What is Tetraploid Ryegrass?

Posted by Mark Wilton on

What is tetraploid Ryegrass, in this blog we look a grass seed with overseeding in mind for winter sports pitches and possibly outfields. Tetraploid Ryegrass is nothing new but up to this year was new to me and maybe new to others reading, in reality they have been around since 2012, further back in agriculture.

Below the article we also have some testimonials from groundsmen already using tetraploid mixes and getting good results.

Tetraploids vs Diploids

A standard ryegrass seed mixes plant are diploids these contain 14 chromosomes and Tetraploids contain 28.

What is a chromosome and why are they important?

Chromosomes produce plant cells and the more chromosomes the more sugar the plant can store and give back to the plant, in terms of quick establishment, recover. Diploids have two sets of chromosomes per plant cell, where tetraploids have four per cell and as a result have deeper roots and better wear tolerance compared to diploids.

Are Tetraploid seed mixes more expenses than your standard mix?

Prices vary but l have seen bags of seed for around £80 and considering the benefits and the fact it’s generally an overseeding mix that seems very good value.

What sports pitches are ideal for tetraploid mixes?

The areas that will see the most benefit from using are winter sports or outfields in Autumn or Spring, they germinate at lower temperatures than a standard diploid rye grass and fill in fast as confirmed below in the benefits summary of using tetraploids.

What’s in a bag?

Tetraploid can come mixed with annual ryes and diploid ryes there are many mixes, so speak to your seed sale representative to find the best mix for your situation.

Tetraploid mixes, also contain diploid and annual rye is there a reason for this?

Annual Ryegrasses are sometimes mixed with Tetraploids to improve further the speed of early growth but with regular close mowing the annual types will result in them being  be mown out. Diploids are mixed to produce a sward that benefits from having the earlier germination and establishment of Tetraploid with superior turf qualities of the better diploid varieties.

When is a standard diploid rye mix a better option?

When ground and soil temperatures are high enough to generate fast germination, currently a good quality diploid mix should germinate in 5 days providing there is adequate moisture available.

Summary of benefits over a standard diploid mix?

Quick Establishments at low temperatures.

Good wear characteristics.

Deep rooting.

High energy seed.

Environmental stress tolerances hot/cold.


TurfCareShop written with the assistance of Limagrain grass seed.


link to our range of seed including tetraploids seed

 - https://turfcareshop.com/collections/winter-sports-grass-seed

Also take a look at this blog on pre germinating grass seed, which may be helpful at lower temperatures .




I have used tetraploid seed in the past its very good grows well at low temps quiet hard wearing. It’s a very broadleaf seed compared to standard rye so I would only recommend using in winter overseeding rather than renovation seeding. MM tetra sport has been brilliant to use.  

Stuart Lambert
Head Groundsman & Facilities Manager


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