Too late to seed?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by snmhanson, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. snmhanson

    snmhanson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    I live in the Northwest, the Columbia Gorge about an hour east of Portland to be exact. I am in the process of getting two 10' wide strips of grass along each side of my driveway ready for lawn. I only need to install irrigation and bring in and spread ~30 yards of topsoil. However, with a newborn on my hands this will probably take at least one week, maybe two. That puts me into the beginning/middle of October when we will be getting mild days and occasional freezing temps at night. Will this be too late to put seed down? I am hoping I can get at least a bit of grass growing before the rain really starts, otherwise we will end up with a muddy mess all winter. Thanks.

    Matt
     
  2. OCTO13ER

    OCTO13ER LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    First week of Oct. is not too late to seed cool season grasses. Given the amount of work you still have to prepare for getting your seed in the ground is another story. I've been working on seeding my yard (on weekends and some weekdays) since the beginning of Sept. and have found way too many things going wrong. Call it bad luck, bad weather, whatever...but never count on things going exactly as planned. Just get everything else done and then check to see where you stand. As of right now, I wouldn't count on seeding it this year. I'll feel lucky to get mine done and everything is ready. Just need the ground to dry so I can do a little raking and seed it.

    Some tips:
    Overestimate how much dirt you'll need. You can always find a home for it if you have too much.

    If the weather permits: DROP EVERYTHING AND GET TO IT!!! I kept waiting for the weather to agree with my schedule. That doesn't work (I like to say God is humbling me).

    Get more help than is needed. Ask friends, neighbors, coworkers, anyone with a strong back and a clue. It's amazing how much work is actually involved.

    Hope this helps. :)
     
  3. snmhanson

    snmhanson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    Thanks for the tips. I installed over 25,000 sf of lawn and a sprinkler system last summer in our very rocky and difficult to work in soil and several years ago I did the same at our previous home with equally crappy soil so I am fairly familiar with the pitfalls and time commitment required. I do however agree with everything you said. I just wasn't sure how late in the fall you can plant grass and hope to see some coverage before winter. In any case I rented a ditcher and dug the irrigation trenches and trenches to run conduit for lighting yesterday and today it started to rain and it is supposed to continue through the weekend. Oh well, it's better than working in snow. I need to hand dig/clean out the rocky areas of the ditches and hopefully I will get most of the pipe laid and systems installed this weekend and early next week. It's only going to be ~200' feet of pvc with 10 spray heads and maybe 100' feet of conduit. As long as I can get the trenches cleaned out I think it is realistic that I can get it done this weekend. That would put me on schedule for getting topsoil and planting grass next weekend if all goes somewhat according to plan. Thanks again for the advice and best of luck on getting your project finished as well.

    Matt
     
  4. OCTO13ER

    OCTO13ER LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    Thanks!! I need all the luck I can get, keep me in your prayers!!! :angel: Sounds like you've done this before, this is my first. It amazed me how much work is actually involved, but I'm not shy of work. I grew up on 20 acres in Oklahoma so I've been working since I was old enough to walk.

    It's starting to look like the weather is playing by the rules, though. After a couple of gully washers this past week we're having sunny days and 70-80 degree weather. Looks like I might get the seed in after all! :) Just some raking and cleaning up to do and I'll be planting.

    I did find something good that came of the rain:
    Lots of rocks came to the surface that can now be raked up and disposed of.
    Found some low spots in the yard that were not readily apparent that can now be repaired prior to seeding.
    Discovered an area that will need errosion control matting unless I want to seed the storm drains. At first I didn't think the slope was great enough, boy was I wrong.

    Good luck to you, too!! I'd help if we were neighbors but that's a long drive. Good luck with the newborn as well. My wife and I are planning to start our family (after five years of marriage) but we're waiting for her sister to be ready (very soon). You know, cousins the same age and all that.

    Keep us posted on how your project goes.

    Adrian
     
  5. OCTO13ER

    OCTO13ER LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    Hey, Matt!! Me again. Just in case you're still not sure about how late is too late with seeding, here is a link I found that can give you a basic rule of thumb to go by for your specific area. I'm in Illinois south of Chicago (go White Sox!!!!! :cool2: ) so my daytime and nightime temps are just about right. Anyway, I'll stop babbling, here you go:

    http://www.seedland.com/tips1.html#COOL

    This site is full of useful info for all types of grasses. I found it very informative. Also a useful tool I found for info was the greenskeeper at my local community golf course. I called several before I found one willing to give info, the private clubs can be snooty.

    Adrian
     

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