Gardening Tip of the Month: Overseeding with Perennial Rye

When winter begins to set in, the best way to keep your lawn looking lush and green is to overseed it with perennial rye seed. Overseeding is a versatile solution for many problems lawn-owners face during the winter months, like soil erosion and the dormancy of warm-season grasses. Although fall is nearly upon us, there is still time for you to overseed your lawn for winter! If you haven’t started yet, this blog will give you all the information you need.

Why Overseed?

Overseeding your garden with perennial rye seed keeps it looking beautiful and green in the winter, and even prevents soil erosion caused by bare earth. Perennial rye grass is the obvious choice for this purpose because it is an attractive dark green color, is disease-resistant, and does well in sun and shade alike. In addition, perennial rye grass is easy to mow and is less likely to stain your clothes than bermuda grass.

When and How Should I Overseed?

The best time to overseed is right now: from late September through mid-October. Before you begin, make sure you allow your bermuda grass to go dormant, which typically occurs in early fall. In addition, stop fertilizing your yard after Labor Day. Reduce your frequency of watering, and then begin the process of “scalping”, or severely mowing your lawn. This helps the rye grass seed make easy contact with the soil, helping it to take root faster.

Perennial rye grass is seeded at around ten to fifteen pounds per 1,000 square feet. Luckily, perennial rye grass is fairly inexpensive, which is another plus. Use a broadcast spreader to distribute the seed evenly throughout your lawn. Spread half of the seed in one direction and the other half perpendicular to the first half. Fill in the edges by hand, being careful not leave clumps of seed in any one spot. Top-dress newly seeded lawns with mulch or composted steer manure by carefully spreading the material evenly over the turf. After seeding is complete, set your irrigation system to water three times a day: morning, midday, and early afternoon. Once your seeds germinate, reduce watering to two or three times a week, and when the lawn is established, you may reduce watering again. If you take care of your lawn and fertilize with a high-nitrogen fertilizer, your rye grass lawn will stay green until mid-May.

Horticulture Unlimited is an expert landscaping company in Tucson, Arizona. We specialize in landscape design, landscape maintenance, erosion control, weed control, tree services, irrigation systems and troubleshooting, and more. Give us a call at (520) 321-4678 or contact us on the web to find out more about how we can beautify your home or business.


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