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Annual ryegrass is a fast-growing, short-lived grass used throughout the United States to support both northern and southern lawns. Like its close relative perennial ryegrass, annual ryegrass germinates and establishes quickly. It's commonly used to stabilize new plantings, bring fast color to new lawns and add winter color to dormant southern lawns. Depending on your location and your lawn goals, annual ryegrass may be the solution for you.Compared to perennial ryegrass, annual ryegrass has a lighter green color, coarser texture and less uniform growth habit. While both grasses offer quick germination, establishment and color, only perennial ryegrass comes back reliably year after year as part of a permanent northern lawn. Annual ryegrass flourishes in moderate northern summers and moderate southern winters, but it struggles and dies out in extreme cold and heat.Annual ryegrass has one of the fastest germination rates of all common turf grasses. With Pennington Annual Ryegrass Grass Seed, you'll see results in three to seven days under proper conditions. Like tall fescue and perennial ryegrass, annual ryegrass grows in clumps. Once established, it spreads slowly through vertical shoots known as tillers.
Annual ryegrass is a popular ingredient in grass seed mixes for erosion-prone slopes and high-traffic areas like athletic fields or yards with active pets and kids. Its fast germination and rapid early growth allow grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, which can take 15 to 30 days to germinate, time to get established. Annual ryegrass performs best in areas that receive at least six to eight hours of daily sun.Like perennial ryegrass, annual ryegrass is a cool-season grass. This means it naturally peaks in growth during cool seasons of fall and spring. In areas with moderate winters and in southern lawns, fall is the best time to plant annual ryegrass. In northern areas with colder winters, spring plantings complement annual ryegrass' natural growth.Because annual ryegrass is a temporary lawn grass, time your lawn care around the permanent grasses in your lawn. For cool-season grasses, such as tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass, follow a lawn care schedule for cool-season lawns. For southern and western grasses, such as Bermudagrass, follow a warm-season lawn care schedule. If you're unsure of typical frost dates and weather patterns in your local area, check in with your county extension office. Then follow this basic lawn care calendar for lawns with temporary annual ryegrass support. Early fall is the best time to plant cool-season grasses.
Overseed winter warm-season lawns with annual ryegrass once warm-season grasses begin to go dormant.Weed suppressor. Mixed with legumes or grasses, annual ryegrass usually establishes first and improves early-season weed control. With adequate moisture, it serves well in Hardiness Zone 6 and warmer as a living mulch in high-value systems where you can mow it regularly. It may winterkill elsewhere, especially without protective snow cover during prolonged cold snaps. Even so, its quick establishment in fall still would provide an excellent, winterkilled mulch for early-spring weed suppression.Annual ryegrass has a biennial tendency in cool regions. If it overwinters, it will regrow quickly and produce seed in late spring. Although few plants survive more than a year, this reseeding characteristic can create a weed problem in some areas, such as the mid-Atlantic or other areas with mild winters. In the Midwest and Southern Plains, it can be a serious weed problem in oat and wheat crops. It has also been shown to develop herbicide resistance, compounding possible weed problems (161). (Source: www.sare.org)