When to Plant Marshall Ryegrass?

Marshall ryegrass is a hardy cool-season grass variety that thrives in the northern states. The best time to plant Marshall Ryegrass is from the early fall to winter. Marshall ryegrass needs cold nights and warmer days to help with germination. It needs to be planted in the fall to become established before the weather gets colder.

Once the grass is established and has a robust root system, it is relatively cold hardy. Let’s look at when to plant Marshall ryegrass. We’ll also give you some care tips to help you grow a thriving lawn.

When to Plant Marshall Ryegrass

Marshall ryegrass is a cool-season grass that grows best during mild weather. It’s a very hardy variety that was developed by Mississippi State University in 1981. This variety of grass is known to be cold tolerant, disease-resistant, and, if you buy good quality seeds, has a high germination rate. It has a medium to light-green color that turns medium brown at the end of winter. It has a moderate growth rate and will develop a good turf by the fall if it is properly planted.

  • Marshall ryegrass can be planted in the early or mid-fall when nighttime temperatures have fallen to below 65 degrees.
  • In warmer transition zones, it can also be planted in the winter.

This grass variety is commonly planted as a lawn turf in the northern states. It can also be used to overseed a warm-season lawn in warmer areas if you want a green lawn year-round. It also thrives in extremely cold areas where Gulf Annual Ryegrass would wither and die.

Marshall ryegrass has short stems with large creeping rhizomes that help it spread quickly and form a good turf. It grows and has a deep, aggressive root system that helps it compete with weeds. Marshall ryegrass can grow in most well-drained soils from pH 4.5–8.0 but performs best in soils from pH 5.5 to 6.0.

Marshall ryegrass is also used as a fodder crop and is resistant to foot traffic, and can survive being grazed quite low to the ground. It’s also commonly used in hay production.

Planting Marshall Ryegrass Best Practices

When planting Marshall ryegrass, choose a well-drained site with full sun exposure. Till the soil 6 to 8 inches deep and work in 2 to 3 inches of organic matter. Rake the top 1–2 inches smooth. Sow the seed on the prepared ground. Marshall ryegrass will germinate in 2 to 4 weeks, and new growth will start to appear within six weeks after planting. Plant at a seeding rate of 50 lbs. per acre.

After Marshall ryegrass has been established, overseeding should be done in the fall when soils are moist.  This will help it spread faster.  The best months for planting areas with mild winters are September and October.


You should plant marshall ryegrass when it is colder.  Specifically the late fall.  You can plant it in the winter in the transition zone.

Marshall ryegrass is very cold tolerant and can cope with heavy snowfall. It’s a hardy cool-season grass that can be grown in the Northern states in the fall and winter. Plant this grass variety in the early fall so that it can establish itself before the cold weather sets in.