Here in northern Texas, we usually enjoy milder winters compared to most of the US. While we may not get the snow and ice as often, we do have to look at dull brown grass during the cold months. Or do we? What if there was a way to have a green lawn all year round? Actually, there is! At Lawn Lab, we offer ryegrass lawn seeding because it offers many advantages that other grass varieties can’t. See for yourself!
Many people think of ryegrass as a “nurse” grass, meaning its purpose is to help get lawns back and track and nothing else. However, more and more Texas homeowners are discovering the perks of selecting perennial ryegrass as the dominant variety in the lawns. So what is it exactly? It can come in both annual and perennial forms. It has finer grass blades than other traditional grass seeds like Kentucky bluegrass. Originally native to Europe and Asia, perennial ryegrass is actually a cool-season grass, which means it will tolerate the colder months of Texas better than some of our warm-season favorites. Bermudagrass, for example, goes dormant during the cooler months, which is why we get seas of brown in our lawns during the winter. But when you mix perennial ryegrass with warm-season grass seed, you’ll still have a green lawn, even when the warm-season grass has tapped out. And because we use the perennial form of the grass, you can expect this variety to come back year after year.
As we mentioned previously, ryegrass can be used as a nurse grass. If your lawn is prone to flooding or run-off after heavy rainfall, all that water can erode the soil and make it harder to keep your lawn intact. Ryegrass can help with that. If your property has inclines or hills, ryegrass can help stabilize the soil, so you’re not left with a personal mudslide. It’s also a great way to reclaim construction zones. For instance: if you’ve had to dig up earth for a pool, sewer line repair, or other large-scale housing projects. There’s no need to put up with looking at a patch of bare earth.
Unlike Kentucky bluegrass, the most popular grass for American lawns, ryegrass germinates much faster, reaching maturity in about 21 days. If you want to re-green your lawn quickly, ryegrass is the way to go. That’s because, like fescues, ryegrass tends to grow in bunches and spreads above the surface of the soil. Kentucky bluegrass spreads through a complex root system, which takes longer to establish.
Winters in Texas can see lots of cloud cover. So even if your yard has no trees to block the sun, your grass may experience significant shade. Ryegrass is more tolerant of shade than other varieties.
In a perfect world, the soil in our lawns would be 6.2 to 7 – right in the neutral area or ever-so-slightly acidic. Ryegrass is hardy. It can adapt to soils both acidic or alkaline from 5.5 to 7.5 on the pH scale.
Despite being cool-season grass, ryegrass has a decent tolerance for heat and drought – something you absolutely need during Texas summers.
You’ll want to keep your mower height between 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches. This will help the grass stay dense and not form clumps, as it is naturally wont to do. When we experience less rainfall than usual, you may need to help it out. It is drought tolerant, but if the drought lasts too long, it can cause the grass to go dormant. While it will usually bounce back, it could require a new seeding application if the drought period is extensive. So to avoid this, keep an eye on the weather forecasts and water your ryegrass between the rainfall.
Whether you’re looking to patch up browning or dull areas in your lawn or give your lawn a complete makeover for summer, the experts at Lawn Lab have you covered. Our ryegrass seeding program ensures you can enjoy a soft green lawn all year round – even during the cooler months! If you’re interested in learning more about ryegrass seeding, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (972) 287-7400 or leave us a message online. You can browse other yard care topics on our twice-monthly blog here and stay connected with us on Facebook as well.