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Re-seeding tall fescue in winter

Posted by LeonidasBigalowIV California (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 25, 14 at 11:50

My tall fescue lawn has become really sparse. So I'm re-seeding it. I will be using Defiance XRE Tall Fescue Grass Seed.

My question is, can I re-seed now? (end of January/Early February). I just had the lawn aerated, and I'd like to do it sooner rather than later. Much of the advice I've been receiving says now is not a good time to plant, but other advice seems to saying it's okay in (Inland) San Diego because it's not that cold (especially this winter). The temperature at night here has reached a low of about 48 degrees recently. Is it still too cold to re-seed? If so, when should I re-seed? Thanks for your help.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Re-seeding tall fescue in winter

I would try it. That advice for seeding in the fall is for people in the north who have to deal with snow. You don't. If you are further inland than Grossmont Center, I would reconsider the fescue, though. Back in there it's getting warmer, especially in the summer. For back there I would want to have St Augustine or a Tiff type bermuda (if you have full sun all the time).

One drawback to seeding now is your new grass plants will only have a few months before it starts getting hot. If you were out by Old Town or further west or even south in National City, then fescue would be excellent (it's cooler in the summer and more moderate year round). But when you get inland as the altitude goes up it warms up and dries out fast.

You might get some crabgrass by seeding now, but again, being inland San Diego is your free ride. Crabgrass needs warmer temps.

Go for it but hurry.

Scatter the seed, roll the seed down if you can or at least walk on all of it, then water lightly 3x per day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner time). Water it like that for 3 weeks until you have 80% germination of the new seed. Then start to back off on the watering frequency. Ideally this time of year you should be watering once per month and providing a full inch when you water. Then as it warms up, continue to water a full inch but increase the frequency to once every 3 weeks, 2 weeks, and finally once per week in the hottest heat of summer (above 90 degrees F).

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