Lolium multiflorum Annual or winter annual grass. Up to 4'. Extremely frost hardy. Widely adaptable to a variety of soils and to all but the hottest climates. Annual rye will establish quickly in cool wet weather, providing a dense cover crop and outcompeting weeds.
Seed heavily for economical erosion control; seed thinly as a good nurse crop when establishing perennial stands for pasture or lawn. Dense fibrous root systems withstand temporary flooding and are effective at holding soil and improving tilth. Uncut, will grow to 2–4', but should be kept mowed if you wish to prevent reseeding.
Does not reliably winterkill. A good choice for a first cover crop when converting forest land to cropland; it isn’t picky about where it establishes, and it effectively “retrains” the soil’s microbial population to foster annual plants instead of woody growth. Seed at 15–50#/acre, 1–2#/1000 sq ft.