How Long Does Grass Seed Take To Grow?

For every homeowner, preparing their lawn is one of the more exciting ventures. Once you have made the preparations and sown the seeds, you can’t wait to see the grass grow. But the time it takes for the seeds to germinate can depend on a lot of factors, let’s take a look.

The major factors affecting grass seed growth are the variety of the grass, the weather and climate, and the soil conditions. Generally, cool season grasses germinate faster compared to warm season grass but it also depends on the specific variety. Other than providing the right moisture, and nutrients and sowing the seeds at the right time, there is not much else you can do to speed up the natural germination process.

grass seed germination time

What Factors Affect Grass Seed Growth?

Just like any other plant, the growing and germination rate of grass also depends on a lot of factors such as its species, the climate of the region you live in, and the condition of the soil itself.

Species of the Grass Seed

Even under ideal conditions, different species of grass grow at different rates. Generally, it is considered that cool season grass species germinate take a shorter time to germinate when compared to warm season grasses.

Below you can find some of the species and their germination time.

Cool season grasses:

Kentucky bluegrass: 14-30 days

Perennial ryegrass:  5-14 days

Annual ryegrass: 7-10 days

Red fescue: 4-14 days

Bentgrass: 5-7 days

Warm season grasses:

Zoysia grass: 14-20 days

St. Augustine grass: 7-14 days

Bermuda grass: 5-14 days

Buffalo grass: 15-21 days

Centipede grass: 14-28 days

Although there is nothing you can do to speed up the germination process other than providing the best possible conditions for them to grow, there are a few tricks that manufacturers use to make their seeds germinate faster.

Some manufacturers are known to ‘hull’ their seeds. For example, unhulled Bermuda grass takes about 7-14 days to germinate while the hulled seeds take about 5-10 days.

Some manufacturers also coat the seeds with some chemicals which help to keep the seeds moist and further aids in their germination process. These chemicals help the seeds in retaining and absorbing moisture, they also feed the seeds with some essential nutrients and protect them from common diseases.

Weather and Climate

The weather and climate of the region you live in will also heavily impact the germination times. If you try to grow warm-season grass in the northern areas of the country, then the germination time will increase.

The time you plant the grass seeds is also very important. For warm-season grasses, it is recommended to sow them during spring and early summer. The general rule is that you should sow the grass seeds about 90 days before the onset of the winter frost. The ideal soil temperature for these grasses should be between 65-70F.

On the other hand, the best time to sow cool season grass is during the fall season, or at least 45 days before the onset of winter frost. The ideal soil temperature for these types of grasses is between 50-60F.

Sowing the seeds in peak summer when the soil is dry or during the winter season when the soil is wet and cold will increase their germination time if they germinate at all.

Even if you sow the right seeds during the right time, the weather changes can also impact the germination time. If it happens to rain heavily during the first week of sowing, it will increase the germination time. Similarly, an increase or decrease in temperatures, high winds, etc can also impact germination time.

Moisture in the Soil

Providing enough water to newly sown seeds is extremely important, but you need to keep in mind not to overwater. You can read more about watering your lawn in the previous guide.

The general rule to follow is to keep the soil moist at least 2-3 inches deep till the seeds germinate. If you live in a warmer region, you might need to provide water every day in the beginning. You can do this every alternative day if you live in a cool region.

Once you start seeing the grass blades, you can lower the watering frequency but make sure the water is absorbed deeper.

Once the grass is 2-3 inches long, you can reduce the frequency further to only about 20 minutes of watering 2-3 times per week or 1-1.5 inches of water per week.

Soil Conditions

Make sure the soil has all the essential nutrients necessary for healthy grass growth. You can either call an arborist or get the soil tested yourself to know about the condition of your soil.

The ideal Ph range for grass growth is between 6-72. You can also add a layer of organic mulch to increase the nutrient content of the soil.

While sowing the seeds, make sure the soil has been properly repaired. Remove any unwanted weeds, plants and break up the lumps of soil to make it more drainable and aerated.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Speed Up Seed Germination?

Other than providing the ideal growing conditions for your grass type, there is not much you can do to fasten the natural germination time.

How Long After Sowing the Seeds Can You Walk On the Lawn?

You should refrain from walking on the lawn for at least 4 weeks once the seeds have started germinating. You need a strong root formation and compact soil to be able to take your weight and not affect the grass health. The grass blades also need time to properly grow strong.

How Much Water Do Grass Seeds Need?

Seeds need moist soil to properly germinate, make sure the soil is not fully wet or there are no puddles in the area otherwise it would suffocate the soil and seeds. In warmer areas, water for 10 minutes every day until the seeds germinate, and every other day in cooler areas.

Conclusion

Grass seeds can take anywhere from 4-28 days to germinate. The time depends majorly on the grass variety, the right climate conditions or sowing the seeds at the right time, and the soil conditions such as the right moisture content and the nutrients. Always keep in mind to prepare the soil correctly before sowing the seeds as doing it incorrectly can greatly increase the germination time.