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Ryegrass Seed

A Complete Guide to the Sowing And Germination of Ryegrass Seeds

Ryegrass seed is the excellent choice for starting a green lawn in areas with cold winter temperatures. Understand ryegrass seeding rate and some basic planting tips before you actually sow it in your lawn.
Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Last Updated: Mar 9, 2018
Lawn grasses require specific growing conditions to remain uniform green throughout the year. The point is choosing type of lawn grass is quite challenging for newbies. Rather than growing any grass variety that you think beautiful, it is always better to take advice from a horticulturist. As for maintaining lustrous green lawn in cool climatic conditions, nothing could be a better option than sowing ryegrass seed. Indeed this grass species is remarkable for cold adaptability, quick germination and faster growth rate.
Ryegrass Seed: An Overview
Maintaining uniform green grass irrespective of the weather conditions is easier said than done, particularly if you are residing in cooler climates. In case, you think the Kentucky bluegrass or the popular Bermuda grass look great, think twice as these types of grasses are not suited for cold regions. In fact, they wilt and die during extreme cold conditions. A hardy grass species that adapts in various growth conditions is ryegrass. The best part is you can start your lawn from ryegrass seed.
Ryegrass belongs to a group of nine turf grasses, classified under the genus Lolium of the grass family Poaceae. Indigenous to Asia, Africa and Europe, it is preferred by people who have less time for turf grass care and also, for growing as forage crops. You will get ryegrass seeds in almost all garden centers. The grass seed planting tips are easy and you will succeed in germinating them with simple sowing instructions. Following is brief info that you ought to know about sowing these seeds.
Ryegrass Types
Before you purchase ryegrass for sowing in your lawn, decide whether you want them for short-term or long-term growing. Accordingly, you can opt for the annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) or perennial ryegrass seed (Lolium perenne). As expected, the former grass seed type completes its life cycle in one year, while the latter continues to grow for several years. Annual ryegrass is cheaper than perennial one.
Purchasing the Seed
Purchase the seed type according to your plan. For areas with cool winter season, selecting perennial species is a wise decision, as other lawn grass types hardly tolerate winter. Some landscapers opt for mixing annual and perennial ryegrass types prior to sowing in the lawn. By doing so, you can enjoy green pasture for grazing, even after the annual grass starts seed development and dies back.
Ryegrass Seeding Rate
So, when to plant grass seed? The perfect planting time is fall. Also, determining the amount of seeds to be sown is a prerequisite for even spreading of seeds. Ideally, you should show 48 kg ryegrass seed per acre. Use a seed spreader for sprinkling seeds in a uniform manner, so that there will be no bare spots later.
Sowing the Seed
Ryegrass is truly a hassle free grass for lawn or pastures. Even if you do not till soil or follow lawn care, it still germinates and grows luxuriantly. However, most homeowners opt for scarifying soil for promoting quick germination. Remember you need to water and fertilize lawn prior to sowing ryegrass seed. Also, irrigate lawn after sowing seeds. This will help in quick opening of the seed, and growing at a faster rate.
Germination Temperature
The environmental temperature matters a lot in grass seed germination. This is no different in case of ryegrass. As per plant experts, the ideal ryegrass germination temperature range falls somewhere between 59-65° F. Other factors required for ryegrass seed germination are moist soil (dry soil will cause seed drying), air circulation and moderate light (seeds located deep will not germinate).
Germination Time
Provided that the right temperature, soil moisture and other environmental factors are maintained, ryegrass seed germinates within 1-2 weeks after sowing. This is definitely a good news, as you will get to enjoy a green lawn within a short time. The perennial ryegrass may turn yellowish in later summer, but this fast growing grass retains green with the arrival of fall season.
Follow the usual grass growing tips, keeping in mind ryegrass seeding rate and sowing time. After they germinate, the grasses will soon start forming clumps. This clumping growth pattern of ryegrass is a drawback, which reduces its popularity as a lawn grass.
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