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Planting grass in fall

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From: Dan Hamilton
Kempton, IL
I live in Northeastern IL about 50 miles N of Champaign and i was wondering if it is too late to plant grass this fall. If not, what varieties do you recommend? This is a large area where we have recently tilled up and are ready to plant if possible.

Extension Message
From: Douglas B. Gucker
Extension Educator, Local Food Systems and Small Farms
DeWitt/Macon/Piatt Unit
Ken: We normally recommend seeding new grass from August 15 to September 15. To plant after this time, we can run the risk of a frost killing the new tender grass seedlings. New grass needs about 30 frost-free days to mature enough so that it is frost resistant. With that in mind, you can plant now but temperatures below 32 deg. F during October could damage the new seeding. If your ground is already prepared ready for seeding now, I would be tempted to go ahead and seed it. REMEMBER - it is a little too late but to rework the soil in the spring will be an expense as well. One thing that would help a little with insuring better success would be to mulch your seeding after planting with thin layer of clean straw.

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