Dormant Seeding

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Smallaxe, May 13, 2013.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    It is still a little cold around here and the soil temps in the forest lawn is't likely that high yet, however,, with all the rain we've had the past week or so, I found dormant seeding germination this afternoon...
    Only the one spot that I've noticed so far, but it's there...

    Anyone else have any POSITIVE feedback from this lousy Spring???
     
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Finishing up the Spring cleanup and now I notice large areas have germinated... We are about 4 weeks after the snow was gone enough to start cleanup, 1wk after the Forsythia Bloom,, and just about the same day as the dandelions blossomed...

    This seed was sown just before the first permanent snow storm in Dec. 2012 just by tossing it into the thin areas with No seedbed prep...
    It germinated this Spring w/out rotting and w/out irrigation...

    I'm in the middle of the 1st mowing and it is growing qucikly w/out any new fert yet... all of last year's winterizer was quick release and none has been added since Mid-Oct...
    Becuz of our regular rains EVERYONE'S lawn in the area is dark green so there is no lacking in color, greenup time or rapid growth...
    Spring is starting to look good... :)
     
  3. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,852

    Same hear buddy. Had 2 customers ask us to spread (turf-type tall fescue) grass seed on top of large bare areas in late November. They also approved "spring seeding" if needed. Amazing results -- the grass emerged nicely, and they do not need spring seeding. Yet both lawns had good (loam) soil. But crappy clay soils are a total different story.
     
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    One thing I may have learned about the drought we had last year and the overseed that was under the snow all winter, is that the more severely dried areas,,, did not pop up this Spring... the areas that were completely killed off from the drought did NOT germinate from the dormant seeding last winter...

    We must have had at least 3" of water slowly soaking into the soils in mid-April from the ice/snow melt, and after a few nice rains and warmer temps much of the seed germinated by 4 weeks later...

    The areas that were the most neglected are the ones that will reqire special attention, once I get finished with cleanup...

    Does anyone else notice that correlation in their success rate???
     
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,075

    I noticed my mother's northern Michigan lawn had a few grub-killed spots. European chafer, I think; they have been serious since they moved into the area a few years ago. More grub damage and skunk damage to the left of the birch tree. I reseeded, raked-in and watered every day. The tines of the grass rake are visible in the day-one photo. The seed in this spot was Scotts Perennial Rye. Coated with water absorbent coating. After 8 days which included a 36 degree night and an 84 degree day...On May 20...I got germination to about a half-inch tall, in a few spots. Then I had to leave town.

    Forsythia were in full bloom, dandelions were in full bloom, I did the first mowing, as the grass was about 4 inches tall.

    I was not able to follow the drought-damaged spots in the back yard. Not sure if the fall or spring-seeded areas had germinated by the time I had to leave town.

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  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,075

    Shucks. I seeded several area 3 feet by 3 feet in a weedy crab infested vacant lot with the neighbor's OK. I seeded during the winter, one square each month. Sometimes on top of snow.
    However....its too difficult to tell if the new grass is doing well, as the old grass has greened up and both the old grass and the new seedling grass look about the same. It appears that the new seedlings are doing better in the small areas that already have a bit of grass or a bit of chickweed. The old grass and weeds seem to allow the new grass to sprout a bit better--as compared to patches of bare soil. Stay tuned. I am still watching for results.

    In small containers outside, all the grass seeded through the snow or in freezing weather came up about the same time. Same time as seeds sown in the cold early spring weather. Sprouts appeared at about 80 Growing Degree Days, (base 50).
     
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    We still don't have any irrigation on around our neighborhood, but timely rains and warming temps have much of our germination done... the new seeds are still only about an inch tall in the ground, but that is common for new seedlings to germinate and establish roots before the grass blades make the plants top heavy...

    I have applied fertilizer now to the turf, for the first time, last week after the second mowing and the grass seems to be slowing down... intially,,, after the first mowing we were ready to mow again 4 days later, but waited a week anyways and still got the fert down b4 Memorial weekend... No Pre-M... :)

    Riggle,,, did the CG also come back with your CG infested vacant lot???
     
  8. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,852

    Dormant seeding (November) was hit & miss here in central Iowa. We did about 50 seed jobs during November, and I'm sure nobody has watered yet. Loam soil lawns did the best. Clay soil lawns did the worst, yet all lawns had some new grass emerging this spring (especially in full sun areas). We're still seeing new grass plants emerge as of May 30, 2012.

    I took this pic 2 days ago. My front lawn. About 1/4 of the lawn was sprayed with Roundup (wide-bladed tall fescue) early fall. Then seeded late November. Never watered. Never fertilized. Loam soil. Turned out great.

    ISU will soon publish an article regarding this subject.

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  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    50 lawns to seed is fairly high volume so it is good to see that 'Dormant Seeding' doesn't require extra work that becomes burdensome...
    Actually,,, No Straw, No Hydroseed, No Watering Schedule and No Worries means less burdensome...

    Plz, let us know when the ISU article comes out... :)
     
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,075

    There are only tiny hints of crabgrass--less than 1/4 inch--so far on the vacant lot where I sowed some seed tests. Still too difficult to tell how the seed on top of snow fared. The old grass is too similar to the new grass.

    Crabgrass is coming on strong in the burned out new lawns that had a serious problem last year. It is about a half inch long and becoming more common.
    The seed planted on top of snow in containers last winter--did OK and sprouted about the same time as seed planted during the cold weather of early spring. (Early April).
     

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