Skip to content

Can you sow lawn and grow grass seed in November? – Tips for planting lawn seed in autumn

The fall season may actually prove to be a suitable time if you want to seed your lawn in November. Although cold weather can affect the lawn, you can start preparing for new growth during the fall or even winter months. In addition, it allows you to repair lawn damage during the winter. But how do you get back to lush, full lawns that you adore in the summer? Does spreading grass seed actually repair any damage? The short answer is yes, absolutely! Here’s some useful information and advice around growing grass seed in the fall or winter.

Would it be too cold to seed grass in November?

how to sow grass in november and germinate in low temperatures

If the soil temperature drops below 9 degrees, it may be too cold for normal grass seed to grow. In addition, the ideal soil temperature for grass seed germination should be 9-12 degrees. Accordingly, like any seed, grass seed needs the right conditions, with warmth and moisture being key to germination.

seeds from lawn scattered on garden soil can be sown in november

However, the good thing is that some grass seeds can grow under it. For example, a high-quality tetraploid German ryegrass can germinate at a soil temperature as low as 5 degrees. In addition, choosing appropriate grass seed that can withstand winter temperatures can make the difference between successful, healthy growth and a poor outcome. So if you want to sow grass in November, soil temperatures are usually high enough to choose from the full range of grass seeds.

Can grass seed be planted in the rain?

mowing freshly grown grass in a garden in the spring season

While you can sow grass seed after a period of heavy rain, too much moisture can hinder growth. However, should your soil be well drained, grass seed will have a better chance of germinating.

scatter grass seed on the garden soil with a seeder in late autumn


You can give your seed a leg up by adding more topsoil and aerating your lawn if the soil is very wet. Called dethatching your lawn, it’s a process of adding holes with a rake or aerator. This loosens compact garden soil and aids drainage.

When it is best to sow lawn in November.

in moist garden soil during the autumn season sowing lawn in november possible

The ideal time to reseed your lawn is between mid-month and the end of the year, but some varieties can be reseeded throughout the season as long as the soil temperature is above 5 degrees. During the winter months, however, temperature and moisture are not as optimal for germination of lawn seed. So this is not always practical, but reseeding in the winter is still very possible with a little know-how and the right type of seed.

Apply the method of seed dormancy when seeding.

despite frost and low temperatures sowing grass in november can be successful


As described above, a soil temperature below 9 degrees would be too low for lawn seed germination. However, it is possible to plant grass seeds in very cold weather. This growing method is known as dormant seeding or seed dormancy.

sowing and growing grass in november before the first frost in autumn

If you sow the seeds in extremely cold weather or frost, they can remain dormant until conditions are right for germination. You can do this if you don’t want to wait until the ground thaws enough to plant in the spring. If you choose to seed your lawn this way in November, you will be one step ahead once the warmer weather returns.

Can new grass seeds survive frost, sub-zero temperatures and snow?

grass growing in warm weather after snow thaws in spring

Again, you can look forward to a positive answer. For example, a snowfall after you plant grass seed can actually be beneficial. This helps to form a protective layer over the seeds and keeps them inactive.

thawing snow in the spring makes room for growing green lawns

However, what can cause problems is a warm period in the winter. This can activate the process of germination, making it difficult for the new growth to cope when the temperature drops again. This is another reason why it is important to choose a suitable grass seed that is not only hardy, but whose seedlings will grow big and strong without complaining about cold.

Here’s how you can sow grass in November in cold weather.

garden owner spreads grass seed on well-maintained lawn area in the courtyard

As you may have noticed, you can actually sow grass seed in the colder months. If you’ve decided that sowing grass seed in the fall or winter will work for you, here’s how you can go about it to get the best results:

  • Prepare your lawn or soil for grass seed by raking and leveling it as you would at other times of the year. If the soil is too wet, add a layer of topsoil and aerate thoroughly.
  • First, choose the right grass seed. Certain varieties are better suited for fall or winter seeding than others. As mentioned earlier, high-quality and hardy grass varieties are recommended for this purpose.
  • Sow evenly and make sure you have good soil contact when seeding. You can do this by rolling or tamping down the grass seed once you have spread it.
  • If the soil is not yet wet, you should also water the area thoroughly. The cold weather should keep the soil moist, so further watering probably won’t be necessary.

use lawn cuttings from the garden as mulch for soil care

While fall or winter may not be the ideal time to plant grass seed, you can certainly lay the groundwork. Put in the effort and when the temperature rises, your grass seeds will be ready to grow into the lush lawn you’ve been hoping for.