Many of us understand that the best time to seed or over seed your lawn is in the Fall. Typically the time frame is from Labor Day through the second weekend of October. We also know that is usually a very busy time for most of us. So what happens if we didn’t have a chance to work on the lawn then like we had hoped? Maybe you should consider dormant seeding.
Dormant seeding is performed like fall seeding, except it is done when the soils have cooled enough to prevent germination. Usually that time in Kansas is sometime after Thanksgiving. In a dormant seeding operation, the seed will lay in the yard, “dormant”, until next spring when the soils warm back up.
There are benefits and pitfalls to dormant seeding. The main benefit of dormant seeding, compared to spring seeding, is avoiding the mud and getting seed up early in the season. Many times in the spring the snow is melting or it is raining, making it difficult to get out and work the ground for seeding. The pitfalls of dormant seeding come in the form of wind and water erosion moving the seed around. In some situations, if the seed is not incorporated into the soil well, or if the soils are sloped and not covered with erosion control material, the seed can be washed away or moved around on the soil. If you suspect erosion will be a problem, use erosion control material like Curlex to prevent erosion, or wait until next spring to do your seeding.
Remember that any turf grass that gets established in the spring rather than the in the fall is going to have a less extensive root system and will be less mature than its fall seeded counterpart. Therefore, monitor both spring-seeded and dormant-seeded areas a little closer. They will need watering sooner than other areas during dry spells.
We are always here to help with any questions that you may have, including whether or not dormant seeding is right for your situation!