Rye grass

tdb8254August 28, 2011

I have a new 6 acre home site and need to plant some grass on a large open area that's far away from the house but is bare ground and I fear i will get some run off when we get heavy rains. Can I plant perennial rye grass as trying to sod such a large area will break the bank


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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Nope, perennial rye grass will grow in the fall/winter/spring in zone 8b Alabama, but not in the summer. It's considered a 'cool season' grass and not adapted for permanent use in warm climates. Thus, 'perennial' rye isn't perennial in your location.

You COULD sow some ANNUAL as a 'nurse grass' over the winter. I do suggest annual rye for this use, not perennial. It will thrive in cool temperatures and hold the soil in place. Then, you could sow something over the top of the rye next spring...a warm season grass such as common Bermuda or Bahia. When the rye begins to die back in the heat, your permanent grass will be coming up like crazy as the soil temperatures really warm up.

You don't have a lot of choices for permanent warm season grasses that are available as seed. The two I mention are tough, resilient, heat and drought tolerant, etc. You might want to call your local extension for advice on any new, better introductions of varieties. It's been a long time since I had to spec out a large seeding project and I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't some improvements in varieties.

Remember, site and soil prep is important when when sowing grass seed. You'll want to make sure that the area is prepared to receive the seed. You sure don't want to end up with a bumpy, uneven grassy area full of holes or soggy low spots.

I hope that you'll be able to get some water out to this location during the grow-in process.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 2:46PM
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jcalhoun(8b Mobile County AL)

You could also try some white and crimson clover. They will usually grow well from seed if we can get some regular rain.

I also recommend contacting the county extension agent. Where are you located?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 12:06AM
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