Weather dictates when to overseed, not convenience
by Daphne Thompson, on Oct 7, 2015 11:52:04 AM
As the calendar dives deeper into fall, it's officially that time of year to plan for annual bermudagrass overseed for turf reinforcement. There is something absurdly pleasing about those deep blue green strands of grass growing during the cool months here in central Oklahoma, but a lot of work and planning is required to achieve green grass perfection, regardless of location.
While picking a date to scalp, prep, and sow the seed usually leans heavily on the absence of other more pressing activities, it's important to plan ahead according to predicted fall weather patterns. Turf scientists at Oklahoma State University have published some tips detailing the preferred timing of overseeding warm-season turf. OSU suggests waiting until cooler weather has arrived so growth of the summer bermuda doesn't compete with the newly-germinated rye (but not so cool as to prevent germination altogether). Additionally, they highlight the importance of keeping the seeds and underlying soil moist over the next 7-10 days to promote quick and efficient germination -- hopefully accomplished via rainfall in order to reduce irrigation requirements.
What I try to target is a shift from the dog days of summer pattern to the pleasant early fall pattern characterized by cooler temps and higher precip chances. To help pinpoint a timeframe, I turn to the WDT Futures weather-climate scientists in Houston, and their sub-seasonal forecast published throughout the week, to help me schedule an optimal seed date.
After reading through their mid-september forecast, I found aforementioned optimal growing conditions were on their way to the OKC area for the two-week period at the beginning of October. You can do the same for your turf project!