Waiting for your grass seeds to germinate is like watching a pot to the bowl; I can feel frustrating to watch your seeds not grow as expected.
The good news is that you can speed up or upgrade your existing garden and make it look greener and healthier by applying grass seeds. Sometimes, new seeds take time to germinate and their germination can be affected by many conditions such as soil temperature, moisture, and light. But you can speed up grass seed germination. If yes, how to speed up grass seed germination?
Instead of waiting for weeks and letting the grass seeds germinate on their own, follow the tips outlined in this guide to speed up your grass seed germination.
Table of Contents
- 1 Tips for How to Speed Up Grass Seed Germination
- 1.1 1- Ensure You Choose The Right Seed
- 1.2 2- Ensure The Health Of The Soil
- 1.3 3- Dry Lawns
- 1.4 4- Wet Lawns
- 1.5 5- Water Your Grass Regularly
- 1.6 6- Avoid Disturbing Your Grass
- 1.7 7- Mow Your Grass Correctly
- 1.8 8- Plant Your Seeds Correctly
- 1.9 9- Choose The Best Weather for Seed Germination
- 2 Does Soaking Grass Seed Speed Up Germination?
Tips for How to Speed Up Grass Seed Germination
Getting your grass seed to grow requires time, patience, and the proper conditions for seed germination. Here are a few tips on how to speed up grass seed germination.
1- Ensure You Choose The Right Seed
If your grass seeds are germinating slowly, it may be because you haven’t used the right seeds. All grass seeds aren’t made equal, you need to pick the right grass seeds for your lawn.
The warm-season grass thrives in hot temperatures, whereas, the lawns with the cool-season grass grow healthy whenever they experience dramatic changes in temperature throughout the year.
Additionally, the grass seeds for dry lawns and wet lawns are different.
- Cool-season grasses grow best with large temperature swings during the year, including in the Midwest, Northwest, and Northeast.
- Warm-season grasses thrive in warm weather with slight temperature differences, including in the Southwest.
2- Ensure The Health Of The Soil
The health of the soil determines the health of your lawn, so keep the soil healthy. Remove extra weeds from the roots. Dig up the flowers that you don’t want to keep planted in your lawn.
Here are some helpful ways to effectively prepare your soil and speed up your grass seeds germination.
- Begin by removing any existing grass, weeds, and large rocks from the place you plan to plant.
- Fill in low areas with soil, and if your existing soil is compacted, consider using a tiller and loosening everything up.
- Finish by using a stiff rake to even everything out—now you are done, your soil is ready!
3- Dry Lawns
For dry lawns, you need to choose seeds that have two properties:
- Seeds that can add nutrients to the garden.
- Seeds have lesser chances of catching diseases as compared to other grass seeds.
4- Wet Lawns
For wet lawns, your grass seeds need to have a coating on top. These top-coated seeds absorb more moisture as compared to other grass seeds.
5- Water Your Grass Regularly
After seeding and fertilizing the lawn, you need to water it properly and regularly. Regularly watering the ground will speed up the seed germination process.
Watering intervals can cause differences in soil moisture variability, affecting grass seeds species’ germination and growth, according to research issued by the USDA.
Tips On Properly Watering Your Grass Seeds For Faster Germination:
- To keep the soil moist, it’s necessary to water the lawn once the seeds germinate.
- You should water the lawn until the grass is at least two inches tall.
- Water the ground every few days using a sprinkler bucket or a hose.
- And if it’s summer, water more often. Keep watering the soil regularly so that it reaches down to the roots.
- Water twice daily if it is unusually hot, but don’t let the spot get soggy.
- After seeds start to germinate, you will need to keep the top 2 inches (5.08 cm) of soil moist with light watering until the grass is about 3 inches (7.62 cm) tall.
- At this time, your grass is growing its root structure, so you want to start deeply watering so that moisture reaches down through the top 6 to 8 inches (15.24 to 20.32 cm) of soil.
6- Avoid Disturbing Your Grass
Trampling on the ground affects the quality of the seeds and slows down germination as well. So, try to avoid trampling on the ground.
Once your grass starts to grow, keep foot traffic and pet movement to an absolute minimum for at least a month.
Apart from that, keep your children and pets away from the grass for six weeks at least. Moreover, your seeds will grow more evenly and will be more protected if you remove cumbersome objects and heavy furniture from your lawn.
7- Mow Your Grass Correctly
While thinking about how to speed up grass seed germination, you should also pay heed to mowing the grass. Mowing correctly will help your grass seeds germinate fast.
When the seeds have started to germinate, and the grass has reached a height of three inches (7.62 cm), mowing the grass correctly becomes more essential.
Don’t move your grass with blades that are too low. Because by doing so you can damage the new grass seeds, and you may even encourage weeds to grow.
