Regenerating Perennial Rye – the best high traffic area grass seed

If you have ever re-seeded or over seeded a cool season lawn then you know the struggle in deciding which turf grass to choose. Most of the time a blend of blue grass and ryegrass is chosen. Blue grass for its regenerating properties through rhizomes and the rye grass for its quick germination and hardy nature. Where one type is strong the other lacks, until recently. A new perennial rye grass has gained U.S. patent that boasts a rye grass with stolons, meaning it self heals and thickens on its own.

The new ryegrass has an official name of Lolium Perenne Stoloniferum and is sold under the name RPR (regenerating perennial rye). The seed company Barenbrug U.S.A. is the patent holder for this newest innovation in cool season grasses. Their website can be found here at http://www.barenbrug.com/ditiseentest.

The way a stolon works is by spreading new growth and sprouting up new blades of grass from an above ground shoot that spreads along the soil surface. According to patent filings the new perennial rye can generate enough new blades of grass to have a perimeter of 80 cm after two years of growth. Again that is an area 80 cm around filled with new grass from one individual grass plant. Also according to the patent the stolons are approx. 2-3 centimeters long, meaning a new glass plant will shoot up every 3 centimeters. With several of these plants working together to produce more stolons a stand of grass can become thicker every year without ever adding new seed. The patent filings can be found here http://www.google.com/patents/US20120124687. They are relatively easy to read, considering these filings are usually just a jumble of legal speak, and included 21 pictures of the actual plants in a lab that are very descriptive, an example of the pictures featured below.

A picture of stolon growth
An example of the pictures featured in the patent filing, this one showing the stolons.

All of that being said what is the bottom line with this newest addition to cool season turfgrass species to choose from?

  • It regenerates at a good pace and density.
  • It is ryegrass so it is hardy and does well in full sun
  • It removes the only caveat to using ryegrass in the past, being that once ryegrass dies or thins out it doesn’t come back.


This makes regenerating perennial ryegrass the best grass to use for full sun areas in a cooler 4 season climate. It is the best high traffic area grass seed and will fill in thin and bare areas on its own.  If an area dies from insect, disease, and stress it can heal without the need for additional seeding. Unlike bluegrass it won’t take 3 months for germination when  incorporated into a lawn from seed, meaning a higher success rate when seeding in autumn because often an early winter can wipe out new bluegrass that hadn’t fully germinated. Customers will also see visible germination much faster which is also a high priority. When blended with bluegrass you are providing the ultimate in self healing, disease and insect resistance for any cool season lawn. Ultimately this product has the potential to be a game changer and while it is wise to have different varieties of grass in one lawn this product could become the go to in all over seeding applications.

This is what a bag of barenbrug's new rpr seed looks like
This is what a bag of barenbrug’s new rpr seed looks like

You can request this product through your local seed sales rep or chemical rep. In the quote I received the regenerating rye was cheaper than a 50/50 blue/rye blend, per pound.  Thanks for reading, please share your seeding experience in the comments below.

 

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