How to Overseed Annual Rye Grass


Overseeding warm-weather grass turfs with annual ryegrass creates a green lawn year-round. According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, a Bermudagrass lawn is the recommended warm-weather grass that tolerates ryegrass introduction and overseeding. Zoysia and centipede grasses may be damaged by overseeding of the cool-weather annual. The best time to overseed a warm-weather lawn is in late October through November, or after the first frost.

Step 1

Mow the existing warm-weather grass at the lowest setting on the lawn mower. This will improve the seed-to-soil contact and sunlight requirements for ryegrass seed germination. One exception to this low-mowing is St. Augustine grass--never scalp-mow this type of turf grass.

Step 2

Broadcast the annual ryegrass seed over the lawn at a rate of 10 to 12 lbs. per 1,000 square feet.

Step 3

Apply the 18-6-12-lawn fertilizer to the lawn immediately after the seed is planted at a rate of 5 lbs. per 1,000 square feet.

Step 4

Irrigate the lawn with the garden hose and sprinkler. Water the area lightly two to three times a day. Keep the seeds moist until germination begins. Full germination of the seed may take several weeks.

Step 5

Mow the ryegrass to a height of 2 to 2 ½ inches. Fertilize the lawn with 2 lbs. of the 18-6-12 per 1,000 square feet every three weeks for a dense, healthy stand of green grass.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn mower
  • Annual ryegrass seed, 10 to 12 lbs. per 1,000 square feet
  • Lawn fertilizer 18-6-12, 5 lbs. per 1,000 square feet
  • Garden hose with sprinkler


  • Auburn University: Overseeding Home Lawns (PDF)
  • Texas A&M University: Winter Ryegrass
Keywords: green winter turf, cool weather grass, sow rye grass

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.