Seasonal Color Changeouts and Rye Grass—Here Is What You Need to Know

seasonal color

When commercial property owners consider incorporating Ryegrass when planning or implementing a new landscape design, it offers a chance to keep your lawn looking green and healthy throughout the winter. While the grass is not native to Texas, it can thrive when planted and maintained correctly. Here is the catch – Ryegrass can be tricky to grow and requires a very specific process. This includes deciding on the Ryegrass before the color changeout to give the grass time to grow. 

This guide will cover the basics and help you decide whether Ryegrass is right for your commercial property. If the answer is yes, your quickest way to success is by turning to a professional for help and assistance.

What You Need to Know About Installing Ryegrass

While there is no horticulture value in Ryegrass, people choose to install Ryegrass because it stays green all winter, adding great aesthetic value to any property. What’s important to understand about establishing Ryegrass is that it’s not as straightforward as it sounds, and successful results depend wholly on the work put into the process.

How to Install Ryegrass

Here is a breakdown of three crucial steps:

  1. We scalp the grass so the Rye seeds reach the dirt.
  2. We spread the seeds in the designated area.
  3. We keep the seeds wet for two weeks.

For step one to be successful, the grass in the area first needs to be mowed down all the way to the dirt. It won’t look aesthetically pleasing during this process, but unless completed, the large Rye seeds will sit on top of the grass and won’t be able to grow (seeds that don’t reach the soil won’t germinate).

For the next two weeks, the planted seeds need to be watered 3-4 times a day, which will inevitably create a bit of flooding in your landscape that might raise eyebrows due to water waste. It is, however, necessary for Ryegrass to grow.

The Planting Process at EarthWorks

Starting in early September, we contact our clients to discuss the option of installing Ryegrass. If a client chooses to add the grass to their property, we begin the installation by the 3rd week of September to allow the grass to grow before we carry out our fall color changeout in the 2nd or 3rd week of October.

Now Its Time for Seasonal Color Changeout

Let’s look closely at why Ryegrass needs to be planted before the seasonal color changeout. 

The seasonal color changeout is when you add plants specific to a season (for optimal growth), which is something we specialize in here at EarthWorks, and it allows your landscape to change and blend with each season. Ryegrass requires plenty of water, and the issue is that such a generous amount of moisture would likely kill any seasonal plants you try to put in. 

As a result, Ryegrass needs to be planted ahead of time (ideally 3-4 weeks), so it gets an opportunity to grow before moving on to the next step. Suppose you accidentally miss the deadline and plant Ryegrass too close to a seasonal color changeout. In that case, you’ll end up overwatering your new plants or underwatering your Ryegrass—killing one or the other (or both).

Implementing a proper strategy can help prevent this, and we can help as long as you make your decision a few weeks before seasonal color changeout—preferably by early September. Timing-wise, Rye and seasonal color share certain codependency; both are extremely time-sensitive, and good planning is necessary.

Fall Pre-Emergent Weed Control Treatment

Worth noting is how Ryegrass installment affects your regular fall pre-emergent, or should we say the other way around? Pre-emergent weed control works by preventing seeds from being able to germinate, but this process would also have the same effect on Rye. If you choose to install Ryegrass, you are also choosing to skip pre-emergent weed control treatment.

Check out this blog if you want to learn more about pre-emergent weed control.

The Importance of Following a Specific Order

Planting Ryegrass is tricky, and we keep mentioning the importance of following a specific process because it’s the only way to obtain the desired results. You start by making your decision in early September at the latest. We then spread the Ryegrass seed to give it time to grow for 3-4 weeks, then comes time to add the fall color changeout, and last but not least—we start looking at pre-emergent weed control treatment options. Your Ryegrass will not make it unless you stick to this order.

A Task Best Left to the Experts

It is unwise to attempt the installation of Ryegrass on your own, especially if you lack experience and are unfamiliar with the exact and time-sensitive process. Doing so could lead to poor results or even damage your existing landscape. 

When considering Ryegrass installation, your best option is to make the decision in time before September and to turn to a professional for guidance throughout the process.

If You Are Ready For Ryegrass, Give Us A Call!

Ryegrass can be a winter solution for commercial properties, as it also keeps the lawn looking great during harsh Texas winters. However, it is a process that needs to be completed in a specific order, or you could spend money on something that doesn’t provide the desired results. It also has its downsides, and it is important to understand the pros and cons of Ryegrass and how it may affect seasonal coloring.

At EarthWorks, we are very familiar with the correct steps when planting and maintaining Ryegrass, and we can help you get it right. Are you considering adding Rye to your property landscape? Get in touch with us today.


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