Perennial ryegrass is a cool season variety that’s best adapted to coastal areas with moderate temperatures. It’s that beautiful, rich green, long-leafed, soft-to-touch turf type that just makes you want to sit, lay, and play on it. A good patch of perennial ryegrass lawn is a sight to behold, which is one of the reasons we persist with growing them.
Perennial ryegrass is often used in a blend, where it will come to the fore in the winter months where other types lay dormant, and then the other types will take over in summer where the ryegrass struggles. It is possible, though, with the right care and maintenance, to grow a lovely patch of pure perennial ryegrass turf.
Water: As far as lawn types go, perennial ryegrasses only need an average amount of watering. In the cooler months, they’re quite happy to be left alone if you have some decent rainfall. In summer, however, or in times of drought, they’ll need a little more attention. Water regularly, making sure that the entire area is moist but not soaked. The trick is regular watering rather than once-off soakings.
Fertiliser: Perennial ryegrass needs to be fertilised at least once a month, twice a month is best during growing months. It’s the nitrogen which the grass particularly needs, so keep this in mind when choosing a fertiliser.
Mowing: If there’s one feature that ryegrass is known for, it’s its quick germination time. In as short a time frame as three days you can see your ryegrass seeds sprouting. It’s a quick grower and is great for covering ground rapidly. The flip side of this is that it means you’ll have the mower out frequently! You want to match the growth of the grass to regularly trim it down to between 6-12cm. You can choose which length you prefer it at, but it’s important to stay on top of the lawn growth to keep it at that preferred height.
Pest control: Ryegrass is allelopathic, meaning that the grass inhibits growth of other plants because it releases chemicals into the soil. The great thing about this is that your perennial ryegrass turf has an in-built weed control mechanism! Weeds shouldn’t be too much of a problem with your lawn. Insects, however, are another story. You’ll need to keep an eye out for pests and apply insecticide when necessary.
Those clever scientists have developed a perennial ryegrass that is more durable and resistant than the classic varieties. Regenerating Perennial Ryegrass (RPR) has creeping stems (pseudo-stolons) which allow the grass to regenerate without reseeding. It is more resistant to pests than standard varieties and copes better in a wider range of climate conditions.
If you were reluctant to opt for a perennial ryegrass lawn due to its reputation as high-maintenance, RPR is the solution. This seed type is allowing more people to grow their own patch of lush ryegrass lawn.
When it comes to choosing a seed type for your lawn, there is a lot to consider. Often it’s a balancing act between your local soil and weather conditions, what you want to use the lawn for, and how much effort you’re willing to put into care and maintenance. Perennial ryegrass is the ultimate in lush lawn which you’ll just want to spend all day laying on. But the tradeoff is that it won’t thrive in every area and will need a little bit of TLC to maintain its magic.
Thankfully, the development of RPR has opened up the option of a successful perennial ryegrass lawn to more people in more areas. Don’t be afraid to strive for the dream patch of lawn – it is as simple as keeping it watered, mowed, fertilised, and pest-controlled. Perennial ryegrass’ reputation as high-maintenance isn’t necessarily founded – don’t let it deter you from choosing this seed type. You get out what you put in with a perennial ryegrass lawn, and a lush green lawn is well within your reach.
Talk to the team at McKays to get your RPR lawn underway today!