As temperatures drop and we get a good bit of rain with the fall rainy season, conditions will become ideal to overseed your lawn or pasture with cool season grass seed. The right time to plant will be weather-dependent, but that prime time will likely land somewhere around late September to early October.
Annual ryegrass is one of our most popular cool season grasses. Ryegrass will stay green during the winter months. A lot of landscapers use the annual ryegrass seed on commercial lots to keep these areas green all through the cooler months. Annual ryegrass seed grows in semi-shade to full sun areas. Ryegrass seed should be planted at the rate of 10 to 15 lbs. per 1000 square feet. Keeping the soil moist for about 7 to 14 days should result in a lush green lawn all winter long.
Fescue is a cold-hardy evergreen grass that can be planted by seed. Fescue grows well in shaded and semi-shaded areas. Broadcast fescue seed at the rate of 5 to 10 lbs. per 1000 square feet. Keep seed moist and grass seedlings should be up within 14 to 21 days.
These cool-season grass seeds work especially well in bare spots where summer heat has killed off areas of the yard. The winter grass growth also helps hold the soil in place during the dormant winter months. Once grass seed has sprouted and up between 14 to 21 days, using a fast-release nitrogen fertilizer is ideal to give the lawn a lasting green all winter. Russell Feed’s house brand Nutra-Gro fertilizers are specially formulated for lawns in our area— Nutra-Gro 28-0-0 Slow-Release formula will quickly green up your winter lawn and keep it green with slow-release nitrogen.
One word of caution: NEVER use pre-emergent weed controllers in the area where overseeding is going to take place. Pre-emergents prevent the germination of seeds and will ruin all of your hard work to overseed for a green winter lawn.