Annual Ryegrass

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Annual ryegrass (Festuca perennis), also referred to as Italian ryegrass, is a bunch-type grass that can be used as a nurse crop for quick cover or for winter overseeding of bermudagrass on low maintenance athletic fields or golf courses. It does not possess the quality of perennial ryegrass and is not recommended for sites where high quality turf is desired. However, it is very inexpensive and can be used on low profile fields such as school, park or recreation sites where winter color is desirable. Its seedhead can be confused with that of quackgrass. Annual ryegrass does not have rhizomes, whereas quackgrass does. Annual ryegrass can be easily confused with tall fescue. However, tall fescue has rough leaf blade margins on the lower 13 - 12 of the leaf whereas annual ryegrass has smooth ones. Tall fescue has non-clasping auricles, whereas annual ryegrass has clasping auricles. The backside of the tall fescue leaf blade is less glossy than that of annual ryegrass.

Annual Ryegrass as a Weed

Cultural Control

Annual ryegrass is a common weed problem in turfgrasses on roadsides in the southeastern United States. Maintaining a dense, vigorous turf is the first step in effective weed control. Cultural and management practices that enhance turfgrass growth generally reduce weed competition and encroachment. First, select adapted turfgrass cultivars for your area and then properly fertilize, mow, and water to encourage dense growth.

