Aerating & Seeding Schedule - Need Feedback

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by douglee25, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. douglee25

    douglee25 LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Posts: 298

    I think I missed the boat this year. Between work and everything else going on, I never got around to aerating and overseeding on my own personal lawn. Now the leaves began to fall, and we even got 4 inches of snow last weekend. Temps are back up into the high 50's during the day and the snow is gone.

    Questions -

    1. Can I still aerate and seed this late? If I can not seed now, would aerating still provide the benefits, or would I be better off just waiting until spring?

    2. If aerating is OK now, would aerating the lawn prior to leaf cleanup be an effective way to getting a 'like topdress' down into the core?

    Thanks.

    Doug
     
  2. Puttinggreens

    Puttinggreens LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 370

    Think about doing the work in December. Problem with aerating and seeding now is some of the seed may germinate but not mature enough to get through the winter.

    Aerating and seeding in December will be late enough to keep the seed from germinating until spring. Meanwhile the seed gets worked into the soil well from all the freeze thaw cycles and storms. Results are better than areas worked in the spring.

    We have been handling late signups this way for years,,, works good. Currently have about 10 aeration seeding jobs on the board for first week of December now.
     
  3. douglee25

    douglee25 LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Posts: 298

    That's a good way to think about it as well. You bring up some valid points.

    Doug
     
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,911

    "Seed may germinate but not mature enough to get through the winter."

    To get through winter...how mature does new seed have to be, exactly? Is there a month when one could never plant grass seed successfully?

    If the new grass is a half inch tall--is that tall enough to survive the winter? Is bluegrass better than ryegrass in this regard? At what soil temperature can you be sure grass seed will not germinate under the snow? Would you say below 40 degrees F?

    Since soil temperature will be very cold in the spring, would pre-germinating the seed in warm water in fall work faster? What about in spring?
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  5. douglee25

    douglee25 LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Posts: 298

    I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or you're truthfully asking?

    Doug
     
  6. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,846

    Riggle is right on the money. I'm in your same zone. All depends on Mother Nature. Some years we were able to dormant seed around December 10. Most years it's mid to late November. I prefer KBG over ryegrass.
     
  7. dboyd351

    dboyd351 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,099

    Doug,
    I think Riggle is completely serious and is not trying to give you a hard time. He likes to run lots of experiments to satisfy his curiosity.
     
  8. douglee25

    douglee25 LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Posts: 298

    OK, I just wasn't sure. I can't answer any of those questions honestly, that's why I came here to ask the experts!

    Doug
     

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