How to Get Rid of Ryegrass

Written by jourdan townsend
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How to Get Rid of Ryegrass
Rye is a valuable grain rarely found outside its designated area. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Ryegrass, sometimes mistakenly confused with rye grain, generally is viewed as an invasive, rapidly growing weed. Because it does most of its growing during the winter months and has a long, tangled root system, it often is the headache of gardeners and lawn lovers when spring rolls around. In some areas, ryegrass has become naturally resistant to chemicals that were once widely applied to control its encroachment. This has turned it into a disliked, small-grain plants. One of the best natural methods remaining to fight ryegrass growth is smothering.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Lawnmower
  • Plastic tarps
  • Wooden stakes
  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • Herbicide
  • Sod or grass seed

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  1. 1

    Set a lawnmower to its lowest cutting level. Mow the entire area of ryegrass while the weather is still warm.

  2. 2

    Cover the clipped ryegrass with plastic tarps and secure them with wooden stakes. Keep the ryegrass covered during the hottest weather to kill it.

  3. 3

    Avoid watering parts of the lawn that closely border the areas of ryegrass. Otherwise, the ryegrass may steal the moisture and continue to grow.

  4. 4

    Remove the tarps when the hottest weather has passed. Rake up the dead ryegrass. Dig up any deeply embedded roots with a shovel until you are left with bare soil.

  5. 5

    Aerate the soil and leave it fallow until the spring. Examine the area for any new ryegrass growth over the winter. Apply an herbicide to any remaining ryegrass and wait for it to die before planting sod or grass seed in the area. Follow the label instructions for application details for the herbicide.

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