Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rye Grass


Planting Rye Grass isn’t exactly the most water wise thing to do in the thirsty southern San Joaquin Valley; but it gives a nice, cool pop of color to the garden with a soft, brushy texture.  The summer lawn has to get put to bed before the seed is thrown.  Farmer MacGregor buzzed the Hybrid Bermuda lawn down like an Marine haircut.  Amendments were applied to enhance the soil’s permeability.  The seeds are cast and kept moist.  This requires the sprinklers to be turned on about 2 or 3 times a day.  Not for long.  The seeds will sprout in about a week if the Mourning Doves don’t eat your work.  Once the seed is up the irrigating can be cut back because the temperatures are usually on the way down with the occasional rain.  If the weather turns rainy and foggy, the irrigation system needs to be cut completely and that’s a good thing.

People used to top the seeds with steer manure years ago; but a problem with salts and junk has pretty much made that practice extinct.  As a kid, you could tell when Trick or Treat time was approaching by the stink of the manure.  Farmer MacGregor has finally been convinced to mulch the lawn clippings back into the lawn this winter to help build the soil.  January will signal the time to start the pre-emergent schedule.  Maybe the summer of 2011 will be the year of a healthier lawn unlike the weed infested junk from 2010.


Mrs. Mac said...

I can empathize with the junk weeds in the lawn. I refuse to spray and am looking into better aeration of the soil this coming spring. Our biggest culprit is clover. But .. the bees are so happy :) We totally shut down our sprinkler system and have all of the water blown out of the lines so they don't freeze and burst during the winter. I actually like it when snow covers up the lawn in the winter and I don't have to look at brown grass. Enjoy your green rye lawn. :)

Ginny said...

We were late overseeding with Rye this year - put the seed out only a couple of weeks ago - but the ground was moist and we only had to water once before it germinated. I love having that green grass through the winter!