When you plan your lawn, you need to know that there are two main types of grasses: warm season and cool season. If you live in the South, you can plant warm-season grasses in the spring. Cool-season grasses like ryegrass are favored in the North and are planted in fall.
Cool season grasses are characterized by rapid growth in the spring and fall and often turn brown during periods of high summer heat. The best time to plant is after the heat of summer, in the fall, giving the grass a long winter to develop an extensive root system.
A perennial, rye is known for fast germination and seedling growth, making it a solid choice for both permanent and temporary lawns. It shows strong cold tolerance but will go dormant in summer. Heat and drought tolerance varies by grass type; be sure to check package for more information.
Like most grasses, rye likes a lot of sunlight to thrive, but it can handle light shade. If you have shade, cover your bets and select a seed mix with more than one variety, so if one type doesn’t come up, another one will. Learn more about growing a lawn in shade.
3 KEYS TO A HEALTHY LAWN
Whether you grow cool season or warm season grasses, build your lawn’s weed resistance by following these practices:
- Deep watering. Encourage extensive root growth with less frequent, deeper watering.
- Raise the bar. Know the recommended height for your type of grass and set your lawnmower accordingly, usually to one of the highest settings. To reduce stress on your lawn, do not cut off more than one-third of the height of the grass blade.
- Consistent feeding. Feeding every six to eight weeks during the growing season with a weed and feed product helps your lawn thicken up and fill in bare spots, making it less welcoming to weeds.