For whatever reason, you may need to reseed your lawn. It’s possible that this year’s foot traffic prevented the lawn from recovering completely. Or the lawn may have experienced drought, disease, or insect damage. You may even be attempting to overseed a warm-season lawn with perennial ryegrass seeds so that it remains green throughout the winter.
- Regardless of the cause, it is highly probable that you will need to reseed your lawn at some point.
- You should avoid leaving bare spots in your perennial ryegrass lawn because weeds will take advantage of the opportunity.
- So how do you reseed? Prepare the soil as you would for any other planting endeavor.
Remove any existing weeds, aerate the soil if it is compacted, and de-thatch if the thatch layer is more than 12 inch thick “If the soil is dense, amend it with soil amendments and apply a pre-plant fertilizer (all of this should be done when your perennial ryegrass lawn is actively growing).
The objective is to give the new seeds the best chance of germination. And speaking of germination, choose a grass seed product with a high percentage of pure live seeds; this indicates the proportion of perennial ryegrass seeds in the product that are anticipated to germinate. Wait to sow the seeds until the soil is between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Early spring or early fall is the optimal time for the germination of perennial ryegrass seeds (early fall tends to be better because the grass has more time to prepare itself for the stress of summer). When it is time to sow the seeds, mow the lawn a bit shorter than usual so the new seeds do not have to compete with tall grass for sunlight.
Use a drop spreader or rotary spreader to promote uniformity. Check the seed’s packaging for reseeding rates, not planting rates. Any reseeding rates for perennial ryegrass should be less than nine pounds per one thousand square feet. Spread across the lawn horizontally fifty percent of the total amount of seed that will be utilized.
Then, spread the remaining seed in a vertical direction across the lawn using the remaining seed. You may apply a very thin layer of topsoil (no more than 1/8 inch) “) to the lawn to retain the seeds is optional. After sowing the seeds, you should water them as briefly and frequently as possible to maintain a light moisture level until germination.
The germination rate of perennial ryegrass seeds is extremely rapid; therefore, if the temperatures are optimal and there is sufficient water and seed-soil contact, the seeds should germinate within 5 to 10 days. Once the seeds have germinated, you can begin to water deeply and infrequently. Apply a light fertilizer to the soil a few weeks after planting and begin mowing the lawn when it is 1/3 higher than the ideal height.
Reseeding perennial ryegrass is not a panacea for all problems, but it is a good general maintenance technique for maintaining a thick and healthy lawn.
Can ryegrass be planted in February?
Why Farmers Prefer Annual Ryegrass – Annual ryegrass is simple to establish because a prepared seedbed is not necessary. It is sufficient to broadcast 20 to 30 pounds of seed per acre over a wheat/rye/oat pasture or a recently grazed bermudagrass pasture to produce a stand of annual ryegrass.
Some farmers will lightly disk their bermudagrass pastures in the fall to promote the germination of annual ryegrass. When overseeded into bermudagrass sod, the majority of growth occurs between early April and June. Late August through early October is the optimal time to plant annual ryegrass, but it can be planted as late as February.
Annual ryegrass will germinate in the fall, but there is typically not enough top growth to support fall grazing unless the soil has been thoroughly tilled. In variety trials conducted by the Noble Research Institute using a clean-tilled seedbed, ryegrass outproduced wheat or rye plantings in terms of total production, and the seed is typically less expensive than small grains seed.
Why does ryegrass cause issues?
Management Caution: Ryegrass is a heavy consumer of water and nitrogen. It performs poorly during periods of drought, extreme heat or cold, and in soils with low fertility. As a living mulch, it can be a strong competitor for soil moisture. It can also become a weed issue (361).
Annual Ryegrass Lawn Maintenance Schedule – Annual ryegrass, like perennial ryegrass, is a cool-season grass. This means that its growth naturally peaks in the autumn and spring. Fall is the best time to plant annual ryegrass in regions with moderate winters and in southern lawns.
