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Dormant Seeding Your Lawn in Winter

December 3, 2015

I have been getting questions from many of you about seeding your lawn in December.  Homeowners will typically ask this question after their lawn does not bounce back during cooler fall weather like they thought it would.  They wonder if there is an advantage to seeding in winter rather than waiting till spring.

Professional turfgrass managers call this practice “Dormant Seeding”.  Often time professionals are forced to seed in winter because their athletic fields are in use during optimum seeding times.

Click here to read a good article on this subject published in Ground Maintenance.  The article was written by Dr. Bridget Ruemmele, an associate professor of turfgrass science at the University of Rhode Island.  Even though the article is directed to professional turfgrass managers, I think you will find this info useful if you are considering dormant seeding.

Here are links to dormant seeding advice from the Ohio State Extension Service and also from the University of Minnesota Extension Service

If you decide to put down grass seed this winter that will germinate when the soil warms, remember to not use regular crabgrass preventer come early spring, click here to learn about Scotts Starter Lawn Food with Weed Preventer that you can spread next spring to prevent crabgrass while allowing your new grass seed to germinate.

 

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4 Comments
  1. Joyce permalink

    Hi Ashton,
    I did a complete overhaul with my lawn, but due to some construction delays, did not get the grass planted until late Oct. The grass is doing well in most areas, but I have some bare spots and wanted to know if it is too late to use Turf Builder and if so, what would you suggest?

    • Hi Joyce
      Please remind me of your location so I can give you some specific advice. The warmer than normal weather has helped folks that did a late seeding this year. Glad to hear you benefited.

      • Joyce permalink

        Hi Ashton,
        I’m located in Southside VA. Yes, the warmer temps have helped me out this year:)

  2. Hi Joyce
    Based on where you are located and that Va Tech Extension recommends the last fall feeding in November, I would skip feeding until spring. You can also seed any bare spots at that time. If you suspect crabgrass germination, you would want to use a crabgrass preventer that will allow you to put down grass seed, like Scotts Starter Lawn Food plus Weed Preventer.

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