Should I plant a lawn in the fall?


lawn grass
UMaine Extension PhotoLawn Grass

I have an odd question that may not fall under your wheelhouse. I live in Atkinson right by the Center. My old deck was taken down so…

I. Have. Dirt.

The digging hound is elated but is there a grass seed I can toss out with some hope for growth at this point?


Lynne M. Holland, Horticulture and Social Media Professional

Fall is a great time to plant a lawn (Bulletin #2367, Establishing a Home Lawn in Maine, UMaine Extension) but you are correct that you are pushing the bounds of enough time for lawn establishment. Since the dirt patch may be fun for the hound but a nuisance not only now but in mud season next year. I suggest you do the following to mitigate the mud potential.

If you want that area to be a lawn: Do all the prep work as outlined in Bulletin #2367, Establishing a Home Lawn in Maine (UMaine Extension), and seed lightly. Top with a layer of hay and wet that down. Make sure it gets an inch of water a week until we get a hard frost. You may have the start of a light lawn by then. In early spring (as soon as the snow melts) reseed it at the regular rate and cover bare spots with hay or some other mulch.

If you want that area to be something else (perennials, annuals, foundation plantings: Do some sheet mulching (Sheet mulching — aka lasagna composting — builds soil, saves time, Oregon State University / OSU Extension Service) which will build soil and also create a planting bed that can be planted early in the spring.