Perennial Ryegrasses


Seeding Rate – 7 Lbs./1000 Sq. Ft. or 300 Lbs./acre 

Germination Time:  5 – 7 days

Perennial Ryegrasses are quick to germinate and have a tenacious seedling that establishes rapidly.  They are a good choice when quick results are essential.  Perennial Ryegrasses are often used in combination with other grasses that are slower to establish, but they must be used in the proper combinations as they are so aggressive that at too high a percentage, they will out-compete and eliminate the slower grasses in the mixture. 


Perennial Ryegrasses are not shade tolerant.  They can persist for a time under shaded conditions, and so Perennial Ryegrasses are sometimes added in a low percentage to shade mixes to aid in establishment.  They should not be expected to persist indefinitely in a shaded location and in a properly constructed mixture, they will be replaced by other grasses that hold up well in the shade.


Perennial Ryegrasses can survive nicely in moderate maintenance situations, but they much prefer highly fertile sites with adequate moisture and a pH range of 6 – 7.  Under low fertility or excessively high fertility, diseases can become a problem.  Perennial Ryegrasses require from 1 to 5 lbs. of nitrogen annually. Be sure to consider Grey Leaf Spot Disease Resistance and Endophyte Enhancement for resistance to surface feeding insects when selecting a variety, as older varieties do not offer these vital enhancements.  Typical cutting heights are 3/4″ inches to 4″.


Perennial Ryegrasses are tolerant of heavy traffic, and recover quickly from wear.  They are often used for sports turf or other high traffic sites, where quick establishment and high wear tolerance are essential.  Under higher traffic, irrigate to prevent drought stress and  maintain a high fertility level.  Perennial Ryegrasses are often used in combination with Tall Fescues and Kentucky Bluegrasses, but in the proper combinations or the aggressive Perennial Ryegrass will overtake the other grasses.


Perennial Ryegrasses are not highly drought tolerant.  They will go into dormancy under drought stress.  Endophyte enhancement can aide in performance during dryer periods, as this feature prevents damage from surface feeding insects that can amplify the effects of  drought in dryer periods.  Under traffic, irrigation is required to prevent stress in order for this highly wear tolerant specie to perform at a high level.

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