Chemical Control

Herbicide and Formulation Amount of Formulation per 1,000 sq ft Amount of Formulation per Acre Pounds Active Ingredient per Acre
Preemergence Control
benefin, MOA 3 (2.5 G) (various brands) 2.75 lb 120 lb 3
Precaution and Remarks: Safe to apply to all established turfgrass except bentgrass. Do not apply in the spring to lawns seeded the previous fall or to golf course greens. Do not use on newly sprigged turfgrasses.​
[benefin + trifluralin], MOA 3 + 3 (0.86 G) (Fertilizer with Team Pro 0.86%) 8 lb 349 lb 3
Precaution and Remarks: Use on lawns and golf course fairways of bahiagrass, bentgrass, bermudagrass, centipedegrass, fescue, perennial ryegrass, St. Augustinegrass, and zoysiagrass.​
bensulide, MOA 8 (4 EC, 8.5 G, 12.5 G) varies because several concentrations available 10
Precaution and Remarks: May be applied to all established turfgrass and dichondra, residential lawns, and golf course greens and tees. Limit 2 applications per year to greens and tees. Do not use on newly sprigged turfgrasses. Not effective for goosegrass control.​
[bensulide + oxadiazon], MOA 8 + 14 (6.56 G) (Goosegrass/Crabgrass Control) 2.6 lb 116 lb 6 + 1.5
Precaution and Remarks: Controls crabgrass and goosegrass. Use on established bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, tall fescue, bentgrass, perennial bluegrass, or perennial ryegrass fairways and tees. Use also on bermudagrass and bentgrass greens​.
dithiopyr, MOA 4 (various brands) 2 EW, 2 L 0.75 fl oz 1 qt 0.5
40 WP 0.46 oz 20 oz 0.5
Precaution and Remarks: May be applied to most all cool-season and warm-season turfgrasses except colonial bentgrass. See label for injury precautions regarding certain varieties. Also controls pre-tillered crabgrass. Split applications recommended in southern and coastal regions of the state (0.25 pound a.i. at 8-week intervals). Timely irrigation or rainfall is critical for activation.​
indaziflam, MOA 21 (various brands) 20 WSP 0.057 to 0.115 oz 2.5 to 5 oz 0.03125 to 0.0625
0.622F 0.69 to 0.23 fl oz 3 to 10 fl oz 0.01458 to 0.0486
0.0224 G 2.9 to 4.6 lb 125 to 200 lb 0.028 to 0.045
Precaution and Remarks: Use only on established turf (1 year after seeding) such as bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, seashore paspalum, and bahiagrass. Labeled for commercial and residential lawns, golf courses (roughs, tees, fairways), sod farms, athletic fields, parks and cemeteries. Use a minimum of 2.5 ounces per acre for crabgrass, annual bluegrass and broadleaf weed control and a minimum of 3.75 ounces per acre for goosegrass, annual sedge and kyllinga species control. Apply up to 2.5 ounces per acre on centipedegrass and St. Augustinegrass due to tolerance concerns. For all other tolerant turfgrasses, do not exceed 5 ounces per acre in a single application or 7.1 ounces per acre within a calendar year. There is an 8 month overseeding restriction following a 2.5 ounces per acre application. Can sprig 2 months following application, or if sprigged first, wait 4 months before spraying. Can sod 4 months following application, or if sodded first wait 2 months after rooting before spraying. Use up to 6 fluid ounces per acre on common bermudagrass, centipedegrass and St. Augustinegrass and 10 fluid ounces per acre on hybrid bermudagrass, zoysiagrass and bahiagrass established 16 months in areas such as golf course roughs and fairways, residential and commercial turf, sod farms, athletic fields, parks and cemeteries. 10 fluid ounces per acre needed for annual sedge and kyllinga species control. Don’t exceed 18.5 fluid ounces per acre per year. Do not vertical mow 1 month before or after application. Irrigate within 2 days of treatment for maximum benefit. Check label for split or multiple application rates and timings. Delay overseeding 10 months if 4.5 to 6 fluid ounces used and 12 months if 6 to 9 fluid ounces used. For sod production, only apply to bermudagrass, zoysiagrass or bahiagrass. Apply if 80% ribbon coverage and before 4 months prior to harvest. Wait 6 month after treatment if sodding bare ground. Apply to actively growing sod established for 3 months. Use on same warm season turf species established at least 16 months and sites as above. Do not exceed 400 pounds product per year. Allow a 15 feet buffer from cool season turf areas. Do not apply upslope from cool season turf.
metolachlor, MOA 15 (7.62 EC) (Pennant Magnum) 0.96 fl oz 2.6 pt 2.48
Precaution and Remarks: Apply to established bermudagrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, bahiagrass, and zoysiagrass. Can apply up to 4.2 pints per acre per year to same area used for commercial sod production.​
