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Ryegrass Under Oak Tree?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Az Gardener, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I have seen in the Western Garden book they have a section for plants under Oaks. But I have never had a problem so I assumed it was an acidic thing or a variety issue, but this season I am having trouble getting rye grass to germinate under an Oak tree. The tree is young only about 6-8 years old but has really grown over the last couple of years. This account has been mine for almost 4 years and never had any problems before. All the other seed on the property has germinated and the problem area is getting water. The only other variable is rabbits. This one section is small and the tree canopy's almost the entire area and I know the rabbits are very active in this area. There could also be rabbit urine problems but I need to either rule out the Oak or put it into the equation. So whadoyathink???
  2. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    Ryegrass should grow ok in a pH from 5.5-8.0 so it shouldn't be an acidity problem. I doubt an oak that size would affect seed germination very much. Rabbit activity could be your problem, trampling the seedlings.
  3. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    Too much shade???
  4. cjw457

    cjw457 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Try thining the oak tree to let more filtered light inn or if you think it is a pest try spraying chilie pepper around the newly seeded ares just a thought
  5. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    Exactly. Like said before thin tree and add creeping red fescue. It is more shade tolerable. Over all the turf needs sun to make energy, hence wont grow unless has energy.
  6. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    Sorry guys it's not the shade, the summer bermuda was ok, not great but ok and this time of year the sun is so low in the southern sky even at noon its full sun on this piece of turf. There is a condition called autotrophic or aletrophic :dizzy: somthing like where the plant puts out a natural pre emergant. I know around here creasotes are that way just wondering if Oaks were too.
  7. TurfProSTL

    TurfProSTL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 693

    Pesky wabbits like to nest under my deck (1-1/2 ft above ground) and prefer one small area near the deck for urinating. Hard to keep grass there but ample doses of gypsum from time to time seem to help.

    I might try some gypsum and see if it helps.
  8. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    The dominant native tree in our area is the "valley oak" which has been decimated over the ages. There's a program going to try and save as many as possible and includes the mass planting of new ones. One thing the specialists found out with this particular oak is that it has a hard time competing with other plants and grasses in its root zone. The trend now is to leave the root zones bare and mulch this area. Gotta admit that at one park with several hundred valley oaks they are starting to make a comeback and are healthier than I've ever seen them.

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