Winter Dormant Seeding

Winter Dormant Seeding Believe it or not, winter can actually be a good time to seed bare spots on your lawn. The method is called winter dormant seeding and is done when temperatures are too cold for seeds to germinate. The purpose of dormant seeding is to cover spots missed by fall overseeding. Covering these bare spots means there will be no room for weeds to grow in spring. The timeline for this is usually November through March when soil temperatures are below 50 degrees.

Winter dormant seeding can also be used for wet and or poorly drained soils. Some soils do not dry out enough in the spring to permit working the soil during the optimum period for seeding. Seeding later, however, would not allow adequate time for turf to mature before the onset of harsh summer temperatures.

To make the most of your winter dormant seeding, the following methods should be used:

Seeds must be in contact with the soil.

Dormant seeds do best in loose soil.

Rake the soil beforehand to make sure there’s no debris. 

Be sure to follow the seed’s guidelines for the best coverage.

Once you finish spreading the seeds, lightly rake the ground to cover them.

Try to stay off the lawn and let the weather make the seeds grow.Snow will result in soil compression which will aid in growth. 

Don’t use herbicides until germination has set in.

Though winter dormant seeding can be done starting in November, studies have shown that February may be the best month for deployment. Germination success rates are as high as nearly 75 percent which is a significant advantage over December or January rates of around 50 percent.

Valley Green, Inc. • 642 S. Summer Street • Holyoke, Massachusetts 01040 • 1.800.862.0089

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