February 18, 2021
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How Long Does It Take Grass Seed to Grow

How Long Does It Take Grass Seed to Grow? We'll answer that exact question in this blog post!

Nowadays, most people would rather buy sod so that all they have to do is install it and wait. This way, they can enjoy the grass sooner than they would when using seeding.

In seeding, however, they'd have to work and wait to enjoy the lush green vigor that can only be produced through natural labor.

They'd prefer using sod for the convenience of it rather than lay down seed, which really needs more time and effort to accomplish. Fair enough. One would think that it's a fair trade anyway, that is, if you had the money and a little bit of time to install sod.

Though in contrast, a large portion of the gardening community would also rather go through the natural process, and enjoy the time and care that it would take to establish a well-kept and healthy lawn.

So, how long does it really take for grass seed to grow?

Generally, given the right conditions, grass would grow inside of 10 days after laying it down. It then becomes full-grown within 6-8 weeks. Others would even estimate that it takes about between 7 to 30 days for grass seed to sprout.

I'd say it really depends.

Much of your success in getting your yard going depends on the kind of effort that you put into it. That is taking into account all the factors that contribute to its growth.

This process also allows you to experience the satisfaction of what nature can produce given the right timing and methods that you employ.

The Kind Of Grass That You Will Grow

Image Credit: OutSidePride.com

With a full repertoire of the variety of grass available in the market today, let's go take a look into a few examples of the more common types of grass that you can use to germinate and grow.

  • Kentucky Bluegrass: A hardy grass that can survive the cold months takes about 10-21 days to sprout.
  • Annual Rye Grass: This type takes about 5 to 10 days to germinate.
  • Perennial Rye Grass: A hardy grass that is highly resistant to foot traffic, and may require more water as it germinates fast in around 5 to 7 days.
  • Red Fescue: A cool-season grass that thrives even in the shade and requires less water can germinate between 12 to 22 days.
  • Zoysia Grass: A good example of warm-season grass that can survive drought, and is also tough under foot traffic. It germinates rather slowly somewhere between 14 to 21 days.

For more info on this, see our post: The Best Types of Grass for Your Lawn

The differences in germination time are not too obvious, it is actually similar in comparison to a pair but different types of cold-season grass, or a pair but different types of warm-season grass. Make sure to store the seeds properly to maximize plant quality and plant growth.

Soil Testing

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We all know that different types of soil have different alkalinity and nutrient levels. It is therefore necessary to have your soil tested to match with the kind of grass seed that you want to sow.

A soil test will tell you what kind of fertilizer you will be needing, or, if you will be needing any, at all. (You can pick up the one above here, for less than the cost of a tank of gas).

Your soil needs to be at 55 degrees with an outside temp of 65 degrees and above. Just about right for germinating grass seeds.

The Weather and the Planting of Your Seeds

Weather also plays a huge part in the speed of the growth of your grass. Planting in the winter will likely not be successful due to the cold and possibly frozen ground. Your seeds simply won't sprout.

Other times of the year like spring when it night still be cold, it may not necessarly kill the seed but may delay germination for about a few weeks.

Added to that, is the risk of the seed being wasted due to birds eating it, or being blown away by the wind. Also, llanting in the summer could potentially slow down growth as well, due to dry soil.

It is recommended to plant sometime from middle to late spring, and early into the autumn season.


Types of Grass Seed

If you live in the colder parts of the continent yu'll definitely need to use a cool-weather grass seed such as Kentucky Bluegrass. Conversely, if you live in the warmer parts you'll have to use warm-weather grass seeds such as Zoysia grass.

You can find seeds and premixed grass seeds at your favorite gardening store within your area. You can also check out the nursery, or go online. As you make your choices, do keep in mind that grasses of different types grow at different speeds and heights.

Age of Your Seeds

You might also want to take into account the age of seeds, since seeds are embryonic plants that are waiting to sprout. As it ages, the plant embryo inside consumes the nutrients that are stored around it. As soon as the nutrients are consumed it must either grow or wither.

Some seeds are surprisingly resilient, and some rather wilt immediately. However, they all are similar when it comes to age. The older the seed the lesser the chance for successful germination. Unless otherwise, it's a hardy grass seed that can or may last for more than 2 years

These can be true, but succesful seeds over two years old rarely happens. So, it will be good to use your seeds within a year or two of its harvests to get at least an 80% chance of success rate.

Try to find something in the store that has been recently packed. One way to test if the seeds you bought are still viable is to wrap them in moist tissue, and keep them in a plastic wrap. If they sprout, then they are still good. And probably the rest of it in the pack will likely be too.

Store your seed as indicated in the packaging for optimal results out of your stock.

Steps in Planting New Grass

Seed Spreader

Step 1 - Check your soil

Now that you have considered and prepared all the things possible to successfully regrow your lawn, or even maybe it is your first time, the soil has to be of just the right temperature and it should neither be too wet or too dry.

Create a hole on the ground and feel by hand as too how wet or dry the soil is.

Step 2 - Dig holes at the right depth and lay down the seeds

Assuming that you already have the soil moist and ready, proceed to dig depressed rows/holes at 1/4; inch deep. (recommended)for your grass seeds.

Lay down the seeds either by hand using a trowel, or you can use a spreader seeder machine for faster and uniform planting.

Anything deeper than 1/4 inch may cause your sprouted seeds to not be able to reach the surface and get sunligh which in this case could kill your seeds.

Step 3 - Properly cover up the seed

The soil must be just in the right firmness and not too fluffy otherwise the seeds will not have traction and my stay buried and wilt.

When covering the seed it is best to not have it too tightly packed either otherwise the sprouts would not be able to break ground and the germ will die.

Makes sure to have a properly loosened up soil that would be enough to cover the seed and slide or stifle it.

Step 4 - Add a thin layer of compost on top of the seeded soil and water it.

As the above heading says, now you simply add a thin layer of compost on top of the seeded soil and water it gently.

Watering Your Seeds and Seedlings

Water Your Lawn

Water your seeds with the right amounts every other day, and keep at least 2 inches of soil moist with water, but not sopping wet.

Keep an eye on the germination process and see where your yard is getting the most sunlight and the most shade.

Stick to your schedule of every other day, as you water in the morning, and not water at night to avoid fungus growth.

What you essentially want is for it to be not too wet and not too dry. If you are using a sprinkler make sure to use a fine rose spray, this is to avoid creating puddles or even potentially washing your seeds away.

Growing Your Grass

After starting off with "relawning" your yard by laying down the seeds, here now comes the maintenance part. During the sprouting period, you will have to monitor soil temperature to ensure the survival of your seedlings. Germination may take as little as 5 days or as long as 30 days.

The key here is to be patient and not to get frustrated when you don't immediately see anything growing. Check out the list for the germination period against the type of grass that you might have chosen to plant. It actually might be taking longer than you expect.

In the meantime, just sit back and relax, and maybe enjoy some sun in the morning while sitting on an outdoor easy chair.

Fast forward to later.

Assuming that the seedings were successful as you now have lush green grass that is growing as much 2-3 inches tall, it's now time to mow your lawn.

Take care to cut no more than 1/3 of its total length that is above the ground to avoid decay and wilting.

Proper lawn maintenance is as important as the seeding process, this is so that you can start enjoying your lawn as well as the fruits of your labor.

Happy Gardening!

Daniel Simmons

About the author

TheLawnMowingKing.com brings my 25 years experience as a professional gardener and landscaper to you!

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