Winter overseeding a permanent warm-season lawn (10-12-09)
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Do you have a desire or need for your lawn to be green throughout the winter? There are only a couple of good reasons for establishing a winter lawn here in Mississippi.
The first is the need to provide some type of ground cover for a new home site where it is too late in the fall to establish a permanent lawn. Another may be that you have had your permanent lawn damaged in some way that it will be vulnerable to additional winter injury if not overseeded. And lastly, a somewhat questionable good reason, for those who simply must have that green lawn all year,
Actually, for strong healthy permanent lawns, overseeding with cool season grasses will delay next springs green-up. The turf species of preference for winter overseeding warm season lawns should be perennial ryegrass. Perennial ryegrasses are much finer textured than annual ryegrass cultivars, generally have much better color throughout the winter, not as prone to clumpiness, and do not produce as many unsightly seed stalks in the spring.
Seeding rate for home lawns with perennial ryegrass should be 8-10 pounds per thousand square feet and if you use annual ryegrass increase this by another 2 pounds. Seeding should be done when soil temperatures reach around 70 degrees which, as a general rule, will occur around the middle of October for much of Mississippi.
Published October 12, 2009
Dr. Wayne Wells is an Extension Professor and Turfgrass Specialist. His mailing address is Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mail Stop 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762. firstname.lastname@example.org