How to Grow Rye Grass Seeds


If you want quick results and a full-looking lawn, rye grass seed is seemingly custom-made to meet such desires. Rye grass, unlike some grass varieties, is easily able to germinate and grow, often showing the first signs of growth within seven days of being planted, if conditions are right. The grass is mainly cool-season variety, so there is more of a likelihood of seeing faster growth with spring and fall plantings.

Step 1

Prepare the area to be seeded by removing any unwanted species prior to the planting of the rye grass. If you are planning to use a herbicide to wipe out any grass or plants, make sure you do this at least 30 days prior to the planting of the grass or you could have adverse results. Herbicides that are safe to use at any time you plant, including at planting are those with the chemical quinclorac.

Step 2

Water the area thoroughly prior to seeding. This will also help keep the seed in place. Allow the area to dry to the point where there is no standing water on the surface of the soil, but take action when the soil is as damp as possible.

Step 3

Apply fertilizer at the rate of 5 to 10 pounds were 1,000 square feet. Thus, if you have a yard that is 10,000 square feet, you will need approximately 100 pounds of rye grass seed, in order to cover the lawn adequately and make it look as healthy as possible. If you are overseeding and using rye grass with some other species, you may have to use closer to 10 pounds to get the rye properly established.

Step 4

Use a starter fertilizer at the time of planting and then you may wish to reapply the fertilizer again approximately 45 days after the new growth begins. Starter fertilizers are specifically formulated for young plants and contain no pre-emergent herbicides, which may inhibit the growth of such plants.

Step 5

Water the rye grass area frequently. Do this every couple of days, especially if the planting is during a dry or hot period of the year. The soil should be kept moist, but not completely saturated.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never use a fertilizer for existing plants on a newly-seeded lawn.

Things You'll Need

  • Ryegrass seed
  • Water
  • Spreader


  • Grounds Maintenance: Seedling Safety
  • Backyard Garden and Patio: Planting Rye Grass
  • Rustic Girls: Seeding New Lawns

Who Can Help

  • Cover Crop Database: Annual Rye Grass
  • Washington State University: Grass Seeding Tips
Keywords: rye grass seed, plant rye grass, planting grass seed

About this Author

Ken Black is a freelance writer and a staff writer for The Times Republican in Central Iowa. He has written extensively on a variety of topics, including business, politics, family life and travel.