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Starting the Dormant Seeding Now

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Smallaxe, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    It looks as though the ground may start to freeze very soon now... We've had plenty of moisture over the past few weeks so the freezing dirt will definitely get deep pimply surface as it thaws and refreezes from now on...
    That means that the bare spots in thin turf will have no trouble self-planting grass seed...
    The seed is perfectly safe in the frozen ground and under the snow for the winter...
    Sometimes we get lucky in the Spring with heavy freeze/thaw cycles in the Spring after the snow is gone and the seed can also be broadcast then...

    This year I'm also going with much more annual ryegrass(AR) because if the regular grass fails in non-irrigated forest lawns,,, at least there is something growing to prevent CG...
    Last year we had one dead zone from the drought that turned into CG becuz the Dormant Seeding didn't catch for some reason, so that will be a prime candidate for lots of AR this winter...

    Anyone else in the northern climates in which the ground actually freezes for 3 or 4 months, going to give it a try??? :)
  2. greenstar lawn

    greenstar lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 648

    Axe, I'm in Michigan and had great results with dormant seeding last yr. I'm not doing dormant seeding until end of November. Lots of leaves still on trees. I use a sun/shade mix from jdl
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I understand not wanting to blow leaves over recently broadcast seed... If the ground doesn't freeze as we expect, we'll likely wait as well...
    I had good luck last year as well,,, except for a few tough areas of CG... :)
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,727

    I planted seed October 26, 2013. The first tiny sprouts of new seed appeared today, November 11th after 16 days. The tallest sprout was about a half-inch tall. Temperature at the moment is 30 degrees, we had a few minutes of snow this afternoon. Temperatures in the last two weeks were mainly in the 50's during the day, and mid thirties at night. Several rain events. About 60 percent of this seed was Adeline perennial rye and Panterra annual rye. Only the bare soil that had been raked well showed sprouts. The area of bare soil with no raking showed no sprouts, (thus far).

    Axe, I plan to try additional dormant seed tests. Good ideas.

    Cold weather weed tests--maybe.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I think you guys are warmer over there, than we are, over here... We have had success planting seed in October as well, but in order to actually count on it we need access to irrigation...
    The last 2 Octobers for exa., were actual drought periods and it didn't moisten up until the cold weather set in for the season... It would be a miracle event if anything planted now, germinates before next Spring...

    Fun to know if your young seedlings establish before the ground freezes solid for the Winter and if they come back next Spring or no,,, would be a great follow up... :)
  6. TTS

    TTS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    I have a few bare spots on my lawn I'm going to try overseeding in the next week or two here. We're already getting below freezing temps every night, today is a high of 30 so we should start seeing some freezing in the soil pretty quick
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Are you going to rough up the surface or just broadcast the seed into those spots and let nature do the rest??? Good soil moisture???
  8. TTS

    TTS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    Soil moisture is pretty optimal right now, several light rains recently with very little evaporation. I'm just going to put the seed down on bare spots and let nature do it. I read your other thread about dormant seeding from last year and it's mostly a curiosity thing to watch it happen.
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Good luck... hope we get a few good freeze/thaws for a good visual, before snow... :)
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,727

    Yes, it is slightly warmer in west Michigan due to influence of Lake Michigan, coldest temp so far, about 23. Usually more snow, also...12 inches in St Joseph/Benton Harbor a couple of days ago. Only a few flurries here. Now my new grass seed planted about two weeks ago has sprouted to about a half inch tall..both in the areas where it was raked in and now...smaller sprouts from new seed in the area of bare soil with no soil preparation. New seedlings looked OK, so frost has not killed them...so far.
    I started my cold weather weed control test using dandelions when day temps were about 35, on November 12.
    What do you think will happen? I applied a three-way, Speedzone, T-Zone, and Surge.

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