Grass seed can be sown from late March through to early Autumn, but the time it takes to grow can vary depending on when you lay it in your garden. Germinating freshly sown grass seed depends on a number of environmental factors, but what’s the average time frame? How can you speed up the growth of your spring lawn?
How long does grass seed take to grow?
Grass seed can germinate in a relatively short time period, though this will largely depend on the type of seed mix you use and when you decide to sow it.
According to the experts at The Grass People, most grass seed will begin to grow within 10 days after sowing in “ideal conditions”.
To become fully established, the fresh seed should take around six to eight weeks to develop full coverage with no patches on the lawn.
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How to make grass grow quicker
Speeding up the germination and growth rate of your grass seed is easy to do with the right preparation and aftercare, and it begins with choosing the right time to sow it.
Sow grass seed in spring
While grass seed can be added to your lawn any time from late March to mid-October, the best time to sprinkle it over existing grass is around April or May.
At this point, the spring weather is usually here to stay – with the late chill of spring over and done with.
Gardeners World said: “A cold spring can delay the germination of grass seed by up to a few weeks, leaving the seed vulnerable to being blown away or eaten by birds, while a hot summer can also inhibit growth, particularly as warm conditions dry out the soil.”
The easiest way to time your seed-sowing right is to wait for the soil temperature to reach at least 8C – though this will often happen sooner for southern regions, and later in the season for more northern parts of the UK.
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Choose the best seed mix for your garden
Different seed mixtures germinate at different rates, so it is important to choose the correct type for your garden.
Perennial ryegrass is the perfect choice for cool season sowing as it requires a lower temperature of just 8-10C to grow.
Fescues however, require slightly warmer temperatures of 10C or more to germinate and are best sown during a mild spring or warm summer in the UK.
For British gardens, ryegrass is generally the best bet for fast and impressive results on your lawn, as recommended by The Grass People.
Balance the soil moisture
Grass seed germinates well in moist soil that’s not too wet or dry.
Strike a balance between a moist soil bed on your lawn while avoiding puddles as this could wash the seeds away.
Nourish your lawn with the elements
After sowing your grass seed, you should water your lawn once a day daily and deeply for the first few weeks.
Water is crucial to allow the grass to absorb moisture and expand its cells to encourage fresh growth.
Without air in the soil, the fresh seed will struggle to grow, leaving the first shoots unable to push through the surface as the root system pushes down.
It is best to aerate your lawn before sowing grass seed to allow plenty of oxygen to help break down the food store within the seed.
Heat is crucial before sowing, but it is important to pay attention to the temperature after you have laid fresh grass seed too.
The Grass People said: “Don’t water your seed when it’s too cold or there has been prolonged wet weather.
“You’re not encouraging germination, just possible rotting.”
When the lawn is establishing fresh seeds, it is important to leave the grass unobstructed to ensure seed receives plenty of light to grow.