planting grass seed in Nov

diddysmitNovember 8, 2010

Hi all, need help! I've had some work done on my front yard today and need to reseed nearly the entire front yard. I have lots of shade, live in the very north piedmont area and nights are getting very cold (had a light freeze last night). My boyfriend bought "winter" rye to hold the soil in place, but want to see if that is a good idea. Is it too late for fescue? Should I do a mix perhaps? The yard under the new topsoil had a lot of erosion and was down to the clay, very dry and shaded.

Thank you so much!

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I think its too late, even in the Carolinas for seed to germinate well enough to put up with near freezing weather now. Soon, a full blown winter will be on you, far too soon to think grass seed can take well enough to not die at the first freeze.

I'm afraid, seed-wise, you should re-think to do it in the spring....or lay sod. Sod you can lay well into November, December even. It might be more expensive...but with sod you'd have a lawn that you can enjoy before Christmas.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 4:43PM
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If winters are cool enough there, you could do a dormant seeding, but if winters are mild enough that the seeds will germinate followed by a hard freeze before they can develop a good enough root syste, you're best to wait.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 8:14PM
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Hi, I am in the northern part of Durham, NC. I just seeded my new lawn 2 weeks ago with winter rye and it has come up just fine. The rest of this week is supposed to be mild, so if you put out that ryegrass this week, cover it with straw, and water it lightly twice a day, you stand a decent chance of getting germination. Oh, and just prior to seeding, put down a starter fertilizer for turf.

Hey, what can it hurt? You have already bought the grass seed. Might as well use it.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 5:40PM
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I missed that it was rye. Rye germinates quickly (less than a week) and is a cool season grass. You may fire at will Ridley.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 2:35AM
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I'm not a fan of using just one type of grass seed, too many things can go wrong with it. The Carolinas are in a particular path of weather pattern that can accommodate cool season as well as warm season grasses.
I'd be more comfortable with a combo of the grass types that are used in this Atlantic region.
Grass seed that comes up quick as a bunny can die just as quickly when circumstances arise that attacks one type.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 11:55AM
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Yes Goren, you are right, but I didn't tell all of my intentions with this effort. I am using rye only for erosion control through the winter and into the spring. When soil temps warm up, I am going to re-seed or plug with one of the newer zoysia varieties.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 8:57PM
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It's all about temperature. I have family now just planting grass in Alabama. I live in Florida and our temperatures are just getting to the ideal breeding ground (pun intended) between 60 and 75 degrees during the daytime. This would suggest soil temperature between 50 - 65 degrees. Every season is different every year. So while this post is dated, it isn't necessarily accurate for this season of cool-season grass. Specifically, for our areas in the southeast, waiting till nighttime temperatures were below 70 degrees was best. Mixing Organic Plant Magic with grass seed should also speed up the installation since it coats the calcium and blends quickly while staying put. If time is crucial, using that fertilizer helps as temperatures drops.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 8:57PM
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