Can you spread grass seed in November so it will germinate in the spring? I planted a new lawn in a shadey area in mid August, and the germination wasn’t what I had hoped for. I chose a shadey mix seed (mostly fescues). I wondered if I were to spread some seed in November on the sparse areas, if it would sprout in the spring. I also wanted to know if it would help to put down fall fertilizer now, or is it too late. I did use a starter fertilizer when I planted the seed in August. If I can put the seed down in Nov., should I mulch it with straw, or isn’t it necessary?
Yes, you can put seed down in November (the later the better). This is called ‘dormant overseeding. The seed will get pounded into the soil by snow and rain and sprout naturally when the soil warms in spring. There’s no need to use a starter food on the area until the grass sprouts in spring. If you are seeding bare ground then a layer of straw will help hold the soil in place over the winter. If there is already some grass there then there is no need to mulch with straw.