Perennial ryegrass is a low maintenance, cool weather grass and one of the toughest and wearable turfs available. Ryegrass is also known for its quick germination period and is used extensively for establishing new lawns. It does require a little more fertilizer than other grass types, but is not damaged by over fertilizing. Starting your new lawn with perennial ryegrass can be done easily with just a few steps.
Step 1 - Prepare the Ground
When establishing a new lawn, take some time to prepare the ground to make your planting much easier. Using a rake, level out the yard. If you have a large area, use a lawn tractor with a rake attachment.
Make sure any rocks are picked up and that the entire area is as level as you can get it. Take an aerator attachment and run over the surface to give the seeds a place to establish their roots and for air and water to penetrate.
Step 2 - Spread Fertilizer
Using an all purpose fertilizer, spread it in a uniform manner over the entire surface area of the lawn.
Step 3 - Water Lawn
After you have spread out fertilizer on the lawn, water the lawn with a lawn sprinkler so you can get the most coverage. Set it up for at least 15 minutes in each area for a good soaking, but not enough to make puddles and mud.
Step 4 - Sow Perennial Ryegrass Seed
Immediately after you water the fertilizer, begin sowing your grass seed. Using a seed spreader will help you keep a level distribution so there won't be any bare spots. Make sure you have enough seed on hand. You need approximately 10 lbs. of grass seed for every 1000 square feet of lawn.
TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Kathy Bosin adds, "Apply a thin layer of straw on top of the grass seed. The necessary addition of straw on top of the grass seed prevents the soil from running off, keeps the seed in place, and hides the seed from hungry birds."
Step 5 - Water a Second Time
After you have sewn your grass seed, thoroughly water the lawn again. Again, do not soak it so that there are puddles or mud. Keep a very close eye on how fast the water is drawn into the soil so you know when to stop.
Step 6 - Water Once a Day
For a new lawn, water is essential to getting the nutrients it needs. Continue watering the new perennial ryegrass lawn once a day until the rye grass begins to sprout. This should be within seven days after you have planted. Once the grass begins to sprout, water four times a week for a few weeks.
TIP: Kathy recommends, "When establishing a new lawn, do not mow the young grass until it is quite high and getting thick. By allowing the young seedlings to grow tall, the root systems are strengthened. This promotes the overall health of the new lawn."