Grass is a common sight in most yards and gardens as they make for beautiful scenery and also provides a safe platform for kids to play on. It is said that a perfectly mowed lawn increases the value of a property by up to 15%.
While it is not a difficult task to plant and grow, it may be a little difficult for first-timers to know the right thing to do and also the exact time it takes for the different species of grass seeds to germinate. In this article, we’ll go through some guidelines and germination time for popular grass seeds.
When growing grass seeds in your lawn or garden, there are different steps to follow to ensure proper germination and growth. These steps are only guidelines and are not set in stone.
Several factors affect how long it’ll take for grass seed to germinate (and how long to actually grow visibly). Some of these factors are the type of seed, soil humidity and temperature, age of the seed and many others.
How Long Does it Take for a Grass Seed to Germinate?
Takes between five to thirty days for grass seed to germinate. This is of course depending on some factors like seed type, time of the year, seed age, soil type and many others.
Some of these factors can affect their germination time and growth rate.
Factors to Consider Before Planting
For grass seeds to sprout and grow evenly, certain pre-planting conditions must be met and adhered to before planting. Here are some of these factors to consider before planting your seeds.
Time of the Year
The planting season is a huge factor that affects the time it takes for certain grass seeds to germinate and even grow properly.
Grass seeds do not grow well during cold periods, so avoid planting during the winter as it’s almost impossible for grass seeds to grow in the winter. Likewise in the summer, the hot weather dries out the soil and makes it difficult for the seeds to germinate.
For optimum result, we recommend you plant your grass seeds between mid/late spring season and early autumn. This is an ideal season for grass germination.
There are also specialized seed variants which have been optimised for different seasons and time of the year.
Soil Temperature and Humidity
As stated earlier, grass seeds do not germinate properly in cold or very hot weather conditions. Before planting, check the soil temperature and humidity.
Ideal soil temperature is around 55° Fahrenheit. Also, check for the water level in the soil. You can do this easily by using a screwdriver or stick to make a hole in the soil and feeling the soil with your hands. The soil should not be too wet or dry.
Age of Seed
Grass seeds typically have expiry dates of around two years so be sure to buy seeds that have recently been bagged.
Also, proper storage of seed is essential to ensure proper germination, and it helps you save cost.
A simple way to check if seeds are still in good shape before planting is to take a few and wrap with a damp tissue. If the seeds start sprouting after a few days, it shows most of the seeds are good, then you can plant.
There is a variety of grass seeds available in the market right now. These different seeds come with their unique features and knowing how to select the most suitable for you will save you a lot of stress.
Features like how long it takes each to germinate, its most favorable season, and many others, set all these seed types apart.
Here’s a list of a few and their unique features.
- Fescue Grass: It takes between seven to fourteen days for the fescue grass to germinate. The best time to plant this type of grass is during the fall, alongside most other cool-season grass seeds. It’s most favorable soil temperature is between 50° to 65°F, and this is proportionate to 60° to 75°F atmospheric temperature.
- Kentucky Bluegrass: This seed type predominantly takes a longer time to germinate than other cool-season grasses. It takes a period of two to five weeks to germinate. The Kentucky grass seed is usually planted around spring and autumn season. It also tends to choke out weeds while growing, which makes it a popular choice among gardeners.
- Perennial Ryegrass: This is a hard-wearing seed with a short germination period of between five to ten days. This type of ryegrass is mostly preferred because it lasts for more than a year, unlike the annual variant of the ryegrass. It is also very suitable for colder climates. As a cool-season grass, it is best planted when the soil temperature is between 50° to 65°F.
- Bahia Grass: This is a hot-season grass seed that grows in hot areas. They are usually planted in the spring or early in the summer. It takes this seed approximately 28 days to germinate, but in more humid summers with lots of rainfall, it can grow within 10-14 days.
How to Plant Your Seeds?
Here are straight forward steps on how to plant your seeds in order to get maximum growth.
- Prepare the soil by removing grasses and loosening the soil with a rake and hoe.
- Mix the soil with nutrients and grass seed fertilizer and allow for some time
- Plant your seeds by spreading them over the soil. Use a rake to work them into the ground.
- Use a little layer of manure to cover the soil
After Planting Care
After planting, you still have to perform specific actions to care for them. Seeds need an average amount of moisture to germinate. Too much humidity can prevent the growth of your seeds.
You should check the water level in the soil and water accordingly. Properly watering your seeds or seedlings ensures they grow strong roots that’ll prevent them from being blown away by the wind when they start growing.
After Germination Care
When seedling starts to sprout, it starts requiring lesser attention as they’ve already taken roots. They still need to be watered every other day, depending on the water level in the soil.
Bear in mind that not all seeds will germinate at the same time, so you’ll need to give them a little time to sprout. In cases where some seeds do not germinate, you’ll need to replant to cover those open areas.
Grasses normally grow at the rate of 2-3 cm a week and it’s advisable to leave until they’re about 2-3 inches tall before mowing. Mowing just 1/3 of their length a time gives the perfect result.
Proper care and mowing will give your lawn a beautiful look, and safe ground for your kids to play on.