planting grass seed in the fall

michele13bugs(4)October 26, 2006

We had to dig up our front yard after living here for almost 34 years, city sewer and water came through. $35,000, and alot of swearing and cussing later, we are now ready to replant the grass. We had a big dumptruck of pulverized black dirt brought in, and it is now spread out nice and tidy. We are thinking of spreading the seed now, but is it too late? I don't even know where to buy it now, would Fleet Farm still carry it, or should we go to a garden store? Does anyone have any advice? Should we do it now or in the spring. Should we spread it and water it or just leave it dormant. I haven't put in grass for years, so need some advice? Can you even still buy grass seed this late in the year? >^,,^

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dandy_line(3B (Brainerd, Mn))

Too late for grass seed now. Sep 1st is the date of choice for seeding. You're going to need some kind of cover over that black dirt for the winter I imagine. Otherwise your going to have the 'black sea' for a yard in Spring. Tell the city they need to do something.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 1:10AM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

I have dormant seeded grass with good success at this time of year. This was about 12 years ago when our septic system failed and we had to replace it with a mound system. It was early Nov., we seeded, covered with an erosion cover and the next spring we had great germination, and we didn't have to try to muck it in or wait for the soil to dry enough and then hope for rain. I'd say go for it.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 8:21AM
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zenpotter(z4 MN)

We put in a low maintenance grass earlier this fall and the instructions said to plant by Sept.15th so the grass had time to grow before the winter freeze. If you live in Mpls you could check with the South Side Farm store and see if they have any seed and if it is too late to plant.

Our grass it growing very well, it took a little over a week to germinate.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 3:32PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

The U of M says in normal years plant between mid Aug and mid Sept. Seed will grow and have enough time to establish before winter.

Now you must dormant seed ( far better than waiting for spring). Plant after Halloween right up to ground freeze up. Water lightly to settle seed in place, then forget about it. Seed will come up in spring, earlier than if you were to plant in spring. Winter protection is not needed unless you have erosion or bird problems.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 1:42AM
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michele13bugs(4)

Well we went to Fleet Farm today and did find some good grass seed for Northern climates. It seems to be a good mixture of mostly perrennial seeds. It was on sale too...clearance. I thank everyone for their good advice, and I think I will go ahead and give it a whirl, and plant it now. I do worry alittle about all the blackbirds, grackles and starlings we have around here ( Prior Lake/ Savage area) but if I must I will stand out there as human scarecrow to scare them away..By the way they have 50 pound bags of Black Oil Sunflowerseeds for the birds for $8.99..a pretty good buy. I make my own birdseed mixture with the blackoil sunflower, safflour seed, peanuts, nut and berry mixture, cracked corn and a few other thigs and the birds love it. ....>^,,^

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 9:09PM
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jel48(Z4 Michigan)

I'm posting a disclaimer first, since I'm speaking out on the other side of all the good advice above. I've never seeded a whole yard. But, I've had great luck reseeding spots that have been killed out for one reason or another (like me leaving a tarp full of mulch on the grass for way way too long for instance) even in the winter on top of the snow. No, the grass doesn't get established in the fall. I doubt if any of it even sprouted. But it was well watered in when the snow melted in the spring and did great. Maybe the the clue is that it was in the winter rather then in the fall when it might have sprouted and then winter killed.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 5:09PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

That is true: you can seed after the ground freezes, and it works. But seeding after Halloween and before freeze-up, you are dormant seeding too. Seed will not sprout until spring. However, seeding before soil freeze-up will insure better seed to soil contact, and thereby better germination percent and subsequent growth.

It's simply a matter of "good-better-best".

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 7:25PM
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