Dormant Seeding: A Pictorial

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Smallaxe, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    Axe,

    Rarely do we get a deep freeze, we avg about 50-60 air temp we're getting ready to go into the coldest part of the year for us late jan -feb, this is why I was asking we'll probably stay in the 30's and 40's for the next month or so, but I have two customers that want to overseed with Tall Fescue, I was advising them to wait a few weeks? Sounds like I would be safe to go ahead?
     
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,777

    I cannot advise you on tall fescue. Most grass seed will remain dormant when it is too cold, although they may absorb water. I feel that they will begin to grow--but slowly--in the spring when soil temps hit the proper range, rather like what happens in nature. My opinion, is that a dry spell just after seedling emergence, is the biggest risk.
    In my experiments on new rye seedlings placed into freezers...I saw that the area of rapid growth about a half-inch above the soil was most affected. That area turned brown and new grass bent over at the half-inch point.
     
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I remember when I first started out, there was this idea that if the seed was put in the ground too early in the Spring that it would 'rot' before it got warm enough to germinate... that turns out to be absolute nonsense... I believe now that there is never a bad time to put down seed...

    The seed needs to acclimate to the soil and soil conditions so that when the time is right it germinates on time... When you wait for the time to be right before you put the seed down, now you have to wait for it to acclimate...

    That is my view and it seems to be correct for cool-season grasses, but I don't know if the university system has any real info on it.... :)
     
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Spring is really coming slowly, but we'll soon get to see what happened to this process of self-seeding due to the freeze/thaw cycle...
     
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    This was then...

    CharSeedWatered002.jpg
     
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,777

    Weather has been abnormally cold this year. We got an inch of snow followed by cold rain this week. Probable new snow in next two days. Prediction calls for highs of slightly above freezing to persist for another week.
    Unmelted snow banks from plowing drives are about 3 feet tall.
    Here is seeding applied to snow in early March. It is about 3 feet from road in background. 3 ft by 3 ft area. Metal ruler in center shows snow depth of about 3 inches. Photo about March 9th, 2013.

    And here are cups planted with seed and plunged into soil. Right to left: November, December, January, February, March and planned April. Scotts perennial rye. Temp was 32 as a high today.

    S3500033.jpg

    S3500011.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,777

    Weather has been abnormally cold this year. We got an inch of snow followed by cold rain this week. Probable new snow in next two days. Prediction calls for highs of slightly above freezing to persist for another week.
    Unmelted snow banks from plowing drives are about 3 feet tall.
    Here is seeding applied to snow in early March. It is about 3 feet from road in background. 3 ft by 3 ft area. Metal ruler in center shows snow depth of about 3 inches. Photo about first week of March.

    And here are cups planted with seed and plunged into soil. Right to left: November, December, January, February, March and planned April. Scotts perennial rye. Temp was 32 as a high today.
     
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    The snow is still coming here... about a foot deep before the snow started yesterday... my coldframe porch has basically turned the snow I put over the grass seeds to ice... I'm gradually raining the ice away with the sprinkling can just to have a look at the seed again...
    I set up a lot of dormant seeding last Fall and am anxious to see how it worked...
    Out 10 day forecast is about the same as the past 10 days... how's your forecast across the Lake???
     
  9. jfoxtrot9

    jfoxtrot9 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 280

    Subscribed.
     
  10. frotis

    frotis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 395

    What temps does dormant seeding usually start to germinate in the north east? What if daytime temps are averaging 50 but night time is high 30's. Does it need to be above 50 night and day?
     

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