Late seeding or wait

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by jfoxtrot9, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. jfoxtrot9

    jfoxtrot9 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    I have a fert only customer I picked up this year at Application #2. Only a few thousand square feet so I got it in order pretty quick short of the crabgrass. Plan was to aerate/overseed here in the fall.

    He decided to tear down and rebuild a new front porch. This pretty much destroyed the whole front yard. Due to construction and all the stuff he also had piled up in the back yard, app. #4 was skipped. I noticed all was complete and gave him a call the other day. He called back today. The front needs re-done of course. He was of the mindset to bring in a couple yards of topsoil and seed now. I explained it was too late to install a new yard this year. We discussed bringing in topsoil and dormant seeding this year vs. installing lawn in the spring. I really don't like installing spring lawns but have never dormant seeded a lawn before.

    Which do you think is the better option here in N.E Ohio? I read a little in another thread about dormant seeding and I am comfortable going forward with either option. I am just looking for the general advice from this forum. Which do you think would have the best success?

    Thanks for all responses:waving:
  2. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    Sod it.

    Not too late, but close.

    Probably too late for seed.

    Tell him you just spent all that time and money on the porch so you want the lawn to look right, sodding is the best course of action.
  3. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    Well, I am about an hour due East of you and do a lot of seeding. Most years I will seed until November 1st. This year seems a lot colder and nastier than most and in terms of weather the weather has been more like early December than Mid October. I am seeding what I hope will be my last jobs of the year tomorrow. If I get any other seeding jobs after these I would prefer to wait a while and dormant seed them or to wait until spring.

    I am not sure why you commented about not liking to seed in the Spring. Spring is an excellent time to plant grass and most years I am working my butt off all spring and never have a problem. If the lawn were ready to seed now I think you could still get grass up this year but since he has to bring in the top soil and prep it I think the window will have passed by the time he is ready. We are right at the limit now.

    I have dormant seeded but if I had a choice of seeding in the spring or dormant seeding I would pick seeding in the spring. With the lawn seeded in early Winter there is just too much time for things to happen to the lawn ranging from the Postman taking shortcuts across it when the ground is soft and leaving deep footprints to heavy rains on a warm winter day that may wash away some areas and leave gullies.

    Where I find dormant seeding to be the best choice is when a contractor is late finishing up a new home. To get his money from the bank the lawn needs to be seeded and dormant seeding fills that requirement. He can get paid, the lawn will usually come in ok and if not it can be fixed but I do think the best chance of success is a Spring seeding.
  4. DA Quality Lawn & YS

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

    I would tend to agree with this. Water that sod in good.
    I would hesitate EVER dormant seeding a brand new lawn. Then you are nervous all winter wondering what is going to happen.
  5. chris@perfectlawncare

    chris@perfectlawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 198

    Sounds about right. I'd emphasize, like the guy above, that he should wait and if he really wants a good looking lawn to sod it. But he better make a quick decision :)
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. jfoxtrot9

    jfoxtrot9 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    Thanks for the good advice. It looks like we are going to wait until spring, whether it be seed or sod.

    I do appreciate the nudge away from dormant seeding. I'll stick to what I already know!:weightlifter:
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Then you will never know enough to be Excellent... :)

    And to the other guy,, who would be "NERVOUS" all winter... Start trying it in places where it is not that critical... Plan to 'overseed' in the spring rather than 'seed' in the spring.

    The problem with spring seeding - is that it should be done and growing b4 it is safe to turn the irrigation on.
    Dormant seeding gets you a winter's worth of moisture and soil contact, so it is ready to go with the warming soils. (well ahead of the CG)
    Dormant is actually a better bet, in some respects.
  8. topdog

    topdog LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 205

    if u seed in the spring you can't put down crab grass control. that is why most guys seed in either fall, or a dorm. late winter seeding.
  9. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    That is a good point that you can't put down crab grass control.

    I am not so sure that I would agree with MOST guys dormant seed or seed in the fall. I do a lot of seeding and spend a lot of time talking to guys who seed all over the country. I do more seeding in the spring than the fall and seed from the time the snow stops until it is too late which in my case I am finishing what I hope will be my last jobs in the next few days. I see few guys who dormant seed and probably only do that a few times a year myself.

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