How Long Does It Take for New Grass Seed to Germinate?

Written by Ivy

Dec 28 2022

How Long Does It Take for New Grass Seed to Germinate?

The majority of grass seeds will begin to grow in 10–14 days. Below are some of the factors that affect grass seed germination, along with advice on how to ensure successful, even germination so you can create the ideal lawn.

How Long Does Grass Seed Take to Grow?

Although this will largely depend on the kind of seed mix you use and when you decide to sow it, grass seed can germinate in a short amount of time.

According to the experts at The Grass People, most grass seed will begin to grow 10 - 14 days after sowing in "ideal conditions".

Fresh seed should take roughly six to eight weeks to develop full coverage on the lawn without any patches.

Understanding Grass Seed Germination

The period of time it takes for grass to begin growing after seeds are planted is known as germination. The length of germination will largely depend on the type of seed you use, though other factors such as weather, season, and soil quality also come into play. The length of time it takes for some of the most popular grass seeds to germinate is listed below.

  • Annual Ryegrass: Although it grows quickly and is adaptable, this grass is not very cold tolerant. The average time for germination is five to ten days.
  • Bentgrass: On golf course greens, this common perennial cool-season grass is frequently present. Within two weeks, it begins to sprout.
  • Kentucky Bluegrass: It takes longer (between 14 and 30 days) for this hardy, cold-tolerant grass to germinate.
  • Perennial Ryegrass: This grass is well-liked for lawns and is excellent for areas with heavy foot traffic. It takes a lot of watering to germinate, but it does so quickly—in just five to ten days.
  • Red Fescue: It thrives in the shade and needs little water. This grass is cool-season. It takes between 7 and 14 days for it to germinate.
  • Zoysia Grass: This well-liked warm-season grass is tolerant of drought and does well in areas with heavy foot traffic. Although it takes typically between 14 and 21 days to germinate, zoysia is a slower plant.

Factors That Effect Grass Seed to Germinate

Time of Year

The rate at which grass seed germinates is significantly influenced by the time of year. Don't plant grass seed in the winter because it won't grow because of the chilly air and soil temperatures. A cold spring can prevent grass seed from germinating for up to a few weeks, leaving it open to wind and bird predation. A hot summer can also prevent growth, especially since hot weather dries out the soil. For effective germination, the soil temperature must be at least 8 degrees Celsius. Remember that seed planted in the southern part of the UK will germinate earlier than seed planted in the northern part of Scotland. For the most part, we advise sowing grass seed in mid-late spring and again in early autumn.

Moisture of the Soil

Moist soil that is neither too wet nor too dry is ideal for grass seed germination. Keep the soil moist to encourage germination, but use a fine rose or spray to prevent puddles from forming that could hinder germination or wash the seeds away.

Grass Species

Different seed mixtures germinate at various rates. Hardwearing seed mixtures typically contain rye grass and red fescue, and typically begin to germinate in just four days. Some seeds can take up to two weeks to germinate, particularly bent and meadow grasses.

Tips for success

  • Keep the soil moist at all times but don't over-water
  • Sow seed in spring or autumn when soil temperature is at least 8Cº
  • Don't allow the soil to dry out until there is a dense matt of green growth growing where you sowed the seed
  • Use a high-quality seed mix and follow the instructions on the packet as to how densely to sow the seed
  • Avoid sowing on a windy day as this can blow grass seed about

When is the Best Time to Plant Grass Seed?

It's usually a good idea to plant a lot of grass seeds in the spring, but it's not always the case. Your location and the type of seed you use will determine when to plant grass seed. For the best warm-weather grass seed in your area, if you live in a mild climate, look online.

The best time to plant seeds for cool-weather varieties may not be in the spring if you live in a cooler climate and need grass seeds for that climate, like Kentucky Bluegrass or Bentgrass. Ask a specialist if it's a good time to seed if you live in a warm-weather area but are approaching the colder winter months. Consider holding off on your project until the coming of spring.

Additionally, keep in mind these general temperature guidelines.

  • Tip #1: If there is a risk of frost within 60 days, you shouldn't plant a warm-season grass. Think 90 days in colder climates.
  • Tip #2: The ideal daytime temperature range for cool-season grasses is between 60 and 75 degrees.
  • Tip #3: Planting a cool-weather grass after the daytime high drops below 55 degrees is not possible.
14. How Long Does It Take for New Grass Seed to Germinate

Why is My Grass Seed Not Germinating? Factors That Can Impact Grass Growth

Each planting situation is different, so a number of variables can affect how quickly or whether a seed germinates at all. Here are some common reasons why a grass seed may have trouble germinating:

Using the Wrong Type of Seed

The ideal seed variety for your area must be known. You can ask a professional at the nearby nursery for advice, or you can consult online charts. You shouldn't attempt to grow grass that isn't suited to your climate by force.

