Gardening In November - Annual Ryegrass
By: Walt Crowder, Lawn Ranger Company, Inc.
Did you know it is possible to have a gorgeous, green lawn in January and February? You can be the envy of your neighbors this winter by over-seeding your lawn with Rye grass now.
Here are some points to ponder:
WHEN SHOULD I OVER-SEED? The short answer: NOW. “Annual Ryegrass” is the least expensive, most readily available, and most commonly used. However, you may prefer to use “Perennial Ryegrass” or a “Perennial Ryegrass Blend” for a higher quality appearance. Although it is a bit more expensive, it will last a little longer into the spring.
WILL OVERSEEING DAMAGE MY TURF? No. In fact, over-seeding can help the overall health and appearance of the lawn by reducing the growth of cool-season weeds.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES TO OVERSEEDING? Advantages include: A lush, beautiful, green lawn through the winter months; fewer weeds during the dormant season.
Disadvantages: Weekly mowing is required. Additional fertilization is necessary as the ryegrass draws nutrients that the warm-weather grass will need in the spring.
FERTILIZER I have already mentioned the need for an additional feeding of the turf for good rye grass growth. But for those lawns that do not over-seed, it is a good idea to go ahead and apply a late fall “winterizer” to the turf. This will promote strong root growth during the dormant months, and will help “kick-start” the grass next spring.
WEED CONTROL Consider applying a pre-emergent herbicide early in November if you have not already done so. This will help control a large variety of winter weeds, preventing them from germinating. (Do not treat with pre-emerge herbicide if you are planting a winter grass such as Rye.)
BROWN PATCH We have talked a great deal about Brown Patch previously. Continue to watch for those brownish - yellowish rings. If they are present, treat immediately with a fungicide, or call a professional lawn-care company for assistance. Sometimes, depending on weather conditions, two treatments are needed for sufficient control.
The fungicide will kill the fungal spores, and therefore the Brown Patch will cease to spread. However, the grass will only green-up with new growth. Therefore, if you have rings when the grass goes dormant, you will see the rings all winter – until new growth appears in the spring time. So it is important to treat immediately and hope for new growth BEFORE dormancy.
ANNUAL FLOWERING PLANTS – As in the month of May, November is a very popular month for planting beds of annuals. Some will bloom nicely from now through April (depending upon the mildness of the winter), while others will save their best for the spring.
Pansies are our most cold-hardy annuals, and usually produce a colorful show all winter. However, the deer love them! There are a large number of other plant materials that can add a variety of brilliant color for our normally mild winters. Now is the time! IT’S SHOWTIME!!
ROSES – These guys generally continue in full bloom in November. In fact, many rose gardeners consider the fall flowers to be the finest of the year.
Roses can provide a great deal of pleasure when cut and brought indoors. Cut them just as the buds start to open, and leave the stems long enough for arranging. Feel free to take longer stems, 8 – 12 inches, from more vigorous bushes. Limit stem length to 6 – 8 inches on less-vigorous ones.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! WOW! This IS the November issue! So…from my family, and my staff… let us be among the first to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, and a pleasant beginning to the Christmas Season!
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