St. Augustine & Ryegrass

St. Augustine & Ryegrass

Sir Skrip – posted 30 October 2003 09:29

It is finally cooling down out here after the heat & fires (well, some are still burning). But anyways, my St. Augustine has been so-so, and I have areas of what looks like dry wilt. I can literally run my hands thru the grass and pick up dead blades in bunches. But on some other spots it is still green. I have been watering daily, and I do see some need blades growing though the dry areas. I did not remove the dead grass so that it can make the grass thicker and taller.

Well, I’m assuming it is getting ready to go ‘dormant’ as everyone tells me. I went to Lowes and picked up a 25lb bag of Ryegrass, or annual ryegrass I believe is the name. I was told to mow the lawn short, and then spread the seeds into the st. augustine. Will this work? I was thinking of adding a little more topsoil on top of the st. augustine just to thicken then ground more. How do I go about this and will the 2 grasses be a problem for me in spring? Heck, as long as its green I dont mind, was told St. Augustine would choke the ryegrass in spring.

Thanks for any info you can give me!

Sir Skrip – posted 30 October 2003 09:30

oh by the way, I am in zone 9/10 in southern California.

Big Dogs – posted 31 October 2003 07:03

Well I think you should not mow real close. Going too far on your St. Augustine will hurt it. On the other hand, if you don’t get it short enough, the rye will not come up evenly. If you bought your seed a Lowes, I’m guessing that it is Pennington Annual Rye. That is a real good seed. If done right, it will look great. Remember, lots of water a few times a day. Got to keep it damp for the first week or so, at least until it comes up about 2″. In the spring it will go away fast as the weather heats up. If you want your overseeding to last longer, next time use a Fescue like Rebel 3. It’s a little darker than rye, likes the cold, and will stay around longer. The only thing about this is that I don’t think is a real good idea to over seed St. Agusitne. Well good luck, I’m sure it’s going to look nice.

ted – posted 31 October 2003 08:23

you’re going to have to calculate how much square footage you have. 25 pounds of rye seed isn’t much. rye goes down into st. augustine at about 8-10 pounds per 1000 sq. ft. sounds like you’re going to be on the light side. also use a 18-24-12 or similar number fertilizer to jump start the root system on the new grass. make sure you water 2-3 times a day very lightly for about 2 weeks. since st. augustine is really thatchy you need to mow it down to about 2 inches, this will allow the sunlight to hit the seed, and allow the seed to hit the ground. as a general rule, the newer the sod is, the better the rye germination is. hopefully you won’t have to dethatch first. you have to use a higher rate on the grass seed than most overseeding jobs, because the st. aug is so thick that alot of the seeds won’t ever hit the ground to germinate, so you have to seed at a higher rate, because less seeds will germinate. please look at the “test date” on the lowes seed. it needs to be a recent (this fall) test date to assure good germination. they’re notorious for selling old seed with old test dates.

Sir Skrip – posted 03 November 2003 07:55

wow, lots of good info I had no idea about. Its been cold out here lately but i wasnt aware that i had to water so much… the soil has been damp as I put my finger in the ground to check it. But i will water lightly daily, perhaps in the morning and at night. My area that I’m seeding is under 1000 sq.ft, and I am using alot of seed because I’d figure alot would not make it into the ground as well. I will try and get that fertilizer you mention too! Thanks so much!

ted – posted 03 November 2003 09:17

air temps need to be around 60-70 degrees for the highs for decent germination.

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