You know how spring fever goes–the first day the temperature breaks forty, you’re practically outside in shorts and a t-shirt. You just can’t wait to get started–you, and everything in your garden along with you. But those premature buds are going to get hammered when a March snow storm hits and winter returns for its last hoorah. What about your lawn? If you get out there a little earlier than advised and spread your seeds, how’s your newly seeded lawn going to fare if and when cold weather strikes again

Seeding in early spring: Is it too soon?

Here’s the good news: even if you plant too early, your lawn will probably be all right. The ideal time to spring seed your lawn is when soil temperatures are consistently hovering at 40°F. to 45°F. In most cold-weather parts of the country, that means late March or early April. What makes that temperature ideal? For one, it means the soil is soft enough to really work, so you can thoroughly rake it and create a nice soft layer for your new grass seeds to call home. Next, it means water is flowing, and water is, of course, essential for new seeds. Finally, it’s a temperature where cool season grasses will germinate but won’t be too stressed (unlike later hot summer temperatures which can strain them).

But let’s say you seed during an early spring warm spell. If the soil is soft enough to prep properly, you’ve given your grass seed a good start. If it subsequently freezes again, your lawn may come in a little patchier than if you’d waited another few weeks, but there’s no total kill on the horizon. The grass will get back to growing when the temperature warms back up. And who says you can’t put more grass seed down as the spring progresses?