How to Control Rye Grass


Two types of ryegrass typically grow in North America: perennial and annual. Annual ryegrass grows wild in several areas, whereas perennial ryegrass often starts its life as a turf grass. But both of these weeds are aggressive spreaders, and they each offer their own obstacles to control. Annual ryegrass will respond to only a limited number of pesticides, and perennial ryegrass's root system must be completely eradicated or it will crop up again.

Step 1

Mow the ryegrass as low as possible. Wait for it to grow back 3 to 4 inches before treating it. Weeds must be actively growing for most herbicides to work effectively.

Step 2

Spray annual ryegrass with herbicide. According to specialists at Virginia Tech, annual ryegrass responds to applications of 3 pints of Roundup per acre (mixed according to the manufacturer's instructions for the type of sprayer you are using), spaced six weeks apart.

Step 3

Spray perennial ryegrass with a nonselective, post-emergent herbicide that contains glufosinate (Finale) or glyphosate (Roundup). Re-spray at intervals prescribed by the manufacturer. Use a different herbicide in your second application to prevent the ryegrass from developing resistance.

Things You'll Need

  • Herbicide
  • Lawn mower


  • Virginia Tech: Identification and Control of Annual Ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) in No-Till Corn in Virginia
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Lands: Ryegrass
  • University of Maryland: Perennial Grass Weeds and their Control in Turf
Keywords: annual ryegrass, perennial ryegrass, control rye grass

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.