Dormant Grass Seeding

Dormant Grass Seeding

Seeding Grass in Fall

This article gives advice on how to deal with the difficult climate of the fall. It does not deter the reader from continuing to plant seeds and weather winter.One last shot at lawn improvement can be done even yet this fall. By early November, most lawn care chores and activities are completed; lawn mowers are put away, watering has ended, hoses are drained and stored for the winter, irrigation systems have been blown out and winterized and, the last, late season nitrogen fertilizer has been put down. Yet, there remains one activity that can still be done to help repair or thicken the lawn for next year. In fact, prior to the early part of November (at least in the Twin Cities area, earlier in the northern half of Minnesota), it would be have been too early to do this task. That task is known as dormant seeding. It is best employed when wanting to reseed bare soil areas or help thicken up thin lawns. It is not as effective, where lawns are thick and dense with little opportunity to achieve the good seed to soil contact necessary for the grass seeds to germinate and grow next spring.


Above are the essentials for the process known as dormant seeding. The degree of success from your dormant seeding efforts will depend on the overwintering conditions afforded to the newly seeded areas. In most cases, the seed is best protected when we receive snowfall(s) that will cover and protect those areas during fluctuating weather conditions often experienced during a Minnesota winter. Even with good preparation, it may still be necessary to do some overseeding in the spring in those areas where little grass emerges. If the newly seeded areas appear to be a little thin, you shouldn’t necessarily feel your fall efforts were a failure, as it is quite common to have to do a little additional reseeding in the spring. However, do allow enough time for the seeds to come up the following spring. Don’t be too hasty to get in and start tearing things up; you just may be destroying all of the good work done the previous fall. Among many things, selecting the right type of seed is an essential step in the process of successfully establishing turf. It is very important to select a seed blend that will accommodate the growing conditions and environment it is planted in. Some grass species perform well in sun, but poorly in shade. To help make things easier, most seed manufacturers label the seed bag for the condition the blend is recommended to grow best in. For example, a bag of seed might be labeled Sun Mixture, Sun/Shade Mixture, or Shade Mixture. Most mixtures contain several species of grass so they can accommodate multiple growing conditions. Kentucky Bluegrass and Perennial Ryegrass perform best in full sun environments, while Fine Fescue can perform well in sun or shade conditions.

The next step is to figure out what kind of grass you have growing in your yard, or what type of grass you’d like to grow. Here in the mid-west, cool-season grasses tend to perform the best and stay green for the most prolonged period. The best grass seeds for overseeding include our Blue Wave bluegrass and Heat Wave fescue, both of which have excellent germination rates. If you need help identifying your grass type, bring grass samples in to any Grass Pad location or attach detailed photos on our Ask Uncle submission form at the bottom of this page. Grass Pad acquires only the highest quality grass seed with the best performance in the midwest. Over the last 60 years, our grass seed buyers have developed a reputation in the industry for being the most demanding for seed quality and performance. If you choose to buy seed from other sources, be sure to read the label and look for things like the amount of weed seed, other crops, and inert matter. To learn more about grass seeds and how much grass seed you need for overseeding, read our guide on buying grass seed. (Source: grasspad.com)



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