Growing lush grass in your empty lawn or yard may be a great idea to establish a garden for sports, recreation, and decor.
Therefore, there are multiple yet essential insights about effectively sowing and germinating grass seeds.
Table of Contents Hide
- What is the Best Time to Plant Grass Seed?
- How Long Does It Take For Grass Seed to Grow?
- Factors That Affect Grass Growth
- How to Speed Up Grass Growth?
- Our Top Picks for Best Grass Seeds
- Wrapping Up…
What is the Best Time to Plant Grass Seed?
Warm-season grass would require sowing in spring or summer when the weather is warm. On the other hand, cold-season grass can be sowed throughout the fall.
The southern state, such as Texas, is ideal for warm-season grass, which is best sown in April, May, and June.
Here is a table of grass seeds to plant in spring, summer, and fall.
|Season||Ideal Temperature||Grass Variety|
|Spring||65°F to 70°F (18-21°C)||Bermudagrass, Zoysia grass, Bahiagrass, Centipede grass, and Switchgrass
|Summer||80°F to 95°F (26-35°C)||Lawngrass, Scutch grass, St. Augutne grass, Cynodon, , Crown grass, Buffalo grass, Eremochioa ophiuroides, and panicgrass.|
|Fall||60°F to 70°F (15-21°C)||Fescues, tall fescue, kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and agrostis stolonifera|
As a general rule, warm-season grass seeds would falter when the temperature drops below 55°F, requiring sowing at least 90 days before the first fall.
Similarly, the grass sowing time will differ according to the USDA Zone you live in.
|Zone A-G||Cool||April, May, August, and September|
|Zone H-I||Cool and warm||February, March, April, May, June, August, September, and October|
|Zone J-M||Warm||April, May, and June|
How Long Does It Take For Grass Seed to Grow?
Most grass seeds will germinate in about 10-14 days. Once germinated, it will continue to grow at a rate of about 2/3cm per week.
For instance, Bentgrass will germinate within 10-14 days and attain a height of 3 or more inches within the next 30 days.
However, the growth speed will largely depend on varying factors such as the seed variety you choose, the season and month of sowing, the geographical region, and growing conditions.
1. Grass Growth Based on Varieties
Not all grass varieties are the same, although they may resemble a lot.
The speed of growth would largely depend on whether the variety is native to and is imported from, usually the U.S., Germany, and Denmark.
Here is a table describing different growth times for popular grass varieties.
|Annual ryegrass||5 to 10 days|
|Tall fescue||7 to 12 days|
|Seashore paspalum||7 to 14 days|
|Bermuda grass||10 to 30 days|
|Bahia grass||14 to 28 days|
|Buffalo grass||14 to 30 days|
|Centipede grass||14 to 21 days|
|Kentucky bluegrass||14 to 30 days|
|Zoysia grass||14 to 21 days|
2. Grass Growth Based on Seasons & Months
The warm season is the best inductor of growth, especially grass seed growth.
Similarly, these grass varieties would grow up to 3 inches or more within a few weeks.
Cool-season grass seeds like Tall fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass will germinate in 7-12 days and become longer than an inch within a month.
Some grasses, such as Zoysia species, will need several months of growth to fully establish before requiring mowing.
3. Grass Growth Based on Regions
The grass growth will largely depend on the geographical region. For instance, California witnesses cool and warm temperatures with varying sowing times, usually spring, summer, and autumn.
Depending on the species, these grass seeds will germinate in 7-30 days and grow a few inches long within a few weeks.
Factors That Affect Grass Growth
Although sowing grass seeds may seem casual, achieving lush and greener grass may take tremendous effort.
Here are some insights about factors that affect grass growth.
1. Varying Season
Remember, grass seeds would require optimal warm temperature, usually between 65-70°F, and humidity over 60% to attain seed germination.
Therefore, grass seeds are best sown in spring or summer when the weather is ideal for conducive seed growth.
Warmer soil and seasonal rain will boost feeder root growth which helps to anchor roots to the ground.
Besides, sowing grass seeds in fall or winter will inhibit germination and delay the seed growth until the weather gets warm and moist, preferably in spring.
2. Seed Quality
Any seasoned gardener would recommend you buy high-priced but bargain seeds with a lower germination rate.
Using low-quality grass seeds means you will often have to apply more seeds per square foot to get thick, lush grass like high-quality grass seeds.
In addition, low-quality seeds will yield patchy grass that will look uneven.
