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How to Water Rye Grass Seed

By Kathy Burns-Millyard ; Updated September 21, 2017

Rye grass is a popularly used in dry Western states during the winter. In Phoenix, Arizona, it's mixed with Bermuda grass for household lawns because Bermuda goes dormant in the winter and rye cannot handle the heat of the summertime in that region.

Rye grass is also being used more for grazing lands and reclamation projects, because it sprouts quickly, anchors soil from erosion, and is highly nutritious forage for grazing animals.

Rye is not a drought tolerant grass though, so deep irregular waterings will not help it survive long, dry spells. Instead, rye needs to be watered on a regular set schedule.

Spread the rye grass seed evenly around your lawn using a drop spreader, or hand-sow them--scatter handfuls of seed evenly across the yard--if desired.

Spread manure compost on top of the scattered, or just cut open the compost bags and drag them in lines up and down the yard, letting it spill out as you go. After the bags are empty, spread the compost cover over the seeds using a garden rake.

Turn on the water sprinkler and water the newly sown seeds for 10 minutes, twice each day for the first three days.

Reduce watering slowly after the first three days until you're watering the new seed every 2 to 3 days. The ground should be kept moist but not too wet.

Rye grass seeds usually sprout within 10 to 14 days.


Things You Will Need

  • Rye seed
  • Compost manure
  • Water sprinkler


  • Once your seed is established, if it hasn't rained then water the grass every other day during the hottest parts of the year, and every one to two weeks in winter for 15 to 30 minutes at a time.

About the Author


Kathy Burns-Millyard has been a professional writer since 1997. Originally specializing in business, technology, environment and health topics, Burns now focuses on home, garden and hobby interest articles. Her garden work has appeared on GardenGuides.com and other publications. She enjoys practicing Permaculture in her home garden near Tucson, Ariz.