Last date to over(slit) seed in Upper Midwest

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,286


    What should I use as a rule of thumb for the last day I can effectively overseed here in the Upper Midwest and have a good stand of grass come through and make it through light frost. We are talking seeding into existing lawns here.

    Our first frost avg date is like Oct 10-12.

  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    I do believe that you answered your own question

    There are many at your latitude that have a program of dormant seeding. Apply seed when the ground is partially frozen and the freeze thaw opens the ground to accept the seed. when the soil warms in the spring the seed is an inch in the ground

    BINGO, nice lawn for the season
  3. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Absolutely horrible renovation season here in S. Ohio this year.
    Hardly any lawns have seen damage beyond repair.
    What a bummer! :cry:
  4. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    Get started today, but just like ICTBill said, don't worry about freeze thaw, the seed will over winter just fine....
  5. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Dormant seeding holds risks, too.
    There's always a strong chance that spring won't abruptly......'POP'....from cold weather to warm, of course.
    1 spring out of 3 might drag on & on with cool, rainy weather for weeks on end, depending upon where you are in the country.
    There's always that risk a % of the seed will rot and / or wash away if not enough attention was paid to potential erosion.

    I've seen perfectly executed & timed dormant seeding projects fail completely, and maybe the next year see a fly-by-night, blow-it-out-the-tailgate cob-job look like something out of Ty Pennington's front yard scrapbook.

    There's always a throw of the dice in seeding, especially when there's no one around to manage it.
  6. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889


    Yep this is true aswell.....
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    True, very true.

    You could also say that about seeding any time of year. Fall seedings look like they'll be horrible around here. No rain to speak of during the perfect weather temps we're having. Now is our time to get something established before the frost comes our way.
  8. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,955

    1) Regarding seeding with Kentucky bluegrass, best time is mid August thru mid Sept, so you're approaching the end of fall seeding. 2) If you miss this window, then you may want to "dormant seed" (late November or just before the ground freezes), but you should delay preemergent applications until mid May.

    We have done both methods - usually with good results. But in all honesty, I have seeded crappy parts of my lawn in July, August, September, October, November, and December. I never watered. I just let Nature take it's course. But I'm lazy. Good luck, and often, seeding is more "luck" than science. :laugh:
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,794

    Another company did one of my customers lawns in a tear out and redo situation. Weather delays forced him to sow seed about Oct 19. It promptly got cold. The ryegrass portion was up about an inch tall in a few places warmed by the sun by Thanksgiving. Added fertilizer. Second week of December he had grass, but it still looked horrible. Essentially grass does not grow below 45 degrees. It stands still. In spring we skipped pre emergent, more fertilizer. Long wait--by June it was looking fine. And we added fertilizer and weed control. The seeding company's repeated visits made it a money-loseing proposition, I am sure.
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Soil temps in the fall, is the reason fall seeding is better than spring seeding.

    Cooler air temps, more chance of rain, less direct sunlight are reasons that spring and fall are better than summer.

    A frost has no effect, to speak of, on young cool season grass plants. They just need the roots to mature enough b4 the ground freezes, for the winter.

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