Perennial Ryegrass is a good turf type for use as lawns around the North and North Central regions. It has low aggressive properties, germinates quickly and has a deep dark green color. Perennial Ryegrass is a shade tolerant Cool Season grass type which grows in clumping or bunching form, for this reason it will not spread into surrounding areas.
Mixing Perennial Ryegrass With Other Grasses
Perennial Ryegrass mixes very well with many different Cool Season grasses. Mixing grasses is done so the weaknesses in a preferred grass type are overcome by the complementary grass. Perennial Ryegrass is favored for it high disease resistance, it’s quick establishment and it’s deep root system.
Alternatively, if Ryegrass were the preferred lawn then another grass would be mixed with it to overcome it’s poor drought and heat resistance in order to create an overall lawn of the best possible health for the region it is growing in.
Overseeding Lawns For Winter With Ryegrass
In the warmer States, Perennial Ryegrass is often used to overseed Warm Season Grasses for the Winter. Warm Season grasses such as St. Augustine and Zoysia will become dormant and often lose color over the Winter – to keep lawns looking green and healthy during these times, many people overseed with Perennial Ryegrass. Then as the weather heats up in Summer, the Ryegrass will die off as the Warm Season grass begins to thrive again, so the homeowner has a lush green lawn all year round.
To overseed a lawn with Perrenial Ryegrass it is best to put down the seed in early Fall, this allows the new seed to establish and green the lawn before the coldest weather arrives. Seeding levels are very high for Ryegrass and should be seeded at a rate of 8 – 10 pounds of seed for every 1,000 square feet.
Perennial Ryegrass Lawn Care
Ryegrass will need frequent watering from Spring onwards, it doesn’t tolerate lack of water or heat. Regular fertilizing will be necessary to keep the lawn healthy, and regular mowing is also required. Perennial Ryegrass can be mowed between 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 inches tall, maximum growth rates will be seen in the Spring when the lawn will need frequent mowing every 3 to 5 days.
Apart from having high maintenance requirements for water, fertilizing and mowing, Perennial Ryegrass also requires higher than average attention paid to pest and disease management.
Despite these high maintenance routines, Perennial Ryegrass does have many great benefits to many people in many regions for use in their lawns. So before ever deciding to pass this well known grass, check with neighbors in your region, you may just find that Perennial Ryegrass is a perfect choice for you.
Red Fescue Grass
Red Fescue grass is a member of a group of Fescues known as Fine Fescues. Along with all the Fine Fescue varieties, Red Fescue is an excellent grass for all the cooler Northern climates, it copes well with the cold weather and mixes very well with other Cool Season grass types to gain the greatest benefit for the area being turfed.
As a native grass type in North America, Red Fescue is extremely well suited the North American climate, it will thrive in poor soil conditions and under low water levels. Red Fescue has a very fine leaf blade with a rich green color, and tolerates shade very well, especially dry shade, which make this lawn very unique. It is a Cool Season grass which means it is a clumping type or bunch type of grass. One of the only negative aspects of all Fine Fescues is that they don’t handle wear and tear very well.
New Varieties Of Red Fescue
Developments in Red Fescue research have led to a new cultivar being launched which has been extremely popular and well received by homeowners. These new varieties of Red Fescue are known by a few different names such as Evergreen, Pernille, Lustrous and Boreal.
The most unique characteristics of these new varieties of Red Fescue are that they now contain stolons. In everyday terms this now means they are a hybrid between the Cool Season bunching grasses, as well as now having above ground creeping stems which allow them to spread and repair themselves very easily and quickly.
Mixing Red Fescue With Other Grasses
Red Fescues mix well with other Cool Season grasses, mixing with Ryegrass gives the sod greater wear and tear abilities and allows it to recover from damage much quicker. While mixing Red Fescue with a Bluegrass will give the lawn a beautiful dark green color. Proven mixtures of Red Fescue with other grasses are readily available in seed and sod options.
Red Fescue Lawn Care
Being such a hardy grass type, Red Fescue can continue to survive and thrive with very little care on the part of the homeowner. It’s water requirements are very low and it barely needs any fertilizers to stay healthy – in fact not fertilizing the lawn is often the best option to maintain the best health. The lawn can be regularly mowed to an optimum height of 3 – 4 inches, but equally can be left to grow as a No Mow lawn. If left as a natural no mowing lawn Red Fescue will reach a maximum height of around 10 inches.
Planting A New Red Fescue Lawn
As with all other Cool Season grasses, Red Fescue is best planted with either seed or sod in the cooler months of Spring and Fall. Planting in the Summer only puts great stress on the new lawn which can result in permanent damage or even death to the lawn.
