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overseeding southern turf.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by HOMER, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    Alright..........another year and another sorry outcome on my overseeding attempts.

    Last year I asked the question and got some good answers from members concerning overseeding. I went heavier with the seed this year and also put it out earlier than last year. This year it went out before 10-15-03 and during that period of time we were having some pretty warm days, warm enough and with enough dew that this "ammual rye seed" should have had ample time to germinate before the colder weather got here.

    All this was a waste again. I put the seed in my own yard and on a couple commercial accounts.

    Question # 1. When broadcast seeding over centipede.........have you found that it doesn't do as well on this type of grass? One of the commercial accounts I overseeded has a nice thick stand of centipede. I'm beginning to think that since this grass has it's root system above ground ........... or runners at least........that the seed has a hard time settling down to the soil.

    Question # 2. I have been using "annual" rye seed. Has anyone tried using "perrineal" seed down south and if so what was the result.

    I'm thinking of buying a bag of this seed and sampling it in my yard. We should be getting some warmer weather before too much longer and I think it would germinate OK.


    Let me know what works or doesn't for you.
  2. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116


    I was just getting ready to post a similar question. I have to start getting into the commercial (as opposed to residential) maintenance end of the business. In the DFW area, that means knowing how to successfully overseed with rye. I have just finished doing Yahoo and Google searches and found absolutely nothing.

    The advice I've gotten from a golf course guy was to put down perennial rye as opposed to annual rye. The blend he recommended was 80% perennial rye and 20% annual rye. It was a little cheaper than the blend that was 100% perennial.

    From what I undestand, the first step is to scalp the lawn as low as you can cut and then rake all the clippings up and remove them. Then, apply about 10 pounds per 1,000 sq ft. I guess most folks use a rotary style spreader for this. Then, water the lawn three times a day for the next three weeks. Soil tempuratures play a big role in this. I noticed all the crews doing this in mid-September this year. Probably not much difference in Alabama, I'd guess.

    I know it can't be this easy because I see a TON of miserable looking rye overseeds each winter. If anyone has a link to the university studies or recommendations, please post. In fact, if anyone knows what they're doing with this, please post.

    One of my biggest questions: When you overseed with rye, do you at any point apply a pre-emergence herbicide? I mean, after it's up and growing?

    DFW Area Landscaper
  3. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    Scalping might be fine for Bermuda but I can't see doing that to Centipede! I don't think it could take it without having some adverse affects.

    I saw a bag of perennial rye in Lowes the other day. 20 # for 30.00. I'm paying 17.00 for a 50# bag of annual rye. I read in one of the latest trade magazines where a fellow used perinneal vs. annual rye because annual tends to grow in clumps..........I have to agree. What I've been using is "Gulf Annual Rye Seed".......Oregon grown. After this year I think I'm opting for the more expensive variety and hoping for better results.
  4. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 989

    There is an excellent overseeding guide available from Lesco.
    Provided cost isn't too much of a factor, I would stay away from annual ryegrass and go with a triple blend of perennial ryegrass.
    Most interseeded blends allow for greater flexibility in species selection verus a monostand - and you typically do not know which species/cultivar performs the best for your given area.
    perennial ryegrass is basil tillage and annual ryegrass is rhyzotomous - meaning annual ryegrass typically won't grow in clumps unless there is a cultural/edaphic problem or the seed wasn't sowed properly.
  5. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    I'm guessing the seed has cultural problems........maybe it don't like being this far south!

    Triple blend of rye? Maybe Lesco carries this but other than that I've never seen it. We now have a Home Depot close by.......don't they carry Lesco products?
  6. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 989

    What I have seen with Lesco and Home Depot is there are certain items Lesco only supplies to Home Depot. Where I am at it is fertilizer and fertilizer containing differing types of herbicides. I haven't seen seed or other products.
  7. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    I'll have to check out ours when I get down that way.

    I'm gonna look around for that triple blend as well. There has to be somebody around here that sells it.
  8. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,227

    sounds like you got some BAD seed if it didnt grow at all? rye is pretty easy to grow!

    try POA next year for centipede!
  9. Blessed 1

    Blessed 1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 516

    I have had different results with my overseeding this year. I think the 80 degree days hurt the annual rye grass here. My yard is good and green but I had to really put a lot of seeds down to get the results. The area's in my yard that had hard clay I caught them on a rainy day and turned over the soil with a shovel and WOW. Those area's are really green and thick now. That tells me that I need to aerate soon. I started planting mine in November and got good results but it really needs a lot of seeds and H2o. I also had to overseed the overseeding. Thanks
  10. BB36

    BB36 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 171

    I've put winter rye on Centipede, St. Aug., Bermuda,Zoysia,Carpet it seems to germinate just fine on all. I use the Oregon grown rye also. I don't scalp the lawn before applying rye.Just apply with a broadcast spreader with a deflector plate. I've also been told in the past not to use perennial rye because it may not all die of in the spring and may show up in the lawn during the growing season (summer). I don't apply any kind of pre m on growing rye because i always over-seed the lawn in the spring if there is a grass seed for it ie. centipede., some Bermudas, etc.. If we get a cold snap in my area the rye will stop growing , but will still stay green. Once the temps start raising the rye will start growing like theres no tomorrow. Also like SWD said rye dosen't grow in clumps only when to much seed is laid down in one spot. Here is a response i sent to another member. What your talking about is over seeding your dormant warm season grass(centipede) with winter rye grass a cool season grass.
    What I do is broadcast 50 lbs rye seed per 10000 sq. ft.(usually around the latter part of October early part of November) . Keep seed moist till germination about 10-15 days.Then about 1 week after germination I apply approx. 6 bags 40 lbs each of 10-10-10 quick release fertilizer per 20000 sq.ft.. Then I'll water about 1-3 times per week 30 minutes each time. The amount of watering is a judgment call depending upon many factors we come across ie. rain fall,temperature etc. This will enable you to a have a GREEN lawn during the winter time. In my area when the temperatures start getting hot, around late March early April the heat will kill off all of the winter rye.This temperature increase will in turn force the centipede out of dormancy.

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