Ask a Question forum: Grass seeding

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Name: Annie
Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a)
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LysmachiaMoon
Sep 23, 2014 4:12 PM CST
I live in Pennsylvania, zone 6. Can I start grass seed now? Nothing fancy, just a regular "lawn mix" that's probably mostly perennial ryegrass. Or is it too late/too early?
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Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
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eclayne
Sep 23, 2014 5:29 PM CST

Plants Admin

IMO this is the best time of the year Annie.

From Penn State.
Late summer to early fall is usually the best time to establish a new lawn from seed.

http://plantscience.psu.edu/research/centers/turf/extension/...
Evan
[Last edited by eclayne - Sep 23, 2014 5:31 PM (+)]
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Sep 23, 2014 6:42 PM CST
When I lived in Oregon, I had a neighbor who had studied grasses extensively. He recommended putting out grass seed just before the first snow, so that the snow would cover it (and keep the birds from eating all your seed).
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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
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chelle
Sep 23, 2014 7:02 PM CST
I like that, Woofie. Thumbs up I'm actually thinking about seeding grass over spring blooming bulbs in part of one of my beds this year. Of course it'll be a while yet before they send the bulbs, and it seems rather pointless to seed the grass now.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 23, 2014 7:22 PM CST
I was taught (turf management course) similar to Evan's Penn State link, late summer/early fall is the best time for seeding. The reasons given were that the soil is warm and there is less weed competition than in spring, and the seedlings should be up and running and hardened-off in time for winter. Also by the time the hot dry weather comes around again in the following year the plants have already rooted deeply, whereas spring sown ones are still shallow-rooted and the stand is thin so the soil temperature gets higher due to lack of shading from each other.

It was suggested that the third best time after late summer/fall, and then April-June (here in Ontario, probably earlier in PA) was what is called "dormant seeding" (mid-November here). At that time the seed doesn't germinate but waits until spring. This should only be on level ground with a straw mulch otherwise the seeds can get washed away when the snow melts. I guess this is similar to what Woofie suggested.

I have early-fall seeded and it worked very well.
Name: Annie
Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry
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LysmachiaMoon
Sep 24, 2014 6:13 AM CST
Thanks everybody! If Penn State says seed now, by gum, I seed NOW! Hilarious!
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