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Too late to plant seed in San Diego, CA?

Posted by segask z10 so. cal coast (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 9, 08 at 1:39

I'm in San Diego, CA. I'll plant Turf Type Tall Fescue. I know that in other parts of the country where it snows, you have to plant cool season grass by mid september. But here in mild winter San Diego where it doesn't snow and we typically have heat waves lingering into october, I've heard that october is the best month to plant TTTF. Does anyone know how late into the fall I can plant seed? Could I seed even in november maybe?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Too late to plant seed in San Diego, CA?

When do you expect to get your first frost? Or do you expect to get one? For a KBG lawn, the usual rule of thumb is to plant 6 weeks before you expect a frost. TTTF germinates faster, so 4 weeks should be enough time. I doubt if you have to worry about early frost killing the fescue where you are.

RE: Too late to plant seed in San Diego, CA?

  • Posted by segask z10 so. cal coast (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 29, 08 at 1:45

thanks for the reply :)

I don't think I get any winter frost here. It definitely never snows here. We mow our Tall Fescue lawns year round here in San Diego.

I was looking at some local sod companies and found this fall overseeding guide:

That web page is talking about overseeding a Bermuda lawn with Rye. It says to do it sometime between mid October to mid November. So do you guys think I could get away with seeding TTTF the second weekend in November (not this weekend, but next weekend)?

RE: Too late to plant seed in San Diego, CA?

You should be able to seed almost any time this fall or early winter. The earlier you seed, the better off you'll be because you give it more time to establish before the summer heat, but if you get no frost, the seeds will germinate no matter when you seed, as long as you give them enough water. Keep in mind that fescue takes longer to germinate than rye, so you'll need to water several times a day (unless you get fall rains) for a week or two to get the seed to germinate.

RE: Too late to plant seed in San Diego, CA?

I'm up by San Francisco--much cooler than you but my folks live in S.D. so I know the weather. I overseeded 10/5 and things are doing very well. I'll bet you will be fine.

Before I seeded, I spoke with the folks at Stover Seed. They're in the L.A. area so similar weather and gave me very good advice. You might want to give them a call. FWIW I used their Triple Crown (dwarf) tall fescue mix and am very pleased. (no, I don't work for them!)

Here is a link that might be useful: stover seed website

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