Perennial Ryegrass is a Cool Season lawn variety which remains a trusted choice in lawns within cooler climates around the world. It has excellent shade tolerance with a dark, rich green colour, and is particularly well known as a companion grass which mixes well with many other grass types.
While Perennial Ryegrass is often used on it's own without many problem, this is usually not done. Over decades of experience in many countries, lawn owners have come to realise that their Cool Season Lawns can obtain far greater versatility and durability in shade and sun, and in drought and rain, these benefits are obtained when more than one grass type is combined to obtain the strengths of one grass while balancing the weaknesses of the other grass.
Perennial Ryegrass will have high water requirements from Spring and continuing through the Summer and will not tolerate either the heat or lack of water very well. Fertilising Perennial Ryegrass will need to be done regularly with a program of bi-monthly fertilising with a quality lawn fertiliser.
Mowing will need to maintained at regular intervals at a height of 6- 12 cm throughout it's main growing period of Spring onwards, this may need to be done weekly. For very healthy lawns, lawn mowing may even need to be done more frequently to match the fast growth rates of Perennial Ryegrass.
Unfortunately, the list of deficits for Perennial Ryegrass does continue as this lawn type will need ongoing attention paid to disease and pest management, of which Perennial Ryegrass is highly susceptible.
Despite the high maintenance requirements and it's well known weaknesses, Perennial Ryegrass remains in high use around the world, both as an independent and companion grass. This is because Perennial Ryegrass is a lovely lawn with many sought after qualities, as well as supplementing many other grass types with its excellent adaptation to shade and Winter hardiness.
Many warm season grass types such as Couch lawns which are grown in the warmer climates around Australia can often lose colour and vibrancy in Winter, often thinning out in already partially shaded areas of the lawn.
Perennial Ryegrass is an excellent companion grass in these situation where water is abundant, the grass is only growing for a short period of the year, and Ryegrasses tolerance for shade is best suited. As Summer arrives, the Perennial Ryegrass will die off and the main warm season lawn will again take it's place as the dominant lawn.