Snow Seeding - (Lawn care)

A friend who used to own a landscaping business told me about a trick I might try next year - too late now.
He calls it snow seeding.
I told him about an area under a tree in my back yard that never gets any sun, so I can never grow grass there.
He said next year, in late February, early March, I should sow some annual grass seed on top of the snow. He says the seed will stay dormant in the cold, but as the snow melts it will settle onto the dirt and have a chance to to germinate before the tree fills with leaves and blocks the sun. The melting snow will moisten the ground to help the seed get started.
Since I can expect it to die off by the end of summer due to lack of sun, I should stick with inexpensive annual seed (landscapers mix, he called it) and expect to re-snow-seed every year.
Anybody heard of - or better yet, tried - this process?
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Why try to force something to grow that will at best grow poorly? How about a rock garden or add any number of plants that will thrive in low light?
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On Tue, 8 Apr 2008 12:42:52 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

Havn't heard of this. I know that seed must be in direct contact with warm soil, else it will rot or get eaten. I'm sure this "snow seeding" will result in some grass to grow, but I suspect a low germination rate.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

anything near a satisfactory crop of grass. Birds would eat it, some would rot, and if/when some seed does sprout, part of the new crop would probably freeze. There is a lot I don't know about growing grass, but I wouldn't bother. It would be an interesting experiment :o) Is this what "winter wheat" is?
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Winter wheat also is a 'dormant seeding' BUT it is drilled directly into the earth BEFORE the snows.
The above mentioned grass technique is better thrown on the ground before the snow. I think the OP was misled when told to 'throw it on top the snow'.
s

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re: I think the OP was misled when told to 'throw it on top the snow'.
Not sure what you mean by "misled". Are you saying that:
1- I misunderstood? Nope, there is no question as to what I was told. I work with the guy now and we've talked about the technique numerous times.
2- The teller is wrong? All I can say is that he says (and he's in my office right now confirming it!) he used it for many of his "corporate accounts" (malls, office parks, etc) where there were trees along side buildings, etc. He'd snow seed and end up with decent lawns for the season.
BTW...he also suggested a technique I do use now. I live on a curve and the snow plow tends to rip up the front edge of my lawn. No sense spending money on good seed, so I just use an annual in the 3 foot strip that the plow ruins every year.
BTW 2...the rest of my lawn isn't going to make an appearance on the Fine Living Network. It's got a better chance of making Desparate Landscapes, so I'm not concerned with the use of cheaper seed. I basically want it green, not dirt.
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RE: BTW#1. I'd be setting some concrete posts or very large rocks on that edge. When he rips that blade OFF the truck one time, he'll learn where the curve is.
s
BTW...he also suggested a technique I do use now. I live on a curve and the snow plow tends to rip up the front edge of my lawn. No sense spending money on good seed, so I just use an annual in the 3 foot strip that the plow ruins every year.
.
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re: I'd be setting some concrete posts or very large rocks on that edge.
Town plows road. Town owns front of lawn and driveway. All obstructions must be 10 feet from edge of blacktop.
If my daughter's portable basketball hoop is near the road when they do their Fall drive-by inspections, I get a letter from the town reminding me of the 10 foot set-back rule.
Besides...it's such a narrow street that if they did not plow it as wide as they do you probably couldn't get through by the end of winter.
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S. Barker wrote:

feet past the pavement AND the gravel), and you'll be paying the county for a new plow blade, and maybe the whole truck. Most areas specify a clear zone that must be observed. Also applies to plow/kid-proof concrete or I-beam mailbox posts being a no-no.
-- aem sends...
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Very common around the midwest. We call it a dormant seeding. You won't get quite as good a germination percentage, but it is easy.
s

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On Tue, 8 Apr 2008 12:42:52 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

I've tilled garden material into the ground, covered with dead leaves in the fall and in the spring I had so many plants I needed the thin them - even gave plants to neighbors. Plenty of snow that year. Perhaps try a light till and seed before the first snow.
What type of trees and soil conditions? You might try to cut a few cores of your lawn and transplant them to the area you want to grow. Get them started too see how they grow.
Pick a low light condition grass seed for your area, is another option.
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I've heard of it, but never tried it. The basic idea is the seed gets sown in late winter where freeze thaw cycles help work it into better contact with the soil. When the soil warms it germinates. However, as someone else pointed out, I doubt you will get anywhere near optimum germination, as compared to using a slice seeder. I'd also wonder what annual grasses there are that are suitable for dense shade.
But all this is about is a seeding technique, not a real solution to your problem. Even if you re-seed that area every year, it takes a couple months for the grass to really establish itself. So, the amount of time you have anything decent to look at isn't going to be long. I think a better strategy would be to either thin out the tree to allow more light in, or else go with alternative plantings under the tree.
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This is one of those things that work very well, but not just anywhere. I does work very will in most situations and most years in my area. In my area we would not put it on the snow in February, rather we can put it out anytime after the ground is frozen. This year would not have been the best for that one however as we have had a very wet spring and most of it would have been washed out before germinating. Most years it does work well.
Note: check the weed content. Some cheap seed has such a high weed content that it would be best to avoid it, also consider that there are some grasses you don't want spreading to your good lawn and some annuals will do that. Again it is a local thing.

--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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On Tue, 8 Apr 2008 20:30:24 -0400, "Joseph Meehan"

If the manure hasn't been sanitized ; it equals weeds.
Cow pies have weeds :)
It's local, somewhere...
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Old seed I feed the birds and squirrels, sure it works to put seed on snow , but unless its buried with a bit of dirt animals will eat alot of it.
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