Winter Lawn Seeding
by Alec McClennan, on November 11, 2017
When you think about planting grass, Spring comes to mind as the best time. Would you believe that it's not only not the best time, it isn't even the second best time? The best time to seed your lawn is in the late Summer, when the soil is warm and there isn't much weed competition. The second best time to seed your lawn isn't the Spring however, it's the Winter. That's right, it's not too late to get a jump on your new Spring lawn. As long as the ground is not frozen, Good Nature can use a Slice Seeder to get those hardy seeds into the ground, so they're ready to germinate come warmer Spring weather.
There are even some benefits to Dormant Seeding in the late Fall or early Winter.
- Winter seedings are less reliant on watering because the soil is wet from Winter snow. Watering come Spring however, will improve the odds of successful seed germination, especially if we get some dry spells.
- The snow on your lawn during Winter will help the seed get deeper under ground and establish better.
- By the time the soil is dry enough to seed in the late Spring, seasonal rains are starting to taper off, which are needed for ideal seed germination. Seeding in the Winter eliminates this problem.
What is Dormant Seeding?
Dormant Seeding involves seeding your lawn when the lawn is dormant over the Winter. Dormant Seeding relies on the freeze/thaw cycles to help pull the seed into the soil, where it will be ready to germinate once Spring rolls around.
Here's how the Dormant Seeding process works.
STEP 1: WAIT FOR LAWN TO GO DORMANT
Good Nature will typically seed your lawn sometime between November and April while the grass stops growing and the new seed will have time to establish in the soil before germinating.
STEP 2: CHOOSE SEEDING METHOD
You can Broadcast Seed your lawn yourself, or have us Slice Seed your lawn. Slice Seeding is more effective because we use a special machine to help improve the seed to soil contact, whereas Broadcast Seeding simply involves scattering seed on the surface of the soil. If you do choose to do Broadcast Seeding however, it will be most effective in early Winter as a Dormant Seeding. If your lawn already looks great and you just want to maintain it, Dormant Broadcast Seeding is a good economical choice. If your lawn is pretty thin and you really want to improve it, Dormant Slice Seeding would be the best choice.
Here's how the Slice Seeding machine works to make slits in the soil:
Why Try Dormant Seeding?
According to Ohio State University, Dormant Seeding can be the next best time to seed after late Summer. Slice Seeding and Broadcast Seeding help lawns that have thin grass, bare spots, or struggle to grow grass. Studies have shown that that Slice Seeding your lawn can increase germination by as much as 60%, as compared to just scattering seed. Slice Seeding will not give you a new lawn, but it will greatly help your existing become more green and robust. The images below show a lawn before and after Dormant Slice Seeding.
What to Expect from Dormant Seeding
Dormant Seeding is a way to gradually improve your lawn. You can't expect miracles and it is possible that the seeding could fail if the weather doesn't cooperate, but that's true with any seeding. In general, with a Dormant Broadcast Seeding, you won't notice a huge difference, but you will be preloading your soil with some good grass seed to compete with weeds when bare spots emerge. With a Dormant Slice Seeding, you'll notice more of an improvement and a gradual thickening of your lawn, but the results won't be as dramatic as a Lawn Renovation. It's my personal practice is to Dormant Slice Seed my lawn every year to keep it looking the best on the block without needing chemicals.