Old 09-02-2013, 10:27 AM
precator precator is offline
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Too early to overseed Fescue?

I am in Northern Maryland and temps will be in the upper 70's to low 80's the next 10 days. Should I wait to overseed or are these temperatures fine?
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:51 AM
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RigglePLC RigglePLC is online now
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I think those temps are fine.
Your average temp in Baltimore falls from 85 to 78 during September. Warm soil is good--provided you get plenty of moisture on the new seed.
My suggestion: Cut short; heavy raking or power rake first. Sow seed, rake or power rake again. Water every day for 30 days.

Be sure to use top quality seed...brown patch resistant. Be sure seed is in the top 20 in the NTEP trials nearest to your location.
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:05 PM
grassmasterswilson grassmasterswilson is online now
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Any idea what the optimal germination soil temp is for tall fescue? We use it for pre apps.

I've always waited til the temps cool off. We get a few good weeks of growth and then the leaves come. I'd love to get the seed down as early as possible in hope of growing a healthy lawn in the fall and spring to hopefully get through the summer.

We often get upper 80s-90s in September and temps cool off pretty fast which signals the leaves.
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:40 PM
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RigglePLC RigglePLC is online now
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I suggest 8 weeks before frost--which is about November 13 in Baltimore.


September has good rainy periods. According to this about 4 inches in September, on average.
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:19 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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One would want seeding to occur while the ground is still warm... not so warm that the seedlings burn off on 1 hot afternoon,,, AND after,,, the CrabGrass doesn't germinate anymore... this is the deal for cool-season grasses...

Frost in the air is irrelevant in new grass seed in cool-season grasses... they will grow roots in the Fall until the ground is frozen solid... Here in Wisco we have grass germinating in October IF there is rain enough and everything except the grass has endured a killing frost at least once already...

Right now we are in for a week of full sun from sunup to sundown, without any rain expected... temperatures will still struggle to hit 89 degrees and IF it does it will be a couple of hours in the mid-afternoon... no more burning of seedlings, ground temps still warm and all we need is to get the seed soaked into an adequate seed bed with adequate cover, then we're golden...

Warm-season grasses may very well have little quirks that do not jive well with the basic principles of seeding in the cool-season, so it is best to figure out the best strategy for your area... 6weeks before our first frost could be during the first week in August when the sun is still brutal and the SOM only bakes the seeds rather than protect it with moisture retention... We are only now looking at weather conditions conducive to seeding grass...
Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:09 PM
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DA Quality Lawn & YS DA Quality Lawn & YS is offline
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I am here in SE MN where we just got off a week of 90's and humidity. No time to seed thats for sure. I may start next week barring a flare-up hot spell again. I would REALLY like to see a nice rainy pattern set in, that would be ideal for seeding. Not liking this drought stuff = spotty seed results.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:57 PM
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foreplease foreplease is offline
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Almost everything I do or take care of has its overall plan determined by whether or not the area has irrigation or not. That is an important distinction if you are on the fence about seeding for reasons of current weather vs the long term averages for your area. And I don't care about the "usual" shut-off date. Places will be flexible about this if they have an investment to protect.

One thing on our side for keeping new seedlings alive is the decreasing number of daylight hours. If you have irrigation, my advice is take a chance. Weather trends will revert to the mean. If irrigation is not available, timing is more of a factor.

Good luck to all who have renovations to do.
Michigan PABL
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