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  1. #1
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    Default Planting annual ryegrass, what temperature is needed?

    I am getting a new lawn ready to plant this week and am considering adding some ryegrass to get some temporary ground cover. What temperatures are needed to make the rye grass germinate? the permanent lawn will be tall fescue.

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    Super Member bp fick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planting annual ryegrass, what temperature is needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by jenkinsph View Post
    I am getting a new lawn ready to plant this week and am considering adding some ryegrass to get some temporary ground cover. What temperatures are needed to make the rye grass germinate? the permanent lawn will be tall fescue.
    Steve, annual rye will jump in temps other grasses won't. You'll need night time lows that don't dip much below 40 and daytime highs in the 60s. Anything above that, for 3 or 4 days in a row and it will jump. Is the seed lightly covered with straw or mulch of any kind? Drilled?

    Using rye as a nursery grass for the fescue is a common practice.
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    Default Re: Planting annual ryegrass, what temperature is needed?

    bp,

    I just brought in a mixture of 80 % topsoil and 20% mulch to improve the seedbed. I was planning on broadcasting the seed and covering the seed by raking lightly and then rolling with a poly roller. I tried out the pinestraw rake for this purpose and it does a good job of covering the seeds at the right depth. I will be using a Pennington starter fertilizer for this lawn too. Normally I have waited to add fertilizer after I get a stand, thought I would try something different this tiime.

    I am using a Scotts coated tall fescue seed and Pennington annual ryegrass seed. Got any idea how long the seed will last without loosing too much of it? I can wait a little longer for the ground to warm up before planting but my goal is to green up asap. While the dirt is loose and easy to work it is easier for me to seed and would want to go ahead and do that if the seed can lay dormant without problems.

    The weather predictions for our area is for warmer than average and drier than average for the next 90 days. I have considered planting now and waiting to water in when we have warmer temperatures. What is your take on this?

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    Veteran Member jlsmith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planting annual ryegrass, what temperature is needed?

    I know this sounds crazy but it works. Freeze the seed for a day and then spread it out when it warms up. Some how it makes it start growing quicker. I had an older man tell me this and i thought he was nuts but I tried it on one part of my lawn and the other side i spread right out of the bag at normal temp. To my suprise the seed that was frozen started sprouting quicker than the other.

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    Default Re: Planting annual ryegrass, what temperature is needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by jlsmith View Post
    I know this sounds crazy but it works. Freeze the seed for a day and then spread it out when it warms up. Some how it makes it start growing quicker. I had an older man tell me this and i thought he was nuts but I tried it on one part of my lawn and the other side i spread right out of the bag at normal temp. To my suprise the seed that was frozen started sprouting quicker than the other.
    I have heard that before too. Right now in the mountains the overnight low temperatures are about 15 degrees. It may take another month or two to get this where it needs to be.

  6. #6
    Super Member bp fick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planting annual ryegrass, what temperature is needed?

    I have planted more rye lawn covers than I can count. Here, we just broadcast the seed, roll it you wish for ground contact, and lightly cover with wheat/oat straw. With temps in the 60s or better and a shot of moisture, it'll be up and green in a week. Seriously. I've had to lightly mow rye with a sharp mower in less than three weeks. I always use it as a nursery grass for fescues or blue grass. Love it. It's juicy and a bit messy to mow, but don't let it grow too long and it's fine.
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    Default Re: Planting annual ryegrass, what temperature is needed?

    bp,
    Thanks for the help.

    Is it okay to plant it 60 days ahead of the expected temperature range you mentioned? I think that is more time than I need but you never know for sure. I will look into getting some straw cover for the seeds.

  8. #8
    Super Member bp fick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planting annual ryegrass, what temperature is needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by jenkinsph View Post
    bp,
    Thanks for the help.

    Is it okay to plant it 60 days ahead of the expected temperature range you mentioned? I think that is more time than I need but you never know for sure. I will look into getting some straw cover for the seeds.
    Steve, old timers used to sow in snow, believe it or not. You can get lots of research on that. Now, I cannot speak for the pen coating in snow, but the seed will sprout after the snow melt and temps warm. Well, seeds just sprout in nature after winter too, don't they.
    BP


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  9. #9
    Veteran Member K7LN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planting annual ryegrass, what temperature is needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by jenkinsph View Post
    I am using a Scotts coated tall fescue seed and Pennington annual ryegrass seed.
    You might want to check on the germination time for your tall fescue. I've always used perennial ryegrass followed by Kentucky 31 tall fescue until I found out that the K-31 germinates just as fast as the ryegrass.
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    Default Re: Planting annual ryegrass, what temperature is needed?

    Thanks for all the help guys, I am trying to finish this before it snows. I always prefer to have my equipment back home before snow sets in. I am going to finish the grading and sow the seed by Sunday. Doesn't matter which type comes up first as long as the Fescue comes up before the rainy season.


    I hope I can get a stand before the deer eat it all. On any given day there are 25 to 50 of them walking thru the yard. Don't pay me much mind either. Trimmed a bunch of pine trees last week and came back the next morning and had nothing but limbs, didn't know they would eat pine needles. these deer just stood there and watched me chip up the branches. I thought for sure that would scare them away.

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