napropamide, MOA 15 (50 DF) (Devrinol 50 DF) 1.5 to 2.2 oz 4 to 6 lb 2 to 3
Precaution and Remarks: Use in established bahiagrass, bermudagrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, and tall fescue.
oryzalin, MOA 3 (4 AS, 4 L) (various brands) 1.5 fl oz 2 qt 2
Precaution and Remarks: Use on established bahiagrass, centipedegrass, tall fescue, St. Augustinegrass, zoysiagrass, and bermudagrass except greens and tees. A total of 3 quart per acre may be used if application is split by applying 1.5 quarts per acre followed by 1.5 quarts per acre 8 to 10 weeks later. Follow label directions. Do not apply in the spring or summer to tall fescue reseeded the previous fall.​
oryzalin, MOA 3 (85 WDG) (Surflan WDG) 0.64 to 0.88 oz 1.75 to 2.4 lb 1.4875 to 2.04
Precaution and Remarks: Observe same turf tolerances and tall fescue precautions as above. Successful preemergence activity should occur if activated by 0.5 inch of water within 21 days of application. Apply 2.4 pounds per acre as a single application or 1.75 pounds per acre in sequential applications spaced 12 weeks apart.​
oxadiazon, MOA 14 (2 G) (various brands) 2.3 to 4.6 lb 100 to 200 lb 2 to 4
Precaution and Remarks: Use in established perennial bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, bentgrass, bermudagrass, tall fescue, zoysiagrass, and St. Augustinegrass. Red fescue is not tolerant. Do not apply to dichondra, centipedegrass, putting greens or tees, or to newly seeded areas. Do not apply to bentgrass mowed at less than 3/8 inch. Do not apply to wet turf. Rainfall or irrigation after application will improve weed control activity. May be applied when sprigging bermudagrass and zoysiagrass. Do not apply to home lawns.​
oxadiazon, MOA 14 (50 WP) (various brands) 1.5 to 2.2 oz 4 to 6 lb 2 to 3
Precaution and Remarks: Use in dormant, established bermudagrass, St. Augustinegrass, and zoysiagrass in fairways and parks. Should be applied at least 2 to 3 weeks before greenup of turf. May be applied when sprigging bermudagrass and zoysiagrass. Do not use on home lawns.​
oxadiazon, MOA 14 (3.17 SC) (various brands) 1.85 to 2.8 fl oz 2.52 to 3.81 qt 2 to 3
Precaution and Remarks: Use in dormant, established bermudagrass, St. Augustinegrass, and zoysiagrass in fairways and parks. May apply 2 lb a.i. per acre when sprigging bermudagrass. Apply at least 2 to 3 weeks before greenup of turf. Do not use on home lawns.
[oxadiazon + prodiamine], MOA 14 + 3 (1.2 G) (various brands) 4.5 lb 200 lb 2 + 0.4
Precaution and Remarks: Use on turf, golf courses (excluding putting greens) of established bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, St. Augustinegrass, ryegrass, centipedegrass, bentgrass, bluegrass, and tall fescue. Contains 38% N. Apply to dry foliage.​
pendimethalin, MOA 3 (various brands) 2 G 1.72 to 3.44 lb 75 to 150 lb 1.5 to 3
0.86 G 2.67 to 5.34 lb 116 to 232 lb 1 to 2
1.29 G 2.67 lb 116 lb 1.5
Precaution and Remarks: Use on established bahiagrass, bermudagrass, centipedegrass, fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, St. Augustinegrass, tall fescue, and zoysiagrass. Do not use on winter-overseeded grasses. Wait 4 months after treatment to seed or sod. Do not apply to newly seeded turf until after the 4th mowing. Do not apply to newly sprigged turf until 5 months establishment.​
pendimethalin, MOA 3 (3.8 CS) (various brands) 1.15 to 2.3 fl oz 3.1 to 6.3 pt 1.5 to 3
Precaution and Remarks: Use on noncropland as well as established nonresidential and residential turf areas mowed at least 4 times consisting of bahiagrass, bermudagrass, buffalograss, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, zoysiagrass, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, bentgrass, established Poa annua (0.5 inch height or taller), fine fescue, and tall fescue. Do not use on bentgrass or Poa annua greens and tees. If lower rate is applied initially, repeat in 6-8 weeks for extended control. Do not reseed or overseed into treated turfgrass for 3 months, or sprig turfgrass for 5 months following application. Do not exceed 4.2 pints per acre on residential and sod farm turfgrass.​
[pendimethalin + dimethemamid], MOA 3 + 15 (1.75 G) 2.3 to 4.6 lb 100 to 200 1.75 to 3.5
