You may hear about it a lot but not fully know what it is. But ryegrass is an annual cool-season grass, and many Dallas homeowners wonder whether it’s worth it. As with everything, it has its pros and cons. Overall, annual ryegrass is a type of grass that definitely needs the proper attention and care to grow as intended. For any homeowner wanting to use annual ryegrass, knowing how to plant it in the correct fashion and care for it in cold weather is essential
Planting Ryegrass In Cold Weather
Annual ryegrass is a cover crop that provides mainly aesthetics (green grass all winter) and can help prevent erosion. Since annual ryegrass is a cool-season grass this means it thrives and grows in the cooler seasons. When planting annual ryegrass make sure to do so in the fall. However, keep in mind that the plant will set seed faster if sown in the fall.
The Months Matter
- One tip for planting annual ryegrass is that it germinates reliably from September to late October. Regardless, you should be sure to rake your soil free of any rocks or other debris. When doing be sure to check to see if the soil is well-drained. Once winter arrives you must maintain your annual ryegrass still since the weather conditions here in that season are rather mild. It really is all about maintenance.
- However, once the temperature warms back up you can expect your annual ryegrass will grow quickly during spring (faster than during winter) and will begin to decline in June. This cover crop has minimal disease issues but rust can play a problem, thankfully there are rust-resistant kinds that reduce the chance of fungus showing up in your crop.
Check with your city
It’s important to know that ryegrass may not be permitted by some municipalities in DFW. Also, it is generally not allowed during watering restrictions, so check with yout city to see if it’s permitted. Rye overseed will require a LOT of additional irrigation to get it to start growing and will require additional mowing, fertilizer, and maintenance during the winter (additional cost to keep in mind). Also, it can cause problems in late spring when it transitions (dies out) and the warm season grass (usually Bermuda) begins to transition back to active growth.
Don’t Overseed WIth Annual Ryegrass
The Ryegrass competes for water and nutrients and can slow the growth of Bermuda in early spring, sometimes creating a situation where the Ryegrass has declined due to heat, but the warm season grass has not developed properly, leaving large bare areas in the spring/early summer lawn. Overall we generally discourage overseeding with Rye.
Call The Experts
Although annual ryegrass has its positive benefits, it may not be the primary choice for Dallas homeowners. Properly caring for annual ryegrass and making certain it gets the attention needed to grow correctly is imperative in the process. If you are unsure what kind of grass is best for you, our Chorbie experts are here to guide you through every step. Give us a call today for more information.