I’ve been in a 3 year fight with my front yard. I have been digging out bindweed for that long along with properly grading it (by hand) and digging out giant stones buried therein. So needless to say it has been bare dirt for quite a while while I fight the demon-vine. I’ve mulched it with wood chips and roto-tilled so not as much hard clay as 3 years ago. We finally have 2 weeks of 70 degree weather ahead so I feel confident that I can spread the seed, light water in the morning before work and a little heavier in the early evening and get good results.
Since we want drought-tolerant and we are in Zone 5B in the Colorado Front Range region I am using creeping red fescue (no bluegrass) along with microclover to help with nutrients and to choke out weeds. I’m sure my neighbors will be happy next Spring.
What is the normal weather and rain pattern for the fall in your area and when does it get really cold? Where I am we are in the dry part of the year and the rain will come in October and not stop.
Grass seed is small and once it sprouts it needs to be kept wet and not allowed to dry out, or the sprouts will die. 50 to 60 degrees is just fine for grass seed as long as it dosen’t freeze or dry out.
So what I would think about if I were you, is it too early and the seed will dry out, if you wait will it be too cold? Does the rain come in your area while the temperatures are still moderate.
Too early or too late if you wait, that is the question for you.
Before with the temperature in the high 80’s and 90’s it was way to early. The first frost will probably be early to mid October so as best as anyone can guess the weather this weekend is probably the sweet spot.
Came home the first day and there are dog prints in my yard. WTF?! Also, with a clay soil a few low points (and dog tracks) were obvious so I filled them in with mulch and overseeded.
Day 4 and the microclover I planted (companion to the grass seed) has started germinating - about 60% coverage I would estimate right where the sun & water were perfect I imagine. It being so early I hope for 100% coverage by Day 7. Speaking of sun & Water, the timing couldn’t be perfecter. 3 days of hot (around 90 degrees) weather with watering 2 to 3 times a day. Today and tomorrow are high 50s and its been raining here now about 6 hours with more tomorrow. After that, 70s and sun.
Oh and 1 solitary fescue seed has germinated. Normally it takes around 14 days so fingers crossed. BUT if I get a lawn of just microclover I won’t be heartbroken.
I think now is a great time for you. The trick with temps in the 70s is to make sure the seed stays wet, which is a bit easier in cooler conditions. Up here in MN (Zone 4b), September and October are usually great times for seeding but most of September was hotter than usual. Still, with highs in the 80s, I spread seed this weekend and it is coming up, with highs suddenly cooler yesterday and today, the grass is taking off.
I got a few grass germs going in the front and considering it is creeping red fescue (14 day germination) I am hopeful. The “secret” garden has grass all ready coming up. It is a no-mow mix meaning dwarf fine fescue. And of course the microclover is popping out all over the secret garden and is spots in the front. I’ve noticed my front yard (eastern exposure with partial shade in spots) is feast or famine. I expect that it will all come in over the next week or two but there are some spots I am worried about.
Today (technically tomorrow) is the big day. 21 days and all of the creeping red fescue that was originally planted will have germinated or died. A few wide bladed grasses have sprung that I’m pretty sure isn’t CRF but not a lot of it so I can deal with it once the grass can be walked on. I would say I have about 70% coverage with the microclover and grass but that’s ok. I overseeded with just grass seed last week concentrating on the bare areas that are on a slight slope and faces east so that should help and my goal is to have most of the lawn in a good spot by next spring when I can do reseeding of both the grass and clover. It’s CRF so if I have a little bit everywhere it will eventually fill in.
The Secret Garden looks great. Two bareish spots, one a little bit of a rise and one in a corner. Again, overseeded last weekend and already those areas are filling in. It is a dwarf fescue blend and there are toadstools so it will look perfect when Mrs. Cad puts out her small gnomes next spring.