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early seeding

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by mattb7771, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. mattb7771

    mattb7771 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    this may be a stupid question but can i seed if were still getting below zero temps the odd day ill prob use red fescue or a mix im in vancouver bc and the customer wants it done asap
  2. tombo82685

    tombo82685 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    Yes you can. A lot of farmers do this, they call it frost seeding. If your going to do this, go with double the seed rate do to how long the seed is going to be laying there and other factors like heavy rains carrying the seed off site and animals eating the seed.
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,571

    Seed must absorb water for a few days. Cold water is probably OK. See the dormant seeding thread. Should work, but include some top-quality disease resistant perennial rye. It comes up faster--but still--nothing will happen until soil temp comes up. I think you will have slow germination at about 45 degrees. Take a look at the soil temp map--or better still--get a soil temperature thermometer.

    It may be possible speed things up by pre-germinate the seed inside in warm water. Dry it and then plant it. A good bit of extra hassle and time--but if the customer insists--he will pay for your time.
  4. mattb7771

    mattb7771 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    great info thanks guys :drinkup:
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I might add that you talk them into a redo once the bare ground starts to thaw and freeze. A lot of seed can be lost just sitting on frozen ground. I would do half now and half later, since they insist on a rush...

    When does your soil start to thaw, generally?
  6. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    I am based in Port Coquitlam and operate from a one acre property in Pitt Meadows.
    (five minutes east)

    For those who don't know, we appear to contract in the same region. Although, I don't know Matt. Also, our demographics may differ.

    My company hasn't done any overseeding yet this season. In the last six days, we"ve had snow and hail storms in parts of Coquitlam and Port Moody (it's mountains and valleys here. Ski in the morning, swim in the ocean in the afternoon.)

    The problem is too much rain lately. So many la ninya storms. I don't want the seed to
    run away with the rain water and end up in places like gardens and tree circles.

    Alot of the municipalities around here are pesticide free, so we can't use pre-emergents
    and that manual labour to continually weed and pull grass costs money. The pre-emergents would wash down hill any-way right now and leave dead areas in the lawns.

    I also feel it has been too soggy and the seed won't germinate properly. This post is a few weeks old, so it hasn't been freezing here. Is your client in Maillardville?
    I wouldn't seed if it was still going to freeze.

    I watch all of the local channels weather reports. like some people watch sports.
    That way I can better judge from more opinions what can be done in the next few days.
    I won't even prune if it's raining.

    I have even held off on alot of aerating and edging because of how untypically wet and stormy it has been this season.

    We've limed and fertilized every-thing. Mainly I am monitoring.

    Although alot of our strata (hoa) lawns are still dormant,
    we did our first cuts in the last week. We are yet to cut the entire sites.

    We started maintenance last year in the second half of February.

    It is a slow start and I'm not getting many calls so far.
    Alot of people here are still gunshy from the recession and the fact that
    it is so expensive to live in the Vancouver area. We have taxes and fees
    that you other guys would never believe.
    Who do you think is paying for the billions they paid out to put on the Olympics Here?

    I always say: Remember, the customer is Not always right.
    I have high blood pressure to prove this. Or is that from Property Managers?

    All we can do is educate clients and protect our own butts, because no-one else
    is going to.
  7. mattb7771

    mattb7771 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    hello dr new earth i cant believe the slow start this season it sucks im going to start cutting on monday im all resedential at this point i have about 50 regulars and enjoy small hardscaping jobs they keep me going lately im getting so sick of cuttung grass lol why did you ask if my job was in maillardville
  8. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    I have found it can stay colder longer when the property is low and close to the
    Fraser River. Just a guess.

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