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Winter sowing story, true.

Posted by changeling 5 Maryland (My Page) on
Fri, Dec 28, 07 at 15:33

When I had my home built everyone said wait till fall then have your yard ready and plant your grass seed. This is also what all nurseries told me, plant grass in the fall!
Well I did as they said and I literally threw away 4 to $500.00 in the best grass seed money could buy in two years of fall planting and ended up with a lawn full of weeds and pasture grass mostly!
Then one day I started thinking of when I was a kid (about 13 I think, my father told me we were going to get the yard ready to plant grass seed! It was January! The next morning we /dad dragged this thing (by horse) called a "hair" (spelling?) I think. It was a metal thing about 6 or 7 feet by maybe 4 feet with iron spikes sticking out of it! all over the yard (BIG yard) and then that was it. When I asked about the seed he said we'll wait for a snow storm!
Well finally the weather people said a big snow storm was coming so dad made me get the seeder (round contraption you carried and turned a handle) which slung seed about 6 to 8 feet pattern from "you". I seeded the whole place, cold as you know what!!
That night it snowed like crazy and I just plain thought all that work was for nothing, my dad just laughed at me and said wait for spring.
That spring into summer we had the most beautiful lawn I have ever seen. Trust me, I had to mow it!

Back to present. I did exactly the same thing we did when I was a kid, waited for a snow storm, sowed the whole yard in the best fescue/bluegrass mixture I could get and the results were "OUTSTANDING"! This is what happens.
When the ground is frozen you lay down the seed right before the snow (birds don't get it), ground gets covered in snow which insulates it somewhat. When temperatures rise the snow starts to melt, cracks develop in the frozen ground, seed drops in, water covers with debree and dirt particles.
As temperature warms germination takes place, think of how well weed seed overwinters and then comes up in spring!!
It works like a charm in climates with snow in winter.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Winter sowing story, true.

Now that's a new method of winter sowing or should I say sowing in winter. Congratz on you grass.


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RE: Winter sowing story, true.

  • Posted by trudi_d 7, Long Island (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 28, 07 at 19:17

I've done this and it works like a charm! Because it's after autumn anyone should be able to get grass seed at a discounted price> I don't have a spreader so I take a coffee cn and punch several holes into the lid, put in the grass seed and put on the lid and use it like a giant shaker and walk up and down on the lawn shaking the can. A seeder does it much better, but the coffee-can shaker works okay enough that you get the seed scattered where you want it. You do need to pay attention that you don't shake seeds into your flower beds, but if you stay a good distance from them it's unlikly to get much grass seeds onto their tops.

T


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RE: Winter sowing story, true.

my dad always did that too,however, i was lead to believe it can be a problem when you put down pre-emergence stuff for crabgrass etc. in the spring ... and nothing at all germinates for a certain amount of time after that ... no?

i would really be interested in knowing, cuz i have to reseed the lawn this year too! ... what say you?

thanks, phyl


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RE: Winter sowing story, true.

  • Posted by ilsa 5b/6a KS (My Page) on
    Sat, Dec 29, 07 at 9:19

Phyl - you're correct. 'Weed and Feed', applied in the Spring (in this particular scenario), can either halt seed germination or burn new grass (lesson learned, heavy sigh).

But gardening teaches us patience, right? ;)

Ilsa


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RE: Winter sowing story, true.

Phy/ilsa, that is a good point, it says right on the label of W&F NOT to put on new grass!
This is how I look at it, if you have good grass bed it stops a lot of the crab grass and other weed types from getting established.
However if you have crab grass really bad then it would make a lot of sense to get rid of it first before planting good grass seed (expensive stuff). If the crab grass is really, REALLY bad you should consider killing it all and replanting the lawn. Up front this sounds expensive but in the long run it would probably be cheaper, especially if you can do the work yourself and have the equipment.


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RE: Winter sowing story, true.

((Then one day I started thinking of when I was a kid (about 13 I think, my father told me we were going to get the yard ready to plant grass seed! It was January! The next morning we /dad dragged this thing (by horse) called a "hair" (spelling?) I think. It was a metal thing about 6 or 7 feet by maybe 4 feet with iron spikes sticking out of it! all over the yard (BIG yard) and then that was it.))

The machine was probably a Harrow--or spring tooth

Here is a link that might be useful: harrow


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RE: Winter sowing story, true.

Oh, wow! Never thought of it like that!
As if my neighbors don't think I'm crazy enough as it is...!


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RE: Winter sowing story, true.

changeling, That sounds like a great method to sow grass seed. If only I had known that some years back when we planted grass here, I think it would have been better. You asked about the spelling of that metal thing that your dad used years ago to drag around the yard. It's called a harrow. I suppose most people these days pull them with tractors. I don't envy the farmers with the drought we had this year. :-O


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RE: Winter sowing story, true.

I have a very small yard in the front so I really wanted it to look better because this year it was at least 30% crabgrass so I asked around on some other forums and they suggested that I spread some compost or CM on the lawn and then throw the seed on top of that in the fall. Well this fall I bought about 10 bags of cow manure (as I said it's a small yard) and spread it right on top of the lawn and then put the seed on top of that. Well I didn't expect to see any results until this spring but wow much to my surprise I'm getting lots of little sprouts already! So I would think if it continues to at this pace I should have a much better looking yard next year. I still have some areas that I'd like to do so I wonder if I could combine these 2 methods and spread the CM and put the seed on it just before our next snow and get some good results?

Strouper


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RE: Winter sowing story, true.

strouper2 that cow manure is not a very good idea. The manure is absolutely full of grass and weed seed (undsireable kind). Thats why people don't just through it on there yard for fertilizer because you can get the stuff free from about any farmer. If it's CM that has been sterilized you are probably OK though.

As for my method of before a snow, it is the best way to over seed an established yard I have seen short of having someone hydro seed it, which isn't cheap.

Changeling


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