Water grass during freezing temps?

theconstantgardeners(8)December 9, 2010

I seeded fescue in Athens, GA and got germination around early November. The weather has been very, very cold lately with lows in the twenties. I haven't watered in three days because of the weather and I'm wondering if I need to continue to water pretty regularly even with these cold temps. Thanks!

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What is the soil temperature (taken around lunchtime)?

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 4:32PM
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The website below is telling me 35 F at 2 inches.


    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 5:29PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Watering will tend to keep the soil warmer longer. Watering deeply will keep it warmer longer still.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 7:08PM
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Root growth doesn't actually stop until the ground freezes, but it is minimal from 33-45 degrees for cool season grasses. Since it's probably not going to warm up for a while, and your grass is for all intents and purposes dormant, I don't think it's necessary to water regularly unless soil temps rise dramatically. If you want to keep your soil temps higher water will help, but I don't think you will be able to get it to a point where the roots are growing at a rate that is much faster than it is now.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 1:34AM
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You get me tiemco. Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 3:37AM
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What made you think to seed a lawn in December knowing full well that probably sub-freezing temperatures would visit. The low this morning in Atlanta I understood to be 27úF......5 degrees below freezing.

How can one think a seed needs watering when it most likely will freeze when it hits the ground.
Surely one must consider the seed, in such freezing water...i.e. ice, will also freeze and cannot therefore germinate.

The seed will sit....and sit,....and sit awaiting temperatures...i.e. soil temperature, that will invite it to germinate. Since such soil temperature requires it be in the range of 45 - 50 F....you have a time to wait for the Georgia weather to improve....and imrprove for a length of time to affect such soil temperature goes up for a time to affect the seed. I'd look for maybe..March....it'll be nice in March in Georgia.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 5:57PM
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Goren: The way I read the initial post, he seeded fescue and got germination in early November.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 8:40AM
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Nearandwest, yes, she seeded in November and got some germination but the writer is asking about her continued need to water to bring the seed along.
She chose November to seed her lawn....I'm not so familiar with Georgia that I can lay claim to be anybody who knows about weather in her area, but I do know that water freezes at 32� and temperatures need be in the range of above 45� soil temperature to be worth any effort to bring a seed along. Even if Georgia was to receive temperatures of ...let's say 60....for a month, then maybe it might bring temperatures she could use up, but what about the nighttime temperatures, they surely go down....and below freezing I understand constantly.
I was in Atlanta one November and it snowed so much the morning I left the motel, I had to clear it off the car before driving. So I take that to heart.

The seed may well have germinated, but from her question, I assume it has not sunk its roots yet enough to count on its being called the start of a lawn.
That will come when the soil temperature comes up....not when she gets the odd day of 60 plus.

Again, I'm not familiar with straight fescue as a lawn....I cant comment on whether it stands up to cold when first begun. I assume whatever lawn she does have has gone dormant and should be watered only as the ground will accept it...i.e. absorb it and she shouldn't water as per any schedule. Such watering could end up saturating
the surface area and lead to all kinds of problems.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 11:42AM
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Goren: I believe we have different interpretations of this post. No worries...Merry Christmas!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 12:57PM
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