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5 Best Fertilizers for Ryegrass

Most recommended
Builder Starter Food
  • Style: Standard
  • 16 x 12 x 3 inches
  • Item Weight 16.1 pounds
A good choice too
Water Soluble Lawn Food
  • Miracle-Gro
  • Size: 5 lb
  • Item Weight 5 pounds
A good choice too
Southern Lawn Food
  • Scotts Turf Builder
  • Style: Standard
  • Item Weight 14.17 pounds
Turf Builder Lawn Food
  • Brand: Scotts
  • Feeds and greens
  • Apply to any
Green-Up Lawn Fertilizer
  • Brand: Jonathan Green
  • Item Weight 45.5 pounds
  • 28 x 15.5 x 3 inches

Choose the Best Fertilizer for Ryegrass

Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Fertilizers for Ryegrass

23 users answered this survey. Please help us improve this review!

26.09% of users selected Builder Starter Food, 13.04% selected Water Soluble Lawn Food, 13.04% selected Southern Lawn Food, 21.74% selected Turf Builder Lawn Food and 26.09% selected Green-Up Lawn Fertilizer. Every month we analyze your answers and change our rating.

Ryegrass is one of the most popular lawn grasses in North America. It’s easy to maintain, has a deep green color year-round, and looks great on any property. But when it comes to fertilizing ryegrass, there are many different opinions about what fertilizer you should use. Which fertilizer will give your lawn the best results? Read on for an overview of some common fertilizers for ryegrass and top picks!

Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass – the Editor’s choice!

The powerful Scotts fertilizer helps new grass grow up to 70% thicker and 35% quicker than unfed grass, making it the perfect choice for anyone looking to renovate their lawn.

It’s also great for sod and grass plugs, providing the nutrients they need to get off to a strong start. Best of all, this product is safe for any type of grass, so you can rest assured that your new lawn will be healthy and beautiful. Coverage is 5,000 square feet – enough to cover even the largest lawns.

The Scotts Starter turf food is an exception fertilizer for ryegrass lawns. However, to get optimal results, you must check the fertilizer ratio and adjust it if necessary. Furthermore, from the very start, it contains all of the important nutrients needed to grow healthy and robust lawns. The package also has a large quantity of starter food for big lawns available.

  • Helps to grow thick grass;
  • Good coverage area;
  • Strong roots maintenance;
  • Good for fertilizing before seeding the lawn;

  • Not for sale in Florida;
  • Expensive;
  • Requires more watering than before using;

Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass is the perfect way to give your grass the nutrients it needs to grow thick and healthy. This powerful 24-25-4 fertilizer ratio provides essential nutrients for developing lawns and helps new grass grow up to 70% thicker than unfed grass. It’s also great for sod and grass plugs, so you can get your lawn looking its best in no time.

Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Lawn Food – the best coverage area!

Miracle-Go is a popular supplier of fertilizers. Their Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Lawn Food is quite comparable and of high quality. It quickly nourishes all types of grass. It encourages your grass to become a luxurious, soft carpet of green. Its primary goal is to make the grass brighter, not necessarily to grow it. While it does assist in growth somewhat, its main aim isn’t to do so.

One bag can feed up to 7,200 square feet. This is a lot more than most fertilizers. This, coupled with a low price, makes it an extremely cost-effective product. It’s intended to be used in the Miracle-Gro Garden Feeder, but it may also be used in other feeders. This solution contains plenty of nitrogen and iron, which aids in the growth of greener grass.

  • The coverage area is about 7,200 sq. ft.;
  • A fast way to improve thick and green lawn;
  • Budget-friendly;
  • Compatible with all grass types;
  • The grass becomes soft;

  • Can burn your lawn;
  • Leaves clothes and fingers;
  • Won’t kill weed or moss;

Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Lawn Food is the easy way to make sure your lawn gets off to a great start. This 24-25-4 fertilizer ratio provides the nutrients your lawn needs to grow thicker, faster, and stronger. It’s safe for any grass type, so you can use it whether you’re planting new grass, starting a new lawn, or reseeding an existing one.

Scotts Turf Builder Southern Lawn Food – the best for Southern lawns!

If you’re looking to keep your lawn in great shape all year round, look no further than Scotts Turf Builder Southern Lawn Food! This product is specially formulated feed for Southern lawns and that is why it may help protect them against heat and drought.

Not only that, but it will also improve your lawn’s ability to absorb water and nutrients – meaning a healthier, lusher yard. And since it’s pet-friendly, you can rest assured that your furry friends can run and play without worrying about any harmful chemicals.

