When does winter ryegrass die?

Asked April 1, 2013, 9:03 AM EDT

It's time to plant peas here in PA. The winter ryegrass cover crop is still going strong. I have cut it and pulled up clumps which I turned over, but it does not show any signs of dying. I do not rototill. Is this grass going to die by the middle of May when it is time to plant the later vegetables?

Lehigh County Pennsylvania

1 Response

A rye cover crop will continue to grow until it sets seed heads in late spring/early summer. When it is used as a cover crop for vegetable gardens, the gardener will have to kill it before planting into the residue. Effective ways to kill it include plowing under, rolling it down and crimping the stems, or a herbicide like glyphoshate. Mowing it will not kill it at this stage.