"Dandy" Perennial Ryegrass
This perennial ryegrasses is designed for full sun areas, but will tolerate some shade. Dandy variety is bred to give a pleasing dark-003366 color, with a fine texture and excellent mowing qualities. Is also a very good choice for blends with Kentucky Bluegrass and Fine Fescue; used extensively in warmer climates for overseeding. Proven to recover quickly from high stress of either heat or drought. Resilient under stress and performs well in high usage areas - recovers quickly. Can make a useable lawn in 3 weeks. The high level of endopyte in Dandy Perennial Ryegrass provides improved resistance to several turfgrass insects; also has a high resistance to many turfgrass diseases.
Seeding rate 8 to 10 lbs/1000 sq. ft.
"Elf" Perennial Ryegrass
This perennial ryegrasses is designed for full sun areas, but will tolerate some shade. Elf variety is bred to give a pleasing dark-003366 color (slightly darker than dandy), with a fine texture and excellent mowing qualities. It is also slower growing than the "Dandy" variety which means you don't have to mow as often. Is also a very good choice for blends with Kentucky Bluegrass and Fine Fescue; used extensively in warmer climates for overseeding. Proven to recover quickly from high stress of either heat or drought. Resilient under stress and performs well in high usage areas - recovers quickly. Can make a useable lawn in 3 weeks. The high level of endopyte in Elf Perennial Ryegrass provides improved resistance to several turfgrass insects; also has a high resistance to many turfgrass diseases.
Seeding rate 8 to 10 lbs/1000 sq. ft.
Cool-Season bunchgrass is an annual which germinates rapidly and
tolerates heavy soils, low pH ranges, and poor drainage. It continues
growing at low temperatures which makes it an excellent choice for a
fall-seeded cover crop. The fibrous root system and lush top growth
combine very well with a legume such as crimson clover, which also
provides extra nitrogen, to rapidly build organic matter and improve soil
texture as well as to increase soil fertility.
SEEDING RATE: 20 to 25 lbs
2 lbs per 1,000 square feet
Worldwide there are about a dozen species of ryegrass, including both
annual and perennial plants. In the United States, only two species are
used as turfgrasses - Italian ryegrass and perennial ryegrass. The species
is native to Europe and Asia and was introduced into the United States at
an early date.
The ryegrasses are widely distributed throughout the United States. In the
South, annual ryegrass appears each fall from natural reseeding. In the
transition zone, perennial ryegrass is used in mixtures with bluegrass for
sports fields. Ryegrasses are widely used as a temporary turfgrass throughout
the southern region for overseeding dormant warm season grasses.
Description. The ryegrasses (Lolium spp.) have a bunch-type growth
habit and spread by profuse tillers. The tillers (stems) are erect and reach
1 to 2 feet in length. The leaves are rather succulent, dark 003366 and glossy
on the underside. The leaf sheath is about as long as the internode and
auricles are clawlike, unusually clasping the sheath; the ligule is membranous.
The species is easily distinguished by the position of the multi-flowered
spikelets, edgewise to the rachis, and the absence of the first glume except
in the terminal spikelet. The infloresence is a long, slender spike (usually
4 to 6 inches long) with 15 to 30 solitary spikelets.
Mature ryegrass seed (florets) are 5 to 7 mm long, lanceolate and with or
without awns. Italian ryegrass (L. multiflorum) is rarely awnless; perennial
ryegrass (L. perenne) is awnless. Unlike most grasses, the rachilla segment
on the basal floret is long and stout. Seeds of ryegrass are very similar
to those of tall fescue. However, in ryegrass the rachilla segment has parallel
sides and the apex is not expanded (knobbed). In tall fescue, the rachilla
segment is tapered at the base and the apex is expanded into a disk, or
The ryegrasses flower in early spring and seed mature in early summer. The
annual species is a profilic seed producer. Natural reseedings develop each
fall where the grass is managed to produce seed. It is common on roadsides
each fall and winter from Texas to Florida.
Adaptation and Use. The ryegrasses are best adapted to moist, cool
environments where temperatures are not extreme in the winter or summer.
Many European countries have climates ideally suited to the ryegrasses.
In the United States, the northeastern and northwestern states are well
suited to ryegrass. In the transition zone, perennial ryegrass may provide
a permanent turfgrass. But in the southern states, both species serve as
cool season annuals.
The perennial species, L. perenne, is more cold tolerant than Italian ryegrass.
However, both species are killed by extreme winter temperatures.
Ryegrasses are adapted to a wide range of soil conditions, but favor moist,
well drained, fertile soils. The ryegrasses possess little drought tolerance
and must be irrigated during dry periods to ensure survival. Shade tolerance
of the ryegrasses is good in southern climates where shade conditions eliminate
the extreme heat during summer. Perennial ryegrass often survives the hot,
dry summers of the South in moderately shaded sites.
