When to plant zoysia and overseeding with rye

cjra(TX)September 22, 2008

I'm in Zone 8 according to Neil Sperry (San Antonio, TX - SE end)

Two separate questions

1. New bermuda on one side. It went in late July. It's doing pretty well. If I want to put in winter rye, when should i do it? And is it a problem with new grass?

I've also noticed some grubs, when/how is the best way to stop them?

2. We have another shaded area which is just weeds now. We had a major tree trimming party and now there's a lot of sun, though still a fair amount of shade. The tree trimmers suggested a zoysia would work there (I'd want a fine bladed one) with the amount of shade/sun now. When is the best time to lay zoysia sod? (I'll be doing that part myself) Wait for spring?

And, ok, 3 questions - what's the best way to get rid of the field of weeds there? On the other side we tilled because the land was all lumpy and uneven anyway, then covered with plastic for about 6 weeks which worked well. But this area is pretty flat, so I don't want to make it lumpy. Ideally I'd like organic options, but will do what I have to do to kill the weeds to lay the sod and give it a fighting chance.

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1. I would NOT recommend you ever overseed Bermuda grass with Rye, it will keep the Bermuda in a weakened state, but if you are going to do it get with it because the weather has already cooled off and the window is closing.

2. Sod can be laid anytime of year providing the ground is not mud, covered with snow, or frozen. Spring is the best time.

3. The only effective organic way is solarization and it is way too late to do that now. Besides solarizing kills everything in thing in the soil (bacteria, microbes, worms, bugs, etcÂ) Use Round-Up Quick Pro, or Round Up Pro

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 8:24AM
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Thanks for the info. I'll skip the overseeding with Rye. Interesting though, my neighbor did it and her lawn looks great.

Re#3 - I figured that and will use the hard stuff if I have to. How long after using Round-up do I need to wait to lay sod? How long is too long? Likely I'll end up waiting until Spring anyway.

Here's a picture of the area http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3291/2881761037_8cac2cc85a.jpg?v=0

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 11:13AM
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Oops, try this for a picture

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 11:24AM
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Interesting though, my neighbor did it and her lawn looks great.

Looks great when? Fall, winter, and early spring? What about June, July, and August?

It can be done successfully if you know the tricks. We do it on commercial accounts, but like I said you have to use a few tricks like kill the Rye off in early spring with a herbicide, then fertilize the dickens out of the Bermuda for 6 weeks with heavy water applications.

Have you considered Saint Augustine? You are a perfect candidate for it

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 6:23PM
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The husband HATES St Augustine, so it's not an option, not to mention the water requirements.

Yes, I know all grasses need water to look good, but I want to be able to let it go dormant if we're in a drought, and not worry about losing it. We try to keep our water usage under 4000 gallons per month. It's a little more now getting everything established, but all our plantings are drought/heat tolerant. Our grass needs to be the same. Dormant is ok with me, dead is not.

Neighbor's grass looks good all year, and she does nothing special to it.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 9:33PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

OH PLEASE! Bermuda and St augustine pretty much need the same amount of water to look good! I have st augustine lawn in full sun growing on rocks and I water them every 10-21 days depending on the weather during the growing season! 4000g a month?

Do the math... it takes 620 gallons per 1000 swft to achieve 1 inch worth of rainfall... 4000g a month doesn't sound very much. Are you trying to kill trees??? Trees need even more water than you think... Try two inches worth of deep watering every 2-4 weeks just to keep trees happy during dry spell...

I'd say mature trees are worth spending money on extra water to keep them healthy if you hit a prolonged dry spell...

You have a lot to learn.... Like for an example St augustine Floratam is very drought tolerant... almost as good as bermuda... no zoysia can even beat flortam when it comes to drought tolerant after 2 months of no rain...

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 10:27PM
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Sorry if I offended you. I don't pretend to be a landscape expert, that's why I'm here asking questions.

My husband's issue with St Augustine has to do with the look and feel of it, he really doesn't like it. The water is not the primary issue, but is a factor. St Augustine is just not an option he is willing to consider. He doesn't like it. Period. I was hesitant about zoysia as it's a type of St Augustine, but we've seen some varieties he likes, so will likely go that route. Now, I haven't seen the flortam of which you speak, so we'll check that out. The St Augustines I've seen are not really a 'run around and play in' sort of grass like the turfs, which IMO is the only reason FOR grass.

