What happens to ungerminated seed from fall 2016?

Since we basically had no rainfall from August through Thanksgiving, there was alot of seed that did not germinate. Irrigated lawns germinated very well, where coverage was good, if they followed our watering instructions. Unirrigated lawns that weren’t manually watered daily, did not germinate. This is the 1st time I have seen this issue in 20 years of service. Research shows that if the seed wasn’t watered and did not initiate germination, up to 90% of it will germinate in spring, once soil temps warm up (usually mid March). Some seed may wash away if on a slope, but I believe we will be pleasently suprised  by the amount of germination that will hopefully occur. I say hopefully, because I am basing this on information obtained from agronomists that have researched this situation. All agronomists I spoke to said there are many factors that effect how seed performs the following spring. We have put together a list of lawns that definitely need reseeding or at least need touch ups. Customers on that list will be fertilized only during 1st app 2016, to promote new seedling growth. Preemergent will not be applied during 1st app on lawns or spots that need reseeding. We guarantee our fall aeration and overseeding on irrigated lawns. On unirrigated lawns, we can reseed them as needed in spring. I believe the fairest way to handle this situation is to charge customers on unirrigated lawns, only the cost of seed applied. No labor charge will be added. If we need to reaerate, there will be no charge for that. If we aerated and reseeded your lawn in fall of 2016, please contact us by phone or email if you want to insure that you are on the list for spot touch up or reseeding. Thank you for your business. Look for our news letter with prepay option in early January, 2017.

Sincerely, Robert Stroud
The Turf Doctor