8- Plant Your Seeds Correctly
Correct plantation of the seeds ensures their fast germination. Prepare your soil correctly and spread your grass seeds onto the fresh soil.
It is essential to note that if there’s too much soil on the top of the young grass shoots, they find it difficult to break through. So, don’t bury your seed.
9- Choose The Best Weather for Seed Germination
The growth of the grass is largely affected by the soil temperature and weather conditions. The best growing conditions for seeds demand that your seeds must be in temperatures of around 10 degrees.
Does Soaking Grass Seed Speed Up Germination?
Seeds have some natural defenses against brutal conditions such as harshly hot and cold weather or cruelly wet and dry conditions. Seeds are expected to face such conditions in the wild. So, over millions of years, they have developed natural defenses against them.
But seeds are not expected to face such conditions in your lawn, rather they are pampered in lawns. So, you need to break their naturally defensive mechanism to make them grow faster. Soaking helps you in breaking down these natural defenses and speeds up the germination process.
When you soak seeds, you boost the moisture content around the seeds, and in return, the seeds receive signals that they are safe to grow. Moreover, some seeds contain germination inhibitors inside them.
The sole purpose of these inhibitors is to prevent a seed from germinating inside a fruit. Soaking the seeds up helps to leach away these inhibitors and thus, the process of germination of seeds is sped up.
Tips On Soaking Your Grass Seeds:
- Place your correctly purchased grass seeds into a bucket that contains fresh and healthy compost.
- Now, allow your grass seeds to sit for around 4 days.
- After two days, you may notice that the seeds have begun to expand, and they may have a white growth spurt. It’s completely normal, and in fact, it’s a great starting condition for your grass seeds.
- After four days, you need to dry off the seeds. For that, place them on a clean surface for around 24 hours. You can plant these seeds in your garden once they are completely dry.
|Turf species||Characteristics||Expected germination time in days|
|Annual ryegrass||Annual ryegrass (AKA Italian ryegrass or winter grass) is a cool-season grass type that adapts to sunny conditions and moderate temperatures.||5 to 10 days|
|Buffalograss||Although buffalograss is generally one of the most drought-resistant grasses, it doesn’t last long because of its long winter dormancy.||14 to 30 days|
|Bermudagrass (Seeded)||Bermudagrass thrives in high temperatures and full sun. And generally, during periods of extended low temperatures, bermudagrass will turn brown.||10 to 30 days|
|Colonial bentgrass||Colonial bentgrass is a cool-season grass that grows well in cool coastal weather. It thrives in humid weather, cool, and can tolerate some shade.||10 to 14 days|
|Hard fescue||Hard fescue is a cool-season grass usually used in cool-season grass seed mixtures when shade is an expected issue. It thrives on low fertility soils and in shaded areas.||7 to 14 days|
|Creeping bentgrass||Creeping bentgrass is a cool-season grass used for golf courses to add greenery and lawn tennis facilities.|
In addition, creeping bentgrass requires regular watering, mowing, aerating, dethatching, and increased fertilizer levels.
|10 to 14 days|
|Kentucky bluegrass||Kentucky bluegrass is naturally a cool-season grass that grows well during the fall, winter, and spring months with cool temperatures. Generally, its growth slows during the warm summer months.||14 to 30 days|
|Tall fescue||Tall fescue is also a cool-season grass, and it adapts well to sunny or partially shady areas.|
Additionally, tall fescue tolerates moderate traffic, heat stress, drought, and infrequent mowing.
|7 to 12 days|
|Rough bluegrass||Rough bluegrass grows well in wet, cool, and shady areas.|
Even though rough bluegrass requires moderate maintenance, it is a good idea to provide it with rich soils and a lot of water.
|7 to 10 days|
|Red fescue||Red fescue is a cool-season grass generally used in excellent, shaded mountain sites, including camps, resorts, and cabins where low levels of fertilization, irrigation, and mowing are preferred.||7 to 14 days|
|Perennial ryegrass||Perennial ryegrass is typically a very competitive cool-season grass that prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade. You can usually find it around schools, homes, and parks.|
Because perennial ryegrass germinates quickly, people often use it for overseeding winter-dormant bermudagrass lawns. It is generally mixed with Kentucky bluegrass for a more traffic and disease-resistant turf.
|5 to 10 days|
The Final Thoughts
Now that you know how to speed up grass seed germination, you can use the tips mentioned above to give your lawn the best chance of thriving.
To increase your chance of success and successfully speed up your grass seeds germination follow the tips below:
- Ensure you keep your soil moist constantly and consistently, but avoid overwatering.
- Sow new seeds in autumn or spring when the soil temperature is at least 46.4 (8Cº).
- Use a high-quality seed mixture and carefully follow the instructions on the packet on how densely to sow the seed.
- Before sowing, check the weather and avoid sowing on a windy day because it can blow grass seed.