Planting Ryegrass in Florida


Permanent lawns in Florida become dormant during winter, turning an unattractive brown. Golf courses and athletic field managers solve this problem by overseeding lawns with annual ryegrass. Ryegrass is a cool-season grass that thrives in temperatures below 80 degrees F. Florida homeowners can overseed their lawns, as well, resulting in a green lawn, year-round. Ryegrass requires irrigation, fertilization and weekly mowing, so consider whether you want to maintain a lawn all year before planting.

Step 1

Rake the lawn to remove all debris. Mow the lawn to a height of 2 inches. Mow St. Augustine grass to 3 inches.

Step 2

Place one-half of the recommended amount of ryegrass seed in the broadcast spreader. Walk slowly across the lawn in a back and forth motion, spreading the grass seed. Place the remaining lawn seed in the spreader and walk across the lawn at a right angle to the direction you previously spread the seed.

Step 3

Brush the grass with a stiff broom to work the seed down through the permanent grass to the soil surface.

Step 4

Water the grass two times a day for the first two weeks until the ryegrass seed germinates. Water for 20 minutes during each cycle and use a gentle sprinkler. Thereafter, water the lawn every week, depending on rainfall, to keep it from wilting.

Step 5

Mow the grass when it stand 2 inches taller than the permanent lawn. Apply a lawn fertilizer, according to package directions, after mowing.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Lawn mower
  • 10 lbs. ryegrass per 1,000 square feet of lawn
  • Broadcast spreader
  • Stiff broom
  • Fertilizer


  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Overseeding Florida Lawns

Who Can Help

  • University of Florida IFAS: Florida Lawn Handbook
Keywords: Florida lawns, planting rye grass, overseeding Florida lawns

About this Author

Julie Christensen has been writing for five years. Her work has appeared in "The Friend" and "Western New York Parent" magazines. Her guide for teachers, "Helping Young Children Cope with Grief" will be published this spring. Christensen studied early childhood education at Ricks College and recently returned to school to complete a degree in communications/English.