  • Recommended for Southern lawns;
  • Pet-friendly;
  • Can be applied all-year-round;
  • Can be applied to any grass type;
  • Helps to improve strong roots;
  • Slow-release nitrogen formula;

  • Only for the summer season;
  • May burn your lawn grass;
  • The new formula doesn’t have phosphorus (despite the description);

When it comes to putting your grass first, this is the perfect solution. And, immediately, the lawn will have an ally in the fight against weeds. This product is also adaptable enough to be used all year and on any sort of Southern grass. It’s a great option if you don’t know what your grass needs or doesn’t want to make any mistakes.

Scotts Liquid Turf Builder Lawn Food Fertilizer – the best for easy application!

Liquid Turf Builder Lawn Food Fertilizer from Scotts is a ready-to-use bottle that’s easy to use and ideal for newly sown grass.

You may feed and water your lawn all at the same time with this device, which will help you keep the verdant appeal that attracts everyone’s attention. The Scotts product is the quickest and most convenient method to meet all of your grass requirements, and it works on every type of grass. Even application is simple, and actively growing grass produces the greatest outcomes.

This solution also has a high reputation for being efficient. Its efficiency is unrivaled, as it can be used on any sort of grass and simultaneously water and feed the lawn.

  • Easy to apply;
  • Great for any grass type;
  • Good for actively growing turf;
  • No mixing required;
  • Good for newly sown lawn;

  • Not enough coverage;
  • May require a season to get visible results;
  • Bad package;

Scotts Liquid Turf Builder Lawn Food Fertilizer is a ready-to-use bottle of lawn food that strengthens and feeds your lawn to help protect it against future problems. This fertilizer is ideal for newly sown grass, and there’s no mixing required! The easy administration makes it a breeze to use, and the effective nutrient delivery will improve your grass health.

Jonathan Green 11989 Green-Up Lawn Fertilizer – the best for the slow-release formula!

Green-Up Lawn Food is a fast, deep greening nitrogen that may be used on all types of grass and will nourish the lawn for up to three months.

This product’s polymer-coated nitrogen maintains a slow and steady food supply, preventing an early spring grass surge that leads to less clippings when mowing. If crabgrass isn’t an issue, Green-Up is the greatest fertilizer to use in the early spring.

  • Slow-release formula;
  • Special 12-week program;
  • Strong resistance against diseases and drought;
  • The large coverage area is 15, 000 sq. ft.;
  • Good for making your lawn dark green;

  • Not recommended for the summer season;
  • Application is sometimes uneven;

This 12-week lawn care program contains controlled-release nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron, and sulfur, which will aid in your plants’ healthy growth. Plus, the fertilizer also helps build resistance against drought and disease. And with a good coverage area of up to 15,000 sq. ft., it’s perfect for large yards. Best of all, it leaves lawns looking dark green and healthy.

The Buyer’s Guide

Does Ryegrass Need Fertilizer?

Ryegrass seed germination time is fast once it has been properly fertilized and irrigated. Perennial ryegrass, on the other hand, needs more attention for fertilizer application and water irrigation. Cereal rye, on the other hand, seldom requires extra fertilizer. They are resistant to drought and soil erosion as a result of their hardiness.

Perennial ryegrass fertilizer must contain more phosphorus and potassium than nitrogen in order to be effective. The root core is strengthened by phosphorus and potassium. Although existing legumes can partially meet the need for nitrogen, they do not completely fulfill it. As a result, a lesser amount of nitrogen in the fertilizer has little effect.

The lack of fertilizer, or a weak soil pH, causes plants to shirr and become yellow during the growing season [1].  

Main Features:

New Seeds vs. Established Lawns

In general, a unique fertilizer is required for young ryegrass versus established grass. To assist new seeds to establish a firm root system, use a starter fertilizer or a “slow-release” fertilizer when seeding. Avoid weed and seed choices as these fertilizers frequently include weed-stopping components that can harm seedlings.

To keep ryegrass going strong, you’ll need more nitrogen than seedlings. Micronutrients are also critical for maintaining grass green and robust throughout the year. Pure nitrogen fertilizers and organic fertilizers are among the greatest choices for your established ryegrass [2].  

Soil Testing

Before you choose a fertilizer for your ryegrass, it’s crucial to understand the nutrients that are naturally present in your soil. You’ll find out how much fertilizer and which kinds will work best for your soil when you have your soil tested. If you fertilize without first testing, you risk getting nutrient imbalances that will harm your grass, water quality, and livestock grazing on the lawn.  

What is the N-P-K Ratio?

