How to Plant Ryegrass


Rye grass is a fast-growing annual grass that is used for erosion control, livestock forage, wildlife plantings, and to make the lawn look green during the winter in snow-free climates. Some varieties are perennial in cooler climates. Rye grass cannot survive in hot or drought-prone parts of the U.S.; it needs consistent moisture to thrive. The only requirement the seed needs to sprout is that the seed has contact with moist soil. However, some soil or site preparation is important for success. A typical lawn needs 5 to 10 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet for green cover in winter.

Step 1

Choose a day to plant your rye grass seed when there is a very good chance of rain. You want the rye grass seed to sprout quickly because the birds will eat it all very quickly once they find it scattered on the ground.

Step 2

Rake any bare soil that is present in the area where rye grass seed will be planted to encourage seed contact with the soil.

Step 3

Spray water over all the planting area so the seed will stick to the bare soil and germinate quickly. Don't allow seed to get wet or it becomes very difficult to spread.

Step 4

Pour seed in a plastic bucket or mechanical spreader and working from one end of the planting area to the other scatter seed freely then work perpendicular to original pattern to get a full coverage.

Step 5

Spray water lightly over planting area and again every day if possible until established. The rye grass seed should sprout in two to three days and become established in 21 days.

Things You'll Need

  • Rye grass seed
  • Source of water
  • Rake


  • Ryegrasses
  • Backyard Garden & Pation: Planting Rye Grass
  • Oregon Grown Annual Ryegrass: Planting Annual Ryegrass as a Midwest Cover Crop
Keywords: ryegrass, planting rye grass, how to use rye grass

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.