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Winter Rye

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by bohiaa, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    Wondering if any of you have clients who want winter grass?

    If so when do you put it out?

    I live in Texas and wh have had a Very HOT summer this year, I dont think the end of Sept is going to be any cooler.
  2. thill

    thill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 245


    Ryegrass seed should be sown 2 to 3 weeks before the first frost. Here in Texas, you need a crystal ball to do that.

    I am about 200 miles south of you. I normally put it down about the 2nd week of October. Some seasons that is just about right and others it is way early.

    Good luck

  3. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    We usually plant Rye in Mid-October as well, here in the Phoenix area. As far as scheduling 2-3 weeks out from the first frost, good luck, sometimes there is no frost in Phoenix in a given year. As nights get down into the 55 degree range, thats when the seed goes down, the bermuda will go dormant at that point when scalped.
  4. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    By the way, rye installs are one of the most profitable times in the Phoenix area. Rye can easily last all winter, into May, covers the dormant bermuda, and keeps the lawn guy employed all year round. I am gearing up my winter rye install advertisement, biggest ad of the year, should bring in numerous customers who will hopefully not want to mow their grass either.
  5. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    Thanks, for the reply..

    I have had it up a nnd looking good by the end of Oct.

    But like you said it's a 50/50 thing.... And it's a Great way to keep working in the winter months
  6. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    No scientific data to back this up, but I've always thought the best time to overseed Bermuda with Rye was when the soil temperature fell close to 70 degrees.

    In North GA, our soil temps are several degrees above normal right now. But normally the first week of October is a good time.

    Winter overseeding is not big in this area, primarily because our transition is often very troublesome. We don't get the warmer weather as soon as folks out West, so the rye sometimes persists too long into early Summer. Turner Field in Atlanta had that problem this year. For that reason, anyone who takes on this service with me is required to pay for chemical removal of the Ryegrass next Spring.
  7. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I wish more people in the Biz were educated enough to shut the Rye down in early spring. The Bermuda really needs 6 months of active growth to store enough energy to be vigorous the next year. The way you maintain the turf this summer control's how it will look next summer. Fert. all summer with ammonium sulfate and it will look good this year but be sickly next year. This web site should give you all you want to know about the whole Bermuda rye cycle http//cals.arizona.edu/turf sorry my computer skills suck I cant figure out how to do the link. By the way soil temps are the best for judging when to seed 65-75 is optimum for rye and 75-85 is optimum for Bermuda If you get the seed down too late cover it with compost for a week or so to heat up the soil. By the way lawngistics guy, how are you pricing scalp and overseed? I am charging .10 per sq. ft.
  8. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    I price my scalp and seeds at 3x what I charge for a mow. It takes me about twice as long (2x normal price) and the 3rd multiplier covers good seed and a light cover to keep off a few of the birds. Many of my yards (unfortunately) are in my cookie cutter neighborhood and on a normal weekly mow, I can unload, trim, mow, blow and load within 15,easily, they are that small. So I can scalp and seed some of these in about 45 min, 10 gas and seed, for about 45 bucks. The nicer ones are a few large ones, those are fun to do and watch grow. Amazing though, today I was driving to a yard in a retirement community and they were scalping---today---. I dont know about the rest of the country, but it was 99 at home today, supposed to be 101 tomorrow, only about 75 at night. To me, this is too warm to shock the bermuda, too much competition between the grasses. I'm planning mine for the middle of October, about 2 weeks out. Anyone elses plan?
  9. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    You folks out West might be interested to know some practices involving Primo.

    By applying Primo at the time of overseeding, the vertical growth rate of the Bermuda is slowed. This ideally provides for a better result with the Ryegrass.

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