In an ideal world, your grass seed wouldn’t take much time to grow. But certain factors influence seed germination, such as the type of seed, climate, and how well you maintain your new garden. In today’s article, we’re outlining what growth you can expect and the answer to the following question: how long does grass seed take to grow?
How Long Does Grass Seed Take to Grow?
Types of Grass Seed and the Time Capacity
As we mentioned, the seed mixtures you have can influence the germination duration. So we’ve provided an insightful list of popular seed mixtures and their time capacity.
- Bentgrass: This is a popular choice for cool-season grass and takes around two weeks.
- Kentucky Bluegrass: This is more suitable for water temperatures and only takes up to 21 days to germinate.
- Perennial Ryegrass: This type of seed is best for lawns that will be walked on. This seed germinates quickly in five to seven days, but you’ll need to water your lawn more frequently than other grass seeds.
- Annual Ryegrass: Also, does not tolerate cold weather, but is fast-growing; this seed germinates in up to 10 days.
- Zoysia Grass: This takes 14 to 21 days, which is slower than most of the other grass seeds because it’s more suitable with warm-season grass and is tolerant to drought.
Reasons Your Grass Isn’t Growing
After all of the time and effort you’ve put into your preparing your seedbed, it can be disappointing that your grass isn’t growing yet. However, this is a common issue and can usually be fixed with a little knowledge and hard work.
Using the Incorrect Seed
One of the first things you’ll want to check is that you used the correct grass seed for your lawn. You can’t force your grass to grow if you have the incorrect seeds for your soil texture and climate. In fact, it’s essential to check your soil’s pH levels before purchasing to help you properly understand what seeds you need and how to care for your lawn.
Not Testing Your Soil’s pH Levels
It seems like a chore, but it’s important to check your soil’s pH levels before planting grass seeds. Conducting a soil test helps you better understand if you need a specific type of fertiliser and what grass seed works best for your lawn. Skipping this step can result in poor seed germination.
Lack of Sunlight
Your grass seed needs plenty of sunlight to grow, and without it, the grass seed won’t grow at a quick rate or might end up dying once you’ve planted it. In this scenario, it’s important that you choose the correct grass seed for the climate and area you’ll be planting it. For example, some grass seed requires eight hours of sunlight every day, while others are sufficient with only a few hours of sunlight. For instance, Bermuda grass performs at its best with a lot of sunlight. So you’ll need to check the type of grass seed you have is right for the environment.
We also recommend thoroughly planning where you plant the grass seed in consideration to furniture and buildings potentially blocking out sunlight.
Keeping Your Grass Alive and Helping Grass Seeds to Germinate
With the above factors in mind, below are some tips for helping lawn seed grow faster any time of the year.
- Keep the soil moist throughout the year. When your garden becomes dry, the seeds are more likely to dehydrate and eventually die. So, a few days before you start seeding a lawn, water the lawn at a depth of around six inches for healthy, moist soil.
- Once you’ve watered the soil, you’ll need to keep on top of watering it before you plant grass seed. Doing so encourages the top few inches of the soil to remain moist without making them too wet that the seeds would then drown.
- Keep off of the grass until it’s completely rooted in. Any unnecessary weight or tears can impact the grass seed and cause the grass blades to damage and even die before your new lawn even has a chance.
- Once your new lawn looks healthy and growing at a good rate, keep on top of watering it with around one inch of water every week. Do this in the morning when it’s cooler (especially in the summer months), and prevent watering the soil at night because the water might sit on top of the soil and lead to fungus growth.
Keeping Your Grass Green
As well as keeping your grass alive and healthy, we’ve provided some tips below for keeping the growing grass green.
Water Often and Effectively
The key to fast-growing, green grass is watering it regularly and evenly. A sprinkler or hose pipe is a great way to reach all areas of your grass for optimal growth. If your lawn has sandy soil, it may begin to dry out quicker in dry weather compared to soil that’s moister. Keep an eye on your grass every few days to examine how the colouring looks, as this is generally an indication of the lawn’s health.
Before you water your lawn again, make sure that you wait until the grass begins to dry because frequent watering is much more effective and allows shallow roots to dry quickly and access the soil’s nutrients.
Apply More Seeds
There’s nothing wrong with planting some more seeds for a lawn that’s looking a little on the brown side. Overseeding is a great strategy for adding some fresh grass to areas that might appear brown or have bald patches.
Weeds are a pain for any garden, especially if you’ve just planted grass seed. Opt for a weed killer a couple of times a year as part of your general gardening maintenance. Do this early spring before the weather becomes too warm, and the weeds have already germinated. For the best results, opt for a week killer that also targets moss while fertilising your lawn for the continuing months.
On the other hand, if your lawn already has many overgrowing weeds, autumn is one of the best times to kill weeds. Using a weed killer during hot months can burn the grass and result in more damage, so colder months are best for a heavily weeded garden.
Let Your Lawn Breathe
It sounds crazy, but new grass needs oxygen. It involves a process called aeration that involves allowing water, air, and nutrients to deep into the soil’s surface. One of the best ways to do this is by pushing a garden rake into the soil, creating open-air spots for the oxygen to come in. A lawn that’s just been aerated will also absorb water better rather than it sitting on the lawn’s surface and potentially causing drowning.
Don’t Mow Too Low
Mowing your grass too low won’t encourage your grass to remain healthy and green. Instead, increase the lawnmower’s blade’s height during summer for a bright green lawn. It means that it won’t become as dry and brittle since the extra length protects the soil’s roots.
Mowing Your New Lawn
After the grass seeds germinate, it’s time to maintain your new lawn and mow it regularly. Doing so helps the grass to grow at the base to create a thick surface while suppressing weeds. But before you reach for the lawn mower, test that the lawn is ready by grabbing a handful of grass and pulling it upwards. If you feel the earth move beneath you, the grass isn’t ready to be cut yet, and you should test it again in a few days.
Also, your lawn mower must be in good working order. Blunt blades can rip the grass blades causing them to round and attract diseases. Instead, the blades should be sharp and clean to help with the healing process when you cut the grass. Think of this in the same way as cutting your hair with scissors; it’s best to use a sharp blade than a dull one.
When your lawn is ready for its first cut after planting grass seed, switch the lawn mower to its highest setting and remove the tips of the grass. Ensure that the weather isn’t too hot, and ideally, the grass won’t be damp. Your lawn’s first cut will make it look a lot neater than before while encouraging the plants to grow at a quicker rate compared to beforehand.
So how long does grass seed take to grow? On average, the seed germination process takes around five to 10 days. Various factors can affect the germination process, such as the type of grass seeds you have, temperature, soil quality, and moisture levels. Take all those into consideration when you’re growing a new lawn.
Got some growth tips of your own? We’d love to hear your advice on speeding up germination for grasses or maintaining an established garden. Feel free to include any recommendations, too.