Bermuda and overseeding with RYE?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by ericlemson, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. ericlemson

    ericlemson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    I have a Bermuda lawn. I was thinking about overseeding with Rye to make the grass nice and green during the fall to winter months. Questions I have?

    -How do I plant the Rye? I have roughly 5500 SqF of lawn, do I aereate (already did that in the spring)?
    -When should I plant it?
    -How much seed do I need for 5500 SqF?
    -Wow long will it last and will it just die out?
    -Will it show in my Bermuda next spring/summer?

    Thanks guys/gals.

  2. DaughtryLC

    DaughtryLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 739

    I have Bermuda myself, I would still aerate,and fertilize 16-4-8,make sure to put alot of winter rye seed so its thick!(50lb). One thing to keep in mind if you are going to put down any preamergent herbicide you will not have a good result. It thins out the rye! In the summer when the weather hits 90 the rye will die out. Check with your Ag Extension for the fertilizer amount in your area. you can put the fertilizer and the rye out at the same time. I hope this helps!
  3. DaughtryLC

    DaughtryLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 739

    I forgot to tell you that you can plant it at the end of this mouth,try to do it right before it rains.
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,362

    We do this in Texas on many commericial properties. The first thing that is necessary is stripping the bermuda down almost to the dirt. Then you plant the rye grass and a starter fertilize. You want the seed to be very thick if you want good coverage, Lesco can help with pounds per sq. ft. Then you have to water it twice daily for 2 weeks. Then fertilize it with sulfate monthly thru the winter mowing it weekly. Don't use anual rye. When the temp reaches 90F the rye will die out.
  5. ericlemson

    ericlemson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    Ok, so when you say strip the Bermuda, your saying cut it very short right? Also, I dont want to damage my Bermuda for the next growing season, will that hurt it?

    As far as applying it, will areating it twice in one season hurt my lawn?

    The only thing I am worried about is the watering...I have no sprinkler system, so twice a day would be a pain.

    Any other pointers on a great Winter Bermuda lawn?

  6. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    Do not aerate or verticut your lawn before over seeding. It will make the seeding easier but it is hard on the Bermuda.

    You need to have seed to soil contact to get the seed to germinate. That means the Bermuda has to scalped down to the dirt, better done with a reel mower. You also have to keep the seed moist for 5-7 days, a light topdressing will help. 10-12 lbs per 1000 sq. ft. will give you a fairway density turf. The rye will hold on in the spring way too long on its own you need to be sure it is dead and gone by the end of march. It is easy to kill, even putting down some pre emergent will kill it.

    Bermuda needs six full months of active growth to remain healthy. If the rye is still in and stealing sunlight and nutrients from your Bermuda your Bermuda will suffer. One year no problem, put a few of those years back to back and you will see more disease etc.

    I use a 6-20-20 fert when seeding, high P for the rye high K for the Bermuda. This may be different for your area I don't know the nutrient levels for your area.

    This is also a good time to top dress the turf to smooth it out.
    I am over seeding about 5 acres this season 3,000-10,000 sq ft at a time.
  7. ericlemson

    ericlemson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    Wow, this is starting to sound tough. Will cutting my lawn with the lowest setting on my selfpropelled work (im not even sure what a reel mower is)?

    What kind of top dressing do I put down and how do I apply it to make it smooooth. Ive been looking to do that for some time, but didnt know how.

    Thanks for all the answers!
  8. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,362

    Stripping it can be done with a 21" simply start high and work down a notch each pass. A good landscape mix topsoil to level and provide good base for rye. The areator leaves holes and seed gets into the holes and then you can have a pattern of clumps sprotting in those holes. We did a small hotel today and had 25 large bags of grass and a small dumpster full on a car dealership.

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