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Old 10-26-2009, 08:22 PM
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Tyler's Lawn Maintenance Tyler's Lawn Maintenance is offline
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Winter Rye; Is it worth it?

I want to plant Winter Rye on my existing Bermuda lawn. The Bermuda has almost died off, due to the cooler weather. I want to mow and maintain something other than Bermuda, but I want a nice lawn next summer. Fescue is basically out of the question, because my neighbors have Bermuda, and it spreads, QUICK, and I really don't have the time to maintain it as I should. My questions are should I plant Winter Rye or leave the Bermuda? Is it worth the trouble? Is there anything I can do to have a green lawn in the winter and summer?
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:30 PM
LilesLawn LilesLawn is offline
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I am in Texas but we put out Rye grass to protect the dormant bermuda. would think there would be a couple of other choices in your area. Whatever your choice, it will stay green this winter and then should die off and let your primary grass come back. By overseeding, you do create a transition time period in which the Rye will be dying and the Bermuda will be trying to come back in but it will be harder because it is in competition for nutrients and such. You can also spray and kill the secondary grass at the beginning of spring to kick start your bermuda and let it come in quicker.
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:41 PM
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Tyler's Lawn Maintenance Tyler's Lawn Maintenance is offline
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Originally Posted by LilesLawn View Post
I am in Texas but we put out Rye grass to protect the dormant bermuda. would think there would be a couple of other choices in your area. Whatever your choice, it will stay green this winter and then should die off and let your primary grass come back. By overseeding, you do create a transition time period in which the Rye will be dying and the Bermuda will be trying to come back in but it will be harder because it is in competition for nutrients and such. You can also spray and kill the secondary grass at the beginning of spring to kick start your bermuda and let it come in quicker.
So you're saying if I choose to go the route of Winter Rye, I can overseed with bermuda and have a Winter Rye lawn in the winter, and bermuda in the summer?
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:13 PM
LilesLawn LilesLawn is offline
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You shoudlnt have to reseed your bermuda it will lie dormant throughout the winter and then come back automatically in the spring. The rye is seasonal and depending on the variety will have to be overseeded every year.
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Old 10-27-2009, 05:03 PM
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Tyler's Lawn Maintenance Tyler's Lawn Maintenance is offline
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Originally Posted by LilesLawn View Post
You shoudlnt have to reseed your bermuda it will lie dormant throughout the winter and then come back automatically in the spring. The rye is seasonal and depending on the variety will have to be overseeded every year.
So basically just aerate, put down pre emergent and then put down winter rye?
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:38 PM
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Pre-emergent might kill your new seed. Omit that. Don't use "winter rye" you might accidentally buy the grain crop. You want perennial rye grass--as a blend intended for winter overseeding in your area. A professional landscape company will do the best job and have the proper equipment and experience. Annual rye works also--but the quality is poor and the color is yellow. But hey I am from Michigan--for what its worth--local advice is best.
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:05 PM
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Tyler's Lawn Maintenance Tyler's Lawn Maintenance is offline
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Originally Posted by RigglePLC View Post
Pre-emergent might kill your new seed. Omit that. Don't use "winter rye" you might accidentally buy the grain crop. You want perennial rye grass--as a blend intended for winter overseeding in your area. A professional landscape company will do the best job and have the proper equipment and experience. Annual rye works also--but the quality is poor and the color is yellow. But hey I am from Michigan--for what its worth--local advice is best.
The reason for the pre-emergent is to kill the weeds growing in the close-to- dead lawn. How would I go about killing the weeds without pre-emergent?
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:24 PM
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Hey Tyler, I am in Michigan too. I have heard great things about the appearance and color of Pantera Annual Rye, a fairly new variety. It is being included in some cool season mixes, along with Kentucky Bluegrass and Perennial Ryegrass, for quick cover. This reduces erosion while the others germinate and gives the KBG, especially, a little protection from drying out at the soil line.

This article describes it on a technical basis. This one from Texas A & M discusses winter overseeding in the south and suggests Pantera Annual Ryegrass.

I agree that using a pre-emergent if you overseed is a bad idea.
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:06 PM
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A pre-emergent does not kill weeds that are above the ground, rather it prevents the germination of certain weed seeds like annual bluegrass and crabgrass--but it may also prevent the germination of your good seed.

Good advice from Foreplease.

As the article states, if your Bermuda is in bad shape competition from the perennial ryegrass will weaken it further. Annual rye fades out quicker in spring.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:18 PM
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Tyler's Lawn Maintenance Tyler's Lawn Maintenance is offline
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well, the rye grass turned out as I expected without aerating. In my opinion, it looks great! The only place that does not look good, is the area beside my drive way where there is bare soil and the thin portion beside it. The dirt and bare spot going down the edge of the drive is where I raked and pulled the dead weeds from the summer. After I did away with the weeds, I seeded the bare soil by hand, leaving a thick, steady trail of seed and starter fertilizer. I seeded the thin portion with more rye grass and starter fertilizer. The pictures show the grass after the second mowing. The pictures were taken before weed eating and blowing. Let me know what you think!
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