Q. What are the pros and cons of overseeding with ryegrass?
A. There is very little to no research comparing the pros and cons of overseeding. But it appears that ryegrass or other overseeded cool season grasses may compete with the permanent grass, particularly centipedegrass. I have seen a number of centipedegrass lawns that were severely weakened during spring green up as a result of the competition with the well established ryegrass. The extra fertilizer may also cause problems for centipedegrass, possibly inducing centipedegrass decline. The main reason most people overseed is because they want a green lawn during the winter. Personally, I’m ready to put my mower away for the winter and I take a break and my lawn takes a break. But this is personal preference. You’ll have to make that decision. It appears there is the possibility of causing some problems for the permanent lawn grass, particularly centipedegrass, as a result of overseeding but I can’t provide legitimate research to show this. It’s based primarily on observation.
Q. Is this time of the year appropriate to put in new sod?
A. There is a slight gamble the new sod could be injured from early cold weather but this is not likely to happen. We usually get our first killing frost toward the middle to end of November. Our soil temperature is warm enough during fall to allow quick root development. Be careful with the fertilizer this late in the year, though. If I was going to sod now, I’d layoff the fertilizer until the grass completely greened up the following spring. The main factor is to make sure you water to keep the sod evenly moist for the first three to four weeks during establishment. The best window of opportunity to sod is mid April to mid June but in the absence of an early freeze, you should be okay to sod now.