In northern regions with colder winters, spring plantings supplement the natural growth of annual ryegrass. Because annual ryegrass is a temporary lawn grass, lawn maintenance should be coordinated with the permanent grasses in the lawn. Follow a lawn maintenance schedule designed for cool-season grasses, such as tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass.
Follow a warm-season lawn care routine for southern and western grasses, such as Bermudagrass. If you are uncertain about the typical frost dates and weather patterns in your region, contact the county extension office. Then, adhere to this basic lawn care schedule for temporary annual ryegrass support.
- MARCH THROUGH MAY Mowing Commence mowing northern lawns when they begin to grow.
- Maintain annual ryegrass between 2 and 3 inches in height until slower grasses establish themselves.
- Then, maintain the recommended cutting height for your perennial grass by mowing.
- Mow lawns comprised of warm-season Bermudagrass at the recommended height of 1 to 1 1/2 inches.
As warm-season grasses take over and air temperatures surpass 80 degrees Fahrenheit, annual ryegrass begins to perish. Low cutting heights hasten the demise of overseeded annual ryegrass. Prevention of Weeds and Fertilization In early spring, prevent crabgrass and other weeds in northern and southern lawns by fertilizing.
Before the soil reaches 55°F, apply Pennington UltraGreen Crabgrass Preventer Plus Fertilizer III 30-0-4. This is when crabgrass begins to germinate. Before applying to newly seeded areas, you must wait at least 60 days. Seeding and Overseeding Similar to other cool-season grasses, annual ryegrass germinates best when soil temperatures range from 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Planting at this time helps ensure rapid germination, establishment, and coloration. Early establishment in northern lawns increases heat and drought resistance. Herbicides and Fertilization Once permanent grasses are actively growing in late spring, use Pennington UltraGreen Weed & Feed 30-0-4 to control broadleaf weeds while fertilizing.
- Do not apply to newly seeded areas until at least three mowings have occurred.
- Wait at least three weeks after application before reseeding treated areas.
- As needed, supplement rainfall with irrigation so that your established lawn receives approximately 1 inch of water per week.
- Deep, thorough watering promotes deeper root growth, which aids in drought resistance.
FROM JUNE TO AUGUST Mowing Continue mowing your lawn at the height recommended for permanent lawn grass. Increase mowing height by 1 to 1 1/2 inches during periods of heat and low precipitation in northern lawns to help grasses resist stress. Remove no more than a third of the blade at a time.
- Fertilization Use Pennington UltraGreen Lawn Fertilizer 30-0-4 to fertilize your northern or southern lawn.
- Watering As needed, supplement rainfall with irrigation so that permanent grasses receive between 1 and 1 1/4 inches of water per week.
- Pest Control Utilize Sevin Lawn Insect Killer Granules to eliminate lawn-damaging insects such as grubs, chinch bugs, and beetles.
Preventing damage above and below ground with proactive treatments. Soil Analysis Test your lawn’s soil every three to four years to determine nutrient availability. Annual ryegrass is adaptable to a wide range of soils; therefore, you should prioritize the needs of your permanent lawn grass.
- The optimal pH range for most plants, including common lawn grasses, is between 6.0 and 7.0.
- SEPTEMBER THROUGH NOVEMBER Mowing Maintain your lawn at the height recommended for your perennial grasses.
- Continue mowing until growth ceases.
- Herbicides and Fertilization Six to eight weeks before the first expected frost, apply Pennington UltraGreen Winterizer Plus Weed & Feed Fertilizer 22-0-14 to established lawns and active broadleaf weeds.
For thicker northern lawns or winter color in the south, use Pennington UltraGreen Lawn Fertilizer 30-0-4 when seeding or overseeding. Instead, spot-treat problematic lawn weeds. Seeding and Overseeding Early fall is the optimal planting time for cool-season grasses.
- Annual ryegrass provides vital support as perennial grasses begin to flourish.
- Seed northern lawns approximately 45 days before the first fall frost is expected.
