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Winter rye

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Hettric
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 133 MA
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2009-08-23          165193


I have regraded some areas of my property but am not ready to replace the loam yet. Is there some type of "grass" that I can plant and forget to cover the sandy subsoil? I know from experience that given enough time weeds and grass will grow on this.
Thanks

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Winter rye

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greg_g
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1816 Western Kentucky
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2009-08-24          165200


Never actually heard of "winter" rye myself. But then I'm not familiar with agriculture practices in the Northeast. I use what's referred to around here as "cover crop" wheat. It's winter wheat in the sense that it's bred to survive under snow and ice. But given it's lower price (than "regular" winter wheat), it's apparently a lower grade. Less yield or something maybe.

Livestock producers will drill it into harvested row crop acreage, fields that would otherwise sit idle over winter. When the stand is high enough, they'll turn their livestock out to graze in it like regular pasture. I use it to control winter/spring erosion in problem areas of my pastures, usually broadcasting or drilling between 15 Sep and 30 Oct. Up your way you'd probably want to start earlier though, to permit a reasonable root system to develop before otherwise killing frosts move in.

//greg// ....

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Winter rye

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-08-24          165201


I'm not aware of a specific "Winter" rye, but we use rye to seed new waterways in the early fall. It gets a good start then comes up real early in the spring. it is about the best quick cover crop I know of. ....

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Winter rye

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2009-08-24          165215


How about "ryegrass"?

There is two types, one is annual and it grows taller with thick stalk. About like wheat or oats in height. The other grows shorter and if left to seed will come back. It is better for lawn. Here (South Carolina) summer heat will kill these. Think it will there also. ....

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Winter rye

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2009-08-24          165219


A little googling research shows that rye is a grain or cereal; ryegrass is totally different.

The commercial sod we use here in Michigan has what they call "ryegrass" seed in it. It tends to be a wider leaf than the seven different species of Kentucky Blue with it.

Back home we used rye(grass?) instead of grass seed--it came up quick and very lush. But it died off fairly early too.

"Winter wheat" we have here is normally planted very late in the fall, lays dormant until the snow melts in spring. If it gets too wet over the winter and spring it rots and won't germinate. ....

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Winter rye

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Hettric
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 133 MA
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2009-08-25          165242


I remembered the term "winter rye" from the only farmer I used to know. A friend also suggested clover. ....

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Winter rye

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2009-08-25          165243


I would not go to like Tractor Supply, Lowes or Home Depot on this but go to local farm supply store and ask them what they suggest. Being local they will be able to tell you what will work best and when to plant. They also should be lower price than the building supply stores. ....

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Winter rye

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greg_g
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1816 Western Kentucky
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2009-08-25          165245


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hettric | view 165242
A friend also suggested clover.
Forget clover, besides being comparatively quite expensive - it takes years to develop a self-sustaining stand. Besides, it won't develop a root system fast enough to even hold itself in place. Expensive seed and seedlings will end up somewhere that they're not needed. Even in mature stands, clover has a narrow pH window - and quickly goes dormant during extended periods of heat, cold, low rainfall.

The most common (and reasonably priced) erosion control variety around here is tall fescue. Not regular fescue, tall fescue. It's a perennial, so must be planted earlier than an annual like cover crop wheat or rye. But once estableshed, it has one of the strongest and deepest root systems of all native grasses.

//greg// ....

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Winter rye

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-08-25          165247


Something else you might consider is timothy. It can be fall seeded with a cover crop such as rye. It needs to be sown seperate from the cover crop after the has been sown to prevent it from being seeded too deep.
Most any Farm feed and seed elevator has open bags to sell small quanitys from, it is not a very expensive seed compared to lawn grass, alfalfa, clover, etc. I usually seed some with oats or rye in waterways, it seems to tolerate wet soils better than a legume.
Google "Timothy Seed", lots of info there. ....

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