Right Plant, Right Place, Right Time!
Those familiar with the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Principles know that the number one rule is Right Plant, Right Place. But proper timing is important and should not be discounted! Experienced gardeners recognize that certain flowering and annual vegetable plants have distinctive seasons, but may not realize that turfgrass is seasonal, too.
Warm season and cool season turfgrasses fall into the classes of either annuals and perennials. In North Florida, the most commonly grown turfgrasses are warm season perennials such as Zoysiagrass, Bermudagrass, Centipedegrass, and St. Augustinegrass. These grasses thrive in warm weather and, although they may slow down or even turn brown in the winter, are still very much alive and resume growth readily in the spring. Because they are warm weather lovers, plan to seed one of these species when soil temperatures are warm enough for successful seed germination and when young new grass has enough time to become established without danger of frost damage.
On the flip side there are cool season grasses such as fescue, ryegrass, and bluegrass. These grasses prefer cool weather and do poorly and may go dormant or die when subjected to hot weather. These grasses may be perennials in other areas of the country, but should be treated as cool season annuals if grown in Florida. Cool season grasses may be used as a groundcover in bare spots or to overseed warm season grass from fall through early spring.
When purchasing turfgrass seed, be sure to check with your local extension office to verify that the timing is right for that particular grass. Seed products sold locally may have recommendations that are more relevant to northern climates and performance will differ.
For more information about seeding lawns please read Establishing Your Florida Lawn