- The ability of annual ryegrass to withstand cold northern temperatures depends in part on how well it establishes itself before winter.
- Once warm-season grasses begin to go dormant in winter, overseed these lawns with annual ryegrass.
Watering Reduce the amount of water gradually so that established northern lawns receive 1 inch of water every 10 to 14 days. Continue irrigating southern lawns so that annual ryegrass receives 1 to 1 1/4 inches of water per week. Leaf Management Rake or mulch leaves so that annual ryegrass-containing lawns enter winter without a leaf cover.
DECEMBER THROUGH FEBRUARY Southern Garden Upkeep Continue mowing and watering annual ryegrass in warm-season winter lawns that are dormant. To maintain winter color, annual ryegrass requires weekly irrigation of up to 1 1/4 inches of water. The optimal winter appearance of clump-forming annual ryegrass is maintained at a height of 2 to 3 inches.
Northern Lawn Services Remove sticks, stones, and other winter debris from your lawn. When the ground thaws, flush damaged areas caused by pet urine or de-icing. Prepare your lawn equipment for spring. Annual ryegrass provides stability and color rapidly when erosion control or temporary turf grass is required in northern or southern lawns.
With Pennington’s premium grass seed, you can provide your temporary and permanent lawn with the quality support it requires. Pennington is here to assist you and your lawn in achieving success. Always thoroughly read product labels and adhere to instructions.1. Hannaway, D., and others, ” Annual Ryegrass,” Oregon State University Extension.2.
University of Wisconsin-Madison, UW-Extension, ” Annual Ryegrass ” UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, ” Annual Ryegrass – Lolium Multiflorum “, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. Image Credits: Photo credit: Matt Lavin, “Lolium multiflorum” (CC BY-SA 2.0) Harry Rose is credited for the photograph, “Lolium multiflorum plant1” (CC BY 2.0)
Will ryegrass smother other types of grass?
Influence on Weeds – Winter rye grass is an excellent ground cover because it is allelopathic, meaning it contains a chemical that kills certain weeds and plants that grow in the same soil. Planting ryegrass in the yard is effective against weeds such as duckweed and crabgrass.
Annual ryegrass seed is lighter than fertilizer and will not be dispersed as far using a spinner because of this (will need to split the middles to get uniform application). Aerial seeding (airplane or high-boy sprayer with electric-motor spinner) into a standing crop of beans and corn just prior to leaf drop as leaves dry.
- This option establishes the cover crop early, but without rainfall, the results may be disappointing.
- Some of these seeding methods are more effective than others, but they are all effective (with rain).
- In dry soil conditions or when sowing in October, however, it is strongly recommended to use a drill.
Annual ryegrass is typically seeded at a rate of 10-15 lbs/acre. Increase the seeding rate to 22-25 lbs/acre when aerially seeding or using a dormant seeding and 18-25 lbs/acre when broadcast seeding or planting in October. Use the 15 lb/acre setting recommended for tall fescue when establishing drills to sow annual ryegrass.
- This equals 20 pounds per acre of annual ryegrass.
- Before planting annual ryegrass, a burndown herbicide should be applied if winter annuals are present at the time of planting.
- If winter annuals germinate before seeding annual ryegrass the following spring, they will compete aggressively with annual ryegrass.
Nitrogen – Depending on soil conditions, you may apply up to 50 lb/acre of Nitrogen (DAP is effective) to stimulate fall growth. This is especially important for October planting. If properly seeded (instructions above followed), one can expect to see 2-4 inches of top growth before a hard frost kills it.
Will ryegrass grow in temperatures of 40 degrees?
Will overseeding with rye grass on February 1 result in germination? A: It depends entirely on soil temperature. To germinate, ryegrass requires a minimum soil temperature of 45 degrees. February soil temperatures average around 40 degrees. Keep an eye on weather forecasts and sow your seed when daytime temperatures are above 45 degrees, or wait until March when temperatures are slightly warmer.