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Does Dormant Seeding work?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by mngrassguy, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,167

    What is the best timing that has worked for you? What causes it to fail?
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    The answer is yes. While not doing it commonly, I have done it several times over the years. I believe the #1 most common cause of less than desirable results is probably doing it too early. So often, people will seed in the bad window between optimum early fall, and the point where NO germination will happen. If it is doe in this window, much of the seed germinates, but isn't mature enough to harden off and is lost to the frosts and freezing.
    Another bad one is when the brand new grass that is germinated in early spring ends up sprayed with a volatile chem like 3 way or something.
  3. jaybird24

    jaybird24 LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 623

    We have had good results doing it after a fall cleanup- late Nov. early Dec. It works good because the grass gets cut short and the lawn is clean, so we slit seed real shallow. The only problem would be an extended warm snap, but the chance of the soil getting warm enough for germination is low. I've heard of people broadcasting seed over the first snow and letting the freeze thaw work it in, but never tried it on a lawn, it's common practice in prairie restoration work. By the way Runner, thanks for all your reviews of the Turf Revitalizer- we picked one up this fall and I could not be happier.
  4. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,167

    Thanks guys, just what I thought. Any more opinions?
  5. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    yes, i cant add much thatn waht these guys said. i have done it even earlier and still had it come up the nest spring even after a wet winter. matured into a great lawn. i would never count on it as a way to establish, but maybe expect like 70 percent success and sell as so to those situations that present themselves for this.

    STRINGALATION LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 777

    not to hijack but pitch in here . i'm looking to do the same type of scenairio this winter. i hope fill a niche and gain some winter income. i plan to offer a package of dethatching, seeding, and topdressing. does this sound like a good tactic. remember not hijacking the thread but hopefully we can both benefit. i watched street renovators finish mid winter drop seed and straw and come spring they srouted in the most unforgiving soil so i hope i can make it work. here a lot of people have and will lose a chunk of lawn by leaving storm debis there for extended peoriods. hope this helps us both

    STRINGALATION LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 777

    bumpde bump
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    It is a good idea IMO. One of the reasons it is risky however it because of the uncertainty of the snowmelt and the terrain.

    Any seed in position over last winter , on almost any terrain this past spring, Was able to germinate and grow vibrantly. No real frost in the ground because the snow cover bought it out after it had frozen. Then soaked into the ground w/out washing across the surface.

    Many times however, the frozen ground thaws at the surface and moving water moves the top 1/4 inch of thawed mud all over.

    On the right terrain I think it would be worth the effort. followup with spring's 'freeze/thaw planting' just to be sure.

    STRINGALATION LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 777

    so maybe trow in a follow up seeding? i seed @ 10# per 1000sqft my price could allow a follow up in spring which would be real nice on top of the top dressing

    WETSCAPE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168

    Many old timers used to put seed down right before the first snow around here. I had a neighbor when I was a kid down the street do this as well. We all thought he was just throwing the seed away but Always had the nicest lawn come spring.... I don't know?

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