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When to Plant Ryegrass Seed

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PLANT RYEGRASS WHEN DAYTIME TEMPERATURES ARE
BETWEEN 60 & 75 DEGREES:

Cool season grasses such as Annual and Perennial Ryegrass, grow best when the soil temperatures are between 50 and 65 degrees F. These temperatures usually occur when the daytime air temperatures are between 60 and 75 degrees. High temperatures of summer can cause these plants to go dormant and thus planting during summer is asking for problems. Start planting your cool season grass seeds when the fall temperatures reach 75° and are dropping as fall / winter approaches. Fall is the best / least risk planting time for cool season grasses.  Alternately the second choice is to plant in spring when spring temperatures have reached 60° and are rising in the spring -- again this is not the BEST time to plant cool season grass.

Dormancy can occur in cool season grasses affecting growth at temperatures above 90 and below 50 degrees. Basically cool season grasses slow down and stop growing when dormancy occurs. Also, be aware that a freezes and/or frost can damage or kill immature seedlings that have not had enough growing time with cool temps above freezing to harden off the plants to survive a return from dormancy.

Summer plantings (June / July / August) can be at higher risk of establishment issues if the grass is not closely monitored. In the southern US it is best to avoid planting cool season grasses during this period of the year (warm season grasses are okay to summer plant)... as you move into northern states you can certainly plant at this time but you will need to be able to monitor water needs and irrigate consistently, especially if temperatures spike or rainfall is absent. Periods of high heat and no rain or water can result in stand losses or even poor germination or seedling germ failure or death.

Ryegrasses -- Both Annual & Perennial -- are planted throughout the US states. Perennial ryegrass seed for permanent lawns are planted from the upper south and Midwest to Northern & Western state areas. Annual ryegrass seed are planted in all areas and will generally die as summer approaches. Perennials are also used in deep southern state areas for winter overseeding where they perform similar to annual ryegrass -- dying and completely dead as summer temperatures arrive.

These year round green grasses are best planted in the fall and spring of each year. Early fall is considered by turf experts to be the best planting date because this allows for more growing time under ideal growth conditions (fall and spring growing season). Spring is considered second best. In some special cases both fall and spring plantings help to increase successful cover on problem areas.

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