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When To Plant Winter Rye Grass In 2022


Depending on where you’re located, you should grow winter rye seed between August and October. You should sow rye seed in late fall if you’re located in Zones 6 and warmer. If you’re located in cold zones, you should plant winter rye seed in late September.

It’s that time of the year when we start thinking about planting a cover crop in preparation for winter. Has winter rye grass been on your mind? Ryegrass is one of the most commonly used cover crops because it’s so easy to plant and maintain.

Of all cereal grains, winter rye grass is the most winter hardy. It’s inexpensive, readily available and produces more dry matter in early spring than other cereal grains.

Thinking of planting annual ryegrass but not sure when to do it? Keep reading for all you need to know about selecting the perfect time!

What To Think About Before You Sow Winter Ryegrass Seed

Not Sure When To Plant Winter Rye Grass? Here’s What You Need To Know

If you’re thinking of planting winter rye grass as a cover crop, you need to remember that timing is crucial. 

There are two types of winter ryegrass: annual and perennial. The main difference between annual and perennial ryegrass is how frequently you’ll need to plant new seeds. Check out the video below by YouTube user Garden & Lawn for more information:

The time of year that you should sow rye grass depends on the USDA planting zone you’re located in. In most cases, it’s recommended that winter rye grass be sown from late October to November. It’s important to also keep in mind that if you intend for it to be a cover crop, your ryegrass needs to be established by the time the winter season comes around.

If you live in zones 3-5, try your best to plant the seeds as early as you can so you can avoid frost damage. If you live in zones 6-8, the best time to plant these seeds is mid-September to early October.

The exact date you need to plant the seeds varies by a couple of weeks depending on where you live, but in general, the seeds should be sown before air temperatures drop below 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12C).

Planted new grass seed and not sure when you can stop watering it? Read this to find out all you need to know about taking care of new grass seed!

Winter ryegrass is a cool season grass, so fall is a great time to plant it for ideal results. This type of grass thrives in cool weather when temperatures drop, as the seeds need both cool and warm weather to germinate. These conditions will also promote additional growth in early spring. 

Ryegrass is a fairly easy plant to grow. There aren’t any special or careful planting requirements, so you can just throw some seed around the designated area and then water it generously afterward. If you have a soil pH from 4.5 to 8.0, your ryegrass should grow beautifully!

Want to learn more about how to grow winter ryegrass? Check out this video by YouTube user ehowgarden:


How Late Can Winter Rye Be Planted?

Winter rye can be planted as late as the end of fall. This usually depends on what you intend to use the crop for. How late into the year you can plant it will differ if you’re using it as a cover crop or if it’s to stabilize soil.

Does Winter Rye Come Back Every Year?

Winter rye won’t come back every year. Rye seeds planted in fall are likely to die in summer or late summer months. If you’d like to have winter rye growing in your yard every year, planting ryegrass seeds every summer is a good idea.

How Late Can You Plant Winter Rye In Texas?

You can plant winter rye in Texas in October and early November. This is because it is generally understood that you should overseed annual ryegrass at least a month before the first frost. During this time, daytime highs of around 70°F and nighttime lows of above 50°F are expected.

When Should You Plant Winter Rye In Florida?

You should plant winter rye in Florida in November if you live in the north and early December if you’re from the south of Florida. The approximate daytime air temperatures expected during this time are between 60 and 75 degrees and this is when annual ryegrass forage production peaks.

When To Plant Winter Rye Grass In Georgia?

You can plant winter rye grass in Georgia in early fall. Rye is known as the most drought-tolerant grain in Georgia and it’s more tolerant of soil acidity compared to other winter grasses. Once planted, you can expect it to produce good grazing by late fall.

When To Plant Winter Rye Grass In The South?

You should plant winter rye grass in the south at the beginning of the fall season. Rye grass grows well during this time before the air temperature drops and the region experiences cool weather.

When Should Winter Grass Be Planted In Arizona?

You should plant winter grass in Arizona between early October and early November. During this time, the air temperature is ideal for germination and will result in healthy, luscious winter grass growth.

Ready To Get Planting?

Planting ryegrass is not as difficult as it’s sometimes made out to be. As long as you understand the factors that influence ryegrass growth such as weather and soil conditions, you’ll be able to determine when you need the plant to be established and how long before that you’ll need to plant it.

P.S. Don’t forget to check your USDA zone and plan accordingly for the best results.

I hope you found this article helpful! If you did, please feel free to leave us a comment below and share it with a friend.


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