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mano
10-23-2011, 11:07 PM
Does anyone have any experience with dormant cool season grass overseeding?

I live in Toronto and want to give it a try.

I'm not sure what is the best time to try and if it even works.

I'm worried that by spring time when I apply corn gluten meal the seed may have not germinated already

Smallaxe
10-24-2011, 09:43 AM
First you'll want to know when pre-m is needed for your area... the biggest problem that I see in the 'pros' having with springtime seeding is that they believe CG needs to be stopped, before the ground is even warm enough for cool season grasses...

as long as that fear nags you, you'll never be able to make dormant seeding work...

RigglePLC
10-24-2011, 11:32 AM
I would seed now. Your soil is probably warm enough for germination--especially if you use a blend containing perennial rye. Bluegrass is very slow. My experience is that it works almost as well (if not better) to seed in spring if you cannot do it in fall. In spring you have to wait until the frost is out of the ground and the soil temps warm up to about 45 or 50. That would be about two weeks before spring greenup, or about 3 weeks before your first mowing. 6 weeks before the last frost. In theory, you have about 4 weeks from the time the snow melts until it is warm enough to seed.
Naturally, you have to plan around the potential for wet soil and mud which might prevent equipment from working the soil.

Smallaxe
10-24-2011, 09:13 PM
I would seed now. Your soil is probably warm enough for germination--especially if you use a blend containing perennial rye. Bluegrass is very slow. My experience is that it works almost as well (if not better) to seed in spring if you cannot do it in fall. In spring you have to wait until the frost is out of the ground and the soil temps warm up to about 45 or 50. That would be about two weeks before spring greenup, or about 3 weeks before your first mowing. 6 weeks before the last frost. In theory, you have about 4 weeks from the time the snow melts until it is warm enough to seed.
Naturally, you have to plan around the potential for wet soil and mud which might prevent equipment from working the soil.

The most important advantage of dormant seeding - over preparing a seedbed in the Spring - is the fact that when your ground has warmed and dried to the point of preparing the seedbed, is that , your dormant seeding is greening up...

I've done Spring seeding in the recent snow melt mud and got it to grow, before the threat of CG, but it was a time consuming hassle that didn't do near as well as proper seeding on the frozen tundra...

To each his own... :)

agrostis
10-25-2011, 07:30 PM
You "want to give dormant seeding a try" Dormant seeding is not a optimum choice. Seed now for the best results.

Smallaxe
10-26-2011, 05:01 AM
You "want to give dormant seeding a try" Dormant seeding is not a optimum choice. Seed now for the best results.

What is a better choice once the fall seeding is past?

CCF16
10-27-2011, 09:25 AM
I'm in the London area, I start seeding in mid August but I do my dormant seeding at the end on Oct once we have had a good frost. You could do it now since it is too cold to germinate but I would wait until the end of the month.

RigglePLC
10-27-2011, 02:00 PM
I seeded some grass last February on top of snow outside (in a container) as a test. As I recall, it came up about April 8th. Ontario is not far from Michigan.

So early seeding still has to wait for soil temperatures to rise above a certain level. My opinion is that the soil must be above 45 degrees. Corn is planted when temps are above 10 Celsius, (50 F), for instance.

Hopefully I will get a chance to test cold soil germination in the coming months.

Take a look at historical data for average April soil temps in your area. I could not find data for your area.

americanlawn
10-27-2011, 06:01 PM
I will be seeding an existing KBG lawn in ""mid November"" (our front lawn). Several reasons:

1) This full sun lawn always goes dormant (brown) even though I mow at 3 1/2 inches.
2) The TTTF grass in Iowa always stays green & looks nice.
3) I like the way the TTTF lawns look just 3 hours south of here (Missouri/Kansas). (thanks grassman)
4) TTTF cultivars have improved regarding courseness of textture.

I already bought the seed, so I plan to:

1) Mow the lawn extremely short (making sure no clippings interfere)
2) Go over the lawn 6 or 8 times with core aerators
3) Then spread the seed
4) Then drag it twice with a section of chain link fence (2 different directions)
5) Postpone any pre-em app until the end of May

Is this gunna work? Any tips? Thanks in advance. (central Iowa) :waving:

RigglePLC
10-27-2011, 06:30 PM
I am thinking you should seed first. Then aerate and drag. This will put more soil on top of the seed burying the seed, ideal for best germination. Sure you might cut a few seeds in half--so what? Most of the seed will end up near the surface. If you seed on top of deep holes, some of that seed will be at the bottom of the hole.

