Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by turfsurfer, Dec 15, 2000.

  1. turfsurfer

    turfsurfer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    Have any of you guys had good luck with winter dormant overseeding? I did a complete renovation of my lawn with turf type tall fescue and want to fill in the few thin places. Also have several customers with thin areas of lawn due to shade and/or pets. Theory is to go out in January and broadcast seed and mother nature prepares the seed bed through the freezing and thawing of the soil. What is your experience on the % germination in the spring? I live in Ohio if that helps. Local radio guy Denny Mckewen swears by this method.
  2. jaclawn

    jaclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 490

    I did this last fall on my own lawn. I had a good bit of seed left over, and what I ended up doing was to areate heavily, late in the season. IT was a few weeks after the final mowing and cleanup.

    I then broadcast the seed at a very heavy rate over the lawn. I also hit it with a shot of starter fert. In the spring, I limed to correct the pH, and hit it again with another shot of starter. Late spring I hit it with fert and Dimension, and by summer, the lawn looked 150% better than a year ago.

    It does work, however, there are many varibles.
  3. turfsurfer

    turfsurfer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    Thanks for the info. We have snow on the ground now, I think when this round of snow melts I'll go out and broadcast about 3-4lbs/1000 sq. ft of the turf fescue on my lawn and 2 lbs/1000 of bluegrass on a few customers lawns and see what happens in the spring. The big advantage to this method is supposed to be the labor savings from letting mother nature work the seed into the ground for you.
  4. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Banned
    Messages: 181

    It sounds good and would work, but I have one or two questions about that:

    1. If you power rake or thatch and blow off the lawn as a part of your spring clean up would that not harm the tender seedlings? And since thatching needs to be done anyway, the seedbed is then prepared.

    2. Would pre-emergent crabgrass controls harm the seedlings or would they have enough time to germinate and grow before the pre-em is applied?

    I am going to experiment with this practice this winter with any left over seed I have on a few houses. I hope I don't destroy my work in the spring!

    I also have heard and read that it is a good idea to apply the seed over a light snow that is supposed to melt soon so that the melting snow will pull the seed into contact with the soil.

  5. turfsurfer

    turfsurfer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    I think power raking would definately damage brand new seedlings. I'm not sure but I don't think it would hurt if done before seed germinates but it would cancel the labor savings of seeding in winter. If I was going to work the seedbed I think I would just wait till spring. My lawn is new and the 2 others I plan to overseed don't have a thatch problem so that is not an issue. Most pre-emergents will definately keep the desirable grass as well as the weed seeds from germinating so there is a choice there. I'm hoping the thicker fuller lawn will outcompete the weeds for space. Have not used pre-emergent with Siduron but have heard that it can be used with new grass seed.
  6. birddog

    birddog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Do to the inability of one of my accounts to water her newly seeded lawn correctly, it came in patchy. I tried to over seed it a week or so after it started to germinate with little result.

    My question are:
    1. should I aerate it before I try to overseed it with a broadcast spreader this coming spring ?

    2. or, is there a way to do it with out aerating, i.e., dormaint seeding?

    3. all the snow has melted from the last storm here in America's hometown and wonder if the dormaint seeding should be done now !!!!
  7. turfsurfer

    turfsurfer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    BY now, I have done all my dormant seeding for the year. The local radio talkshow guy says there's still time but you better hurry. Success depends on the winter swings in temperature and snow to work the seed down to good soil contact for you with none of the labor which will be required with spring seeding. I have aerated and overseeded several lawns in the past and my feeling is the results are not that great if the lawn is really patchy. For really thin or patchy lawns, slit-seeding seems to work better with about the same labor involved. Make sure you go in at least 2 directions for bluegrass and 3 or 4 directions for clump grasses. If you're willing to take a chance like I did, just dormant seed and save yourself the labor. I figure after this spring I will either swear by it or never do it again.

Share This Page