Is it too late to seed turfgrass this fall?

The window for fall turfgrass seeding in Michigan is quickly closing.

The official start of fall occurs this weekend, Sept. 21-22, 2013, and a common question now is whether or not it is too late to establish turfgrass. If you’re thinking of resodding damaged areas, you have plenty of time. Although not a typical recommendation, Michigan State University Extension researchers have actually planted sod on frozen soil and had good results the following spring. If you’re considering seeding, don’t wait too much longer.

Although the ideal seeding window is now in the rearview mirror, if we have a mild fall, seedings at this time can still be successful. Along the Grand Rapids-Lansing-Detroit corridor, you are probably safe to seed until around Oct. 1 and have enough time for the seed to germinate and survive the winter. If you’re north of that line and still want to seed, keep your fingers crossed for a warm fall. Considering seed is relatively inexpensive, if you’re doing some small patch work around the lawn I would certainly proceed with seeding even if you’re past the ideal seeding window.

For tips on seeding lawn in the fall, read "Tips for seeding lawns in September."

Dr. Frank’s work is funded in part by MSU’s AgBioResearch.

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