• Call (800) 479-6583
  • Mon-Fri 8am-5pm
  • |
  • Sat 9am-5pm

How to Eliminate Annual Ryegrass on Your LawnImage result for annual ryegrass control


Annual ryegrass has gained a reputation for being a favored turfgrass and is even used to overseed home lawns during cold winter months. For farmers and ranchers, it is also frequently grown as a cover crop to provide food for grazing cattle. While it is valued in some cases for its adaptability, quick establishment, and aggressive growth, it could also be a cause for concern since these very same traits are also considered to be characteristics of a weed. Annual ryegrass can be particularly troublesome to control because of it’s ability to adapt to and resist herbicide applications. Fortunately, there is a way to keep annual ryegrass under control and we here at Solutions Pest and Lawn will show you how to do so and what you will need.

Annual Ryegrass Background Information

Annual ryegrass is a winter annual found throughout the United States that has a fibrious root system and may reach heights of up to 3 feet .Annual ryegrass is also called Italian ryegrass and is closely related to perennial ryegrasses. Stems are often tinged red at the base, and leaves are rolled in the bud with claw-like auricles in the collar region. Leaf blades are 2-1/2 to 8 inches long, 1/8 to 1/4 inches wide, and have a membranous ligule. The seedhead is a 4- to 16-inch-long spike with spikelets that have long awns arranged alternately up the stem. Rye grass grows in bunches rather than individual blades and is characterized by a yellow at the base which develops into dark green leaf blades. Although ryegrass typically only survives one year, if the grass produces seed before dying, the seed will sprout the following year.

Annual ryegrass is highly adaptable as it can grow in a variety of soil types except for excessively drained or very poorly drained soils. In order to survive, annual ryegrass requires medium to high soil fertility. It is best adapted to areas with long seasons of cool, moist weather. It can survive short periods of flooding if well established. Annual ryegrass are unable to tolerate hot, dry weather and these conditions speed maturity.

Although ryegrass is looked at as beneficial when growing crops and revegetating disturbed sites, it may usually be seen as a regret to farmers who choose to grow it as it very quickly becomes a troublesome pest in farmers’ cash crop.


Options to Control Annual Ryegrass


Annual ryegrass is resistant to a number of herbicides. What has been most successful when it comes to controlling annual ryegrass has been Glyphosate or Roundup as well as Revolver herbicide. What you choose depends on your preference and budget. It is important to note that timing and technique is especially important when applying herbicides to a persistent pest like annual ryegrass.

Controlling ryegrass is best done in the Springtime when the weather is warmer and when the weed is actively growing. It is important to not let the ryegrass go to seed or it may create additional weed management problems.  If annual ryegrass is allowed to reach the flowering stage, control may become easier, but some viable seed may develop.

When using glyphosate be sure to be careful not to let the chemical come into contact with your desired vegetation. Refer to the instruction label for the correct mixing and application rates.


Annual Ryegrass Tips and Recommendations

  • Wait two weeks and examine the lawn for new rye grass which may have sprouted from seeds. Apply a second application of herbicide if evidence of new ryegrass is found.

  • Use a hand-pump sprayer with a fan tip nozzle. Spraying a fine mist is best when applying herbicides to annual bluegrass so that entire plant if completely coated.

  • Remember that the label is the law. Be sure to look towards the instructions on the label for proper application and mixing rates.

  • When handling any pesticide be sure to wear the right protective equipment to cover your skin, eyes, nasal openings and mouth.

  • For more detailed guides and demonstrations on how to use herbicides, please check out our knowledge base or our How-To Videos

For more information on controlling annual ryegrass on your lawn and to get advice catered to your unique issue from experts, contact us at askapro@solutionsstores.com or call our customer service line at (800) 479-6583.

Contact Us