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Ok to dormant seed now in central Vermont?

Posted by rpg51 4 (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 15, 13 at 7:08

I live in the Connecticut River valley in central Vermont. We have have had below freezing weather for some time - but days warm up a bit to around 35-40. We have had some light snow dustings but it has always melted during the day. This weekend is supposed to be in the 40s. Then a cold snap returns next week. From experience, there is a significant chance we will have snow soon - any day/week now.

50% of my lawn was severely damaged by grubs. I have prepared the soil for seeding and top dressed with a thin lawyer of loam. I will seed a Bluegrass, Perennial Rye, Fescue mix. Plan is to lightly mulch the bare areas that are being seeded and to overseed the entire lawn including the undamaged portion. I had an inground automatic sprinkler system installed this fall before I did all this prep work.

Am I ok to dormant seed this weekend you think? Any suggestions? The seed is purchased so I cannot change that now.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Ok to dormant seed now in central Vermont?

Please ignore this post. The deed is done. We shall see.

RE: Ok to dormant seed now in central Vermont?

Hope the "thin lawyer" that you covered in loam is okay! LOL

RE: Ok to dormant seed now in central Vermont?


its continually fascinating that people associate growth with air temperature when wanting to see growth happen.

if only our plants grew in air---we would be inundated with foliage and having to hack through it as thought we were in a jungle environment.

Plants grow in the soil...not the air---and its the soil temperature that encourages plants to grow, roots to grow, leaves to grow---with the assistance of what's in the air---nitrogen, and what's in the soil...potash and phosphorus.
Air temperature, of course, enters the picture, but only as it is the correct temperature that assists growth.
Too hot....plants slow down; too cold, plants slow down.

Spring----be it ever so wonderful to think about--is what we all look forward to because it is soon the sunlight has such an effect on SOIL TEMPERATURES.

Sometimes we see mention that grass seed was sown late in the season and has it a chance of germinating.
That is the 64000 dollar question---if conditions continue warranting high enough soil temperature to encourage some germination, then it might happen....but....if such conditions cause germination to occur....then a freeze comes along, then the chances of that germination not ever seeing the light of day.
Other seed might sit and wait for optimum temperature of soil to begin the process and if continued long enough, then it might germinate early....and get strong enough to stand up to continued frosts. Otherwise, its much better to save your time, effort, and probably money, and wait until spring to sow that grass seed.

By the way....spreading 1/2" - 1" of soil/compost/topsoil....over your lawn EVERY early spring, can only do it justice. If the soil has high enough organic matter in it, then you have given your lawn what it craves.
Do this, not because you think it needs it, but because it is the best thing you can do for your lawn's continued good health.

RE: Ok to dormant seed now in central Vermont?

Goren, guess you're not a big fan of winter dormant seeding!

RE: Ok to dormant seed now in central Vermont?

Interesting - of course you realize that my concern was not that the seed would fail to germinate this fall. My concern was that it would germinate, and then be killed by the winter freeze. As it happens all is well. There were no signs of germination and winter has definitely begun to set in. I am optimistic that I will have germination in the early spring as soil temps rise just as planned. We shall see! Worse case I'll rough it up a bit and re-seed in the spring. I have not tried this before but I am advised that dormant seeding like this, with some luck, gives results very close to late summer early fall seeding and far better to spring seeding.

RE: Ok to dormant seed now in central Vermont?

I plan to dormant seed as well. But my plan is to through the seed down towards the end of January or beginning of February, hopefully just before a snow storm.

RE: Ok to dormant seed now in central Vermont?

I've heard it done.....drop seed in December---let it sit until optimum temperatures arrive in the spring---which brings up the question---when does 'spring' arrive to encourage grass seed to start germinating.
And please don't remind me that spring arrives on March 21st......that is what we look at in an attempt to get our mind-set around 'well.....warmer temperatures are just around the corner'......and then that white stuff does its dirty trick and drops a foot of it on our freshly snow-free lawns.

If such dormant seeding is taking a chance---I'd rather gamble on the side of April--at least--to think I can put down grass seed and expect something to be seen when April showers arrive.
There's no has to grow some before thinking to get out the mower.

RE: Ok to dormant seed now in central Vermont?

Actually, the results tend to be a lot better with dormant seeding than with spring seeding according to the information I have been reading. The idea is that you don't have to wait for things to dry out to prepare the seed bed and do the seeding so the grass gets a significant head start on the weeds. Seeding in spring can be a real problem as far as the weeds go.

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