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View Full Version : How late can I spread down Grass Seed?


Melensdad
10-20-2005, 09:31 AM
This summer we had a new garage/workshop built, installed new fences and landscaping too. That has left me with a large mess of a yard in terms of where grass should be but is not. My problem is we are STILL having telephone and alarm problems due to the fence guys running their auger bit through my cables.

So I have the alarm guys coming out Oct 31 to fix, once and for all, the phone and alarm systems.

I'm in USDA Climate Zone 5. If I put down grass seed and lay straw mats over it on or about November 1st, will it do any good? Should I just wait until spring? Something is telling me it won't grow at all this year but will start off fine in the spring if I plant it Nov 1. Or will I just be wasting money and should I hold off until next year.

BTW, I can't go out today (eventhough I am home) and spread the seed because the alarm guys will probably end up re-trenching a stretch of lawn area 140 to 150' long and would undo the effort.

:confused:

DaveNay
10-20-2005, 09:37 AM
Well isn't this ironic....

There is another web site, where this topic has been being discussed (http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/showflat.php/Cat/0/Board/rural/Number/755977/page/0/view/collapsed/sb/5/o//fpart/1#Post757095) lately.

Junkman
10-20-2005, 09:47 AM
Is this the same lawn that I suggested that you trench and install a natural gas line to the new garage? I suggest that you buy a bag of winter rye and put it down when they are finished. Then over seed in the spring with grass seed. Don't forget to lime and fertilize this fall for a greener lawn next spring. Scott

bczoom
10-20-2005, 09:49 AM
Bob,

If you put it down now, it probably wouldn't start growing until spring.

My 2 cents
Although they say you can do it, personally, I don't like to do it this late, especially since you doing an area that has been trenched. My reasoning is that the compaction over the trench hasn't had time to fully settle. Come spring, you may find it has collapsed a couple (or more) inches and will need re-grading. If that's the case, any seed put in now will probably be lost.
The other reason is that if it doesn't have a chance to take root, you may loose some seed (and dirt) to erosion (and have to re-do anyway).

Brian

Melensdad
10-20-2005, 09:54 AM
Is this the same lawn that I suggested that you trench and install a natural gas line to the new garage? I suggest that you buy a bag of winter rye and put it down when they are finished. Then over seed in the spring with grass seed. Don't forget to lime and fertilize this fall for a greener lawn next spring. Scott


Yup, the very same lawn.

So I should NOT put down the grass seed at all? Just use winter rye and lay the straw mats over that? Then in the early spring toss down the grass seed.

OK, then where do I store the grass seed until then? Can I just leave it in the garage or should I bring it into the basement and store it in a dark corner? I guess my question is will the seed be damaged if it is exposed to sub-zero weather?


----
Brian, I have 4 rolls of straw mats that I will put down to prevent erosion, it seems to work very well. But I didn't think about the sinking of the trench, and that is a good point.


----
Dave, I really don't read that website anymore unless someone hears suggests I should go take a look at a very specific thread. I will read that thread and then leave the site. I may check up on the specific thread a couple times, but I don't go searching around there anymore.

Junkman
10-20-2005, 10:00 AM
It isn't the cold that will harm the seed, it is the mice. They love to tear open the bags and spread it all over the garage. Squirrels also. Put the seen into a cardboard carton and put it in a corner of the garage. As long as it stays dry, it will be fine. I never buy seed before I need it. I put down seed 2 weeks ago and it germinated in some areas and not in others. With the rains that we had last week, much of what hadn't germinated is washed away. Same with the fertilizer. The aquatic plants should do very well next summer. I will be doing the lime next week.

BadAttitude
10-20-2005, 04:33 PM
Bob
Looks like I'll have to be the exception rather than the rule. I plowed under over 110K sf...half at a time...and both times I seeded in the late fall. Infact this time last year I was doing the second half. Planted tall fescue and it acme in like a golf course the following spring.

I'm not a pro, but I believe as long as it germinates before the first killing frost, you'll be fine. Both times I beat the frost by about a week to ten days. You may have seen some pics of my golf course at the 'other place'? If not I'll post a few if you'd like.

Funny thing, a bunch of guys 'there' told me it was too late. NOT! In fact it more than met my 'analitic' expectations:tiphat:

...and that's saying alot for me! Just ask my DW

thcri
10-21-2005, 09:44 PM
Bob,

I always like the fall. In fact just two weeks ago I seeded a whole bunch and it is coming up already. I put some ferty down with the see and as soon as I saw the green coming up I spread some more hi-nitrogen content ferty and it really is taking off. I may even have to mow it it I get another two weeks of warm weather.

My reason for fall is because you typically have warmer soil over the spring but I have done it in the spring with good results also. It just seems to take longer.

In your case because your growing season is about the same as ours I think your pushing you luck to see anything this fall anymore. You could wait a bit longer and then put it down and work it in a bit just before it freezes and it will then take off in the spring. But as I think BC said, you may have some settling going on in the spring and then you will end up digging it up. So me, I would wait unless you don't think you will have any settling, then do it in a week or so and let it freeze for the winter.

murph

bczoom
10-21-2005, 09:53 PM
Murph,

You must have a real green thumb.
I thought nitrogen in the fall (especially in higher concentration) is a no-no. Isn't nitrogen what's used to get the grass growing good but this time of year you want as much pushed into the root system as possible?
In the spring, I put 46-0-0 on the lawn then prepare for 2x per week mowing. It really takes off. With that kind of fertilizer, you need to make sure you get rain the same day to avoid it burning the grass.

Brian

rico304
12-12-2005, 04:47 PM
Hey Bob, I'm late on this thread by a little bit. haha You know me. :whistle:
I just heard a gardening show on the radio with Ralph (I think that is his first name) SnodSmith. He said the best grass he has ever grown was just before the first snowfall. He said as long as it is a fairly thick blanket it will germinate. He thinks it's because the sun goes though the snow and warms the earch directly under the snow. Much warmer to germinate. He didn't mention frost or frozen ground, just a thick snow blanket. If there is any snow already down he said don't put it down. If this snow we got melts, I'm going to try some spots on my lawn just to see how it works. SnodSmith said he didn't cover it with anything....other than a snowblanket:cool:

skinderflirt
09-06-2007, 11:00 AM
It isn't the cold that will harm the seed, it is the mice. They love to tear open the bags and spread it all over the garage. Squirrels also. Put the seed into a cardboard carton and put it in a corner of the garage. As long as it stays dry, it will be fine. I never buy seed before I need it. I put down seed 2 weeks ago and it germinated in some areas and not in others. With the rains that we had last week, much of what hadn't germinated is washed away. Same with the fertilizer. The aquatic plants should do very well next summer. I will be doing the lime next week.I keep it in a lidded 30 gallon plastic trash can.
No mice in there.

Junkman
09-06-2007, 11:22 AM
I keep it in a lidded 30 gallon plastic trash can.
No mice in there.

Skinderskirt digs up another post that is almost 2 years old. This guy is one of our best trolls.... :yum: :yum: :yum: