Fall grass seeding advice

Discussion in 'The BS Topic' started by 72'z'steve, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. 72'z'steve

    72'z'steve Veteran Member

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    This is not related to my back 40 lawn treating debacle from earlier this year.Getting grass to grow is not my thing,I have some unrelated bare spots+thin spots where they didn't treat.Is there any advantage to putting grass seed down this late in the year? I'm in Wisconsin its already been in the low 30's.My dad could make grass grow on anything-he'd throw seed down on the snow and it would grow in the spring I swear!The best lawn he had he planted on his Nov 6 birthday told me a jillion times.I've heard seed this late will rot over winter or die out.I'm thinking I should wait until spring,throw some topsoil down and seed with some starter fertilizer or is it better to do this now-Anyone with a green thumb??/ Later Steve!!
     
  2. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

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    It depends on a lot of factors, mostly weather related. If the seed germinates and dries out, it dies. If it doesn't take hold before Winter sets in, it might die anyway. I planted some grass this year in early Sept. It started growing in a few weeks, but last week we got a 3 day blizzard with 17" of snow. The snow is melting now, but nights are in the upper teens-low 20s. It will be interesting to see if it survives.
     
  3. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    ^ Yup... knowing the weather a month or two ahead of time makes all the difference. (You don't so it's always a bit of a gamble.)

    Use 10-10-10 starter fertilizer on the seeded areas. Good root development needs phosphorus and potassium.
    The high nitrogen stuff for established lawns won't do much good for newly seeded areas.

    My most successful seeding has been done immediately after the snow has all melted in the Spring. (I'm in MN.)
    If you can get it down just before that last heavy wet snow in late March or early April, the snow keeps the seed wet and it germinates shortly after the snow melts again. You don't have to continually water either because it's not very warm and the bare areas don't dry out so fast.

    A month ago would have been ideal this year for my area. It's been continually wet.


    I think southerners have better luck planting in the Fall.
     
  4. GoldenOne7710

    GoldenOne7710 Equal Opportunity Offender Lifetime Gold Member

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    First and foremost, you should get your soil tested to see where it falls on the pH scale. Depends a lot on what type of grass you want to seed. Some grass like a little acidic soil...some doesn't. Here, I take samples to my county extension agent...who sends it to the University of Georgia and they will email me the results and their recommendations.

    You may end up adding lime if it's too acidic. But either way, you really won't know exactly what to add in regards to fertilizer until you know what it's lacking.

    Cool nights/mornings isn't that big a concern as long as it isn't freezing. If the temp climbs to somewhat comfortable, then it would germinate. The main thing to remember is to keep the soil moist. Doesn't need to necessarily bet "wet"....but moist to the touch. That's where laying wheat straw down comes in....keeps the dirt from drying up. Still may have to water it twice a day until it sprouts and establishes roots.
     
  5. 70 Proof

    70 Proof Veteran Member

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    The last three posts are all good advice. But grass seed is cheap so if your working with several small areas you could afford to experiment by simply seeding now and see what spring brings. If nothing survives its no big loss and you would still have a couple of good months to reseed.
     
  6. 72'z'steve

    72'z'steve Veteran Member

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    Thanks for the replies,I think I'll wait until spring,its 38 degrees as I type,The guys who killed my lawn overseeded the back about a month ago with clover and rye,and I don't see anything yet back there yet.I think I'll tackle it next spring!! Later Steve!!
     
  7. budro6968

    budro6968 Veteran Member

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  8. 72'z'steve

    72'z'steve Veteran Member

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    The soil test is a great idea,My neighbor who just moved away was an original to the development [1976] he moved only a couple miles away stopped over today,he told me that when this area was developed even then they removed all the topsoil [was farm land] trucked in fill with a layer of topsoil.This explains why when I put my garden in it had crap dirt.I removed it and had a triaxle of field run brought in.my dads farm has virgin soil,house is 100 plus years old,thats probably why grass grows anywhere he throws seed.
    Need to investigate,wifey and her dogs are not going to like extreme measures-she's still smarting after the misplaced fertilizer episode!! Dogs had to wear boots for a month!!Later Steve!!
     
  9. Pc3

    Pc3 Veteran Member

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    leaves are coming down .do your self a favor blow them away then thatch your lawn thatch deep.reseed the the whole area with a seed blend let winter do its thing.come April late march put down a light mixture of weed killer /fertilizer..........SHARPEN THEM BLADES!
     
    72'z'steve likes this.
  10. 72'z'steve

    72'z'steve Veteran Member

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    I wish I could LOL!! We just got 7+ inches of snow today,leaves still on trees-kinda!wet heavy stuff breaking tree branches.Hope it doesn't stay as I'd like to mulch the leaves if I could. I was mulching leaves with the snowblower in the neighbors driveway!!! Thanks for the help! Steve!!
     

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