Precaution and Remarks: Use on residential, commercial, recreational, sod farm and golf course turf, excluding greens. Tolerant turf species include bermudagrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, seashore paspalum and zoysiagrass. For extended control, make sequential applications within 5 to 8 weeks not to exceed 400 pounds per acre. Irrigate within 24 hours of application for optimum control. Following application, wait 3 months to overseed, reseed or sprig. If sprigged first, wait 2 months for root establishment to treat. On new sod, mow at least twice before application. On new seedlings, mow at least 4 times before application. Wait 2 weeks after aerification or verticutting before applying.​
prodiamine, MOA 3 (various brands) 65 WDG 0.185 to .83 oz 0.5 to 2.3 lb 0.325 to 1.5
4 FL 0.23 to 1.1 fl oz 0.625 to 3 pt 0.3125 to 1.5
Precaution and Remarks: May be used on established bahiagrass, bermudagrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, zoysia, tall fescue, creeping red fescue, perennial bluegrass and ryegrass, and creeping bentgrass. Do not apply to greens. May apply when sprigging or plugging bermudagrass, up to 0.8 pound product per acre.​
prodiamine, MOA 3 (0.5 G) (various brands) 1.5 to 6.9 lb 64 to 300 lb 0.32 to 1.5
Precaution and Remarks: See precautions for prodiamine 65 WG and 4 FL above except may be used on established turf only. Do not apply more than 150 pounds per acre per application. Do not make more than two applications per calendar year. Wait at least 60 days after initial application before making a second application. Prodiamine is coated on a 32-3-12 dry fertilizer carrier.​
siduron, MOA 7 (50 WP) (Tupersan) 7.3 oz 20 lb 10
Precaution and Remarks: Use only on bluegrass, fescue, perennial ryegrass, and certain bentgrasses (check label). Can be used at the rate of 8 pounds of formulation when seeding bentgrass, bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass. Can also be used in newly sprigged or established zoysia. Do not use on bermudagrass, carpetgrass, or centipedegrass.​
Preemergence and Postemergence Control
[sulfentrazone + prodiamine], MOA 14 + 3 (4 SC) (Echelon) 0.184 to 0.826 fl oz 0.5 to 2.25 pt 0.25 to 1.125
Precaution and Remarks: Use on residential turf, golf courses (not greens) and sod farms for pre- and postemergence weed control. Tolerant turfgrasses include St. Augustinegrass, centipedegrass, tall fescue, fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. Add a nonionic surfactant and repeat application after 2 to 3 weeks for improved postemergence control. Tank mix with prodiamine 65 WG for extended preemergence grassy weed control. Can be applied at seeding to all tolerant grasses except fine fescue. After turf germination, wait 4 weeks or until turf has been mowed twice before making a postemergence application. Also controls henbit, chickweed, dandelion, white clover, Florida betony, Florida pusley, ground ivy, oxalis, wild violet, creeping bentgrass, and yellow nutsedge.​
Postemergence Control or Suppression of Summer Weeds Such as Crabgrass Species
[thiencarbazone-methyl + foramsulfuron + halosulfuron], MOA 14 + 2 + 2 (60.5 WG) (Tribute Total) 0.0735 oz 3.2 oz 0.121
Precaution and Remarks: Apply to well-established residential and commercial bermudagrass and zoysiagrass (Emerald, Meyer, Zeon) lawns, golf courses (excluding greens), athletic fields, sod farms, roadsides, parks, cemeteries and recreational areas. Do not exceed 3.2 ounces per acre per application or 6.4 ounces per acre yearly. Use 0.25 to 0.5% by volume nonionic surfactant or 0.5 to 1% by volume methylated seed oil. After application, wait 12 weeks to overseed ryegrass or bermudagrass. Wait 1 month after bermudagrass seedling emergence and 2 weeks after sprigging or sodding bermudagrass before treating. Temporary stunting and yellowing may last up to 2 weeks but turf will recover. Crabgrass and goosegrass are controlled up to 2 tiller stage.​

Species Data

    • membranous; blunt, 0.04 - 0.08 inches (1 - 2 mm) long
      Figure 8
    • cool season turf or annual weed
    • sharp-pointed; bright green, upper surface dull, deeply ridged, lower surface smooth, glossy and slightly creased, edges smooth
      Figure 15
    • 0.1 - 0.28 inches (3 - 7 mm) wide
      Figure 16
    • absent
    • absent
    • continuous; indistinct, not hairy
    • split with overlapping margins
    • round; pinkish at the base
Annual ryegrass seedhead
Annual ryegrass seedhead
Annual ryegrass seedhead
Annual ryegrass seedhead
Annual ryegrass seedhead
Annual ryegrass vernation rolled
Annual ryegrass vernation
Annual ryegrass ligule
Annual ryegrass auricle
Annual ryegrass auricle
Annual ryegrass auricle
Annual ryegrass auricle
Annual ryegrass auricle
Annual ryegrass auricle
Annual ryegrass leaf blade
Annual ryegrass leaf blade