Late grass seeding

Asked October 23, 2017, 4:07 PM EDT

I have been reseeding areas of my lawn this fall but haven't completed it yet. I'm afraid the season for seeding is over. If I plant the seed and it partially germinates, will it restart growing in the spring or will the emerging stems die off? Will the remaining seeds rot before spring? What would happen if I reseed after the ground freezes? Will the seeds remain dormant until spring and then germinate? I'm sure the water content of the soil affects the outcome? I'm also wondering what causes the 2-3" diameter soil mounds in my lawn? They occur more often in thin or bare grass areas and are not in a "tunnel" pattern to suggest rodents. Perhaps new grass or weed sprouts are starting lower in the soil. (?) I usually flatten them if the soil is moist or level them off w/ a rake when the soil is dry. Thank you, Linda

Hennepin County Minnesota

3 Responses

Your plan is to "dormant seed" your lawn, that is, seed before the ground freezes, but after the temperatures are cold enough to prevent germination. Then the seeds will germinate in spring. It is not as certain a method as normal seeding in early autumn, but it can work. I'd wait until perhaps mid November to do this. Read here:

Here is a calendar for lawn chores:

It is hard to tell what the mounds are without an onsite inspection. They could be night crawlers, pocket gophers, or some other critter. Read here:

To help immature new grass to survive the winter, is there anything I can do like covering it w/ cheesecloth, mulch, etc.? Some of my sowed areas have just recently emerged. Will the later emerging seeds (bluegrass, etc.) in those spots now wait to germinate in the spring? Will the areas w/o any growth at all at this time automatically go dormant and emerge in the spring?



Unless we get an unusual warmup, the unsprouted seeds should germinate next spring. The sprouted seeds might survive the winter.