perennial ryegrass lawn (147346 bytes)

The Pro's and Con's of Perennial Ryegrass

By Robert Cox, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Horticulture

Perennial ryegrass can develop deeper roots where good soil preparation allows it, making it fairly drought- tolerant. However, there are some varieties of Kentucky bluegrass that can also develop deeper roots in a well-prepared soil. With its distinctive shiny blades, perennial ryegrass makes an attractive, high-quality lawn. It's sometimes mixed with Kentucky bluegrass in sods or seed packages for home lawns, parks or sports fields. Ryegrass seed germinates and establishes quickly, but it's prone to several diseases when mismanaged. It often doesn't mow as well as bluegrass when a rotary mower is used, and it may look a little ragged afterward. Ryegrass needs more nitrogen fertilizer than bluegrass to look its best. If nitrogen application is insufficient, ryegrass readily develops flower/seed stalks.

Photo courtesy of: Glenn Hardebeck, Purdue University

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010