If in late autumn or winter bare patches appear in the lawn, the question arises whether they can immediately reseed when frost comes. This article explains how useful such a measure is.
To the point
- bare patches sometimes remain in the lawn in autumn
- sowing in winter makes little sense
- grass does not germinate in frost
- birds eat the grass seed
- young grass can dry up in frost
Bare spots in the lawn
Whether it’s due to lawn maintenance in the fall or frost in the winter. Bare spots can also form in the lawn during the cold season. The temptation is to immediately reseed them so that the lawn soon shows itself as a closed area again. The advantages of sowing lawn in frost seem obvious:
- there is more time in the winter, only a few other gardening tasks are pending
- lawn does not need to be watered so often, because it is wet anyway
- sunlight is not so strong
- Lawn has time to grow well until spring
Note: clearing the snow from the lawn in winter does not protect it from bare patches. On the contrary, the snow itself has a protective function.
Problems that arise
Even though it is theoretically possible to sow the lawn in winter, in reality it brings very little. This is due to the following reasons:
- Grass seeds need a certain minimum temperature to germinate. This is 8 to 10 degrees and must remain uniform over a long period of time.
- Tilling the soil is more difficult, if not impossible. Raking in seed and leveling do not work as well.
- Open seed is eaten by birds before it can germinate.
- If the seed does germinate, the young grasses will dry up during the next frost because they can no longer absorb water. Watering does not help against this either.
Note: The garden watering can freeze in frost. This alone makes it difficult to properly water your lawn in the winter.
Frequently asked questions
Are other lawn care measures useful in winter?
Since the lawn is dormant in winter, there is little point in caring for it. This is especially true of fertilizing, which can actually be harmful. Any tilling of the soil is harmful during ground frost anyway. Only watering can be useful in mild temperatures and drought.
When is the earliest possible time to sow the lawn?
Basically, as soon as the ground has thawed. However, even then it can take a long time for grass seeds to germinate if the temperature required for this is not reached.
Is grass frost hardy?
Of course, grass is hardy. However, frost damage can occur if the grass suffers from frost dryness during the winter. But then the grasses do not freeze, they dry up.