Does it hurt St Augustine to plant annual rye?

PKponder TX(7b)March 27, 2014

I got the idea that the nitrogen from the rye was good for my common (palmetto probably) lawn and bad for weeds because of the nitrogen. Is there any harm? We also started with alfalfa pellets as fertilizer about the same time as I began seeding rye in the fall, maybe 3 years now. We are seeing fewer spring weeds this year but that could be because of the dry winter. We get mostly dandelion, henbit, wild strawberry and horseherb.

Our new dog is really rough on the lawn and we are attempting to beef up the care so that it can withstand his traffic. It will never be what it was prior to his joining the family and we are ok with that. If it matters, Location is north of Fort Worth on very sandy soil.

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I think St Augustine does better than bermuda when overseeded with rye. The problem is the tall rye shades out the lower plants. St Aug grows higher to begin with and should compete better for sunlight. Still, I wouldn't do it.

If you are mowing at the mower's highest setting and only watering once a month in the winter, you should not see any dandelions. When you start watering again, be sure to apply a full inch and allow the ground to dry out for a couple of weeks before watering again. As the temps increase you can increase the frequency to 2 weeks and then weekly.

Henbit and horseherb are buggers. Fortunately they pull out pretty easily. If you want to spray them one time with a chemical product, let me know. It will wipe them out for the rest of the season.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 4:33PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

Thanks Dchall, I like horseherb in the shade and henbit is fabulous for the bees, so we can live with those two.

We let everything get really dry before we noticed that it was a dustbin this winter and have been trying to overcompensate with the watering. We'll back off and get rid of the dandies.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 10:15PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Raising the mower height is key in the fight against dandelions.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 6:50PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

The St Augustine is barely starting to green up, I haven't mowed anything but rye and oak leaves in 4 months. We're probably a lot colder than you are used to. It was a really harsh winter, We do mow high when we have something growing :-) You have given us a lot of great tips on the St Augustine, you are our mentor :-) Thanks again, Dchall!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 11:17PM
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