Not Testing Soil

It's important to match the soil type you have with the soil type your seed wants because nutrients and alkalinity levels in soils vary. With the aid of a soil test, you can determine whether you need to prepare the soil before seeding and whether pre-seeding fertilizer is necessary.

Not Paying Attention to Seeding Rates

One type of grass might need two pounds of seeding per 1,000 square feet, while another might need five pounds. To find out what percentage of your seeds will be covered, read the package.

It's Bad Timing

When it comes to sowing grass, many things can be timed improperly. Poor grass growth can be caused by planting too close to a frost period or allowing the soil to become too dry during the germination period.

How to Speed Up Grass Seed Germination?

It can be exciting to sow grass seeds to transform the appearance of your yard. However, it may take longer than one has the patience for to get the desired results. Fortunately, there are several ways to hasten the germination of grass seeds.

Pre-germinate Your Seeds:

Prior to putting your grass seeds into the soil, pre-germination entails soaking them to make them swell and begin the germination process. Pre-germinating seed mixtures is advised because their germination rates can vary greatly. The seeds will grow more evenly once planted if they have been soaked and pre-germinated.

Till and Amend Your Soil:

Add peat moss or compost to the site after tilling the grass to a depth of six inches. Add a fertilizer made specifically for lawns to help your grass seeds germinate more vigorously. The strength and health of your grass as well as its appearance can both be improved by fertilizers, which can encourage root and leaf growth.

Toilet Paper Grass:

A slurry can be made with flour, water, grass seeds, fertilizer, and toilet paper shreds to help extend the life of the grass seeds and speed up growth by supplying nutrients from the fertilizer. On the surface where you want it to grow, spread a layer of slurry about ½ inch thick. Since the slurry helps keep the seeds in contact with the soil, this method works well for applications on uneven terrain.

Watering Grass Seed: How Do I Keep My New Lawn Alive?

The long-term health of your grass depends on the proper watering, which is essential for germination. The seeds might be washed away if you water the plant too much. The seeds may never sprout if you submerge them. Here are four important tips for proper watering:

  • Tip #1: To encourage the seeds to sprout, you must create a warm, inviting environment. You should water deeply (six to eight inches) a few days before planting.
  • Tip #2: After that, you'll need to continue watering frequently to keep the top two inches moist but not drenched.
  • Tip #3: As the seeds sprout, continue to check the lawn. Watch the sunny and shady areas to see how the sun affects germination.
  • Tip #4: Once the lawn has grown completely, you should water it once a week for about an inch. Water in the morning to prevent evaporation and avoid watering at night because the water may sit on the surface for too long and encourage fungus growth.
Read More:

The Bottom Line

Make sure to do your research before planting seed. Make sure you have the best seed for your climate and location in order to achieve the best results. The numerous factors, such as your soil, the temperature outside, and routine watering, that can aid in your seeds germination must also be taken into consideration. If unsure, consult a local nursery expert or your neighbors who may have previously planted grass seed. It's always better to have two local minds than one.


Will Grass Seed Germinate on Top of Soil?

Yes, soil-top grass seed will germinate. As grass seeds cannot penetrate mounded surfaces, it is best to keep them shallowly sown. Better chances of germination will result from proper care, soil tilling, and the use of a rake to distribute seeds evenly.

How Quickly Does Grass Seed Dry Out?

If grass seed isn't watered in a warm environment, it will dry out in a day. To ensure your grass will grow past the seed stage, it is best to keep grass seed moist throughout the germination stage.

Watering your grass seeds in the morning and again after the hottest part of the day will help to keep them moist and prevent them from drying out.

How to Pre-germinate Grass Seed?

In order to prepare grass seed for germination, the grass must first be soaked to break up its outer layer. If time is of the essence, this can be stopped after three days, though it can take up to five days with a water change every twelve hours. The grass seeds can be planted in the yard on tilled, well-draining soil after they have had time to soak. Mist or gently water the seeds each day during this period to keep them moist. Most grass seeds should germinate after two weeks, and the soak should help a mixture of seeds germinate at roughly the same time.

Will Grass Seed Grow If I Just Throw It Down?

Since there is probably insufficient shade and care for the seeds to sprout, grass seed won't really grow well if it is simply thrown down on the ground or on soil. It is worth the effort to have a beautiful outdoor space to grow grass in tilled, fertilized soil because it will produce the best results.

How Long Does It Take for Grass Seed to Germinate in October?

Even more so if it is a warm-season grass, it can take two to four weeks for grasses to grow in October. Although you might not fully appreciate the potential of cool-season grasses until spring, they can still germinate and take root in the cooler temperatures of late fall.

How Long for Grass Seed to Grow 3 Inches?

Under ideal growing conditions, it may take up to 30 days to notice noticeable grass growth, which could reach 3 inches. How quickly does grass grow, you might ask. Because there is a lot of energy going into the vegetative and elongation stages of its growth cycle, grass grown from seed will likely take at least a month to reach 3 inches in height. The majority of established grass grows at a rate of 2–6 inches per month, depending on the variety.