Is overseeding risky this late in the season in the Chicago area?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by DJB, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. DJB

    DJB LawnSite Member
    Posts: 43

    Here's a seeding job we did last year in September. It's a retention pond that had been destroyed by a major trenching job. We restored it.
     
  2. DJB

    DJB LawnSite Member
    Posts: 43

    Oops here's the picture

    SAM_0191 - Copy (2) (800x600).jpg
     
  3. Blade Runners

    Blade Runners LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,021

    I would advise the customer against it. We had a new customer ask for seeding a few days ago and I told them it was almost too late. 15 Oct is the last date recommemded here also. If the customer would have insisted, I would have done it but made sure they understood they were taking a chance.
     
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    With irrigation one could water the seedling until the ground actually froze,,, however the mid-west has not been getting any good rain throughout this Fall... almost a week now since the last storm ended and the ground has been dry since Wednesday...

    Dormant seed with lots of Annual Ryegrass(AR) in the mix... cost effectiveness with better shot of successful results... Who made up the 'statistics' of 50-80% success rate for Dormant Seeding??? That is always dependent on the weather and the odds are incalculable... :)
     
  5. DJB

    DJB LawnSite Member
    Posts: 43

    We will have irrigation whenever we do it. How do you think the AR would help. I know it is sometimes used in new seedbeds since it comes up more quickly and can sort of "protect" the KB which comes ups more slowly. But this is over-seeding existing (albeit somewhat patchy) lawn. Do you think that it would actually have a protective function with the cold or just give it "the look of success"?

    I should have clarified: the 50-80% was not a statistic but an educated guess from my seed supplier with the caveat that there is no way to truly generalize given the many variables (irrigation, soil temps, etc.) But I have noticed a general trend that dormant seeding is less effective than regular seeding and I pressed him for a guess since he has seen a lot more than me. This seemed pretty consistent with my experiences and he wouldn't have any bias to have me put off the seeding so I thought it helpful. I don't know of any scientific numbers on dormant seeding compared to traditional but I'd love to see some.

    One other question for anyone with experience. About 40,000 sf or so of the area is sloped (I don't have the specific ratio of the slope) and given to erosion. These areas are the most patchy of all (large bare spots - less than 50% grass) but there is existing grass as well. We will be bringing in top-soil and leveling/filling in the areas where erosion has created channels on this slope. Given the timing/need for quick germination would hydro-seeding be a better option here that erosion blanket like curlex? Would the hydro-seeding process smother the existing grass or would it work as a sort of over-seeding? I don't want to lose the existing grass because it's the only thing fighting the erosion as it is.
     
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    If you have irrigation I would seed and irrigate right up to the time the ground freezes solid for the winter... I'm quite bit further north and I'd still do it if need be,,, w/out AR...

    The reason for AR in dormant seeding was that you said it's a sports field and would be used right away in the Spring... Whatever you don't get going this Fall will have to be done in the Spring...
    So what would you do to raise the odds of getting grass, first thing in the Spring??? Dormant Seeding Process,,, heavy on the AR...

    Dormant seeding means broadcasting seed before the first permanent snow storm of the winter... there are no variables such as,,, (irrigation, soil temps, etc.)... it is winter...
    Then,,, as soon as conditions are right,,, the seed germinates...
    There are factors that may prevent full germination, but it has more to do with the freeze/thaw cycles of the soil, snow cover and the emerging conditions of the snow melt... Always faster seedling growth than waiting for the soils to warm and then start... when the soils warm the dormant seeding is already growing... :)
     

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