In Northern Virginia, most of our lawn grasses are ‘cool season’ grasses. This means they grow best during spring and fall. These grasses include many varieties of Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescues, fine fescues and perennial rye grass. The roots of cool season grasses grow best when the soil temperature is between 55ºF and 65ºF. The shoots, the above ground parts, grow best between 65ºF and 75ºF.
Even though the snow-covered soil surface is downright chilly today, measuring just three inches deeper, I found the temperature in the root zone to be twenty degrees warmer. The coolest root zone temps are located out in the center of the yard, while the warmest soil (54ºF) is found right up next to the foundation of the house. This is why you might find grass and even flower growth happening sooner near your dryer vent.
Turf grass roots break dormancy even before you see the spring green up, which is already starting.
So when will the grass finally start growing? If we get another week or two of consistently warm days, that’s all it will take to warm the lawn and kick start these roots and shoots right on into spring.