Oversowing Green Couch ……Rye not!?

As the seasons change and the onset of cooler weather sets in we find that the growth rate of our warm season grasses can slow or become dormant in the southern half of the country.

The time for Rye.

Our typical LawnPrider starts to get itchy feet as their maintenance and mowing frequency also slows, so they to look at what else they can do. By sowing a cool season grass such as an improved turf type rye into your green couch, your lawn will not only maintain a beautiful deep green colour throughout winter, your normal mowing frequencies will return and you will be just as active as you were through the growing season.

Around the world in the professional turf industry, cool season varieties are highly popular through winter and are used to oversow sporting facilities where the warm season grass growth rate slows due to climate conditions. Those same practices that make the sporting fields on TV so lush and green for footy season can be applied to the home lawn as well!

No Rye, if using a pre-emergent.

Now, as LawnPriders find out how beneficial the use of pre-emergent herbicides are, if you have made an application in the last 4 to 6 months unfortunately this winter activity is not for you as the pre-emergent barrier in place will do its best to prevent the rye seed germination.

The good and not so good.

Let’s look are the good and not so good of sowing a turf type perennial ryegrass into your lawn,

The Good!

  • The colour, aesthetically the deep green colour rye will present adds a new dimension to your lawn.
  • Increased density
  • Increased wear tolerance
  • Frost tolerance
  • Quick germination and accelerated growth rate
  • Shade tolerance
  • Height of cut from 10mm – 25 mm
  • In green couch, the ease of chemical control of the rye when transitioning out back to the warm season grass in spring.

Rye not!

  • Perennial Rye has a low heat/drought tolerance, and will struggle in warmer climates. i.e.: Qld, NT and WA in summer.
  • Each seed is an individual plant, when not applied evenly and correctly clumping may present.
  • Perennial Rye can decrease the density of your original variety if sown at higher than recommended rates.
  • Chemical control for elimination can be expensive
  • Perennial Rye grass can be considered high maintenance
  • Susceptible to pest and disease even during the cooler months

(Photo shows perennial ryegrass germinating from seed)

Try Rye.

Turf type perennial ryegrass can add an element of fun to those looking to continue to push their limits during the cooler months. Remember if you are yet to apply a pre-emergent and want to put another feather in your cap, sowing a quality rye is a great way to learn a new process and experiment with the benefits of a cool season grass through winter.