Having a nice, healthy lawn is the dream of many people. This article will show you how to calculate the grass seed germination time and provide some valuable tips to successfully sprouting in the shortest period and with the least effort.
How Long Does It Take For Grass Seed To Grow?
For Warm-Season Grasses
The grass seed germination process usually takes 20 to 30 days on average. However, the time can slightly change between the grass types.
For example, if you opt for Zoysia, it would shorten to only 14 to 21 days, quite faster than Bermuda grass.
For Cool-Season Grasses
Unlike the warm-season grasses, cool-season ones are superior with super fast sprouting, ranging from 7 to 21 days.
Perennial Ryegrass is unsurpassed with the record 5 to 7 days, whereas the Red Fescue needs up to 12 to 22 days.
Bermuda Grass: How long does it take to grow?
Best Time To Plant Grass Seed
Many people mistake the growing season and the planting season. The 2 are different but still have some relevance.
Specifically, we have to calculate the ideal planting time to ensure that the grass germination could start in the peak growing season. According to the seed types, the time for spreading grass seed varies.
For warm-season grasses, we need to sow seeds in the fall to be ready for spring development. As these grass seed varieties thrive in sun-exposed conditions, they are highly vulnerable to fall frost.
To avoid the possibility of dormancy, sow the seeds roughly 90 days in advance of the first fall frost. You have to wait for the upcoming year when you miss a good time as the soil goes so cold.
The perfect time is about 40 days preceding the first fall frost in the cool-season grasses. In this way, your grass would start to sprout when the spring comes.
Having experienced the autumn window and the winter nestling, the seeds would require less maintenance, watering, and monitoring from the gardener.
Tip For Best Outcome
Choosing Right Types Of Grass Seed
One of the most influential factors to how long for grass seed to sprout is undoubtedly the type of seed. Each one suits different climate zones, caters for varied purposes, and determines how long grass seed germinated.
Regarding warm-season grasses, there is a variety of grass seeds such as:
- Buffalo grass
- Bermuda grass
- Zoysia grass
According to Alabama A&M & Auburn Universities, Bermuda and Zoysia are the top choices for Alabama, U.S, because this state is in zones 7-10.
While Zoysia grass is well-known for drought-tolerant and great foot traffic-handling features, Buffalo grass needs much sun exposure but requires low fertility and watering.
Zoysia is a slower germinator as it typically lasts about 14 and 21 days. Buffalo grass could tolerate heat, drought, even alkaline soils and tends to be susceptible to heavy moisture and sandy soils.
When it comes to cool-season grasses, 3 common types are:
- Red Fescue
- Perennial Rye
- Kentucky Bluegrass
If you plan to grow a green lawn that requires less watering and growing well in the shade, the Red Fescue is the right one. The others are both fast germination, but Perennial is superior in foot traffic than the Kentucky Bluegrass.
Ideal Soil Conditions
Different soil types result in a wide range of alkalinity and nutrient levels, which means it’s critical to match the soil and the grass seed type. In this case, an advisable approach is to take a soil test.
Then, you would know whether you have to do any prep-work, such as adding starter fertilizer before sowing the seeds. In addition, you should have a soil thermometer to measure the soil temperature as well.
Ideal soil temperatures for cool-season grasses are from 50°F to 65°F. In the meantime, the warm-season grasses grow favorably in the condition of 65°F to 70°F.
The ideal grass seed germination temperature always aligns with the perfect soil temperature. Therefore, if you do not have a soil thermometer, an ordinary thermometer can act as a substitute.
The cool-season grass seeds would be in the best condition when the daytime temperature hits 60°F and 75°F. About the warm-season seeds, these varieties of grass seed thrive on the warmer temperature, registered 80°F or more.
Grass Needs Full Sun
Undoubtedly, sunlight significantly contributes to the nutrient process and the healthy growth of grass. A lawn with deficient light exposure could be more vulnerable to foot traffic and going dormant.
Zoysia grass, Centipede grass, and Bermuda grass are some types that appreciate total sun exposure. Others, even the turf grasses, also suffer if you grow them in the shade.
The grass might become thin and leggy in an attempt to head toward the sunlight direction. In addition, likely, they can not compete with the other nearby plants in the yard for nutrients and water in the soil.
If you want to grow a healthy lawn in a space that already has taller trees, there are two main resolutions for you.
The first option is grass seed mix, which means using several grass types in the lawn area. Here is an example of mixing you could consider:
Opt for centipede grass, a type of grass seed in a warm season that could perform well in the partial shade, meaning around 6 hours of pure or filtered sunlight a day.
Grow them in the shady parts of your garden and pick another type of grass seed for sun-exposed parts.
Another option is to improve the sun exposure for your lawn. Just allow your grass to grow taller than average, approximately 3 inches tall, while trimming the branches of nearby trees so that they would never take all the sunlight from your grass.
Ask yourself this: how often do you water grass seed? Proper watering could help your lawn develop well and live for a long time. Over-watering may wash the seeds away, while under-watering could impede the seeds from sprouting.
Follow four tips below to achieve the appropriate frequency of watering:
- Tip 1: Maintain your seeds in a sufficient moisture state. 6 to 8 inches deep of water is suitable before seeding grass.
- Tip 2: Water regularly so that the two-inch top always stays moist but not wringing wet.
- Tip 3: one inch of water per week is ideal when your lawn has finished. It would be best if you watered in the morning so that your grass would not experience evaporation.
Do not water at night time, given the stagnant water could lead to the growth of fungus.
So, how long does it take for grass seed to grow?After all the information and the tips we have compiled, we genuinely hope you find this guide helpful. Remember to keep an eye on the timing matters, and you will end up with a perfect lawn.