Which Grass for Dallas? - Knowledgebase Question

Dallas, Te
Question by jwallace200
January 29, 2010
Hi...I have a very small back yard (20 x 15). I planted Rye for the winter. Now it's time to plant a summer perennial grass. What type to plant (semi sunny) and when? Also, how to prep this area. I have a dog.
And next fall, do I just throw down the rye for thicker results in winter?
Thank you very much!
Jill Wallace

Answer from NGA
January 29, 2010


Perennial ryegrass is actually well suited to the Dallas area but it tends to brown out in the hottest summer months. For summer green Palmetto St. Augustine is a good choice, especially if you have some shade. The downside is that it is only available as sod. Whether you decide to overseed your lawn with perennial rye (or a mixture of perennial rye and Kentucky Blue), or you decide to sod, soil preparation is really important - especially if you did no prep prior to seeding your ryegrass. Since it's a small area, you can prep it in a short time. You can rent a rototiller or dig it with a shovel. Start by spreading 4-5 inches of compost over the existing rye and digging it in to a depth of 8-10 inches. This will help loosen the soil so the roots can grow deep and as the organic matter decomposes, it will release nutrients into the soil where the roots of the grass can reach them. After digging or tilling the organic matter in, rake to level the area, with a slight slope away from the house for drainage. Sow your seeds or lay your sod, water everything well until it is well established. If you lay sod you won't need to overseed in the fall. If you sow seeds, and if the lawn isn't very thick by fall, you can overseed with perennial ryegrass. Best wishes with your lawn.

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