Bermuda Grass is a very popular and favorite lawn in the warmer Southern States. It is very fast growing, easy to repair itself from damage, holds a dark green color and prefers and thrives at an eye pleasing very low height. These characteristics make this Warm Season grass type highly suitable to many applications such as homes, parks and golf courses.
While older strains of Bermuda Grass can be sown from seed, the newer and far superior cultivars are generally always hybrids, meaning they cannot propagate from seed and must be sown from sod or runners. Being such a fast growing grass, Bermudagrass is often one of the most cost effective grass types to pruchase in sod form
The grass has both above ground runners called stolons, and below ground runners called rhizomes. This growing pattern combined with it’s rapid growth allows Bermuda Grass to grow and to spread very quickly. In fact, Bermuda Grass will quickly invade surrounding paths and garden beds by any and all means possible including sending runners underneath fences and garden edging.
Bermuda Grass has many strengths which makes it a highly desirable grass to many. But for others, these same strengths can be regarded as weaknesses, leading some to believe it as a virtual pest grass if not properly controlled and managed. But like all decisions when choosing a grass type, it is best to first decide how the grass will be used and then to choose based on primary considerations, and who knows… Bermuda Grass may just be perfect for you.
Bermuda Grass Lawn Care
Bermuda Grass requires more direct sunlight than all the grass types, it thrives best from having full sun for most of the day, and will not tolerate any more than a little shade. If Bermuda Grass ever thins out and starts dying away, then the first culprit to look for is usually excessive shade. To repair the problem of excessive shade, the homeowner should prune any surrounding foliage from trees and bushes.
Fertilizer, and the Nitrogen in fertilizers in particular is highly important to Bermudagrass, this grass type has a higher than average requirement to be regularly fertilized in order to stay healthy and green.
Thatch can also quickly and easily build up in Bermudagrass, regular de-thatching is required to remove this thatch layer from the lawn in order the grass stays healthy. The buildup of thatch can result in the lawn being far more susceptible to grass diseases, as well as the quality of lawn mowing being greatly reduced. So de-thatching must be a part of the lawn care routine for Bermudagrass, depending on the health of the lawn, this may need to be done every year to few years.
Pests and Diseases In Bermuda Grass
Bermuda Grass is susceptible to most lawn diseases and pests. Due to it’s rapid growth rates and hardiness, Bermudagrass does very well in fighting and winning mild infestations of pests and diseases, but this can only occur during the active growing season of the warmer months, and only when the grass is in excellent health. Weakened grass which is in poor health or growing in the shade will be at odds to win this fight.
While Bermuda Grass will still fall to pest and diseases, the good news is that it is a very hardy grass type which can take most lawn pesticides and fungicides very well. Allowing these chemicals to kill off the infestations without damage to the grass itself.
Bluegrass Seed Heads
What Are These Red Grassy Seed Stalks In My Bluegrass
Bluegrass sends out masses of seed heads usually around May and June each year. Bluegrass seed heads have a tough green stalk topped by a red set of the seeds themselves.
Many people who see these masses of seeds suddenly appearing in their lawns believe that they may be a new infestation of weedy grasses. This usually isn’t true and the difference between weedy grasses and the Kentucky Bluegrass re-seeding itself is easily spotted.
The obvious and best way to spot Kentucky Bluegrass seeds is by the way they look, the red tipped seed stalks are a dead giveaway. The next best way to determine that the lawn is re-seeding is by looking at the sheer numbers of the seed heads themselves. A lawn which is re-seeding itself will do so in abundance – there will literally be thousands or millions of seed stalks across the entire lawn’s surface, whereas if the stalks were of a weedy grass type – the seed heads would be more sporadic in how they are spread over the lawn.
Mulching Bluegrass Seed Heads
Once correctly identified, mulching clippings and the seed heads they contain can often be seen as a good idea to overseed the existing Bluegrass lawn. The main problem with this is that it will most often not work. This is because the Bluegrass seed heads will need to fully ripen and mature before they actually become viable seed.
The full process will often take around 8 weeks for the seed to mature and dry out before they can be used. Leaving a lawn for such a long period of time between lawn mowing would obviously cause the lawn to grow too high and then become scalped and damaged from when lawn mowing resumes, so this is obviously not a good idea.
Other Reasons To Mulch Seed Stalks
While we may not be able to mulch our seeding Bluegrass lawns for the purposes of re-seeding the turf, we can still mulch the clippings into the lawn. This is a great time of the year to recycle the abundance of nutrients which are found in seed stalks, especially Nitrogen. These mowed seed stalks will quickly break down into the soil and release all their nutrient goodness in the process.
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