If you’re looking to update your existing garden, a great way to do that is by applying grass seeds to the ground for a greener, healthier lawn. In today’s article, we’re sharing some effective sowing tips and how to speed up grass seed germination.
Tips for Increasing Germination
Find the Right Seed Mixtures
Often, people wonder why their grass seed germination is a slow process, but it’s likely down to not using the right seeds. Not every grass is made equally, and you need to pick the correct seeds for your weather and lawn. For example, a cool-season lawn experiences healthy growth when the temperature dramatically alters throughout the year. However, warm-season grass needs a hot temperature to thrive.
So the most important factor with seed germination is choosing the correct seed for your grass. In particular, for dry lawns, ensure that you choose a seed that adds nutrients to the garden at the same time while also protecting against diseases for a greener lawn.
On the other hand, if you live in a wet climate, you need your grass seed to have a coating on top that absorbs more moisture than other types of grass seeds.
Treat Bald Patches
It’s not uncommon for lawns to have bald patches. But that doesn’t mean you should leave your lawn this way. Add a grass nutrient when watering your lawn to create thicker, healthier grass. You can also use this tip once you’ve scattered the grass seeds on your lawn.
Always Prepare the Soil on Your Lawn
You can’t expect a healthy lawn if the soil isn’t healthy. Ensure that you remove any weeds by the roots and dig up any flowers you no longer want to be planted. Complete your lawn by raking to even out the soil for a high-quality lawn that’s ready for your grass seed mix.
Water Your Grass Often
Once you’ve placed your grass seeds on the ground, it’s time to keep up the maintenance. After you’ve fertilised and seeded your lawn, it’s important that you regularly water the ground to help with seed germination and speed up this process. Doing so frequently is better than throwing a bucket of water onto the lawn every two weeks because the ground can easily become soggy.
Once the seeds germinate, it’s essential that you water the lawn until the grass is at least two inches tall to keep the soil moist. Using a hose or a sprinkler bucket, add water to the ground every few days (more often if it’s summer). You should continue regularly watering the soil to reach down into the roots.
Do Not Disturb Your Grass
Try to avoid trampling on the ground because this can affect the quality of the seeds while also slowing down germination. You should also keep children and pets away from the grass for at least six weeks. Additionally, remove heavy furniture and cumbersome objects from your lawn to protect the seeds and allow for them to grow evenly.
When your seeds start to germinate, and the grass is about three inches tall, it’s important that you continue to mow correctly. If you mow with blades that are too low, you encourage weeds to grow while also risking damaging your new precious grass seeds.
Soak Your Seeds
For a healthy and successful lawn, you need the best conditions for seeds to germinate, which starts with preparing your soil for germination.
Once you’ve purchased the correct grass seed for your lawn, place the seeds into a bucket with fresh, healthy compost and allow them to sit for around four days. After a couple of days, you may notice that the seeds begin to expand and may have a white growth spurt. This is completely normal and a great starting condition for your grass seeds.
After this timeframe, dry off the seeds by placing them onto a clean surface for around 24 hours. Once the seeds are completely dry (although they still might have soil on them—that’s okay), you can plant them in your garden.
Plant Your Seeds Correctly
Plant your grass seed, spread them onto the fresh soil, and ensure that they’re not just placed onto the soil’s top layer but become embedded in the roots. Then, place straw on top of the new seeds. Although, you only need a thin layer to allow sunlight to access the seeds for germination.
Choose The Best Weather for Seed Germination
The soil temperature and weather conditions have a huge impact on your grass’s growth. For the best growing conditions, your seeds should be in temperatures of around 10 degrees. Still, it’s actually best for the seeds to last long and germinate quickly if the temperature fluctuates frequently.
If you live in the UK, you’ll want to begin the germinating planting around April to September while ensuring that you don’t plant them when it’s raining or snowing as these conditions won’t have any benefits on your seeds. For the best result and advice, look at the weather forecast for the next two to three weeks before you plant your seeds.
Reasons Why Grass Seeds Are Growing Slowly
There are several reasons and conditions why grass seeds don’t germinate quickly, including a lack of moisture, too low or too high temperatures, poor soil preparation and soil that’s too compacted.
Moreover, people make plenty of mistakes when attempting to germinate their grass seeds, such as purchasing the incorrect seeds for their lawn but using old seeds beyond the date. Although you might not believe that seeds can have a use-by date, they absolutely do, and the older the seed, the slowly (and poorer) the growth. So ditch an old batch and replace it with a new one.
Another common issue with unsuccessful seed germination is planting the grass seeds at the wrong depth. This is because it’s important that seeds receive sunlight for growth. Always check your seeds’ packet for guidance on how far under the soil you should bury them. In particular, if the seeds require a lot of light, you’ll need to avoid adding a thick layer of compost to the seeds.
On the other hand, if your seeds don’t follow the recommended depth, we recommend a depth of four times the seed’s width. Also, not burying the seeds also enough affects the seeds’ germination, making the process longer (and maybe even less effective results).
How Long Does Grass Take to Grow?
Not every grass seed grows at the same rate, and there are various factors that influence its speed (as mentioned above). Generally speaking, seed germination takes between five and ten days, and your grass will continue growing by 2–3 cm each week.
Get Your Grass Growing
If your grass isn’t growing quickly enough for you, there are some strategies you can follow that will help you learn how to speed up grass seed germination.
We’d love to discover some advice to get new grass that’s healthy in a smaller amount of time. Share your advice and recommendations in the comments to inspire other readers.