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When to Plant Rye Grass

By Daniel Westlake

Rye grasses are the long green blades that are seen on most healthy lawns of house and on many sports fields across the country. It is a grass native to North America and grows the best in wetter, temperate conditions, though it can be planted and grow well in a variety of climates with the proper care. There are two types of rye grass: annual and perennial. Annuals are usually used for pastures and livestock. Perennials are used for lawns and sports fields.

Time to Grow

The best time to plant and grow rye grass is mid-September through late October. It's best to grow these grasses in places where the winter temperatures are mild, so the grasses can come back bigger and fuller when the colder weather ends. It's important to plant these grasses at this time of year, when it's neither too hot nor too cold for the seedlings to get a foothold.


Overseeding entails planting over old sections of grass and this is recommended when growing rye grass, as the new seedlings can thrive off the nutrients of the old grass. Before planting, rake and remove all debris (this helps dig up the soil for better soil contact for the seedlings), then fertilize as suggested for the climate and type of rye grass you are growing. Water the fertilizer lightly once it is down, before seeding and then rake again. Keep watering once you have planted seeds, lightly as you don't want to drown the germinating seeds.


One of the best things about rye grass is that it needs very little care in general. Once the seed has been distributed by throwing handfuls of it down across the lawn, water it regularly. It's best to water at night for about 15 minutes, so more of the water seeps into the ground and doesn't evaporate during the day. The rye seedlings should begin to sprout in about a week and should stay green and lush until outside temperatures reach about 90 degrees, which is usually late May in most places.


About the Author


Hailing from Austin, Texas, Daniel Westlake has written under pen names for a myriad of publications all over the nation, ranging from national magazines to local papers. He now lives in Los Angeles, Calif. but regularly travels around the country and abroad, exploring and experiencing everything he can.