WTF happened to my beautiful winter rye?!


DrMike27

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I have really screwed something up with my winter rye: Did my usual aeration and overseeing of my perennial rye grass at the end of September/start of October when temps got ‘down’ into the 70s/80s. On my really bad sections of lawn, I used a topper, and now it appears these are the only areas growing. I’m currently watering 1x/day at 6am for 30 minutes with a 10gph (I think) sprinkler system. Any advice on what I can do to get the rest of the lawn to catch up?
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It does seem to be partially a light and temperature issue. However, spreading 5 gallons of water over that entire area is not even close to being enough water. Is it possible that some areas don't get as much water as others. Your watering should be enough to soak the roots but at 5 gph over that much square footage it is just not enough. You need at least 1 inch of water per week, preferably at one time. To find out how long to water place tuna fish cans or cat food cans all around the entire area and time how long it takes to fill up the cans. This will not only tell you how long to water it will also tell you if the water is being evenly distributed. Also rye is a cool weather grass and getting down into the 70's is not cool weather. Perhaps you should re-seed a little later after the temps have dropped some more.
 

Meadowlark

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DrMike27, could you clarify what you meant by topper? Is that a fertilizer or something else and how much applied?
 
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1 gallon water covers 1.6 square feet according to 231 cubic inches per gallon \ 144 square inches per square foot. Its a lot. I entertain myself with the rain guage math since my front yard is roughly 30k sf. Rain amounts in gallons are just amazing
 
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I live in TX and it gets hot and dry here but even with that, I never water any yards daily. If I did water daily, I would cut off all the oxygen in the root zone and cause problems similar to yours. Even newly planted grass seeds need oxygen in the root zone after germination. Also if I put alkaline tap water on the soil daily, it will raise the pH of the root zone locking out iron and other trace nutrients.
 
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