Reseed in the Fall
Ever wondered, “when is the best time to seed my lawn?” Well, you’re in the right place.
Without a doubt, when considering lawn reseeding, fall is king. Reduced weed competition, ideal growing temperatures and winter root development are just a few reasons why fall is the preferred time to seed your lawn.
Many people however miss this narrow window or are not able to comply with the rigid constraints of watering a newly seeded lawn, and therefore fail to capitalize on this opportunity. If you are in this situation you might want to consider another somewhat overlooked but, in my opinion, very viable seeding seeding option.
Dormant seeding, a process much like fall seeding, can yield impressive results without some of the drawbacks of the labor intensive requirements. Dormant seeding is a process of seeding your lawn in the cold off season months when the lawn is “dormant”. Seed is applied to the turf area and because soil temperatures are to low to germinate the seed lays idle until conditions are suitable for germination.
The advantage to dormant seeding is first that no watering is required, one of the most troublesome steps to reseeding. One of the advantages of the early spring months is that there is usually no shortage of precipitation. Secondly, as soon as the soil reaches ideal growing temps the dormant seed will be ready and waiting to germinate, but in a more natural state like the rest of the “dormant” seeds in the soil.
It is preferable that when you put the seed down just like in the fall run over the lawn with a vertical slicer to help create a seed bed for the seed. If you can’t run the slicer, throw out the seed anyway as the freezing and thawing that goes on in the early spring will naturally seat the seed in the soil.
Dormant seeding can be accomplished anytime from Thanksgiving up until early March, but if you can get it into the ground sometime in the December through February time frame you will realize better results.
A couple of drawbacks to winter dormant seeding need to be mentioned at this time. First, if you normally apply a preemergent weed control product in early spring, this could have a detrimental effect on the grass seed germination as well as the weed seed. Secondly, because weed treatment is not applied you will usually have a higher than normal weed content in your lawn. The upside is that in the long run you will have more grass than if you did nothing.
While winter dormant seeding is not a perfect process it is certainly one that can yield favorable results to those that otherwise might not have the opportunity to address this need, and is another viable option to address your lawn needs.