Fall Transition: September-October
It’s time to overseed when evening temperatures consistently reach below 65 degrees. We recommend planting a perennial ryegrass because it produces a deep-green color with a fine leaf texture. It also holds up well under high traffic conditions.
In order to produce a quality stand of ryegrass please follow the listed steps:
- Set your mower to its lowest setting to scalp the lawn down opening up the turf canopy . It may take multiple mowing passes to collect all the loose grass debris. When you’re finished, the yard may look like a yellow, buzz haircut with some soil showing through the blades. You are now ready to overseed.
- Spread the perennial ryegrass seed at a rate of 8-10 lbs per 1000 square feet. Perennial ryegrass is available at your local lawn and garden store.
- Fertilize with ammonium phosphate 16-20-0 or similar analysis at a rate of 9-10 lbs per 1000 square feet. You may apply it before or after you plant your seed; it’s your choice.
- If you would like to take an extra precaution, cover the overseed with about a 1/4 inch of mulch or manure. The mulch acts as an insulator to the newly laid seed and will protect it from under watering and cold night time temperatures.
- Water for 15 minutes 3 to 4 times a day. Once the ryegrass begins to grow you can return to your regular watering. See proper water page for watering schedules and tips.
Spring Transition: April-May
It is time to start transitioning your lawn when nighttime temperatures are consistently above 65 degrees.
The first step is to mow your grass short, leaving only about 50% of the leaf blade. Reduce watering for 5-7 days to 70-80% of your normal use. This stresses the ryegrass and allows the hybrid to flourish. Next, fertilize with 21-0-0 analysis or a fertilizer with a similar rate of ammonium sulfate and return to a regular watering and mowing schedule. Be sure to rake the ryegrass off as it dies out so that the underlying hybrid Bermuda gets plenty of sunshine and water.
Mow your lawn being careful to remove only about 1/3 of the leaf blade. Next, carefully rake the yard to remove cuttings and any dead grass that has accumulated over the winter. Fertilize monthly with a 16-0-0 or similar analysis and water twice a week for 15 to 20 minutes.