Grasshorn
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Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 1:52 am
Location: Wisconsin

Overseeding in spring vs. fall

Hey folks, as I've mentioned in my other posts, I'm still a newbie to this whole lawn care thing. I've decided to take a stab at overseeding this year; I wanted to do it last fall but it just didn't work out, though I did put down some winter fertilizer. So I've been doing some reading up on overseeding, and one thing I'm noticing is how many websites, etc. emphasize on doing it in the fall. Some just say it works better in the fall, while others make it sound like doing it in the spring is a waste of time.

Does the time of year really make that much of a difference? I am really excited about doing it as soon as possible (though first I have to wait for the eight feet of snow out there to melt.) Part of it is because while my lawn is in relatively good shape, it needs the help that a good overseeding would bring, and I don't want to wait another year and a half to see the result. (i.e. if I wait until this fall, I won't see the results until next year.)

Besides, one thing I've learned since I started putzing with this stuff is that the "experts" don't always have it right.

divedaddy03
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Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:18 pm
Location: York, SC

Re: Overseeding in spring vs. fall

Grasshorn wrote:Hey folks, as I've mentioned in my other posts, I'm still a newbie to this whole lawn care thing. I've decided to take a stab at overseeding this year; I wanted to do it last fall but it just didn't work out, though I did put down some winter fertilizer. So I've been doing some reading up on overseeding, and one thing I'm noticing is how many websites, etc. emphasize on doing it in the fall. Some just say it works better in the fall, while others make it sound like doing it in the spring is a waste of time.

Does the time of year really make that much of a difference? I am really excited about doing it as soon as possible (though first I have to wait for the eight feet of snow out there to melt.) Part of it is because while my lawn is in relatively good shape, it needs the help that a good overseeding would bring, and I don't want to wait another year and a half to see the result. (i.e. if I wait until this fall, I won't see the results until next year.)

Besides, one thing I've learned since I started putzing with this stuff is that the "experts" don't always have it right.
Hey Grasshorn, Welcome!

This is a valid question and one well worth looking into.
This link may help you out a bit...it's a seed calculator with "zone map" from Lowes. https://www.lowes.com/cd_Seed+Calculator_54331289_

To my knowledge, here are the main reasons that you would want to plant in the fall vs. the spring:
- The intense summer temperatures have passed.
- There is less competition from annual grassy weeds such as crabgrass. - Although crabgrass will germinate year-round, the approaching cold weather and frost will keep the weeds in check.
- Soil temperatures are warm enough for continued growth of the grass.
- In preparation for winter, grasses begin to store nutrients that will not only allow them to survive the cold winter months but enable them to develop a healthy root system to support new shoot growth once the temperatures resume in the spring.


Hope this helps, and welcome!

Wayne, SC

therock0503
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Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:21 pm
Location: North Carolina
Contact: Website

Re: Overseeding in spring vs. fall

Agree with Wayne.

Also, one of the biggest problems you'll run into in the spring, is the fact that you really cant put down a pre-emergence to keep the weeds out and have your grass seed germinate.

Pre-emergence works by a chemical layer that doesnt allow all the weed seeds in your lawn germinate. However, this also keeps any kind of grass seed from germinating, including grass seed.

So, if you don't put the preemergence out, youll have a ton of weeds germinating all year long, competing with your grass. If you do put the pre-emergence out, you'll have a tough time getting your grass seed to germinate.

Hope that helps.

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mittengardener
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Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:21 am
Location: Metro Detroit

Re: Overseeding in spring vs. fall

Grasshorn wrote:Hey folks, as I've mentioned in my other posts, I'm still a newbie to this whole lawn care thing. I've decided to take a stab at overseeding this year; I wanted to do it last fall but it just didn't work out, though I did put down some winter fertilizer. So I've been doing some reading up on overseeding, and one thing I'm noticing is how many websites, etc. emphasize on doing it in the fall. Some just say it works better in the fall, while others make it sound like doing it in the spring is a waste of time.

Does the time of year really make that much of a difference? I am really excited about doing it as soon as possible (though first I have to wait for the eight feet of snow out there to melt.) Part of it is because while my lawn is in relatively good shape, it needs the help that a good overseeding would bring, and I don't want to wait another year and a half to see the result. (i.e. if I wait until this fall, I won't see the results until next year.)

Besides, one thing I've learned since I started putzing with this stuff is that the "experts" don't always have it right.
I over seeded in late April. The space between my sidewalk and the street had literally no grass growing on it last year. It was 100% weeds. When I say "over seeded" I mean I applied 20,000 sq feet worth of grass seed on an area that is probably 600 sq feet. Here is a picture of the area last week.

Image

There are some weeds in there, which I have since pulled, but the grass is so thick that in most areas it is choking out the weeds. I plan on applying more seed in the fall because there are still some patchy areas but this is so, so much better than last year :)

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tomf
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 12:15 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: Overseeding in spring vs. fall

I have done it plenty in the spring, just do it. I have a number of areas coming in now some are way to far from the water lines to water, and they will grow; but this is Oregon and until the summer it will rain.
The things I do are an evolution and I am always learning. My way is not the only way of doing things, and I may and will change the way I do things as I learn better ways. So any advice that I give is in that spirit.

divedaddy03
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Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:18 pm
Location: York, SC

Re: Overseeding in spring vs. fall

tomf wrote:I have done it plenty in the spring, just do it. I have a number of areas coming in now some are way to far from the water lines to water, and they will grow; but this is Oregon and until the summer it will rain.
I agree with you here, sometimes you just have to do it. However, down here in the south, seeding in the late spring is a total wast of money, the grass doesn't get rooted well enough before the man upstairs cranks up the oven and it burns and all dies. Heck, I used to live in Indiana and we could seed late in the spring there but definitely not here in the Carolina's.

Nice thread, Wayne.

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