Rye Grass

Rye Grass Overseeded

Rye Grass comes in to major types – annual and perennial. Annual grass survives for only one growing season whereas the perennial Rye will thrive for years. These grasses were introduced to the United States from Europe where they have been grown for centuries. Rye grass, no matter if it is annual or perennial is a cool season grass that will do well anywhere outside the southern tier of the United States.

Rye grasses are often mixed with other types of grasses although they provide wonderful ground cover and a lush lawn by themselves particularly in cooler climates. In the south Rye grass can be used to green up a lawn comprised of grasses more suitable for their warmer climate. Rye grass germinates quickly and seeding is relatively simple as no soil preparation is necessary as long as the seed has contact with the soil and is spread uniformly throughout the area to be seeded. Seed spread just prior to expected rain will deliver results quickly and one can expect to see little “grasslings” sprouting after just a few days.

Annual Rye grass is most often used in areas that have a hot summer when there is a desire to have a quick “greening effect”. This annual Rye grass will provide a carpet of green for a few months before the warmer season grasses develop and will die off as summer approaches. An added benefit is that it will add natural nutrients to the soil as it dies out for the more heat tolerant grasses.

Perennial Rye grass is one of the smarter choices for growing in a cool climate. It germinates quickly from seed – sod is available – presents a bright green color, a fine texture and grows densely. Another added advantage of perennial rye is that it is highly disease and insect resistant. It withstands hard use and even if a localized repair is necessary one can be assured that the area will cover quickly with minimal effort – just spread some seed, make sure it is in contact with the soil, water and wait a few days. There are over 100 varieties of Rye grass that can be selected based on the specific needs of the grower and particular local climatic conditions.

The Rye grasses, either annual or perennial have a long history of success in cooler climates. The primary enemy of Rye grass is heat. It will not perform particularly well in shaded areas, so if it is combined with other grasses the grower will be well rewarded with a lush lawn covering throughout the year.

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