The three numbers on a fertilizer bag are N-P-K in the form of N-P-K. Nitrogen is represented by N, phosphorus by P, and potassium by K. These figures represent the proportion of the nutrient in terms of weight within the fertilizer. The N-P-K ratios are critical because they reveal what effect the fertilizer will have on your new seeds or established grass when you apply it.

Check the Content List

The primary substances in fertilizer are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Both plant and fruit growth are aided by nitrogen. Phosphorus promotes root development. Soil fertility is also maintained with a high NPK-ratio fertilizer [3]

Nature of the Fertilizer

In a situation like when your plant requires fertilizer to recover from drooping, liquid fertilizers work faster than solid ones. These liquid fertilizers are absorbed directly into the root and help to strengthen the shady grass in areas with uneven light.

Amount of the Product

It’s no surprise that a little amount of grass is enough to fertilize a large area of grass. A pound and half of the lawn food will suffice for 5,000 square feet of lawn for each application. As a result, it eliminates the hassle of frequent buying. Granular fertilizers require far more than liquid ones in terms of quantity.


When the product fulfills the manufacturer’s claims, it demonstrates that it is capable of producing the desired outcomes. When fertilizers are eco-friendly and are meant to work best on particular plants and grass, they must be able to meet their needs.


Some of the gold standard fertilizers may not be within your budget. You may pay extra for items from well-known brands. 


What is the best time to fertilize ryegrass?

Although ryegrass may be seeded on the surface without disturbing the soil, it will take a long time to germinate and is unlikely to provide grazing before February.

Running a spring tine-type pasture renovator on the contour to break up the sod might be used to disturb the soil without eradicating permanent sod. This loosens the compacted surface area and allows water and organic trash to enter the root zone of the sod without destroying it. 

To enhance germination, seed 40 pounds of ryegrass per acre, harrow to smooth, then culti-pack within a week of planting.

This product may also increase the use of stored moisture and nutrients the following summer, resulting in a better pasture. You may also streak or slightly till the sod area with a disk (with the angle straightened) at a 45-degree angle to smooth the field and cover some of the seed. When you sow ryegrass seed after tilling, run a disk (with the angle straightened) at a 45-degree angle to smooth the earth and cover some of the seeds.

If you utilize a light seedbed preparation, ryegrass can usually be grazed by early February. Ryegrass that is over-seeded around October 20 or later should be fertilized with 60 to 70 pounds of actual nitrogen at planting time in order for the grass to get the most possible development before winter. 

At this time, you may apply lime, phosphate, and potash continuously. 

High nitrogen applications before October 20 above Highway 84 may stimulate permanent sod, especially Bahia grass, and create competition with the young ryegrass. In most cases, do not start over-seeding in north Mississippi until after October 1, central Mississippi until after October 10, and south Mississippi until after October 20.

In mid-February, fertilize overseeded permanent pasture with another 60 to 70 pounds of actual nitrogen (equivalent to 200 pounds ammonium nitrate) per acre. To prevent ryegrass from developing up and suppressing the permanent grass, allow it to graze heavily in April and early May [4].

Can you fertilize winter ryegrass?

Perennial ryegrass thrives on somewhat damp soil, so it needs moderate levels of water. Water only if necessary, and thoroughly wet the soil until it is moist, not soggy. During the growing season, fertilizer should be applied every 4-6 weeks.

After the second mowing, use a fertilizer like 16-4-8 or 15-0-15 to apply one-half pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet (this is 3 pounds of fertilizer per 1000 sq. ft.). 

If required, add another half pound of nitrogen during mid-winter to keep ryegrass color and development.

Turf-type perennial ryegrass is also used in those applications, although it creates a permanent lawn that reappears every year in the right places. Turf-type perennial ryegrass is a cool-season grass, which means it grows best during the fall through spring seasons [5]

How many seeds of ryegrass can be sown per acre?

In general, however, these grasses have a wide range of tolerance to soil conditions and thrive best on rich soils with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. They do well in areas with mild climates. They are unable to withstand extreme heat or bitter cold. With adequate surface drainage, they can survive reasonably wet ground for annual grass. The Annual Ryegrass is found throughout the United States.

The seed should be planted 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep in a well-prepared seedbed. In March, April, or May, spring ryegrass may be sown. Depending on location, annual ryegrass can be transplanted from mid-August through early November. When ryegrass is planted alone, a rate of 30 to 40 pounds per acre is most common. Depending on the purpose and companions, 6 to 10 pounds per acre might be appropriate in mixtures. 

Because ryegrass is highly competitive due to fast germination and strong seedling vigor, the annual ryegrass component of a mix should not exceed 20% [6]

How do you make your ryegrass thicker?

