Grass growth depends on many factors, and here we’ll discuss all those factors. Get a general idea about how long grass will take to grow by reading this post!
In the spirit of gardening, we must tend the lawn ourselves! The first step towards tending the lawn must include growing grass. Nothing is more satisfying than the backyard featuring that lush green grass. Now, you can buy grass sod or fake grass, but we know many of us love to tend the lawns by ourselves. There is a common query among gardeners that how long the grass will take to grow or seeds to germinate. If that’s something that has been on your mind, you have come to the right place to find out.
Seed germination is a tricky process and depends on a lot of factors. The climate in your region and the type of grass you plant are the deciding factors. It can take anywhere from 7 to 30 days for seeds to germinate! All in all, there’s no definite answer. But we can get a general idea by discussing the various factors and how they affect germination.
Type of Grass Seed
Grass-types are broadly classified into two categories Warm-season grasses and Cold-season grasses. From both types, there are a variety of grasses to choose from; each variety will have a different germination period.
Warm Season Grass
As the name suggests, Warm-season grasses grow best in warm climates. In the states, the Gulf coast, other, and southeast regions fall under warm areas. These include Bermudagrass, St. Augustinegrass, Centipedegrass, Zoysiagrass, Bahiagrass, and Carpetgrass. Expect a vigorous growth in the warmer period from mid to late spring continuing till early fall. Here is how long these grass seeds type takes to germinate.
Bermudagrass: If the conditions are ideal, bermudagrass can germinate within 3-7 days. But it’s normal for seeds to take as long as 14-21 days to grow.
Centipedegrass: When the conditions are favorable, that is soil temperature above 70 degrees F, and there isn’t any danger of frost, it can germinate in 25-30 days. Fully established thick, dense sod of centipede grass will take around 2-3 years.
Zoysiagrass: It’s hardy in USDA Zone 6 to 9 and takes around 21 days to germinate.
St. Augustinegrass: Known as Stenotaphrum secundatum in botanical terms, St. Augustine grass does not produce viable seeds. Hence, it’s grown from sods or plugs. St. Augustinegrass plugs begin to spread and grow in 7-14 days.
Bahiagrass: In hot summer months with plenty of rain, bahiagrass can grow in 10-14 days. It’s normal for germination to take around 28 days when conditions aren’t ideal.
Carpetgrass: Expect the seeds to germinate in 14-21 days in the ideal conditions. It’s well adapted to sandy soils with a high water table.
Buffalo Grass: This native North American grass also doe well as lawn grass. It’s cold resistant compared to other warm-season grass and takes around 15-21 days to germinate.
Cool Season Grass
Cool-season grasses are more adapted to cold climatic conditions and fluctuations weather. In the US, upper two-third regions that are the northern regions are is where gardeners usually grow cool-season grasses. To name a few New England, the Upper Midwest, High Plains, Northern California, and Pacific Northwest are among such regions. The germination period of some of the popular cool-season grasses is listed below.
Kentucky bluegrass: It takes 14-28 days for Kentucky bluegrass to germinate after sowing seeds. This dense dark green grass is hardy in all USDA Zones.
Perennial Ryegrass: It’s a grass from the family of Poaceae and is botanically known as Lolium perenne. It’s probably the fastest germinating grass and takes only 5 to 10 days to grow.
Fine Fescue: It grows well in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 8. When temperature and moisture are suitable, the seeds take around 7-21 days to germinate.
Red Fescue: The red fescue seeds take between 12-22 days to germinate. Bluegrass or perennial ryegrass are great companions.
Bentgrass: It’s a little tricky to grow bentgrass from seeds, but with proper watering and fertilization, it’ll grow in 12-14 days. Check out this informative article to get more details!
Fact: Cool-season grasses grow and germinate fast compared to warm-season grasses!
Best Time to Plant Seeds
Planting season must match with the natural growing season of the grass. Late summer to early fall is the period when cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, and others flourish. So, for the cool-season grasses to grow quickly, plant the seeds from summer to early fall. To reap the full advantage of warm soil and early season rains for warm-season grasses late spring and early summer is the best time to plant seeds. You must wait till the danger of frost has passed as warm-season grasses are not well adapted to frost and cold.
Watering and Grass Seed Germination
Over-water and the seeds will wash away underwater, and the seeds won’t germinate. So in a way, watering has a crucial impact on seed germination and grass growth. The general rule of thumb is to make sure the soil is moist at all times, but not so much it turns soggy. Giving your lawn a good soaking before sowing grass seeds will also facilitate germination.
Effect of Sunlight on Grass Growth
Grass sprouts grow best when allowed to bask in the full sun. All we all know plants require sunlight for photosynthesis to prepare food. Young grass leaves need even more of that and grow fast under direct sun. So when you plan to grow grass in your lawn, make sure to select a spot that receives 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. Go for shade seed mix if you can’t find a place in your lawn with proper exposure to the sun!
Ideal Temperature for Growing Grasses
Cold season grass seed germinates well when the temperature of the soil is between 50 degrees F to 65 degrees F. Daytime air temperature should fall between 60 degrees F to 75 degrees F for best growth. You can get a soil thermometer to measure the temperature from the nearest garden store!
The warm-season grass seed germination process is most becoming when soil temperature lies between 65 degrees F to 70 degrees F range. Daytime air temperature above 80 degrees F is best for the germination and growth of warm-season grasses. As a general rule, plant the seeds 90 days before the first expected frost as once the temperature falls below 55 degrees F the newly planted grasses won’t be able to survive.
Wait for Mowing
Don’t be in a hurry to mow the grass as soon as you see the lawn turning green. Just because the grass is growing doesn’t mean the roots are well established. It’s crucial to ensure that roots are well-established before you even think about mowing the lawn. For most grass types, you can mow when they are around 4 inches tall.