Here are some tricks to ensure you get high-quality grass seeds.
- Go for the highest-priced seed with the certified label.
- Choose one with low weed or crop seed and inert matter.
- If a 1-pound seed bag contains 220,000 fescue seeds, you can introduce a lot of weeds to the ground.
- Choose a blue-tag seed that guarantees a 100% weed-free product.
3. Warm Temperature
Cold air and cool soil temperature will inhibit grass seed growth.
Remember, grass seeds will ideally grow in warm temperatures with a lot of moisture, such as around late spring or early summer.
Therefore, attempting to germinate grass seeds in fall and winter will often fail due to low temperatures.
Some cool-season grass will germinate even when the temperature drops to 50°F, but it would need ample sunlight and warm temperature during the day.
4. Moisture Level
The ample moisture in the soil and air is vital in ensuring optimal grass seed growth.
Maintaining ideal moisture will help encourage seeds to obtain the required humidity to grow roots and produce grass blades.
You should maintain an overall moisture level between 60-70% throughout the seedling.
If you sow grass seeds in spring or summer, water them 2-3 times a day for about 5-10 minutes.
The ground should get about 3-4 inches of water per week.
When sowed in winter, cut back on watering to once a week or two weeks to prevent oversaturation.
5. Soil pH and Quality
Ground soil with a coarse material like sand or mulch will drain moisture quickly and dry out the seeds.
Before sowing grass seeds, you should start sampling the soil for organic content and pH level.
Enriching the soil’s organic content will help it retain an acidic pH. Otherwise, amend the garden soil with elemental sulfur or aluminum sulfate.
6. Sowing Technique
Many believe that throwing grass seed over the ground will eventually grow grass, but it is not entirely true.
Start with digging the soil to a depth of 20-25cm and removing large rocks and debris from the ground.
- Work with a tiller if the soil is compacted to break the particles into marble-sized.
- Amend the soil with a fine layer of organic compost.
- Apply 25-30 grams of grass seed per square meter (10 sq. ft.) to get a lush lawn.
- Feed the lawn with a specially formulated solution like Lawn Food with ample phosphorus and nitrogen content.
- Roll the ground soil lightly before watering to dampen the soil surface.
- Mist, the seeded area, once a day, cut back to once a week when it germinates, and further cut to twice per week when the blades reach about 3 inches.
How to Speed Up Grass Growth?
Did you know the popular turf grass, Bermuda grass, can grow as fast as 3 inches a day?
You heard it right! Choosing high-quality, quick-growing grass seeds will guarantee quicker results.
1. Pre-germinate your seeds
- Pre-germinating the seeds in a controlled environment can help achieve quicker germination.
- Growing seedlings using a germination kit kept under the intensive LED light can help achieve a quicker result.
2. Amend your soil
- Formulate the garden to give a quick boost to grass growth by tilling and amending the soil.
- Till grass up to 6 inches deep and cover with peat moss, compost, and specially formulated fertilizer to boost the growth speed.
3. Use toilet paper
- Prepare a slurry solution by mixing shredded toilet paper, flour, water, grass seeds, and fertilizer into one.
- Spread the slurry in a layer about 1/2 inch on the garden.
- It will quickly help supply nutrition to the grass seeds for quicker germination and growth.
Our Top Picks for Best Grass Seeds
Our top picks for the best grass seeds are based on variety, season, growth speed, and durability.
|Best Overall||Scotts Turf Builder Sun & Shade Mix
It is ideal for sun or shade and warm or cool regions, as well as holds up in droughts.
|Best for Full Sun||JB Instant Lawn Sunny Lawn Seed
It is formulated for direct sunlight, with daily sun exposure of 6-hour or more.
|Best for Shade||Pennington One Step Complete
It is ideal for shaded location, but ensure to provide at least 2-hour of sunlight
|Best Fast-growing||Vigoro Fast Grass
It provdes speedy ground cover, erosion control, and repairs balk patches on the ground.
|Best for Heavy Traffic||Jonathan Green Heavy Traffic Grass Seed
It is ideal for heavy traffic areas like public ground, backyard, and lawn.
You can choose from various grass seeds for your garden or lawn but keep in mind the seed type, quality, and time of the year!
Choosing to sow warm-season grass seeds in autumn will likely witness slow germination.
Therefore, picking a suitable variety of grass seeds is ideal based on your region (USDA zone) and the time of the year.