Last fall I seeded annual rye grass on my front yard. I’ll soon need to mow. We are getting temperatures near 70 F/20 C and rain for the next few days. Soil temperatures will be rising and forsythia will soon be in bloom. They rye grass thrives in the cool spring temperatures. I harvest it with a bagging mower for use as a nitrogen source to break down last fall’s leaves in the compost pile.
The green rye grass only lasts until June when it gets overwhelmed by summer heat. Until then, I’ll have one of the greenest lawns on the street. The lawn appearance is a side benefit. The main reason I grow rye grass is for the nitrogen source in the compost.
Once the leaves are decomposed, I use grass clippings as a mulch. Its great around tall vegetables like okra, sweet corn, or staked tomatoes. It tends to cling to low vegetables such as bush beans and make for added cleaning time. A coarser brown mulch like whole leaves or straw is my preference for bush beans and strawberries. Rye grass can’t do everything, but it helps produce garden goodies from the shallow acidic soil I start with.