Q: What is winter seeding?
A: In northern areas, the term winter seeding typically
refers to planting grass seed during freezing weather. The seed will lie dormant until the
onset of warm weather. Winter seeding may improve seed-soil contact which is helpful to
successful germination. Drawbacks however may include seed death during a very wet spring, or
seedling death due to late spring frost after the seeds have actually germinated. If you can
not afford to lose a seeding, we recommend planting in spring or fall instead.
In the south, winter seeding is sometimes used to refer to a fall overseeding of annual ryegrass when temperatures fall into the 70 to 60° F. range. Seeding southern lawns with a temporary cover of annual ryegrass is a common practice to keep the lawn green while the permanent lawn turns brown from cool weather. The annual rye will then die off in the heat of the following summer.