For a glorious green lawn Georgians favor rye grass. A rye grass lawn provides a strong contrast color in the environment in the winter and is attractive as a background for spring flowering bulbs and early-flowing trees and shrubs.
If you would like a new, green lawn during the winter you should consider sowing rye grass during late October and November. Rye grass flourishes in Georgia's relatively mild winter.
This type of grass is nice in landscapes where there's not much green in winter and especially in sites where there are many trees and shrubs which lose their leaves.
A rye grass lawn provides a strong contrast color in the environment in the winter and is attractive as a background for spring flowering bulbs and early-flowing trees and shrubs.
However, rye grass will compete with permanent grasses for fertilizers. So, it's recommended that you apply a complete fertilizer when you plant the seed. Fertilizer applications should be repeated two months after planting and again four months after planting. If you don't fertilize the rye grass, it won't perform as it should and the permanent grass will be weakened.
Sowing the seeds
Before you sow the rye seed, cut the permanent grass to a height of about three-quarters
of an inch to an inch. Make sure the soil is moist before you sow the seed. Sow about three to five pounds of rye grass per 1,000 square feed of lawn surface. Use a mechanical spreader so the seeds are spread evenly, otherwise you could end up with a patchy appearance. For more uniform distribution, sow half the seed in one direction and the other half from the opposite direction.
Planting too much seed results in a heavy, matted turf that is hard to maintain. Since the cold weather in the state lasts such a short time, the rye grass can grow for about three months. If this growth becomes too heavy, the growth of permanent grass will be slowed at the start of spring. Even though high temperatures will destroy rye grass, this usually happens only after the permanent grasses have started growing.
Don't sow rye grass seeds in flower beds or in other areas where you can't use a lawn mower... you'll end up having to hand weed that area. Also, don't let leaves accumulate to any extent on the lawn after the seed geminate. This will damage the new grass.
For more information on planting rye grass, contact your local County Extension Office.