How to Sow Rye Grass


A cool season grass, rye grass is commonly planted in subtropical areas as a winter grass by being sown over the existing warm season grass. Rye grass can also be grown as a year-round grass in less temperate areas. This grass creates a thick, lush lawn that requires frequent watering. Sow rye grass as a cool season grass in the autumn; sow rye grass as annual grass in either the spring or the fall.

Step 1

Move any furniture off your lawn when preparing to sow rye grass.

Step 2

Cut your existing lawn as short as possible with your lawnmower so you can sow rye grass over your existing lawn. Phoenix Tropicals recommends cutting the grass to 1/2 inch in height.

Step 3

Rake the existing grass to remove tangles. If you encounter clusters, rake horizontally a few times, then vertically; this should remove the tangle.

Step 4

Sow rye grass seed over the lawn using a lawn spreader or by hand. Greenview Fertilizer advises a ratio of 16 seeds per square inch. If you're seeding over an existing lawn you don't need to cover the seed with dirt or compost.

Step 5

Water the newly planted grass seed for 10 minutes twice a day for the first three days. Then switch to once a day for three days, and only water so the ground becomes moist but not sodden. Continue to water until the rye grass germinates, typically within two weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawnmower
  • Rake
  • Rye grass seed
  • Water


  • Phoenix Tropicals: Growing Bermuda Grass and Rye Grass
  • Greenview Fertilizer: How to Plant Grass
  • Penn State University: Ryegrass
Keywords: winter grasses, ryegrass, sowing rye grass

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.