Even if you use the best-rated grass seed on the market, you’ll want to do some research beforehand in terms of how long it may take to grow. For example, the climate and location of the sown seeds may cause fluctuations in the length of time it takes to grow. There are also different types of grass seed that germinate at different rates and this makes determining the length of time it may take to grow differ depending on various factors.
However, as an approximation, it takes grass seed at least 10 days to begin to grow and it’ll then continue to grow at a rate of 2 to 3 centimetres a week. However, this type of growth is dependent upon certain factors that we discuss below.
What Factors Determine Grass Seed Growth?
1. Type of Grass Seed
When it comes to selecting grass seeds in the UK, the options are somewhat constrained due to the absence of a warm climate throughout the year. However, there are still many varieties that can thrive in the UK’s temperate conditions.
One of the most prevalent grass seed types in the country is perennial ryegrass. This variety is favoured because it can reliably germinate at temperatures as low as 10 degrees Celsius. As long as the seeds are sown at the appropriate time, perennial ryegrass exhibits rapid growth, enabling the establishment of a lush and vibrant lawn.
Another popular grass seed choice in the UK is fescue. While it also boasts fast growth, it requires slightly higher temperatures to germinate consistently. Generally, fescue performs best during the summer months when temperatures exceed 10 degrees Celsius. This grass seed variety is well-suited for areas that experience warmer weather, providing a reliable option for homeowners seeking quick and efficient lawn establishment.
While perennial ryegrass and fescue are prominent grass seed options, there are additional varieties available to suit different preferences and needs. When deciding on a grass seed type, it’s crucial to consider factors such as the amount of sunlight the lawn receives, foot traffic levels and specific requirements for shade tolerance or drought resistance.
2. Preparation of the Ground
Proper soil preparation is vital for optimal seed growth and it should be well-drained, loose and free of debris. It’s recommended that you remove any weeds, rocks or existing vegetation that could compete with the new grass seed for nutrients and sunlight (i.e. remove any moss). Loosening the soil and adding organic matter can also help to improve its texture and fertility thus providing a favourable environment for seed germination and root development.
Before you plant the seeds, it’s highly recommended that you try to keep the soil moist. Therefore, watering the soil (if it isn’t raining) a few days before on a daily basis is highly advised to create the perfect growing environment.
3. Time of Year
As briefly mentioned above, the ideal ground temperature for grass seed to grow quickly is around 10 degrees. Therefore, in the UK, we usually achieve these temperatures from March to September. If possible, we highly recommend looking at a two-week forecast as an indication of the best time to plant grass seeds.
Sufficient and consistent watering is critical during the germination and establishment stages. The soil should be kept consistently moist but not waterlogged. Watering should be done lightly and frequently to prevent the seed from drying out or becoming oversaturated.
Ideally, you’ll want to use a garden hose (or even better a garden sprinkler) to water your lawn once a day unless it rains. For the first few weeks, you’ll want to thoroughly water the seedbed to reduce the time the grass seeds take to grow. However, it’s crucial that you don’t drown the seeds by overwatering them as this’ll cause further issues.
5. Weed Control
Weeds can compete with grass seeds for resources and therefore hinder their growth. To tackle this, taking measures to kill any weeds before and after seeding is crucial. Pre-emergent herbicides can help prevent weed seeds from germinating, while post-emergent herbicides can target established weeds without harming the grass seedlings.
The amount of sunlight your lawn receives can impact the growth of grass seeds. Different grass varieties have certain levels of tolerance to shade and some require full sun exposure whilst others can thrive in partially shaded areas. Therefore, it’s important to select grass seed that matches the sunlight conditions of your lawn.
7. Seeding Rate
The rate at which you sow the grass seeds can impact their growth and overall density. Therefore, it’s crucial that you follow the recommended seeding rate for the specific grass seed variety to ensure that the seeds are not overcrowded or too sparsely distributed.
Grass Seed Growth Case Study
At DIY Works, we love a good case study and to back our answer of how long grass seed takes to grow, we put some grass seed to the test. In the first photo, we helped out a family member where their grass had completely died.
After sowing the grass seeds in April, we began to see signs of germination in just 4 days (as shown in the second photo). After 10 days, we started to see the formation of grass (third photo) and then after 14 days, we had thick grass (4th photo). Depending on the grass seed you use, you should see similar germination day by day.
As shown in the images, we did have a few patches but we overseeded these areas so that it matched the new grass. We then waited until all the grass was over 8 to 10 cm tall before its first cut with a lawnmower.
Although grass seeds may take 10 days to grow, you’ll only be able to achieve these results by meeting the optimum growing conditions as stated above. Watering the soil to keep it moist and planting your seeds in the spring or autumn when the ground temperature is around 10 degrees are the main factors to consider. However, a high-quality seed blend and following the instructions stated by the manufacturer are just as important.
If you require further information regarding grass seeds, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.