When is the best time to 'Frost Seed' a lawn in my area (,Morris county NJ)
I have heard the term frost seeding in reference to winter and spring pastures, but not so much for home lawns. The practice involves broadcast seed put on moist or snow covered areas, which allows the melting snow and some frosty conditions to help allow the soil crevices to from in which the grass seed can germinate. Frost seeding works best on loamy and clay soils or other soils that have natural soil moisture in the spring. Sandy soils are not conducive for frost seeding.
Our turf type fescues for lawns germinate in warmer conditions than do many weed seeds, so weed competition can be a problem for lawns in the spring. It might be best to put down your crab grass spring pre-emergent herbicide (when the forsythia blooms). Wait three weeks and then seed with your grass seed for the lawn (probably mid-May). At that time, the seed will germinate more quickly, and not have as much competition from weed seedlings.
In general, the fall is a better time of year for lawn rejuvenation and also lawn fertilizer applications.
Thank you for contacting Cooperative Extension,