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Old 09-13-2010, 10:16 AM   #1
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Seed grass in fall or spring?


I have 2 places in my yard, under the shade of catalpa trees, that I can't get grass to grow. The soil was tested at the University extension center and they said it's fine. We have seeded with dense shade seed in the spring and even tho we keep it watered it dies out in August. I till and rake it before I plant. It grows like crazy til the weather gets hot. Should I seed in the fall instead? Should I put straw on top to hold in the moisture? This is in southern Missouri.

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Old 09-13-2010, 10:46 AM   #2
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Seed grass in fall or spring?


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Originally Posted by rusty baker View Post
I have 2 places in my yard, under the shade of catalpa trees, that I can't get grass to grow. The soil was tested at the University extension center and they said it's fine. We have seeded with dense shade seed in the spring and even tho we keep it watered it dies out in August. I till and rake it before I plant. It grows like crazy til the weather gets hot. Should I seed in the fall instead? Should I put straw on top to hold in the moisture? This is in southern Missouri.
I would seed in both Spring and Fall, covering the seed with peat moss instead of straw. Water daily and the peat moss will keep the area moist, as well as disguise the seed so birds will not eat them.

Straw does nothing for moisture retention; at best, it is semi-effective barrier against birds. Perpetually wet straw can also propagate mold, which can kill new grass crowns and exacerbate an already bad situation.

Good luck.

By the way, it sounds like you probably need a shade mix. I use a 4-fescue shade mix when I seed for clients. It has never failed me. Go to a nursery or garden and feed shop; they will be able to help you. I might add that growing and maintaining grass under trees--especially trees with high root systems, like maples--is an ongoing battle. That is, you will probably have to do it every spring and every fall.


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Old 09-13-2010, 11:22 AM   #3
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Seed grass in fall or spring?


I've heard fall seeding allows for better root density and depth the next year.

If not, I'd go with astro-turf. And a putting green.
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:34 AM   #4
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Seed grass in fall or spring?


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I've heard fall seeding allows for better root density and depth the next year.

If not, I'd go with astro-turf. And a putting green.
Fall seeding is really only effective with regard to root development if it is coupled with aeration. I have never heard anything that says fall seeding alone is sufficient to developing a lawn's root system. Then again, I can only speak for my geographic area, so you could be correct with respect to a different area of the country.

AstroLawn or something artificial like that would be extreme and very expensive. And unless I missed something, there is nothing in the OP's post about golf, so a green, as you say, might be superfluous.
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:54 PM   #5
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Seed grass in fall or spring?


Look at this:
http://extension.missouri.edu/public...b.aspx?P=G6700

Instead of me disagreeing with other posts on here, this is from the University of Missouri. It's the same thing I would do here in Atlanta, but here it is from your area.

Good luck.
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:46 PM   #6
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Seed grass in fall or spring?


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Originally Posted by downunder View Post
Look at this:
http://extension.missouri.edu/public...b.aspx?P=G6700

Instead of me disagreeing with other posts on here, this is from the University of Missouri. It's the same thing I would do here in Atlanta, but here it is from your area.

Good luck.
Sure, that is one way of doing it.

Again, my expertise is limited to my geographic region. I cannot speak for orthodox lawn care procedures in Atlanta.
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Old 09-14-2010, 06:12 PM   #7
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Seed grass in fall or spring?


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Originally Posted by rusty baker View Post
I have 2 places in my yard, under the shade of catalpa trees, that I can't get grass to grow. The soil was tested at the University extension center and they said it's fine. We have seeded with dense shade seed in the spring and even tho we keep it watered it dies out in August. I till and rake it before I plant. It grows like crazy til the weather gets hot. Should I seed in the fall instead? Should I put straw on top to hold in the moisture? This is in southern Missouri.
I think your biggest issue, besides the shade, is that your young grass is fighting with the trees for water. The trees will always win.

Your best bet is to plant drought tolerant plants in those shady areas like liriope. Or, trying putting down a few rolls of sod to see if you can get more mature grass to grow.
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:07 AM   #8
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Seed grass in fall or spring?


Thought about sod, but can't find it in this area.
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:18 PM   #9
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Seed grass in fall or spring?


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Thought about sod, but can't find it in this area.
Even at HD?
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:37 PM   #10
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Seed grass in fall or spring?


Don't have any HD or Lowes.
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:12 AM   #11
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Seed grass in fall or spring?


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Originally Posted by handy man88 View Post
I think your biggest issue, besides the shade, is that your young grass is fighting with the trees for water. The trees will always win.

Your best bet is to plant drought tolerant plants in those shady areas like liriope. Or, trying putting down a few rolls of sod to see if you can get more mature grass to grow.
I agree.
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:56 AM   #12
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Seed grass in fall or spring?


Water, shade, a high root system; these are all factors that inhibit propagation of new grass. Again, you will need to stick to an ongoing seeding program (spring/fall) to have grass. In my opinion, sod would not be a viable option in this situation.
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Old 09-20-2010, 07:49 PM   #13
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Seed grass in fall or spring?


Check with local gardening suppliers about the type if seed. Some are much better than others for your area. Where I live we seed both spring and fall. this gives the seeds a chance to grow and mature plus the sedcond seeding fills in the ground a little better and chokes many weed issues.

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