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problem with winter rye

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by walkerowner06, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. walkerowner06

    walkerowner06 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 79

    three weeks ago i put a 50 lbs bag of winter rye out in this yard that i do every thursday. one week later i put another bag out and today when i went to do the yard i noticed the winter rye has still not come up. there is a few sprouts along the edges of the grass but thats it. i thought maybe the problem was my customer was not watering the grass but i talked to him today and he told me he is watering the grass so i have idea what the problem is. can somebody please tell what the problem may be?
  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,204

    Did you strip off the grass before you planted the seed, so that the seed got down to the soil. After that the grass will come up if it is watered every day and assuming you had some 70F days. Should be up in a couple weeks max. If the customer had irrigation you should have asked to look at the timer to see what they had programed. We always control the watering when we do commericial jobs and I have never had a failure. You did get that grass in pretty late ...we planted in October.
  3. CleanCutProLawn

    CleanCutProLawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    How is the soil to seed contact and what are your soil temps. With the rye you will need soil temps to be at a minimum temp of 52-56*F for germination, I don't remember the minimum temp right off hand.
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    I've seen annaul rye come up in as little as 3 or 4 days. Some prep of the lawn is required though. At a minimum aerating must be done. Did you put any fert down?
  5. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    We over seed all our lawns with winter rye. We never ever aerate this time of year.

    You do need to scalp the summer turf down to the dirt so you have good seed to soil contact as others have mentioned.

    The warmer the soil temps the faster the germination. This time of year it will take 4-6 weeks minimum. To speed things along you can lightly topdress with compost or manure that is not fresh. The dark color helps the sun heat up the soil.

    We also put down a 6-20 -20 fertilizer with the seed. The K to help the summer turf go into dormancy with a little somn somn for the spring. The P to thing to help the new turf get its roots down. You don't want to use too much N or you will burn the new seedlings.

    You can use a digital meat thermometer, like the ones you cook with to check your soil temp's. They are about 25 bucks. Just stick the tip down in about an inch you have to wait a minute or so to get a good reading. You will notice significant difference between full sun areas and shady areas. If it is below 55 It will be a long brown winter sorry to say.

    The old saying used to be "Seed by Halloween and mow by Thanksgiving". Around here though most are mowing by Halloween.
  6. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,933

    look at the soil yourself. I found that customers will lie about watering
  7. desert rose gardening

    desert rose gardening LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

    This is evey ture! You could also try a starter fertilizer on it.
  8. moremowing4me

    moremowing4me LawnSite Member
    from S.C.
    Posts: 148

    I am from Lexington, and I dont know how often you put out winter rye, but Ive been doing it for years and can tell you that you are putting it out way to late for down here. If you want it to come in good and thick then you need to put it out in like late september. right now the conditions just are not favorable. I put winter rye out in my yard every year and about mid november it stops growing, depending on when it starts to stay consistently below 60 degrees during the day. As a matter of fact I waited to long this year to put mine out at my house and others, and it did not come in as good as I had wished that it would have. However, dont worry it will be booming in the spring. Probably so much that you will need to cut it about every five days or so. :usflag: :waving:
  9. walkerowner06

    walkerowner06 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 79

    I just want to say thank you for your replies and i really apprecriate all your help.
  10. AllanP

    AllanP LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    Its not hard to get winter Rye going. I am also a commercial Hydro seeder and have the stuff growing in the bed of my truck. It will come up when the conditions are right. Thats going to depend on the temperatures and the amount of moisture. Its not going to come up if the temperatures have been warm. You get a few cold snaps and it will pop up for you.

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