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I agree with putting seed down.
In the end of January in Ohio.
There is really no prep work needed.
The freeze & thaw ,freeze helps the seed make contact with soil.
Even with a shady lawn. You can get some nice growth. Before the leafs fill in the trees. Ready to mow by the first cut.
My rule of thumb is to have atleast 6 mowing before the summer heat comes.
This fall seed was put down end of September. The beginning of October we got a hard frost. Looks to have Killed all the new germinated.
Will be interesting to see how the lawns reacts that was aerated over seeded
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yuck--untimely frost.
However, I have heard that frost does not hurt grass--(cool season grass).
I put some indoor-grown rye seedlings outside last year for a few hours. It was not harmed.
I am not sure I can find my comments and photos. They are here somewhere.
Seed sown in winter--in theory--will not sprout until the soil temperature is warm in spring--soil about 50 F as I recall.
Are there any expert opinions on this? Past experience?
Potentially, I could move some of my indoor annual rye outside for a test of the idea. But it is 38 degrees here and snowy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I planted some seed indoors in paper cups. Some November 25 and some December 2 or 5th. Most germinated indoors at 70 degrees. Tallest annual rye sprout was about 6 inches tall. I placed the seed outside for night of December 21 till the morning of the 22nd. Temperature was about 16 degrees F. The soil froze--but thawed a few hours after it was brought indoors. The rye and rye plus tall fescue mixture was wilted--not sure it it is completely dead.
Odd--the annual rye which was planted in crushed leaves (with no soil at all), looked better--not good--but not dead.
The Johnathan Green Kentucky bluegrass "Blue Panther" (which was about 1.5 inches tall) looked only slightly injured.

The soil was repurposed to grow some milkweed rhizomes. The fat sticks are visible. They might sprout in a couple weeks. This is for planting some milkweed for monarch butterflies next spring.
Do any of your customers want to grow milkweed for monarch butterflies?
Plant Flowerpot Ingredient Terrestrial plant Automotive tire
 

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It is amazing. Someone agrees with the concept of winter seeding of grass. See Dr. Brillman's article.
That has worked for me in the past to some degree in partial shade areas but in full sun, around here it’s all dead by 4th of July like clockwork. Often even semi-shaded areas cook. Just gets too hot here for turf that young. Would work better the farther North you go but still seems risky unless you have plenty of seed to spare and willing to take a chance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is an almost impossible question to answer.
How do you compare seeding methods in an overseed situation?
Do you count the new grass sprouts after 4 weeks?
How does one compare preparation methods?
Cut short? Power rake? Topdress with soil? Slit seed? Aeration (or double aeration)?
Topdress with peat moss?
How do you count the new grass sprouts--among the old grass sprouts?
Plant wide-blade K-31(easy to spot)?
Plant blue fescue?
Plant a yellowish annual rye?
Who would want to count 250 grass seed sprouts on one square foot?
 

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This is an almost impossible question to answer.
How do you compare seeding methods in an overseed situation?
Do you count the new grass sprouts after 4 weeks?
How does one compare preparation methods?
Cut short? Power rake? Topdress with soil? Slit seed? Aeration (or double aeration)?
Topdress with peat moss?
How do you count the new grass sprouts--among the old grass sprouts?
Plant wide-blade K-31(easy to spot)?
Plant blue fescue?
Plant a yellowish annual rye?
Who would want to count 250 grass seed sprouts on one square foot?
I think for a real test, you would need to compare coverage and density at 6 months and then a year. Sprouting vs not sprouting of new plants is important, but I think to really compare methods, there would need to be a comparison of actual results in terms of survival and vigor. For a true “scientific” test with a control and accounting for annual variables, it would be hard to do.

I’d anticipate it might go like “method A works well if wet Spring and mild Summer; method B works well if mild Winter and early Spring . . . .”
 

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I was having cabin fever. I needed to get out the house. So I jumped in the truck. Drove my mowing route.
The property I seeded from a tree stump. That got a hard frost. Early October. Came in a lot better than I thought it would. I will still go back there in a week or so to add more seed
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
In Michigan, test plots of annual rye seeded about October 15 and November 10, germinated and attained a height of about 2 inches by early December.
Plots seeded in December and January--no sign of germination so far.
Temps today 34 F and snowing.
 
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