Ryegrass has been classified as an “allelopathic” grass. This implies it emits chemicals through the roots or in other ways that prevent other plants from growing. Many trees and grasses (particularly weedy ones) fit this description. Another example is black walnut trees.

Ryegrass that is over-seeded into Bermuda grass in the research showed that the Bermuda grass began to deteriorate over time. This becomes more apparent in the spring when the Bermuda grass resumes development. It weeds out and takes longer to thicken up [7].

When you feed your lawn fertilizer on a regular basis, the grass grows densely. Leave the grass clippings on the lawn when you mow it. Grass clippings account for up to 30% of a lawn’s fertilizer requirement.

To feed the grass and the soil’s microbial life, apply a slow-release, organic granular fertilizer – such as a dry, 11-2-2 organic product – at a rate of 7.3 pounds per 1,000 square feet. 

Healthy soil encourages grass growth. Apply the grass thickener at a rate of 7.3 pounds per 1,000 square feet or follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Different grasses require various fertilization doses, but most grasses profit from a fertilizer application 3-4 times a year. It’s important to avoid over-fertilization. Too much nitrogen in the form of grass thickener is harmful to grass, and fertilizer runoff from lawns pollutes groundwater [8].

What kind of soil does ryegrass need or will ryegrass grow in poor soil?

Ryegrass thrives in fertile, well-drained loam or sandy loam soils, but it will establish on a wide range of soil types, including poor or rocky soils. It can grow in clay or poorly draining soil regardless of the weather and will outperform small grains on wet ground.

Annual ryegrass has a biennial tendency in cool areas. If it survives in the winter, it will grow fast and bear seed in late spring. Although only a few plants survive for more than one year, this reseeding quality can cause weed issues in certain regions, such as the mid-Atlantic or other regions with mild winters.

It can be a major weed problem in maize and wheat crops in the Midwestern and Southern Plains. It’s also been discovered to develop herbicide resistance, which adds to the danger of having weeds [9]

How often should you fertilize ryegrass?

During the summer growing season, only once every four to six weeks should fertilizer be applied. To supply the nitrogen required by your Annual ryegrass lawn, plant a low-growing clover such as White Dutch Clover [10]

How do you green up ryegrass?

Nitrogen fertilizers can be used to green up ryegrass lawns. Nitrogen is responsible for the plants’ and turfgrass’ dark green color. You’ll need a fertilizer with at least 20% nitrogen content. After applying the fertilizer, water it in well so that it may get to the roots.

In the southern two-thirds of the United States, perennial and annual ryegrass are the best options for over-seeding dormant lawns. When your warm-season grass goes dormant in the winter, ryegrass will provide a green cover.

Ryegrass is a versatile grass that thrives in both sunlight and shade. However, there is a distinction between annual and perennial ryegrass. Annual ryegrass is usually less expensive, but perennial ryegrass has superior turf properties and disease resistance, which comes in handy during the warmer months when the disease becomes more prevalent.

Annual ryegrass is typically lighter in color than perennial ryegrass, and it’s usually harsher in texture. 

Perennial ryegrass, on the other hand, lives longer into the spring and summer than annual ryegrasses – particularly in shade – that might be an irritation for some homeowners. 

Annual and perennial ryegrass can also be found as a mix [11]

Is lime good for ryegrass?

Lime is good for ryegrass, but you should avoid using it too much. Excess lime can raise the pH of your soil and make it difficult for other plants to grow. It’s best to test your soil’s pH before applying any liming materials. You can use a simple home kit or have your local extension office do a soil test for you. 

If your soil needs lime, try to apply it in the fall so that it has time to break down and work its way into the soil before planting in the spring. 

What is a good starter fertilizer?

A lawn starter fertilizer that is high in phosphorus and fast-releasing nitrogen is ideal for seeding a lawn. Planting sod or boosting an existing grass with a slow-release fertilizer that is high in nitrogen is preferable [12]

How do you take care of ryegrass?

Perennial ryegrass is a cool-season grass that grows best in regions with mild weather. It’s the gorgeous, long-leafed, soft-to-the-touch turf variety that makes you want to sit, relax, and play on it. The sight of a good area of perennial ryegrass lawn is breathtaking, which is why we continue to cultivate them.

Perennial ryegrass is frequently used in a blend, with the emphasis on the winter months when other types are dormant and the ryegrass struggles. 

