Seeding a lawn in Canada

Calgary, Canada

Hi Everyone,

I live in Calgary, Alberta and just moved into this house, and found in the spring that the lawn looks like it's been neglected for years. I just spread weed and feed on my lawn about a week ago, so it's too early yet to reseed. If I reseed in late October, will the seeds stay viable in our climate over the winter and grow in spring? Or would it be better if I did it in the spring instead? It would be nice if I could do it before winter so I don't have to worry about it in spring....

Also, the soil in my lawn is pretty much just clay and medium size rocks (1" to 3" sized rocks near or just below the surface). It's pretty lush in the shady areas, and gets more sparse and weedy in the sunny areas (weeds are clover, black medic and dandelion). Do you have any other suggestions to help me recover this lawn as fast as possible?

Thanks!

Calgary, Canada

The birds and the mice will remove seeds before spring.
Your first step would be to build up the soil with organic matter and topsoil.

Whitby, ON(Zone 5b)

Interesting. I've been told the best time to seed is in late autumn so the seeds can go through the repeated freeze/thaws that they need in order to sprout in the spring. We're planning to do it shortly, and will be covering the seeds with a light layer of black earth.W're fairly new owners too, and our lawns are in similar distress, but our soil is mostly okay, with good drainage. What's your take on this contradicting information? Thanks.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I've seeded grass throughout the spring, summer & fall and have found that just before some rainy days is best and also temperatures mid twenties or lower. We often do not have snow cover throughout the winter, so I would recommend the spring.

Whitby, ON(Zone 5b)

Ah, so that's the difference then - we do get snow cover as a rule in winter, lots of it and our temps tend to stay not to far under the freezing mark. So different rules for different hardiness zones and climate conditions.


Calgary, Canada

Good info! Thanks guys! I figured it had something to do with hardiness zones. But that's a good idea about the birds. Probably also the squirrels too. I can just imagine them swarming my grass looking for seeds for the winter.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Ditto to what Jo South said. Usually not enough snow and we have windy conditions so the neighbours inherit the seed. I seed in March/April and top dress with compost or manure.

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