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Overseeding w/ annual rye vs perennial

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Longstar, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. Longstar

    Longstar LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    Those of you who overseed bermuda lawns in the winter with rye grass... Do you prefer to use Annual Rye or do you use Perennial?

    I have used Annual for the past 3 years and it looks great but it makes a mess and needs to be mowed quite often to keep it looking nice. I have to bag the grass because the clippings are thick and a little moist. I have heard perennial is a little easier to deal with and is a darker green color than annual.
  2. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

    Perennial is the way to go. It grows shorter, slower, is a higher quality grass, and ALOT easier to mow.

    Annual grows tall, stays wet all the time and will clog your mower every five feet. Also, annual is bad about killing the warm season grass when Spring time arrives because it blocks out all the light if you put even just a little too much seed down in the fall.
  3. soccer911

    soccer911 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    I have a nice yard very thick St. Aug grass can I cut it short and overseed it?
  4. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    you could overseed with something else, I don't know why thought. St augustine does not produce enough seed heads to be a commercially viable option.

    Do you get bad brown out or does it get really cold there?

    Here in Central Florida our St augustine just grows slower in winter.
  5. 25nbl

    25nbl LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    Yes, you can overseed your St.Augustine grass...it will not be as thick or green as a bermuda lawn, but it will still look good. Try it, it can't hurt anything.
  6. bluemoon

    bluemoon LawnSite Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 114

    Can you tell me the rate per thousand you put seed down. I overseeded my bermuda 2yrs ago w/ annual, looked great that fall, but the following summer it actually choked out my bermuda. It has taken 2 yrs now to get bermuda back in shape.
    Maybe I seeded too much?
    Maybe I am too far north. I live 80 miles west of Wichita, Ks.
    I would like to try again, any tips would be a big help.
  7. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    First of all....I wouldn't use Annual rye.

    I've never heard of St. Augustine being overseeded with rye. Ryegrass is a lower-growing turf and needs be mowed at 1.5 to 2 inches, which would be rather harmful to your St. Augustine. Not saying it couldn't be done...but just not a suggested practice. Also, the St. Augustine from what I've seen retains most of its color during the Winter.

    For the person in Kansas....the seeding rate depends on what cultivar of perennial rye you use. Generally, 7-8 lbs per thousand will get you good coverage. If you want more density, go with 10 pounds per thousand. Not surprised you had trouble with transition in Kansas. The perennial will persist into June in Georgia at times. For this reason, it would help the transition by spraying out the rye when the bermuda greens up. Every Spring is different as you know, so it depends on the weather. You can sometimes get a good transition by mowing the rye down to 1/2 inch and fertilizing the bermuda with heavy nitrogen. But doing neither of the above will normally result in a poor stand of bermuda that year. The transition process needs to be managed carefully.
  8. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    The coverage should be about 7lbs per 1,000

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