Rye Grass Removal


Rye grass is an annual and perennial cool weather plant often utilized for cover crops in gardens and to provide green color for warm weather grass lawns during fall and winter. According to the University of Tennessee, you can remove this cool weather grass by applying a transition type of herbicide. If the rye grass is left unchecked, the result will be small clumps of rye grass growing in warm weather grass.

Step 1

Read the label on the herbicide container to confirm it will be effective for controlling rye grass. There are specific herbicides on the market, manufactured for application in early spring, to remove this cool weather grass from warm season lawns.

Step 2

Mix the herbicide according to the label directions. Follow exact blending instructions so the chemical retains its potency.

Step 3

Spray the transition herbicide on affected areas of the lawn or garden, during the early spring between mid-April to mid-May. Soil temperature must be greater than 50 degrees F. for the herbicide to be fully effective.

Step 4

Wait 21 days for the chemical to show the full effect of the treatment. The rye grass should be turning brown.

Step 5

Repeat the herbicide treatment after 30 days. Some herbicides may recommend several applications to eradicate the rye grass from your lawn or garden area.

Tips and Warnings

  • Contact your local agricultural extension service for transition-type herbicides that area legal to use in your area. Not all herbicides may be permissible, as the chemical runoff may cause harm to aquatic life and other plants. Keep children and animals away from all areas treated with an herbicide.

Things You'll Need

  • Transition herbicide
  • Sprayer


  • University of Tennessee: Turf Grass Science (PDF)
  • University of Florida: Burn Down of Ryegrass
Keywords: ryegrass herbicide treatment, kill rye grass, remove cover crops

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.