Now that the winter season has arrived, you may think that your lawn care chores are finished. However, there is still one activity that can be done to help thicken and repair your lawn for the next spring season. This task is known as “dormant seeding,” and the idea behind it is that due to the cold weather conditions, the seeds planted will remain “dormant,” but begin to germinate as soon as the soil begins to warm in the spring. Get a head start on establishing your lawn with these tips below:
When to dormant seed
Deciding what time to dormant seed is essential. If done too early, immature seedlings often won’t survive the winter, while some seeds will germinate too late in the season. It is ideal to plant your seed while the ground is not frozen, but is still cold enough, this way the germination of the grass seed will not occur until next spring.
What type of seed
When choosing the type of seed to use, be sure to select a well-adapted seed mix that alines with your site conditions and the amount of maintenance you expect to provide during the growing season. Most seed mixes contain Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, and small amounts of perennial ryegrass, but virtually any grass seed mixture can be used for dormant seeding
Establishing good seed-to-soil contact is also vital in dormant seeding. Be sure to loosen the soil surface so the seed can be easily integrated into the ground a quarter-inch or so of loose soil. Once the soil has been loosened, spread the grass seed at the recommended rate lightly incorporating it into the existing soil by using a hand rake.
After seeding, water the area thoroughly and leave it until next spring. The ideal measure of water is anywhere from 0.05 to 0.10 inches of water. During this time of year, the cooler temperatures and shorter days will help keep the area moist far longer than in summer. It is important to make sure the area is not soggy and saturated with water, but slightly damp instead.