If you’re thinking of having a green lawn through the winter months, this week would be a great time to over seed with rye grass. The overnight temperatures have gotten low enough for the Bermuda to start to go dormant. Normally, that happens when nighttime temperatures stabilize at around 65 degrees.
The following easy steps will help you with the transition:
• Mow the Bermuda lawn to about a ½” and collect the clippings
• Check the irrigation system to ensure all heads are functioning
• Sow the rye seed at 10-12 pounds per 1,000 square feet
• Set the irrigation system for multiple start times during the day; 7-9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-1p.m., and 3-5 p.m. are recommended to keep seed moist
• Pop up heads should run for 3 minutes, rotor heads should run for 8 minutes
• After about a week, you’ll notice some germination and a green haze throughout the lawn area
• Once you have full germination, adjust your stations to spread out the start times and add run times to each station
• Reduce to two start times: 7-11 a.m. and 2-5 p.m.
• Increase pop-up heads to around 5 minutes and rotors to 15-20 minutes
• Eventually, go to one start time per day for about a week
• When getting ready for your first mow, make sure water has been off for a day or two
• After first mow, apply a balanced fertilizer like 21-7-14 to add nutrients to soil
• Once mowed, you can run irrigation three times per week
• Remember, every irrigation system is different and slopes of turf areas vary so use your eyes to monitor run off of water and adjust accordingly
By following these simple steps, you’ll enjoy lush, green grass all winter long.