Planting Steep Slopes and Erosion Prone Sites with No Mow Lawn Seed Mix
We recommend using No Mow with Annual Rye Nurse Crop for No Mow Lawn applications on steep slopes or erosion-prone sites that require rapid soil stabilization. The annual rye germinates quickly, within a few days after the first rainfall or watering event, and provides quick cover to help stabilize slopes. When planting erosion-prone sites in fall, the best dates for seeding are between August 20 and September 20. This provides enough time for the annual rye and fescue to grow and hold the soil before the onset of winter. The annual rye grass will be killed-off by the cold winter temperatures, and the No Mow growth will be established enough to take over in the spring. The standard No Mow Lawn Mix (without annual rye) should be applied on level areas of the site that are not subject to erosion.
If an erosion control blanket is used to protect and stabilize the slope, the annual rye formulation is not necessary.
Annual rye can present a problem in warmer growing zones that do not experience cold enough winters. The rye grass is normally killed by subzero temperatures in USDA hardiness zones 2 – 4. However in warmer zones (5 – 7) annual rye will survive the winter and return in spring to compete heavily with the No Mow fescues. In severe cases, the annual rye can outcompete the No Mow fescues and render the planting a failure.
If a nurse crop is required in USDA Zones 5 – 7, oats can be seeded with the regular No Mow seed mix at a rate of 64 lbs per acre (1.5 lbs per 1000 sq. ft.) in spring and 128 lbs per acre (3.0 lbs per 1000 sq. ft.) in fall. The oats can be mowed to keep it short, and will die over the winter when seeded in the fall.