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  1. #1
    Gold Member MrSteve's Avatar
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    Default Central Florida... Winter Rye Grass Seed?

    The wife and I are thinking of adding Annual Winter Rye this year, but we are wondering is it worth the money to do so. We have about 7ac that we would like to drop it on and that 7ac will have horses on it all the time.

    So I guess I am asking you all to help us out with anything you can.

    Is there another grass we can use that will grow in the winter in Central Florida?

    Best way to put down the seed?

    If using a spreader... Should we use a pull type spreader (say the size for a 4 wheeler) or get a PTO driven spreader for the tractor?

    Should I use a chain harrow and drag after putting the seed down?

    If possible to know... How many 50# or 100# bags should we use for 7ac?

    Is it pointless to put down grass seed if we can't keep the horses off of it?


    I'm sure I have so more to ask and I hope you all have more to tell me. Thanks for any and all replies you can give.

  2. #2
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Central Florida... Winter Rye Grass Seed?

    What type of soil do you have? I have clay and I spread winter rye grass around Holloween every year. I just broadcast spread it and in a few weeks it will start coming up depending on the rains.

    In winter, my bermuda and bahia grass goes dormant and turns brown, so winter rye grass is the common method to have a green lawn all year round.

    I'm not into horses, so it's something I can't answer, but from my expernice, it's not very thick grass, nor does it grow very tall. I would really question how much feed you could get from it.

    Good luck,
    Eddie

  3. #3
    Gold Member MrSteve's Avatar
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    Default Re: Central Florida... Winter Rye Grass Seed?

    Eddie... Thanks for the reply.

    We have a sandy clay type soil. We aren't worried about feeding the horses with it and we hope they wont touch it. The horses are already started on a good T&A hay for there winter grass feed. What we are hoping to do is...

    1, is fill in the sand spots that start up because of the Bermuda/Bahia is taking the winter off on growing.

    2, to have the bit of green that the rye will give.

    3, If the horses do eat the rye, our thought was that they would give the Bermuda/Bahia some type of a rest while it's dormant (um, we hope).

  4. #4
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Central Florida... Winter Rye Grass Seed?

    Like Eddie said, spread some seed, quite a bit more than recommended per acre and then do a light harrowing to to give the seed a little cover and spread the horse droppings around.

    I'm pretty sure the horses will eat the new green stuff. I do know that love newly planted winter rye.

    Seeds not that expensive and surely a trail will not hurt anything.
    Egon
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Central Florida... Winter Rye Grass Seed?

    I used perennial seed about 20 years ago on our small lot and it still comes up in the fall
    Jim
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  6. #6
    Elite Member SkyPup's Avatar
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    Default Re: Central Florida... Winter Rye Grass Seed?

    We have spread winter rye on about 15 acres of horse pasture each year for the last thirty years about this time of the year (haven't done it yet since it is bone dry here, no rain for last two months).

    I use the PTO driven seed spreader on the back of the tractor to spead it out when the ground is wet to keep it from blowing away. Once it rains 1/2", it germinates immediately and will stay green through the winter until May-June of next year. You want to spread it out when it is wet and going to rain again soon to prevent the seed from blowing away, getting eaten by turkeys, dove, etc.

    Rye grass is good for the pature to fill in bald spots to keep weeds from taking over. Also, it is one of the few grasses that fixes nitrogen from the air, thereby automatically fertilizing the soil itself.
    Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow......GO Diesel GO!

  7. #7
    Gold Member MrSteve's Avatar
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    Default Re: Central Florida... Winter Rye Grass Seed?

    Thanks for the replies... Anyone else?

  8. #8
    Platinum Member FL_Cracker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Central Florida... Winter Rye Grass Seed?

    Last year I was able to contact my county extension agent in Blue Ridge, GA and we met at my land. He was very helpful with soil tests and recommended the right grass to over seed. He had a lot of good suggestions about weed control, lime & fertilizer including the right times and amount to apply. Our local agent also has a seed drill I was able to rent for $10.00 per acre (Cheap) and it did a fantastic job of over seeding. You just pull it behind the tractor and it cut, plants, covers all in one pass.

    Give your extension agent a call. They should have lots of information available to them from the University of Florida. They do a lot of research on grasses for our area. (Not bad at football too)

    Charles

  9. #9
    Gold Member MrSteve's Avatar
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    Default Re: Central Florida... Winter Rye Grass Seed?

    Thanks that is something to look into... Can anyone give me some info on the "seed drill", a link/pictures?

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: Central Florida... Winter Rye Grass Seed?

    Hi Steve,

    I have planted Rye numerous times. I learned some lessons along the way too. When I first cleared some land for a pasture, I threw rye to create ground cover until I could plant Bahia in the spring. The rye grew 4 inches and died. The soil was too acidic, and newly cleared land sometimes gets nitrogen lock due to all the decomposing plant material. In January I did a soil analysis. The local extension gave me a soil analysis kit, and it goes off to the the University of Florida for analysis. The results came back and I needed 2,200 pounds of lime per acre to make the soil the correct pH for Bahia. In February, I paid $200 dollars for 9 tons of lime to be spread. This is when I learned that Rye is less tolerant of acidic soil than Bahia. The University of Florida has a list of forage grasses and their preferred pH. Anyway, Rye does not vine out like Bahia, so one seed generates one blade of grass. Depending on how green you want it to look will depend on how many pounds per acre you throw. I did 100 pounds per acre, and it looked like carpet. The deer kept coming into the pasture to graze.

    The way I spred Ryegrass is a follows and I too wait for moist soil and pending rain:


    With soil moist and rain coming in a couple of days:

    Pull chain harrow tines side down to create small furrows.
    Throw seed with PTO driven spreader.
    Flip chain harrow over so that the smooth side is down and drag pasture to cover seed. (Note: Ryegrass can be planted to a depth of 1/4 to 4 inches, and Bahia should not be more than 1/2" to 1 inch below soil)
    Ryegrass germinates in 3-4 days, so you will see green sprouts in under 7 days. Bahia can take up to 21 days to germinate.
    Pray for rain, and more than one shower over the month so it gets a goot rooting.


    A seed drill will yield the highest germination rate since it ensures almost every seed gets contact with the soil. I could never find a seed drill to rent in my area.


    Joe

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