As I stated, I know St Aug and Bermuda require the same amount of water to LOOK green, the issue is that Bermuda can go dormant w/o water in a drought, the St Aug doesn't make it. We have both and in the past, the St Aug died off, the bermuda came back with some rain. (This year we HAVE watered a lot due to new grass/new plantings, but will cut back next year)

Our trees are doing excellent and have all along. When I need to water in the summer,I use the a/c run off.

4000gal is quite a lot of water, IMO, in a drought prone area. It's not the cost that's an issue, but a desire not to deplete the aquifer. Our normal use is closer to 3000gal/month, but with all the new plantings have been closer to 5000g recently. I'm aiming to get back to 4000 by next year. Now, we like grass, which is a water hog, so we accept we'll use more than if we hardscaped - except for the grass, we're mostly xeriscaping, but we want to minimize the impact if possible.

Again, I'm sorry if I offended you, lou. My intent was not to attack your, or anyone's, expertise, but to get information.

Back to another question - how long after using roundup should I be laying sod? DO I need to wait a certain time period? Thanks for the help!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 11:35AM
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Cjra, just a few comments and then I will answer your question

Zoysia and SA are not in the same family, and I have never seen any SA that remotely looks like Zoysia. I respect the fact your DH does not like SA. So if he does not like SA he would hate Floratam as it is very coarse textured. However there is one variety of SA you could check out called Palmetto. It is a dwarf SA and looks like Fescue and has excellent shade tolerance.

Zoysia is more like Bermuda and has a lot of the same characteristics with one huge exception. Zoysia can tolerate moderate shade where Bermuda cannot. Depending on the variety of Zoysia we are talking some look identical in texture and color to Bermuda. Both spread via rhizomes and stolons, form a dense turf, and both are very drought tolerant and when dry both will go dormant and wait for wetter weather to return. On the plus side Zoysia does not grow as fast or aggressively so you donÂt have to mow as often, and Zoysia needs far less fertilizer, only two applications per year. The down side of Zoysia is it can develop a thick layer of thatch especially if over fertilized.

You can lay sod 3 to 5 days after applying Round Up.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 3:01PM
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bshudson(SE Texas)

Hi cjra,

Please donÂt apologize for offending lou. If everyone apologized to him they would have to double the disk space to hold this forum ;-) Also, I donÂt think you offended him; heÂs just one of the kinds of people who gets very emotional about everything and comes off a little stronger than he intends (just my observation). In any case letÂs get back to reality. ITÂS JUST GRASS!! You have every right to come here and ask questions, thatÂs what these things are for so donÂt feel bad. If you husband doesnÂt like St. Augustine then donÂt be quilted or bullied into using it. HereÂs the way I see it.

1. Obtain as much knowledge as you need until you feel comfortable about the subject.
2. Ask peopleÂs opinion on what they think would be the best option.
3. Take those opinions for what they areÂ. OPINIONS.
4. Some people do give great advice on the science of growing grass so use it the best you can.
5. Take all this into account and then decide what you want to do.
6. Have fun!! ItÂs only grass!!! If it doesnÂt work out, try something else. Unless youÂre sodding a golf course, it shouldnÂt cost too much. Its good exercise so if you have to do the work twice so much the better.

Good luck! (and remember to have fun creating your lawn!)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 3:04PM
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bshudson - thanks for the moral support :). I don't mind sodding my lawn myself, but it's a large space and not cheap, so I want to make sure we do it the right way! I did the bermuda portion up front, and it's looking good.

Texas_weed, thanks for clarifying. The zoysia I've seen doesn't look like SA, but on this forum a number of people had said it was a type of SA when I said we didn't like SA...oh well. Now I know better :) I don't feel as strongly about SA as my husband does, but I'm not a big fan. It's nice to look at, but not use, IMO. The landscape folks who did my trees recently indicated a zoysia would work fine in this space, now that we've cut back some canopy and thinned the understory. However, I'll be doing the rest of the landscaping myself. It's a large area so I need to plan it well.

Thanks for the info on the roundup. I was worried it was one of those things that needed to wait weeks before it was ready. I think I'm going to wait until Spring to plant anyway, just for cost reasons. Also gives me some time to design the area with other plantings.

Thanks for the help!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 9:33PM
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