Seeding In Mid October???

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Stringblade, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. Stringblade

    Stringblade LawnSite Member
    from pgh pa
    Posts: 98

    Hello Everyone,

    Ive been searching for some answers all over the place but cant seem to get what Im looking for

    I live In PA and was scheduled to have a fall seeding completed by OCT 15 Im just starting to second guess if this will have sufficient time to grow in or am I asking for trouble?

    If the seeds begin to germinate then a frost comes will it kill off the sprouts? Or can the lawn germinate then go into winter dormancy and just pick right up where it left off in the spring and continue to grow?

    Thanks for the help I want to make the right decision even if it means giving back the down payment and just waiting till spring
     
  2. gardenkeeper88

    gardenkeeper88 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 347

    What zone are you? Her in North IN. we are 5. I have seed many times mid Oct. My cut off date is Halloween. The witches put a curse on the seed at that time. LOL. I do change my stategy as far as what variety of seed I use. We normally use Ky. Blue with a little turf rye (15%) I switch to about 30% turf rye with 1 or 2 varieties of Ky Blue (remember this means more #'s per 1000 SF as rye is larger seed and not as many seeds per #. You might also ask your supplier for a variety of blue w/ a little quicker germination. The other thing to watch for is Trees. This means leaves, and you know how hard it will be to clean up leaves on a new seed bed without disturbing it. Good luck.
     
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Sufficient soil moisture as it goes into winter can do great things that may surprise you. Generally you are likely to lose what germinated if the ground freezes when the sprouts are too young. Especially if you hit it with a fresh supply of N to encourage green growth.

    Plants use the K that is already in the soil to frost proof their cells, as they stop growing. Go ahead and seed, then seed again once the ground is frozen, as a 'dormant seeding', then add some more when the spring thaw and freeze cycle is happening.

    Note: when you add additional seeding as backup usually a light app is all that is necessary. You can do that by hand out of a small pail in a few minutes.
     
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    I'd say do it now. The window of opportunity for fall seeding just opened around here about a week ago. It went dry, temps were higher, ect. Now it truly feels like fall is here with the cool- cold nigh time temps and I just put pants on for the first time since April.

    I agree that you can seed clear up to Halloween, grass seed can take a little frost just not the harder frost/freeze below 30.

    My only concern is it got really cool, really fast, and it makes me wonder if we are going to get harder freezes earlier this year.

    I would suggest seeding if you can. If the area you are seeding is bare dirt, then any sort of establishment is going to help with erosion control, and you can always over seed in the spring.

    Central IL, zone 5
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2008
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    You could, if you're really worried, use a non slow-release ag or farm fertilizer,
    that way the stuff will be like POOF and in two weeks it's there.

    As for where to get that I couldn't tell you, my local supplier carries it, just
    have to ask for farm fertilizer and if they ask me what I mean I tell them it's
    not slow release.

    Personally speaking I love that stuff, I ain't never seen a more potent effect LOL
    that stuff really shoots up and right as I start to thinking I done got myself in trouble
    because it's growing way too fast, the effect is wore off and it's over :p

    Great stuff, that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2008
  6. Stringblade

    Stringblade LawnSite Member
    from pgh pa
    Posts: 98

    "My cut off date is Halloween. The witches put a curse on the seed at that time."

    Oct 31st seems really risky to be putting down seed to me. Im worried about seeding on the 15th.

    Has anyone ever had to redo a lawn in the spring because of the weather changing before the lawn was established?
     
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    I lightly tilled about 8000 square feet last fall and seeded. The fall was so dry and it never got watered, so needles to say I had to over-seed in the spring to fill in any patches.

    All in all it came out great by the end of this season, we've had one of the most perfect seasons temp and water wise this year. First time in 5 years. (except for 6 inches in 24 hours from remnants of GUSTAV (SP?))
     
  8. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,649

    Im in Cumberland, Md. 90 miles east of you and it will be okey. I have 3 more seedings to do and im not worried. As warm as our fall season has been the last few years i would go up to Nov. 1 with out a thought. I really want to rap our hydro-seeding in next 2 weeks. I cant imagine us getting a severe frost soon.
    Mike
     
  9. Stringblade

    Stringblade LawnSite Member
    from pgh pa
    Posts: 98

    Thanks for all the replies Ill get it done by the 15th I just usually finish all my seeding by the last week of Sept
     
  10. gardenkeeper88

    gardenkeeper88 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 347

    Just as with any seeding use a fertilizer at seeding and water. I would water around 11AM and again around 2or 3PM light only about 15 min. The evening dews help as your 3rd. watering.
     

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