I’ve received many questions from homeowners recently regarding fall seeding options if they’ve missed the optimal seeding window from mid-August to mid-September.  If you’ve missed that window, but you still want to conduct seeding practices this fall, my recommendation is to wait until November to seed.  This practice is called “dormant seeding” and is certainly an effective way to introduce new species and/or varieties of turf into your existing lawn. 

If you haven’t kept up with watering during the fall drought, you are right to expect the worst next spring.  In this case a fall dormant seeding might help you to sleep better during the winter months knowing that your lawn has seed ready to start growing next spring.  

Dormant seeding involves putting down seed while the ground is not frozen, yet cold enough so germination of the grass seed will not occur until next spring when the soils begin to warm. In fact, seeds that do germinate late in the season often do not survive the winter because the very young, immature seedlings have a difficult time surviving those harsh conditions. Other than the time of year of dormant seeding, the actual process of preparing the area to be seeded is virtually identical to establishing grass from seed at other times of the year.

When establishing a new lawn, a common question asked is, "Should I seed or sod?" Both have advantages and disadvantages. There are three important decisions when considering establishment methods: 1) turfgrass selection, 2) site preparation, and 3) care of the new lawn. These considerations will be discussed for each establishment method.

The most important difference between seeding and sodding is the time necessary for developing a mature or durable turf. Sodding is essentially transplanting a mature turf that has been cared for by a professional. Seeding involves the same process used in the establishment of sod and can be accomplished by a professional or the homeowner. The number of variables involved in seeding make it difficult and many times unsuccessful for the homeowner. The following outline lists some of the advantages and disadvantages of each establishment method.

In Minnesota, Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, and some of the perennial ryegrass cultivars are recommended. Grasses that are sold in the state, but not recommended, will be discussed later. Before a seed mix is chosen, evaluate the location: Is there shade, excessive use or wear, etc.? Is the lawn desired to be a showcase and green throughout the season (high maintenance), or is a healthy turf desired with a minimum of fuss (low maintenance)? These are important questions to consider when choosing grasses.

I’ve received many questions from homeowners recently regarding fall seeding options if they’ve missed the optimal seeding window from mid-August to mid-September.  If you’ve missed that window, but you still want to conduct seeding practices this fall, my recommendation is to wait until November to seed.  This practice is called “dormant seeding” and is certainly an effective way to introduce new species and/or varieties of turf into your existing lawn. 

If you haven’t kept up with watering during the fall drought, you are right to expect the worst next spring.  In this case a fall dormant seeding might help you to sleep better during the winter months knowing that your lawn has seed ready to start growing next spring.  

Dormant seeding involves putting down seed while the ground is not frozen, yet cold enough so germination of the grass seed will not occur until next spring when the soils begin to warm. In fact, seeds that do germinate late in the season often do not survive the winter because the very young, immature seedlings have a difficult time surviving those harsh conditions. Other than the time of year of dormant seeding, the actual process of preparing the area to be seeded is virtually identical to establishing grass from seed at other times of the year.

Planting Bermuda Grass Seed


Seeding Square Planting Template - Square Foot Gardening

Posted by 2018 article

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