Sunday, March 3, 2013

Growing rye grass in the south..pros, cons, do's and don'ts

Let me go ahead and say my broken record statement.  I have only been gardening a year and my experience with rye grass is not complete.

At the end of summer, I began to sulk a bit because I knew that in a few months the colors that brought me so much joy would be gone.  By the end of fall, I was almost glad because I was burnt out.  All that being said, rye grass was the greatest remedy to this.   No, I did not have color like I did but the appearance of "death and desolation" was not a problem thanks to rye grass.

Between the unusually warm winter and the rye grass, it was as if winter never came.  Did I have all the color?  No.  But I did have one

But I have learned a lot about what to do and not do by this time.  I seeded the rye grass "I want to say" October?   I put about 400lbs????  Don't remember.  I started with one type of seed but the majority was gulf rye grass.   

All winter I looked out the windows and saw a beautiful green lawn...the rye grass was definitely worth it but I want to point out  a few things.

  • Winter interest.....winter, what winter?  I have a green lawn.  
  • Rye grass I think is prettier than Bermuda  ...I used Gulf Rye Grass...which I think is from Oregon ironically.
  • Blocks weeds I think
  • Dies in the summer?  I think 
  • Supposedly increases water retention...Which I feel it does....I also says it helps with drainage and errosion
  • Adds organic matter to the soil and decomposition...I assume this is good
  • Loosens compacted soil
  • Puts nitrogen back into the soil?
  • I will give you the link I am referencing
  • I did it because it was pretty
  • It lets you know where the soil is rich vs. poor soil with other annuals
    • I am readdressing my peacock topiary for this spring and now I know where to plant it.
    • Peacock Topiary link ..I am mimicking the Dallas arboreteum's Peacock...Click Here
  • Don't plant around flower beds
  • Don't let it get too high or you won't be able to walk through it
    • I can't find my hoses
    • I can't walk through the field
  • Plant's beautiful
  • Don't let it get too high.  Next time I will mow it January
  • Don't think that a little doesn't go a long way
  • Don't plant over areas that have bulbs
  • Don't plant near flower beds.

My husband mowing it down

The 13 year old loves daffodils...I have no idea how many I planted but I know between tulips, daffodils, iris, crocus  and hyacinth it was over 300

I did not plant rye grass here and this is a massive bed of tulips and daffodils.

Iris, that I can't find now...the ones I did, I marked

Tulip trees

The grass is very, very dense and seeding...will not need to seed this area next fall

Rye grass does look lovely though

Rye grass around the arches

I think this weed is pretty but I think I have heard people complain about it.

Indian blanketflower growing on a sandy, hot eroded slope...I didn't have to mess with it at all and it bloomed all winter

Creek needed the grass...helped with erosion during spring rains.

Used a weed eater to trim it down.  Creekside landscape

Knockouts blooming

Junipers...this didn't need mowing earlier and was manageable.

The front lawn looked like this all winter.
Front lawn without rye


Don't plant around crocus

Or tulips and daffodils..can't find them

It got into the azalea bed

Have to trim around the tulips

You can see what the back lawn looks like with and without rye grass


This chinese snowball plant is suppose to make white hydrangea looking flowers...why is this yellow?

Mums blooming

This is supposed to be pink snow camellia but it doesn't look like it

We were supposed to have a hard freeze last night so I put the majority of the plants in the green house.  This is what I left out.  I don't think it froze last this the last fear of frost???   Will wait until Thursday

Greenhouse is packed

Zinnia seedlings coming up

Gerber husband bought these for the daughter

I finally learned how to propagate bougainvilleas

Dinnerplate dahlias coming up

Tons of camellias


HolleyGarden said...

Oh, how I'm hoping this is the last cold front. Your rye grass is so pretty. So green! We have brown grass here most of the year - brown bermuda in winter, and brown again when the summer drought hits. I almost forget how beautiful green grass is!

NellJean said...

Green in winter is such a happy color. You learned lots of vauluable information in your experiment with rye grass. A little does go a long way.

It will die as soon as the sun gets hot, you won't have to wait for summer. It will also die after it seeds out. The bulbs will come on up and bloom above the grass and look like Easter, meanwhile.

Your pretty red weed is Red Sorrel. I sometimes leave young plants because it looks like 'something.' It is something, it's a weedy nuisance. Every one of those little red seeds will sprout next year. People sometimes post pictures of whole fields covered in it, which looks great if it isn't your field.

Blanket flower is great. You can stick your narrow shovel down beside the plant not too close and new plants will come up off the roots. It is a native, too.

I anticipate another freeze or two once this cold spell is over. I'm ready for spring. Now.

I took off the word verification on my blogs. Did I already tell you that?

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

@nell....I gave up a few times on comments cause I felt I just wasn't smart enough...I would leave moderation but let us "not too swift" people get in....

The rye grass cost like 23 for ibs....I definitely will use it again next year....what a huge difference it made and I didn't long for the garden so much if everything were brown...I would at least do it one was like winter never came...

Regarding a frost...last night we did not have freeze...the forecast is not showing one...and oh, I have 8 bareroots coming in this week....

I wonder when is a good time to vacate the greenhouse...I am sure the bougainvilleas and the hibiscus would love to see unfiltered sun..

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

I meant the rye grass was approx $23 per 50lbs bag

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