How Much Rye Seed Per Square Foot to Sow?

How much rye seed per square foot do you need? According to several experiments and authorized calculations, we need half a pound to one and a half pounds of rye seeds per 100 square feet.

Ryegrass works amazingly to make the lawn or a barren plot lively green. Maintaining the seeding rate in the garden or yard is essential if you want the desired production. There are plots, empty spaces, or lawns of different sizes. It is wise to know a detailed explanation of how many rye seeds you have to sow in your place. Facts like germination rate or mortality rate of rye seeds affect ryegrass production.

Here, on this page, you will know the seeding rate of rye plants, and you will also learn how to calculate this rate. So, let’s dig deep into this article.

How Much Rye Seed Per Square Foot?

There are two types of ryegrass variety- annual and perennial. The perennial ryegrass is a cool-season grass type best grown in winter. On the other hand, yearly rye grass grows all over the year and is planted in the fall or early spring.

The perennial ryegrass is preferred for overseeding, and these seeds are sown on top of the annual ryegrasses. Yes, using the ryegrass is possible even if overseeding is not recommended on the lawn. Ryegrass makes an excellent green cover on your property and protects the soil from erosion.

So, the amount of seeding may differ regarding ryegrass type.

Seeding Rate of Warm-Season Rye Grass Seed

Annual ryegrass seed is the second choice for overseeding on lawn or seeding on the barren yard to protect from soil erosion. How much rye grass seed per square foot to sow?

According to the University of California, Davis,

0.8 pound to one pound warm-season ryegrass seed is better to sow per hundred square feet.

On the other hand, Clemson University recommended a broader range of seed amount to sow per hundred square feet.

According to them, you can plant 0.50 to 1.5 pounds of seeds per hundred square feet. They made this range wider as it depends on your choice. If you like to overseed, then you can sow more rye grass seeds.

Proper maintenance and preparation will make the rye grass germinate in only 5 to 10 days. You can have a green lawn soon. Initially, you may need to irrigate the lawn frequently. When the grasses mature, you can water them less.

Seeding Rate of Winter Rye Grass Seed

Perennial ryegrass is the first choice and more recommended rye type to sow to make your lawn greenish and decorative. While you have to buy the annual rye grass seed every year, you can purchase and sow the perennial grass seed once and get your lawn green for 5 to 7 years. Though winter rye grass is expensive, they are more fertile, stay good even in warm weather, and grows better in cool seasons.

How many pounds of rye seed per acre do we need? In general, one million live ryegrass plants are seeded every acre. If you want to use them as the cover crop on your lawn, you can sow 20 to 60 pounds per acre. For new growers, 40 pounds per acre is the right choice.

You can sow more than 50 pounds per acre as a cover crop. One-bushel rye has 56 pounds. So, you can use one-bushel rye grass seed on your lawn. For the spring pasture, the seeding rate increases up to one to two bushels of rye grass seeds.

How to Calculate Seeding Rate of Rye Grass?

Alberta Agricultural and Rural Development show a ryegrass seeding calculation method to determine how many rye seeds are sown in pounds per acre. The calculation follows a formula that is described below.

Before that, we must know how much ryegrass we plant per square foot. The recommendation is for 20 to 24 live plants per square foot. Suppose we set a target of seeding 20 plants per square foot. If we desire the germination rate at 93% and Mortality rate at 3%, the formula is like-

20 seeds per square feet× 1/ (0.93-0.03) = 22 kernels

So, we need to sow 22 kernels per square foot to get 20 live plants.

Now we know that,

  • Weight of 1000 kernels rye seed = 33 gram

So, one kernel rye seed = 33g/1000 kernels

  • On the other hand, 1 pound = 454 grams (approx.)
  • And 1 acre = 43560 square feet.

So, according to Alberta Agricultural and Rural Development 2011 calculation,

The seeding rate of ryegrass in pounds per acre is like that-

22 kernels per square foot × (33g/1000 kernels) × (1Ib/454g) × 43560 square feet per acre = 70Ib/acre (approx.)

So, if we want desired ryegrass production on our lawn, we can easily follow the seeding rate and have a green lawn.

This Video Will Help You Too!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much seed do I need in a calculator?

When we need to know the seeding rate for our lawn, we have to measure and determine the size of our lawn or garden. Then we have to know how much seed we need to sow per square foot. Then we can set them in the calculator to determine the seeds amount for our lawn size. Regarding the ryegrass seeding rate, we need to sow 20 to 24 seeds per square foot. According to this, the seeding rate is approximately 60 to 75 pounds per acre.

How much seed do you need per square foot?

When we measure the seeding rate, we have to calculate the rate considering seeds’ germination and mortality rates. If we want 20 live plants per square foot, we must calculate them within the germination and mortality rates. With the 93% germination and 3% mortality rates, the seeding rate will be 22 seeds per square foot.


We already know how vital the seeding rate of ryegrass plants is. If you cannot maintain the seeding rate properly, grasses will grow ununiformly. After sowing the seeds on your lawn, if you see a low green cover, it will be unexpected.

So, we must know how much rye seed per square foot we have to sow before going further with the ryegrass production. This article shows the seeding rate in pounds per acre, too. So, we can go further for the big production of ryegrass too.

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