Perennial Ryegrass is used all over the world as a valuable species for turf.
Its general characteristics of excellent wear tolerance, fast germination, and quick establishment are highly valued.
On the other hand, its limited drought tolerance and demand for good management (including fertilization and frequent cutting) restrict the usage of the species in certain regions and for certain purposes.
Skillful breeding has led to a wide range of varieties which differ in such characteristics as wear tolerance, winter-hardiness, color, disease resistance, sod density, growth rate, and heat and drought tolerance.
Perennial ryegrass is a very competitive cool-season grass, best adapted to coastal regions that have moderate temperatures throughout the year. It prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade.
Perennial ryegrass has the highest wear-tolerance of any cool-season grass and can tolerate high traffic.
It is often used around homes, schools, and parks. Because it germinates quickly, it is often used for overseeding winter-dormant bermudagrass lawns. Its rapid emergence helps to suppress weeds.
For a more traffic and disease-resistant turf, it is often mixed with Kentucky bluegrass.
Planting and management tips for perennial ryegrass
Mow at 1.5 - 2.5 inches.
If used to overseed warm-season grasses, gradually reduce the height of the ryegrass in the spring by mowing it more closely and more often to encourage growth of warm-season grasses as they come out of dormancy.
Fertilize using 4 lbs. nitrogen/1000 sq. ft. per year during the period of active growth (February - June; October - December).
Seed at 6 - 9 lbs. seed/1000 sq. ft.
Ryegrass seed germinates quickly: 3 - 5 days in moderate temperatures.
A rapid turf cover is established within 4 - 8 weeks.
Water to a depth of 6 - 12 inches.
If used to overseed warm-season grasses, water deeply and less often in the spring to encourage the growth of warm-season grasses coming out of dormancy.
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