Missouri Grass Seed
Growing a green lawn is on every Missouri homeowner's list of goals. People appreciate driving by a beautiful row of houses with well-kept lawns. Those who invest their time and money into growing healthy green grass can relax, enjoy the view, and play outdoors with their children and pets.
But planting new grass seed in Missouri can be challenging. Located near the center of the country, Missouri’s location in what’s known as the transition zone makes cultivating healthy lawns tricky. It has wide temperature variations, with freezing winters and sweltering summers.
These temperature variations make it difficult to grow both cool-season and warm-season grasses. You really have to choose the best type of seed for your area and know what you’re doing to get good results.
Understanding the soil in Missouri and picking the best grass seeds is key to growing a durable lawn you and your family can enjoy year-round. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to grow a healthy lawn in Missouri.
Missouri Grass Seed Growing Conditions
Selecting the right grass seeds for a new lawn in Missouri is crucial to its success. But to understand which type of grass you can grow, you first need to know the climate conditions in Missouri.
Missouri has cold weather during the winter and hot temperatures during the summer months.
The northern parts of Missouri, where snow is common, have frigid average extreme minimum temperatures, from -15 to -10℉. The southern regions are a bit warmer, with average minimums ranging from 5 to 10℉.
These temperatures indicate that the top grasses for Missouri lawns are cool-season grasses for the northern half of the state and warm-season grasses for the central and southern region.
You can plant hearty warm-season grasses in the north of Missouri, such as zoysia grass or Bermudagrass, but the cold winter temperatures will make them go dormant and, in some cases, suffer from winter damage.
Preparing the soil before planting seed products is crucial. You should have well-drained soil that you can rake. You should also remove any weeds present in your planting area.
Most Missouri soils are slightly acidic—usually, they fall within the 5.0 to 7.0 pH range. When the soil is too acidic (pH of 5.0 to 5.5), plants can’t access some of the nutrients in the ground. This can result in turfgrass that appears stunted.
To prevent this from happening, test the pH of the soil before planting your grass seed. If the soil pH is less than 6.0, add a liming material, such as calcium carbonate, to reach the desired pH level for your grass seed.
These initial steps will ensure that you get healthy grass that can stay green all year round.
When to Plant Grass Seed in Missouri?
When to plant grass seed in Missouri largely depends on whether you’re planting warm-season grasses, such as bermudgrass, zoysia, and bahia, or whether you’re planting cool-season grasses such as bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass.
If you’re planting cool-season lawn grass, the best time is in the late summer or early fall. At this time soil temperatures are still warm which leads to quick germination. But the days are also starting to cool off which helps the soil retain moisture, a requirement for germination. The cool-season grass is able to get established well before the arrival of hot summer temperatures. Planting in the early spring is also a good time, but germination can be slower and hot summer temperatures can arrive quickly.
If you’re planting warm-season lawn grass, the best time is the late spring or early summer after your average high air temperatures reach 80+ degrees F. Warm-season grasses should not be planted after mid August or there might not be enough time for them to establish before the return of cool temperatures.
Best Types of Grass Seed for Missouri
The type of grass you should plant depends on where you live. If you live in the northern part of Missouri, aim for a cool-season grass mix. For the south, you should look into warm-season grasses.
To give you a better sense of what seeds and seed mixes you should plant, here are the best grass seed varieties for Missouri.
Turf-type tall fescue grass type is an excellent seed for Missouri. It's heat and drought tolerant with a medium texture and deep green color. Turf-type tall fescue is well-known for its ability to thrive in the transitional zone and has the potential to remain green year-round in some climates.
Kentucky bluegrass is one of the most popular cool-season, turf-type grasses in the country. It grows well in lawns, garden centers, athletic fields, golf courses, and more. Kentucky bluegrass withstands moderate traffic from walking, has excellent drought tolerance, and thrives in moderate shade and full sun.
In Missouri, Kentucky bluegrass should only be planted in the far northern areas, and will need regular maintenance to look its best.
Perennial ryegrass creates a beautiful lawn fairly quickly (5-10 days). It can withstand a lot of foot traffic, making it very tolerant to wear.
This type of grass is excellent for use as a stand-alone seed. You can also mix it with other seeds to create more pest resistance and to help your lawn withstand high temperatures. It mixes well with Kentucky bluegrass and the fescues.
Perennial ryegrass can also be used to overseed dormant bermudagrass in the fall.
The fine fescues include chewings, hard, sheep, and creeping red. While each type has unique aspects, they all share some common traits including shade tolerance, fine texture, and low maintenance requirements.
You should avoid planting fine fescue in sports fields since they are less wear tolerant than other grasses.
In Missouri, fine fescue can be used in areas too shady for other cool-season grasses.
Bermuda grass is best planted in the southern part of Missouri. It spreads aggressively through stolons and rhizomes which makes it a great choice for heavy traffic areas such as sports fields, golf courses, and home lawns.
As a warm-sesaon grass its main growing season is the summer. During the winter it will go dormant but green back up come spring.
Zoysia is another good warm-season option. It generally has a softer texture than bermudagrass and grows almost mat-like. It has excellent traffic and heat tolerance, and tends to green up earlier in the spring and stay green longer into the fall than other warm-season grasses.
It can be slow to germinate, but it’s worth the patience.
Starting your lawn in Missouri can be a daunting task. The temperature variations make it challenging to pick the right seed and successfully maintain the grass to keep it green as long as possible.Choosing the right seed mix is crucial to your lawn's success, and Nature's Seed can help. We provide a large range of grass seeds and garden products that are tailor-made to help you achieve your lawn goals. Visit our online store and start picking your next grass seed for a healthy Missouri lawn.