Pal-Mates … weekend web tip

The lush green grass of summer could well be a distant memory. Maybe you have a few patches or edges that are now mud and need some repair. If soil temperatures are below 9 degrees, most grass seed won't be able to grow, but in gardens it can be successful to do cold seeding. Dormant seeding is the process of sowing seed at a time of year when soil temperatures are not optimal for germination. It's also known as cold seeding or overseeding if done on existing sward.

Freezing weather will not kill the seeds, they simply wont germinate. As temperatures start to rise, the dormant seed will begin to grow. One pitfall with this method is if we have an unseasonably warm spell, followed by a late cold snap. Germinated seed may be killed off.

The best mixtures for cold sowing are those with a high ryegrass content. For best results the birds should be kept off the seeded area. With many birds under cover, we have an opportunity to do repairs. Spiking with a fork can help with areas which are compacted. Stay off the grass when it is frosty though or you will do more damage than good.