No irrigation system = Rye seed not sprouting very well . . . any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by superdan, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. superdan

    superdan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    In south Texas, my biggest commercial account has no irrigation system in their parking lot islands. The grass that is there is thin and has some bald spots where nothing is growing. During the winter months, what grass there is goes dormant leaving the area looking dead and bald.

    I tried seeding with rye just before some rain but, after nearly a month with only a couple days rain, not much is sprouting.

    I cant do anything about the irrigation system. Would it help to cover the seeds with a thin layer of sandy loam? Or is that just a waste of time?

    Any suggestions are appreciated.
  2. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,464

    really? ok...the only way rye will come up is if you water it daily! no chance otherwise. how did you figure seed would come up without daily watering? they need an irrigation plain and simple. if not o well. they get a crappy lookin yard. nothin you can do bout it.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    We had a drought most of the year, see we just need some rain and warmer temps, it will come around.
    I'm serious nobody looks at that in the winter anyhow, wait until spring and see what happens, then you might consider adjusting your method depending on how it comes up, but don't worry about it.
  4. B_gerrits

    B_gerrits LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 297

    How big are the Islands, this could be a good opportunity for you if the account is willing to spend some money. There are many plants, shrubs, ornamental grassses, and trees that are drought tolerant and in combination with rock, bark, or ground bark they could look stunning.
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,374

    We have got some seed to come up in Austin in areas that water didn't extend to....just be patient. If you could find some of that blue stuff that the hydro mulch seed guys use that would help .....maybe cover it with compost. Might be time to go to crushed granite...since both our cities want us to cut back on water and put some native grasses just to have something.
  6. superdan

    superdan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I got brave when I tried it on my own grass this year. I used the same seed, under the same conditions (no water given-just rain & dew) and mine, although a bit uneven, sprouted decent. I hoped for the same result on the job site, but no dice. Guess I got lucky once.
  7. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    It doesn't make much sense to try to grow grass on those islands. Shrubs and mulch, or just granite stones with a weed barrier.
  8. B_gerrits

    B_gerrits LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 297

    Question for you guys what in your area is mulch? Here mulch is not ornamental it looks like a bunch of ground leaves it is used for weed suppression and erosion usually in gardens and hillsides.
  9. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    We have all sorts of mulch available around here. no leaves in it, looks more like wood chips. In fact, some stuff sold as mulch is wood chips. That is in the retail stores. Good mulch, at least around here makes for a nice finish.
  10. tjsquickcuts

    tjsquickcuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 943

    Two things....the first is how well did you prep the area???? The second is did you use lime and fert? I took a chance this year and went ahead and overseeded even though we are gettting the worst of the drought, and to my surprise I have had some good luck. Thats not to say I dont have some thin spots because I do, but for the most part its all uniformed and looking really green and good. It seems that after each rain it gets thicker and thicker. I agree with everyone, so just be patient and you might have some hope....

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