Both species of ryegrass are used for temporary grass cover during the fall
and winter months in the South. Their quick establishment from seed (rapid
germination and rapid seedling growth) makes them ideal for protection against
erosion on newly prepared sites in the fall. They are also used to provide
temporary 003366 color during winter months when bermudagrass is dormant.
The ryegrasses have become very popular for overseeding athletic fields,
golf courses and lawns during winter months. The improved turf-type perennial
ryegrasses have greater cold tolerance, wear tolerance, disease resistance
and persistence than the older types. New varieties also have better turf
characteristics - finer texture, greater density, darker color and better
In the transition zone, perennial ryegrasses may be used as permanent turfgrasses
on golf courses, athletic fields and, in mixtures with bluegrass, on lawns.
Varieties. At lease 50 improved ryegrass varieties have been developed
over the past 20 years. Most improvements have been in perennial ryegrass
although intermediate crosses have been made with Italian ryegrass. Improvements
in turf quality have been in the area of density, texture and color (Pennfine,
Manhatten and Derby); mowing quality (Palmer, Manhattan II, Delray and Loretta);
heat tolerance (Derby, Birdie, Palmer, Citation and Dasher); cold tolerance
(Eton, Goalie, NK-200 and Norlea); disease resistance (Manhattan II, Palmer,
Prelude and Delray); insect resistance (Repell); and drought tolerance (Palmer
Propagation. In California and many states where bluegrass is common,
ryegrass is often established from sod in mixtures with bluegrass. In the
southern states ryegrasses are established from seed. Ryegrasses are noted
for their fast establishment rate and are primarily used for temporary cover
in the South. Although ryegrass establishes quickly, it spreads slowly.
Thus, relatively high seeding rates are used for turf. On golf courses and
athletic fields where a fast, uniform cover is required, seeding rates of
25 to 40 pounds of ryegrass seed per 1,000 sq. ft. are commonly used. At
these seeding rates a complete turf cover can be expected in 20 days.
On bermudagrass lawns where color is more important than density, ryegrass
may be seeded at 5 to 7 pounds per 1,000 sq. ft. In these overseeding situations,
ryegrass seed are broadcast over the surface of a closely mowed bermudagrass
Seeding dates are very important when overseeding a bermudagrass turf. If
overseeding is done too early, bermudagrass competes with the ryegrass seedlings
and establishment may be poor. If overseeding is delayed, then cold temperatures
may delay germination. The recommended seeding date is 2 to 4 weeks before
the average first frost date.
In prepared seedbeds, ryegrass can be planted 10 to 12 weeks before the
average first frost date and seeding rates can be reduced in prepared seedbeds
to 3 to 5 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. Keep the seedbed moist for 10-14 days after
planting to obtain maximum germination. After 2 weeks reduce watering frequency
to an as needed basis.
To promote seedling growth, fertilize the seedbed prior to planting and
at 3 week intervals after planting. Use a starter fertilizer prior to planting
at a rate of 0.5 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. Follow up with soluble
nitrogen fertilizers applied at 3 week intervals at 0.5 lb. nitrogen per
1,000 sq. ft. until the desired cover develops.
Use fungicide-treated seed to control seedling diseases such as damping-off
caused by Pythium. To provide additional protection during the seedling
stage apply broad spectrum fungicides at 7 to 10 day intervals after planting.
Management. Of all turfgrasses used in the South, ryegrass probably
has the highest maintenance requirement. Mowing, watering, fertilization
and pest management needs of ryegrass are higher than for any southern turfgrass.
Ryegrass has a rapid growth rate in the spring and requires twice weekly
mowing at the taller heights - above 1 inch; mowing at 2 to 3 day intervals
at heights between ° and 1 inch and daily mowing at heights below °
Ryegrass is the least drought tolerant of the southern turfgrasses and needs
frequent watering in the spring and early summer. In many golf course situations,
daily watering is not unusual on ryegrass greenss and fairways. Even on lawns,
ryegrass is the first grass to show symptoms of drought stress.
The nitrogen requirement of ryegrass is relatively high during the growing
season - about 0.5 lb. per 1,000 sq. ft. per month from February through
May. On golf 003366s mowed daily with clippings removed, about 1 pound of
nitrogen per month is needed in the spring. On alkaline soils where iron
might be limited, monthly applications of iron greatly improve the color
Insects and diseases are serious pests to ryegrass. In the fall, during
establishment of ryegrass, seedling diseases caused by Pythium, Rhizoctonia
and Fusarium are problems. Leaf spot, dollar spot and rust are potential
problems in the spring. Regular preventive applications of fungicides are
needed on quality ryegrass turf such as found on golf courses and athletic
Insects, particularly sod webworms and cutworms, are a nuisance on ryegrass.
The dark green color of the grass attracts the moths that lay the eggs of
these insects. Often, several applications of insecticide or biological
worm control are needed during the spring and fall to control these insects