Overseed jobs... abort due to low overnight temps or opt for Dormant seeding?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Exact Rototilling, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    I know,I know. Go down to the local hardware store that sells seed, pick up a bag, then go broadcast it by hand and charge a premium price. You know, because this is the way the "professionals" do it, and it is guaranteed to yield a high success rate, consistent results, and a thick stand of turf. :rolleyes:
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Others may have noticed that I'd already discounted the "2nd Option", and the alternative to both options was something else... the question was... What can be done, in any given situation...
    As long as we stick with the rigid one size fits all,,, we will continue to be sidetracked...

    Sidetracked in both word and deed, unable to provide the service that clients ask for... it does pay to think things through, before going through the greatest expense for the narrowest result... :)
  3. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 899

    Whats dormant seeding?

    Is that where you put a bunch of seed out to sit there all winter and expect germination in spring?


    On a good day with fresh seed, seed to soil contact, watering, and fertilizing you will only get 80% germination.

    I can only assume what germ-rate would be after sitting there all winter.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    You assume incorrectly... obviously it is a last ditch effort to fill in the areas that didn't 'take well', during the Fall, but last Spring was probably the best results of anything else... even complete lawns being seeded after rototilling...

    In the old days people either relied on Spring rains or Winter seeding to establish lawns... it works much better than lots of things I've seen other people do... :)
  5. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 899

    Too many variables for me. Like last winter here in the midwest. The seed would have sat there and rotted for four months. I don't see how you could get much germination, and certainly not for the prices I charge for premium seeding.

    For field seeding? I guess but why not just wait till spring?
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,231

    You both make valid points. I tried some tests last year. Seeded very late as dormant seeding. But winter was so mild--seed came up in December. Seed on top of snow in February in flower pots came up in April. I will try again this year. Suggestions needed.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I remember being told, when first starting out, that seed put onto the ground when it's too cold for it to germinate, would rot... that was a lie...
    In fact I believe last year that the seed may have been in Phase II, for most of the winter, then it germinated(Phase III) as soon a it was warm enough for mature grass to green up in the Spring... Last year was one of the most successful ever...

    If you wait till Spring with dry seed you are losing valuable time with both phases I & II... I was reading yesterday and some sites refer to "Frost Seeding"...

    Where in the midwest are you???
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Try putting seed down on frozen ground before Winter... Then in a nearby spot put down seed in Feb. or there abouts... Then put down seed during the time that people normally do Spring seeding in your area and see when and how they look Memorial Weekend...

    Just a suggestion... :)
  9. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,362

    I did proceed with the quasi overseed on job #1. The lawn in question is watered too often like daily and the client is not easily educated on proper turf care...just like 70% of the home owners here in the land.of.turf.grass.research. His also s lawn has too much thatch?? Thanks.to.years of fast release TG or other big application Co. Weed.and.feed combos plus.over irrigation.

    What I did is a 2 pass fairly.aggressive spring tine power rake to.mainly scrap down to.the crowns and loosen up some.debris. After that I did.a triple plugr 850 pass which would require 6+ passes with a rolling tine.unit ...let.it dry.out 2 days... cranked out client supplied seed...did a very.dirty and.gritty plug.break up low mow. Also cranked.out 16-16-16 fert....Then split.
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  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Were there a lot of compacted, smooth barespots in between the grass plants, or was it rather full?

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