However, with adequate care and maintenance, it is feasible to produce a gorgeous area of pure perennial ryegrass turf [13]:

  • Water. Perennial ryegrasses require just the right amount of watering, according to lawn types. If you have enough rain during the colder months, they’ll be content to sit dormant. However, in summer or when there is a drought, they will need more care. Make sure that the whole area is damp but not soggy with regular watering. The key is to water regularly rather than soak the grass once;
  • Fertilizer. Perennial ryegrass should be fertilized at least once a month, but twice a month is even better during the growing season. It’s the nitrogen that the grass particularly requires, so bear it in mind when selecting a fertilizer;
  • Mowing. The fast germination time of ryegrass is one of its most well-known characteristics. In as little as three days, you can see your ryegrass seeds sprouting. It’s a fast grower that covers ground quickly. The flip side of this is that it necessitates frequent mowing! To maintain a lush, healthy lawn, you’ll need to trim it down to between 6 and 12cm several times each week. You may select the length that you prefer but it’s critical to keep an eye on the grass growth to maintain it at that ideal height;
  • Pest control. Ryegrass is allelopathic, which means it inhibits the growth of other plants and emits chemicals into the soil. The wonderful thing about this is that your perennial ryegrass turf comes with a built-in weed control mechanism! Weeds aren’t usually a significant problem on your grass. Insects, on the other hand, are another story. You’ll need to be aware of pests and use pesticides as needed;

What is considered high nitrogen fertilizer?

Put simply, nitrogen fertilizer is a kind of nourishment supplied to plants, veggies, and grass by gardeners and farmers.

The fertilizer’s major component, in this case, nitrogen, plays a crucial part in plant development and growth. The NPK value is listed on the label of every fertilizer product. This number, for example, 10-2-3, represents the ratio of active components in the product formula.

The macro-nutrients of interest are Nitrogen (N), Phosphate (P), and Potassium (K), which match the number on the compound list. 

Each of these macronutrients has a distinct impact on the plant. Protein, carbohydrates, and fat have specific demands in the human diet [14].

How late can you plant ryegrass?

The optimum time to plant annual ryegrass is from the middle of August until the end of September, after harvest. It is possible to seed as late as mid-October, but it becomes increasingly weather-dependent as you go north [15]

Does ryegrass grow in shade?

Kentucky bluegrass or perennial ryegrass is shade-averse grasses. They do well in full light or moderate light, and seed mixes high in these grasses are frequently the cause of a lack of growth in the shade. The finest cool-season shade grasses include fescues [16]

What is the fastest way to add nitrogen to soil?

It’s not going to be possible to add nitrogen to your plants through the soil – it’ll have to come from their leaves! When you require a fast supply of N, foliar fertilizer is your friend. Use a combination of liquid fish emulsion and liquid kelp to make a solution. Within 24-48 hours, leaf color will differ significantly [17].

Useful Video: Perennial Ryegrass Overseed – Fertilizer Application – Update

Final thoughts 

The best fertilizers for ryegrass are all about finding the right balance of nutrients that will nourish your lawn. If you’re not sure which fertilizer is ideal, take a look at the guide to help you choose! There are many different opinions when it comes to what fertilizer should be used on ryegrass, so feel free to read up before making any final decisions. Hopefully, this overview helps in your search for the perfect fertilizer and maybe even saves you some time too.


  1. https://secretgardenhelp.com/best-fertilizer-for-ryegrass/
  2. https://handymanprollc.com/best-fertilizers-for-rye-grass-reviews/
  3. https://secretgardenhelp.com/best-fertilizer-for-ryegrass/
  4. http://extension.msstate.edu/publications/forage-winter-annual-grasses-for-grazing
  5. https://findanyanswer.com/can-i-fertilize-winter-rye-grass
  6. https://www.alliedseed.com/forage/annual-ryegrass/
  7. https://www.lawn-care-academy.com/ryegrass.html
  8. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/grass-thin-thicken-grass-105265.html
  9. https://www.sare.org/publications/managing-cover-crops-profitably/nonlegume-cover-crops/annual-ryegrass
  10. https://www.ryegrasses.com/maintenance/index.html
  11. https://sodsolutions.com/blog/how-to-keep-your-lawn-green-during-the-winter/
  12. https://lawnchick.com/when-to-fertilize-new-grass/
  13. https://www.mckaysgrassseeds.com.au/care-perfect-patch-perennial-ryegrass-lawn/
  14. https://theyardandgarden.com/best-nitrogen-fertilizer/#what-is-considered-high-nitrogen-fertilizer
  15. https://ryegrasscovercrop.com/researc/plantingarg/
  16. https://www.thespruce.com/best-shade-grass-for-lawn-2153123
  17. https://growfully.com/how-to-add-nitrogen-to-soil/