Guys--what do you think? If seed falls to the bottom of the aeration hole--will it successfully establish? What is your experience? Your opinion? Your evidence?

Does dragging make a difference? What percent of the holes would be filled? Partially filled?

Smallaxe
10-28-2011, 09:41 AM
Another interestting point about dormant seeding... it is said that the freeze/thaw cycle of the surface of the soil actually plants the seed at the desired depth so broadcasting an overseed project is adequate on nothing more than bare soil... so the unfinished ground between the aeration hole may germinate seed as well...

RigglePLC
10-28-2011, 11:14 AM
The freeze thaw cycle actually plants the seed. Hmmm--is that a rumor--or is there some proof to that statment?
I think this needs an experiment for this winter. But how? What serves as the untreated control?

Maybe I could plant seed at 7 day intervals (on top of snow as needed), all winter. Sounds like too much work. My wife won't give up her garden.

Smallaxe
10-28-2011, 09:55 PM
The freeze thaw cycle actually plants the seed. Hmmm--is that a rumor--or is there some proof to that statment?
I think this needs an experiment for this winter. But how? What serves as the untreated control?

Maybe I could plant seed at 7 day intervals (on top of snow as needed), all winter. Sounds like too much work. My wife won't give up her garden.

On Top Of The Snow is NOT what makes the planting of seed possible... Its been done for generations b4 the advent of the 'Drill', atop cultivated soil, usually in the Spring...

I've never heard of any kind of seeding done on top of the snow... In our Agricultural history many things have been accomplished... Very little has advanced in our understanding of seed germination and lifecycle since then...

Of course grass seed in 2-3" holes and the addition of 'root inhibitor' has helped... :)

RigglePLC
10-30-2011, 10:30 AM
Overseeding of Bermuda has been done for generations in the southern US. I am nowhere near that area. Do they normally, broadcast or use a slit seeder? Cut short? What species of grass are normally used? I have heard they use a heavy seeding rate--how heavy? Starter fert?

My recent experiments showed that about a month ago, I got lots of new grass if I seeded into existing Kentucky bluegrass, at a very heavy rate--about 10 times normal.

Smallaxe
10-30-2011, 11:00 AM
Overseeding of Bermuda has been done for generations in the southern US. I am nowhere near that area. Do they normally, broadcast or use a slit seeder? Cut short? What species of grass are normally used? I have heard they use a heavy seeding rate--how heavy? Starter fert?

My recent experiments showed that about a month ago, I got lots of new grass if I seeded into existing Kentucky bluegrass, at a very heavy rate--about 10 times normal.

What method of overseeding KBG did you use?

RigglePLC
10-30-2011, 03:06 PM
I overseeded on top of low quality grass without any soil preparation. 2 feet by 2 feet plots. No irrigation. I used 16 pounds per thousand sqft on one plot. And triple or 48 pounds per thousand sqft on the second. This was seeded Sept 15, (not Oct 11). Dry, then rains began on Sept 24th. Scotts Classic(which containd rye, blue and fine fescue) seed was used. Both areas showed obvious new grass by Oct 29th. The heavily seeded area was much thicker.

Smallaxe
10-30-2011, 07:56 PM
What % of "Scott's Classic" is AR. ???

It will be interestin to see what happens in the Spring and whether it is thriving throughout the growing season... :)

RigglePLC
10-30-2011, 09:31 PM
Scotts "Classic" is a low-quality mixture. No annual rye, but Classic contains 30 percent perennial rye.

Misterbluesky
11-01-2011, 08:31 PM
Topdressing last works best for me any time of year. Aerate, seed, lime, fert, then topdress and drag or rake out the lumps. Water and wait

RigglePLC
11-01-2011, 10:26 PM
When you aerate and the sow seed...are you trying to get the seed into the aeration holes? Or are you trying to use the soil residue to cover the seed?

How important is the moisture content of the plugs?

How important is the soil type? Sandy soil cores break up easily and clay with difficulty--or am I wrong?