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Old 10-01-2012, 01:41 PM   #1
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I figure with so many retirees on this site that some of you must be lawn masters. Here's my situation... I just moved into a new house from always living in apartments. They sodded the front and side yards, but the back is my responsibility. I went to the farm supply store the other day and was told that it's not a good time of year to plant most grass seeds, and that I should plant rye grass b/c it grows pretty quickly and easily. She told me that it will keep the soil from eroding away through the winter and then I could throw out whatever seed I wanted next spring.

So, unless someone here can give me a better idea, I'm going to go get a lawnmower to cut these weeds and throw the rye grass out tomorrow. If it makes a difference, I'm in southern Louisiana and the weather is 80's during the day and 60's at night right now.

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Old 10-01-2012, 02:10 PM   #2
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If you have grass on the sides, where is the dirt in the back yard going to go

What kind of grass are you looking to use Here we have St. Augustine and there is no seed.... you just put down actually grass... you can do it most any time from what I understand, but I would want to do it in spring when I could actually see it growing...

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Old 10-01-2012, 02:13 PM   #3
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The backyard slopes a good bit towards my back fence. So I'm guessing it would wash down that way. I'm really looking for something that will grow quickly so my kids can play any fenced in backyard. I believe I heard them say the front is centipede but I'm not sure.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:14 PM   #4
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Where you live makes a huge difference in the type of seed or plug, rhizome, etc. you should use, when you should plant it, and how you should care for it once it's planted. For example, here in central MD, conditions are rapidly approaching ideal for planting grass seed - and we can plant it right up to Thanksgiving if we so choose.

Lawn grass is a living plant - a very tough, invasive one, but it does need (and usually rewards) care. Consult your county extension service for a soil test and other grass-planting advice. AgCenter News - LSU AgCenter

Good luck!


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Old 10-01-2012, 02:54 PM   #5
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A quick search for S. Louisiana lawns revealed this nice guide: (edit: might be the same as the post above, if so, I endorse!)

Sounds like they only recommend warm season lawns. That's why the farm supply is saying it is a bad time. Warm season lawns are just that -- they need to be established in the warm season. So, Rye is a good cover for the winter until you wait for spring/early summer to establish a real lawn. As a matter of fact, the rye will look ridiculously good... It is just guaranteed to die about June 1. It will also grow really fast, so make sure you are ready to mow.

Meanwhile, do some research and find out what you have out front. Do you want the same for the back? You have some considerations to make. You'll also want to plan for preparing next spring (tilling, adding compost, killing off the rye, etc.)

I know in FL they love St. Augustine, but man that stuff is rough on the feet. Looks like you have a few other choices. Zosia, for instance, may grow well. That's finer and feels good.

Don't bother with the fine grained cool season lawns. They are nice, but only grow good up north. Sounds like your farm supply doesn't even carry them which makes sense.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:59 PM   #6
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The farm supply store is right. Now is a good time to plant ryegrass. The hot, dry weather is probably gone until next spring. The ryegrass should thrive until the above 90 degree days next spring when the ryegrass will die. The ryegrass will not come back next fall unless it goes to seed at which time it will be 2' tall which is frowned upon in most subdivisions.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:54 PM   #7
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Plant rye grass for now. Then, in the springtime when you are ready to put in a lawn, I'd suggest taking a sample of the grass in your side/front yard to the garden store and get the same kind. That way, you won't end up with two different kinds of grass in your yard.

I have a local variety of St. Augustine's, named after my suburban community because all the lawns were originally planted with the same kind of grass. It grows beautifully despite no fertilizer, in our rich soil with as much rainfall as we get. See what kind of grass your neighbors have.

Congratulations on your new home!
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:11 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of the reply so far… I went and bought the ryegrass seed and starter fertilizer as per the injections on the bag. The guy I talked to today suggested that I spray Roundup over the whole yard to kill the weeds first, Then plant the seed a week later.

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