Seeding in October (late Fall)

bgtimber75April 25, 2010

So I was over my Mothers house yesterday and she had her lawn aerated and seeded last October. It looks great and she didn't water it a single time.

I want to seed myself this Fall but don't have the time to water 3 times a day. If I seed later in the season like she did will the snow and moisture of Winter generally mean I don't have to do the watering?

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bgtimber75

Forgot to add that it's a basic over seeding, not a new lawn.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 10:42AM
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bpgreen(5UT)

What you're describing is called dormant seeding. Around here, that approach seems to work best because there's such a short window between the heat of summer and snowfall.

In Maryland, I'd be tempted to wait even longer before seeding. You want to wait until you're pretty sure it's too cool to germinate. I usually try to get the seed down before the first good snowfall (that's often in October, but may not be until November). Unless your lawn stays snow covered, you can probably wait even longer and seed sometime in January or February (as long as the lawn is free of snow).

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 4:36PM
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bgtimber75

Thanks. So probably November/December for me would work fine. I would just have to buy the seed earlier in the Fall season since I'd be afraid I wouldn't be able to get it locally about that time.

Are there any drawbacks to doing it this way? It seems that would be the ideal method in anyplace that has actual seasons.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 8:08PM
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tiemco

Actually the ideal time to seed cool season grasses is in late summer/early fall. The falling temps and dryer air aren't conducive to weed growth and/or lawn disease. Dormant seeding is OK, but your percent germination will be lower than a fall seeding and if conditions in spring aren't right you could also get no germination.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 9:10PM
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john_in_sc

Right -- you want to do it late summer/early fall. This gets germination going and roots into the ground before the snow hits and everything goes dormant.

They seeded my new lawn in November with Cool season grass... about 10% of it came up over the winter... leaving me with a big, slimey, dusty dirt patch. Now, I am battling my dirt patch called a back yard -- trying to get something to grow before summer rains come and wash my yard into the creek.

Thanks

John

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 2:08PM
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bgtimber75

I would imagine Winter in SC is far milder then Winter in MD?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 2:45PM
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john_in_sc

It probably is colder in Maryland.

You would have expected my grass to either germinate and grow just fine over the winter... or to wait dormant all winter and then explode into growth in the Spring

Except it didn't do either -- I got 5 - 10% germination and a big mud-hole of a yard... I am siding with Tiemco ... because the "Dormant" way basically did exactly what he said.

But.. Here's the page from the University of Maryland's Extension site.

Here is a link that might be useful: Maryland Extension Turfgrass page

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 5:19PM
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WestchesterGrower(Lower NY)

I definitely wouldn't go the dormant route where you are at...Just doesn't make sense. The winters can sometimes have drastic thaws followed by freezes in places like SC or MD and I can see that hampering the process.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 7:57AM
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Billl(z7 nc)

I guess I split the difference between MD and SC here in NC.

The "Best" time here is September. Of course, you still need to water then, but most of the weeds are finished. The soil is still warm, so you get quick germination.

October works too. The cooler temps mean less watering, but germination is slower. November even works most years, but if you get an early cold spell, that might delay most germination until spring.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 8:48AM
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bgtimber75

I guess I'll do the traditional late Summer it just takes forever to move the hose all over the yard so doing that 2-3 times a day just isn't something I look forward to doing.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 5:55PM
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tiemco

Instead of lugging the hose all over, do yourself a favor and buy a few hoses, sprinklers, and a brass one to four hose manifold. Then it's just a matter of turning on each sprinkler individually for five to ten minutes. You could even get a timer system so you don't have to be there to turn it on.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 7:28PM
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bgtimber75

I actually thought of that, however my yard is just such and odd shape that I won't be able to get to every area without a couple of hoses having to lay over the grass itself.

Now that you mention it though I might pick up a couple of different sprinklers to see if I can find a model with a good enough range that I could put them at the edge of the lawn so I don't have to have the hose actually going across it. I would need some fairly strong impulse sprinkers for it to work.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 9:41PM
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