If that happens the foliage of both turf and shrubs will turn almost totally brown sending them into a deep dormant state to protect themselves but fear not, an event like that may happen a few times a decade and recovery in the spring for turf and shrubs is typically very good.
Additionally, it is common to see your fescue lawn turn a winter pale color usually every January however that condition will eventually rebound to a nice green color in the spring throughout the month of March.
This best time to seed is always in the fall during September, October and into early November when the soil temperature is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and the air temperature is between 55 and 60 degrees. Established cool-season grass thrives best on soil that is between 40 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
The several varieties of cool-season grass you can grow on your Tennessee property are listed below:
- Turf Type Tall Fescue abbreviated as TTTF
- Kentucky 31 Tall Fescue
- Perennial or Winter Ryegrass
Keep in mind that any type of seeding with Ryegrass is for temporary results meaning it can look pretty good in the fall with quick Ryegrass seed germination, and throughout the winter months as well. Once soil temperatures start warming up into mid spring, the Ryegrass will start declining and die out naturally into the summer months.
Warm-season grasses like bermudagrass or zoysia are best started by sodding, plugging, or sprigging. Do not apply this warm season turf in shady lawns. It requires a lot of direct sunlight.
If you choose to seed Bermudagrass, understand it will require a lot of irrigation, perhaps watering the Bermudagrass seed up to 3 times a day for 2-4 weeks to get decent germination. Once it does germinate, it will continue to spread from both of its rhizomes and stolons growth activity but be patient because it may take a few years for its turf density to get thick.
Also, both bermudagrass and zoysia grass thrives the summer’s heat and humidity as long as it’s irrigated properly. The optimal time to grow warm-season grass is from late spring to summer. At three feet below the surface, the soil is about 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during that period.
Once the grasses are set to emerge from dormancy (mid to late April) and regain their color, a higher rate of nitrogen fertilization is necessary. Another effective year-round method to encourage healthy development is to mow the grass frequently. Most all bermudagrass lawns whether common Bermuda or a hybrid Bermuda lawn should be cut low between 2-2 ½ inches. Always make sure your mower blade is sharp. New blades do not come pre-sharpened because that is a liability to the manufacturer if there were an accident.
Yes, new mower blades require sharpening too. It will help keep turf disease away while keeping your turfgrass green and healthy.
Locate the Best Tennessee Grass Seed for Your Yard
The benefit of living in a state with a moderate climate, like Tennessee, is that you may grow a variety of grass types on your lawn. For those seeking lovely and healthy grass that will flourish in colder and chillier areas of the state, Kentucky Bluegrass is a fantastic option. However, warm-season grass, like Buffalo Grass, can The benefit of living in a state with a moderate climate, like Tennessee, is that you may grow a variety of grass types on your lawn. For those seeking lovely and healthy grass that will flourish in colder and chillier areas of the state, Turf Type Tall Fescue is the most popular choice. However, warm-season grass, like common or hybrid Bermudagrass or Zoysia, can be grown on sunlit properties and thrive each summer when humidity levels are high.