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Annual Ryegrass

Annual Ryegrass (Loilum multiflorum)

Annual ryegrass is a specialist grass seed that is used in mixtures where germination is required in the fastest possible time and at cold temperatures. For this reason, it is often used in ‘emergency repair’ grass seed mixtures. As the name suggests, it is an annual species, which means that after one year it will die off. Therefore, if it is being used for a permanent fix it should always be blended with perennial ryegrass grass seed to give lasting results.

Annual species = A plant which completes its life cycle in one year before dying.

Biennial species = A plant which completes its life cycle in two years before dying.

Perennial species = A plant that will live longer than two years, possibly indefinitely.

Key Characteristics

  • Rapid germination
  • Ability to germinate at very low temperatures
  • Will die back after one year
  • Ideal for use in rapid repair situations

Sowing times

Annual ryegrass seed can germinate at soil temperatures as low as 4 degrees Celsius. Subject to the individual site conditions and the prevailing weather, it could germinate twelve months a year.

Germination time

Hard fescue seed can germinate in as little as 5 days, subject to conditions.

What is annual ryegrass used for?

Lawn repairs: Because annual ryegrass germinates fast and almost year-round, it makes an ideal grass seed for repairing damaged areas on lawns. Quite often family lawns do not get any rest, so a fast germination grass seed can really help to repair damaged areas of a lawn. It is important that any mixtures containing annual ryegrass also contain some perennial ryegrass as well to give longer lasting results.

Rapid establishment: Annual ryegrass is the fastest germinating grass seed species available. This means it makes an ideal ingredient to use in mixtures for steep banks where it is critical to get establishment before the seed gets washed or blown off the slope. In some specialist embankment grass seed mixtures, the annual ryegrass acts as a ‘nurse crop’ – establishing fast and providing shelter for other slower to establish species to germinate.

Winter grass seed mixtures: Annual ryegrass can germinate at temperatures as low as 4 degrees Celsius. This unique property means that it is often used in mixtures designed to be sown over the winter months.

Football & rugby pitches: During the winter months annual ryegrass is used to repair damage to football and rugby pitches between games. It is often used in football goal mouths and along touchlines as these are always the first areas to begin to struggle.

Farms: The main areas that annual ryegrass is used is on farms for feeding animals. But do not be put off, the annual ryegrass that we use in our mixtures is completely different and has been specially bred into a dwarf type for use on lawns and sports pitches.