winter seeding

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by lawn guy1350, Oct 19, 2006.

  1. lawn guy1350

    lawn guy1350 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 214

    guys im trying this for the first time, but whats the best advice for winter seeding? should i use winter rye? tall fescue? whats your opinion on the subject?
  2. Terra Firma

    Terra Firma LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    What is the average winter temps?
  3. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,586

    I know you can probably use rye in your area we do in Austin. Strip the grass down to the dirt and spread the rye and water for a week. Better hurry it is getting late to plant. I don't know anything about fescue.. By the way the winter rye will die back when temperatures get in 100F.
  4. lawn guy1350

    lawn guy1350 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 214

    well winter temps vary so january weve had 70 degree days....but a consistent temp would prob be 45-50ish....
  5. Terra Firma

    Terra Firma LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    That sounds like fescue or rye would work. Here in Norfolk, Va temps get down 20s sometimes. If your average temp is 45-55 I would recommend one or the other. It will depend on what you are overseeding. If you are overseeding thick bermuda grass, augustine, or centipede, and possibly zoysia (good luck) use rye. The rye will just give you the color while those grasses are dormant. If you are over seeding fescue, thin bermuda grass and a weed yard then use fescue. Depending on how hot it gets in the summer fescue might struggle a little. Check with a local seed provider to find the fescue and rye seeds that are recommended for your area.

    Here is quick how to:
    1. seed germinates at a temp. of 55degress give or take 5 degrees
    2. the two most important things for germination is seed soil contact and water
    3. the pH will be a major player soon after germination
    4. cut the lawns as low as you can (scalping is not unheard of during seeding)
    5. aerate the lawns once for the thinner lawns and 2-3 times for the thicker lawns
    6. unfortunately zoysia tends to need a dethatching (sorry about the bad news)
    7. apply seed at 7-8lbs per 1000 square feet
    8. apply starter fertilizer (follow directions on the bag)
    9. put wheat straw down in known wash out areas and bare spots
    10. instruct your customer to water twice a day (about 20mins each) for the first week and once a day (about 30mins) the second week, after the second week they can go to their regular water schedule (about an inch a week),the key is keeping the seed evenly moist, if my clients water twice a day in the first week I generally see germination in 3-4 days
    11. do not cut for 2-3 weeks after you have seeded (avoid damaging the young grass)
    12. after you have made the first cut over seed one more time at half the rate (I have found that ensure 100% coverage), you can cut the next week (you don't need to wait on second seeding to germinate)
    13. if you did not put down lime last year or if you have a new cleint and you don't know if lime was applied to their lawn, then I would strongly recommend an application of lime.

    this method has provided wonderful results for me. i hope it works for you. good luck and let me know how it turns out.

  6. lawn guy1350

    lawn guy1350 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 214

    Thanks so much, this will help alot!

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