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Want a Green Lawn This Winter? Ryegrass Might Not Be A Good Idea

It looks great, but should you really overseed your lawn with Ryegrass this fall?

A lush green lawn is always the envy of the neighborhood, especially in the winter when most of your neighbors let their lawn go dormant. Many homeowners love to keep that green lawn through winter by overseeding with an annual ryegrass in the fall. But could this be detrimental to your permanent grass?

Green Lawn with man running
Photo by Georgy Trofimov on Unsplash

Depending on the type of  perennial turfgrass you have, overseeding with an annual ryegrass may not be recommended.  According to Clemson Extension, South Carolina’s authority on agricultural information, overseeding home lawns is not generally recommended. “The extra irrigation, fertilization, and shading effects of the overseeding will severely retard or damage centipedegrass, zoysiagrass, and St. Augustinegrass in the spring and early summer and cause undesirable competition on the permanent turfgrass.”

Green Grass
Photo by Zbysiu Rodak on Unsplash

Centipedegrass is one of the most common turfgrasses for home lawns in South Carolina. It is relatively low maintenance, is readily available at most sod farms, and is generally the cheapest sod available. Overseeding of this type of grass could end up causing your spring green-up to not be so green. The only type of turfgrass that overseeding ryegrass is even remotely recommended is bermudagrass, and even this isn’t recommended for a novice lawn owner. If not managed correctly, the overseeding could retard the bermudagrass as the competition for moisture, sunlight, and nutrients can be intense.

While keeping a lawn green all year may be nice to look at, the risk of damaging your permanent turfgrass may be to great for most homeowners. Check back soon for another post on alternatives to overseeding that still keep your lawn looking great all year long!

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