Whether you are over-seeding a few sparse patches or starting a lawn from scratch, the time frame during which you sow your grass seeds is very important in Nebraska. Grass planted too soon may die from heat and drought, but grass planted too late will not have time to become established before the cold Nebraska winter. A lawn planted at just the right time can thrive for years.
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Most grasses grown on Nebraska lawns are cool-season grasses. These include Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue and perennial ryegrass, which are well-adapted to Nebraska's climate. The best time of year to plant these grasses is late August and early September.
Warm-season grasses are better-suited to southern climates, but certain varieties like zoysiagrass are occasionally planted in Nebraska. They can make a lawn exceptionally green during a hot summer, but turn brown from fall through spring. For this reason, they are not generally recommended and should only be used to supplement regular cool-season grasses. If you plant warm-season grasses, do it in late spring or early summer.
Site preparation is important before you plant grass in Nebraska. Don Janssen of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln recommends that you kill weeds, remove stumps, rocks and other debris, add compost to topsoil and apply starter fertilizer over the summer before you plant cool-season grasses. After you spread seed, water as much as is necessary to keep the soil evenly moist.