How to Germinate Rye Grass


Ryegrass is a common cool season grass that gardeners enjoy planting for its rich green expanse during the winter months. There are two types of ryegrass that you can grow: annual and perennial. For optimal germination, it is important to broadcast your ryegrass seeds on bare soil. Conduct a soil pH test three months before planting the grass, because it will take three months to change the pH range if it is too acidic for the ryegrass.

Things You'll Need

  • Tiller
  • Rake
  • Garden hose
  • Seeder
  • Compost
  • Lawn roller
  • Fertilizer
  • Choose a time in the early fall to seed ryegrass. Use a soil thermometer to ensure that the soil temperature is between 45 and 55 degrees F.

  • Till the soil and smooth over the area with the back of a rake. Add dirt in low areas or holes to smooth out the lawn area. Water the area three days in a row prior to seeding.

  • Pour ryegrass seed in a seeder. Broadcast annual ryeseed at a rate of 5 to 10 lbs. every 1,000 feet. Perennial ryegrass should be spread at 3 1/2 to 5 lbs. every 1,000 feet. Push the seeds back and forth across the lawn to get an even spread.

  • Cover the ryegrass with 1/8 inch of compost. Roll a lawn roller over the ryegrass seed to get good soil and seed contact.

  • Water the lawn thoroughly. Water the lawn area four times a day with a light mist. Return to once a week when the grass reaches heights of 1 inch.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wait six to eight weeks before fertilizing your ryegrass with a fertilizer high in nitrogen.
  • Avoid burning up your grass seed; don't fertilize at time of seeding.
  • Keep foot traffic to a minimum while your grass is growing.
  • Avoid growing perennial ryegrass in Bermuda grass, because perennial ryegrass releases toxins that kill off Bermuda grass.

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