K-State Research and Extension News
April 05, 2013
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Planting Grass This Spring? Consider Sod Rather Than Seed

MANHATTAN, Kan. – For homeowners who are planning to establish a new lawn this spring, Kansas State University horticulturist Ward Upham reminds that sodding is more likely to be successful than seeding.

Establishing a new lawn with seed is best done in the fall, he said.

“There are several reasons Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue – the most widely-used types of grass seed in the central U.S. – are better seeded in the fall than in the spring,” Upham said. “Some of the most serious lawn weeds, such as crabgrass and foxtail emerge in the spring. Since they are warm-season weeds, they will outcompete and often crowd out young, tender cool-season grasses during the heat of summer.”

The most stressful time of year for cool-season grasses is summer, not winter, he said, adding that poorly-established lawns may die out during the summer because of heat and drought stress.

“Also, a lawn often gets more use during the summer, leading to increased compaction and traffic stress,” he said.


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by: Mary Lou Peter
K-State Research & Extension News

Ward Upham – wupham@ksu.edu or 785-532-1438