Starting a lawn is an exciting process that is also coupled with uncertainties. Achieving a green lush lawn usually begins with successful seed germination, a process typically reliant on many factors. So, how long does it take for new grass to grow?
A new grass seed will take 7 to 30 days to germinate under the right moisture and temperature conditions. Seed growth may vary depending on the type of grass and the lawn’s geographical location.
Typically, grass has different germination rates depending on the species, prevailing soil conditions, and geographical locations.
Here is the germination period for various types of lawn grasses.
|Grass Species||Germination time|
|Bermuda Grass||10 to 30 Days|
|Kentucky Bluegrass||14 to 30 Days|
|Bent grass||10 to 14 Days|
|Ryegrass||5 to 10 Days|
|Buffalo Grass||14 to 30 Days|
|Fescue Grass||7 to 14 Days|
|Centipede Grass||14 to 21 Days|
How Long Does It Take for Grass Seed to Grow?
You can either seed or sod to start a new lawn or fix bare spots on your existing lawn. Sod roots within 10 to 14 days of installation. Grass sods are very expensive, and most people go for seeding, which is budget-friendly but needs patience.
Grass seed sprouts at different rates, depending on factors like the grass species, soil temperature, moisture, and time of year. Mistakes during seeding can also delay your dream of getting a lawn within the shortest time possible.
Under the right conditions, grass seedlings should emerge from the soil within 7 to 30 days. The new grass will need 3 to 4 weeks to grow to the right mowing height. Typically, you will need 30 to 60 days to start enjoying the fruits of your labor.
Factors that Affect the Growth of Grass Seed
Germination and growth of grass typically depend on many factors, including the type of grass, seed quality, and soil conditions.
Type of grass (Species)
Turf grasses are usually classified into two main categories; warm and cool-season grasses. These grasses thrive in different growth conditions. Grass will grow faster and thrive when you plant the seed in its natural active growth season.
Cool-season grasses grow the most in the spring and fall when soil temperatures are 65 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Most cool-season grasses can tolerate a cold winter but don’t do well in a hot summer.
Late summer through early fall becomes the best time to plant cool-season grasses. This is before soil, and air temperatures drop to less favorable levels. Remember, some types of cool-season grasses may die in extremely low temperatures.
A warm-season grass, on the other hand, thrives when temperatures are above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This grass variety will actively start growing in late spring and go dormant starting early to mid-fall and throughout the winter period.
The best times for planting warm-season grasses are late spring to early summer when soil temperatures exceed 65˚F. This type of grass does so well in the southern parts of the United States.
Temperature, moisture, pH, air, and nutrients are the key soil requirements for optimum grass germination and growth. To successfully start a lawn or fix bare patches, soil testing should be done first to determine the levels of these key conditions.
Most cool-season grass seed effectively germinates when soil temperatures are in the range of 50–65℉. On the other hand, warm-season grass seed will need a soil temperature of 65–70℉ to germinate and grow strongly.
Soil pH varies between regional areas, but most grasses prefer it between 5.8 and 7.2. Warm-season grasses tend to like slightly lower pH, while cool-season grasses prefer pH slightly higher than the average. This is why soil pH testing becomes important in gardening.
Grass seed needs constant moisture to germinate. This is why watering new grass seed has to be done daily without overwatering the soil. Excess water in the soil limits the air supplied to the seed and can lead to failed germination.
How to Make Grass Seed Grow Faster
Whether sod installation or seeding, you can speed up the process of germination by investing in adequate preparation and research. The following are helpful tips for growing a thick, lush lawn fast:
- Do a soil test and make the necessary amendments recommended in the soil test results. Simply take your soil sample to a nearby regional or university extension for testing.
- Choose the right grass seed based on your climatic region. Go for cool-season grass if your lawn is located in Northern US and warm-season grass if you come from the south of the US.
- Till the soil to relieve compaction, apply a pre-emergent weed killer and for the recommended period before you seed.
- Time and do the planting as recommended in this guide based on your grass type. Remember to move a roller over the planted area to ensure adequate seed-soil contact.
- Water your seed to a depth of 4 to 6 inches, then follow a light watering schedule of 3 to 4 times a day when there are no rains.
- Once the seed has germinated, reduce watering to encourage roots to grow deeper.
- Wait until the grass is at least 3 ½ to 4 inches tall to mow for the first time. Remember never to mow more than 1/3 of the grass blade at a time in a single mowing.
Also Read: How to keep birds from eating grass seed.
If you’re seeding a new lawn from scratch or overseeding an existing lawn, expect your grass seed to grow within 7 to 30 days under the right soil temperature and moisture conditions. Using the right type of seed for your region, proper soil preparation, and thorough watering will guarantee 100% seed germination.
- Mugaas, R. and Pedersen, B., “Seeding and Sodding Home Lawns,” University of Minnesota Extension.
- UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, “Planting Times and Rates for Grasses That Can Be Established From Seed,” University of California.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture: COMPARING WARM-SEASON AND COOL-SEASON GRASSES