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Rye Grass Over-Seeding

This week, we began preparing the Ginsberg Family Great Lawn for winter. We are doing what is known in the landscape and lawn care industry as “Rye Over-Seeding”. This process creates a “Cover Crop” of annual ryegrass that will grow in the cooler temperatures of fall and winter.

Our main lawn grass is Tiffway Bermuda grass. This grass type is the best grass to grow for the hot spring and summers we have here in North Texas and the heavy foot traffic we experience at Klyde Warren Park. However, when fall comes and cooler temperatures settle in, this grass stops growing (goes dormant) and turns brown.

The rye over-seeding process is fairly simple. We begin with verti-cutting the lawn to open up thin lines to the soil below the Bermuda grass. This will allow for the necessary contact with the soil that the seed needs to germinate (grow). The final steps are rolling the seed through out the turf area to ensure contact with the soil and watering to keep the top quarter inch moist so that germination will occur. The end result will be green grass that can survive through the winter.

The down side to this process is that we will need to keep the lawn closed for about two weeks. The seed must germinate and the leaf blades of the grass must grow to at least ½ inch to be strong enough to withstand at least one mowing before we open the lawn up to all.

The up side is that the Ginsburg Family Great Lawn will remain green during the fall and winter months.

Since, the ryegrass traditionally flourishes in the colder months, it will provide a balance of maintaining a green space for visitors to enjoy while protecting the Bermuda grass below it. This process is important with the continued use and foot traffic on the lawn during this dormant season. And won’t it be fun to have green grass at Klyde Warren Park in the winter?

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