What is dormant seeding?

Dormant seeding is the collective term for overseeding lawns in late fall to early spring, when soil temperatures are too cold to allow grass seed to germinate. In the mid-west, the opportunity for dormant seeding is best from mid-November through early March, while soil temperatures remain below 50 degrees. 

What is frost seeding?

Frost seeding is a form of dormant seeding, overseeding moist soil before freezing weather. The natural freeze and thaw cycle of freezing soils will create small cracks or pockets, perfect for catching and holding grass seed. As the soil dries, the pockets collapse and cover the seed. This same freeze and thaw cycle are also Mother Nature’s natural soil aeration process.

What is snow seeding?

Snow seeding is another form of dormant seeding. It simply requires a light snowfall (up to an inch) that still allows bare spots to be seen. Spread seed by hand on areas that need thickening up. As the snow melts, it brings the seed into good contact with the soil.

Why should I be dormant seeding my lawn? 

If you missed the fall over seeding window, dormant seeding helps to eliminate bare spots and thickens turf to fight spring weed pressure. No bare spots will mean no room for ugly summer weeds to invade.

When should I be dormant seeding my lawn?

Dormant seed after the last tree leaves have fallen and been cleaned up. Dormant seed early enough in winter to avoid the muddy conditions from spring thaw and rains. Once you develop a good dormant seeding plan, you will be surprised at the positive results.

What is the best grass seed for dormant seeding?

Cool-season grasses such as bluegrass, turf-type tall fescue, or perennial rye grass are best for dormant seeding. Macho Mix fescue seedEstate Mix bluegrass seed and Stadium Special perennial rye are all cool-season grass seed blends and mixes that will perform perfectly for dormant seeding.  Cool-season grasses like turf-type tall fescue and perennial rye sown over cold winter soils will germinate sooner than the same grass seed sown in April. Cold winter weather will not harm dormant grass seeds.

How to prevent crabgrass when dormant seeding? 

Dormant seeding will conflict with the usual application of Prevent, spring crabgrass pre-emergent. For best results in eliminating crabgrass while dormant seeding, follow these steps for spring over seeding using Seed Safe, crabgrass pre-emergent safe for use with lawn grass seed.

Uncle’s Tip: Using PrimeraFC as a covering over the top of any grass seed in bare spots will aid in quick germination. A weed-free granular seed cover, PrimeraFC, works as a blanket to absorb heat from the sun, warming the soil and seed for speedier germination. 

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