Rye Grass Lawn Turf Information

Geographic Zones: Ryegrass does best in the northern states, especially around the coast where moist conditions combine with relatively stable temperatures.

Water Requirements: This grass is very intolerant to drought, so it needs frequent watering to survive, especially in the hotter spring and summer months.

Fertilizer Requirements: The fertilizer demands of Ryegrass is fairly high during its growing season, roughly from the months of February through May. During this time, it is recommended that about 0.5 lb. per 1,000 square feet of fertilizer is added to the lawn per month.

When to Plant: You should plant this type of grass sometime in the fall, at least 2 weeks before the first expected frost.

Recommended Mowing Height: A lawn using this grass should be mowed to a height between 1 ½ - 2 ½ inches.

Light Requirements: In general, Rye has a fairly low tolerance for shade, preferring well-lit areas. However, in southern regions where the temperatures are higher, it can actually do fairly well in somewhat shaded places that shelter it from some of the heat.

Best Places to Use: This is one of the most impact resistant grasses around, leading it to be used for athletic feilds, parks, and golf courses as well as for homeowner's lawns. While it doesn't tolerate shade or drought well, its ability to grow and "green up" fast make it useful for many different purposes.

Common Diseases: As seedlings in the fall, the most common diseases are Pythium, Rhizoctonia, and Fusarium. In the spring, leaf spot, dollar spot, and rust are all potential difficulties you could face with this lawn.

Common Pests: Many insects can infest this grass. The most prevalent of theses are sod webworms and cutworms since the moths who spawn these pests are attracted to the dark green color of the Ryegrass.

Soil pH: The grass does best in soils with pH levels ranging from 5.5-8.0.

Special Advantages:

  • Handles cold temperatures fairly well
  • Stands up to high-traffic situations
  • Has a rich, dark-green color when healthy
  • Grows rapidly

Special Problems:

  • Doesn't tolerate high heat, shade levels, or drought situations well
  • Prone to many pests and diseases
  • Needs a fairly high level of maintenance to thrive, i.e. - watering and fertilizing
  • If planted alone, Rye grass can become "stemy" after a few years of growth
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