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Overseeding in the North

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by cenlo, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. cenlo

    cenlo LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 322

    What is a rule of thumb for overseeding in Northern climates? We are averaging mid 50's daytime and upper 30's overnight. Seed is a mix of fescue, kentucky blue, and rye.
  2. Surfside

    Surfside LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Upper 30's at night, do you think it may be too late in the season? I might want to wait till next season. New grass might be lost, it is only getting cold. Well good luck.
  3. GrazerZ

    GrazerZ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 670

    Guys, don't forget there is such a thing as dormant seeding. Seeding for next year is what I tell my customers. Athletic fields have been doing this for a long time.
  4. cenlo

    cenlo LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 322

    Please explain?
  5. GrazerZ

    GrazerZ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 670

    Seeding in the late fall with the expectation of germination in the spring.
  6. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    i'm just excited that cooler canadian air will be dropping down over us soon.:)

    but...what are the soil temps at?? anyway, the temps you are experiencing now will be here as well in a few weeks. we have seeded in november in the past with good results.

    i'd guess a decent germination of the rye and even the fescue now, that bluegrass will be wanting warmer soil temps and will do fine as things warm up next spring.

    keeping in mind that you will not get complete germination this fall so be watchful next spring when its time to apply your crabgrass control
  7. cenlo

    cenlo LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 322

    So, you're saying that you can overseed at anytime? What about a frost a couple weeks after a place was seeded? Would the seed start to germinate again in the spring?

    Thanks, Don
  8. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    no, i wouldnt say you can seed at any time. certainly not when the soil is frozen (but then again you can seed when the soil is frozen and wait till spring thaw for germination...but not something we would do)

    whether to seed now or wait in my opinion will depend on your (or your clients) expectations.
    one problem with dormant seeding is that you are open to weather conditions all winter long. Even in winter we can get heavy rains which could wash that seed off lawn areas.
    (of course if its raining in the winter rather than snow then the temps may be warm enough for top soil to be soft enough for the rain to actually 'drive' that seed into the soil.) its a gamble.

    if you are going to guarantee this seed job you should collect your payment up front....do the job...explain (in writing) that complete germination MAY not happen till next spring...go back out in the spring and touch up where needed.

    or, pass it up altogether

    not an easy answer. i do not believe there is a black and white answer to your question.
    good luck
  9. philk17088

    philk17088 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,386

    Think about nature.
    If a plant sets seed in the spring and the seeds ripen all thru summer and fall to the ground in fall, then they sit there and get washed into the ground and into cracks from the freeze thaw cycles of winter and germinate in the spring, why wouldn't the same hold true to lawn seed?
    It absolutely will come up in the spring but keep in mind that there may be wash outs, seed eaten by foragers so touchup seeding maybe required.
    It is a perception of a sprouted lawn that is thought of as being successful.
  10. Grandview

    Grandview LawnSite Gold Member
    from WI
    Messages: 3,251

    There is a landscaper in this area who seeds all fall. He just seeded a lawn last week. Last week I sprayed Roundup for a lawn he will probably seed this fall . He also does dormant seedings. He has been in business for over 20 years. I think when it comes to seedings he is the best in the area.

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