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Does planting Rye harmful to my current lawn once it dies

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by usudno, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. usudno

    usudno LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Just a questions for the pros. I usually plant annual rye every year and i was wondering if it has any adverse affects on my "summer" lawn?
  2. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    I am just guessing that you have bermuda grass and you are just wanting the lawn green during the winter. I see no harm in overseeding with annual rye for this purpose. The rye will start to die off about the time the bermuda is coming out of dormancy. This might make you lawn look scrubby for the first few mowing, but otherwise, no harm no foul. Another plus is that the rye will store nitrogen and release it to your bermuda lawn as the rye decays. ths prevents nitrogen from gassing off or leaching into our water ways.
  3. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    yes, it does damage the lawn...

    rye is slightly phytotoxic to other grasses
  4. usudno

    usudno LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Well I'm to to sure what is growing in my yard all summer. I've never planted anything. When i bought the lot and built my house it already had grass. I live in southern louisiana so my guess would be st. aug. Its definatly not bermuda. I can't get that crap to grow for nothing hehe.
  5. mowerman111

    mowerman111 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

  6. somo1

    somo1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 152

    Check with a local golf course, they often overseed with cool season grasses so that the golfers have something to play on. Here in the midwest they sometimes overseed with annual rye on bermuda or zosia fairways. I haven't heard of any difficulty with overseeding, the warm season grasses often crowd out the cool seasons grasses during the summer. Good luck
  7. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    One of the biggest bonuses of over seeding with rye is the root mass. If you have compacted or heavy clay soils, rye grass root are very tough and go very deep.
    The roots break up the soil and can go down as far as 3 feet, sometime more. This leaves a path for other grass roots to travel and it leaves the root as a nutrient in the soil as well

    Corn farmers have used this tactic for many years in clay soils it works great

    Now if you can use endophytic (inoculated with beneficial microbes) rye grass or pre germinate with a good inoculant yourself those benefits will stay in the soil on the root of the rye grass, they use the dead root for food and can keep very healthy colonies

    Endophytic seed carries beneficial microbes that fight typical fungal disease in turf
  8. greenskeeper44

    greenskeeper44 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 431

    Endophytes also naturally resist leaf feading insects like chinch bugs

    KACYDS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 559

    The biggest problem with planting annual ryegrass is that you have to cut it often, normally every three or four days. It grows quickly, and if you mow it once a week, normally you are just laying the grass down and not cutting it.

    My suggestion is to use a hybrid ryegrass. Lesco sells one, I think its called Double Eagle blend. It grows slower than annual, and you only have to cut it once every two to three weeks. The only draw back, it cost about 2-3 times more than annual.

    Also when you do overseed, dont over do it. If you apply to much seed, during the spring green up of your normal turf. The ryegrass will shade out the existing turf, and you will get dead spots. For hybrid rye, use about 8-10 pounds per 1000 sq. ft.

    Hopefully this will help.

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