How Long Does It Take for Grass to Grow?

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In general, grass germination takes anywhere between 5 to 30 days. However, a lush, green, established lawn takes patience and attention to achieve. More than that, it takes experience and expertise from someone who has been planting and growing grass for a long time.

In this article, we give you an overview of the different kinds of grass and provide the best tips on how to grow grass effectively, whether you’re doing the work yourself or hiring a professional like TruGreen.

Get a free quote from House Method’s recommend lawn care service provider online or by calling 888.535.3193.

Regional impact on grass growth

Where you are geographically in the U.S. affects what grass will grow best. While there is no area in the U.S. where temperatures are perfectly consistent, grass is generally categorized into cool-season grass and warm-season grass.

If you live in the Northern, Northeastern, or Pacific Northwest regions (or where the climate fluctuates), you’ll want to consider cool-season grass. Cool-season grass grows best within the 60°F to 75°F range, and includes:

  • Kentucky bluegrass (KBG)—The most popular and common cool-season grass, KBG establishes its roots quicker than most types of grasses under the right conditions. You’ll likely see sprouts soon after planting the seeds. KBG has a short germination time (about 14–30 days), and grows aggressively from the seed stage, which makes it resilient if your lawn is damaged. Its growth slows down if it’s warm or hot. You’ll often find KBG used in golf courses and athletic fields.
  • Fine fescue—A fairly low-maintenance grass, fine fescue is shade tolerant, heat and drought resistant, and eco-friendly because it does not require as much moisture and fertilizer as other types of grasses. Seeds of fine fescue germinate faster than KBG (about 7–14 days), establish quickly, and grow in bunches. They are often characterized as having the finest blades.
  • Tall fescue—Like its sibling, fine fescue, tall fescue germinates quickly (about 4–14 days) and establishes easily. Tall fescue grows in bunches, grows well in the shade, and is resistant to heat and drought.
  • Perennial ryegrass—While not as aggressive a grower as KBG, perennial ryegrass germinates quickly (about 5–10 days) and establishes well, but it spreads slower. It grows in bunches, with growth peaking in cool and moderate months, and needs water and fertilizer maintenance in order to keep its color.
  • Annual ryegrassAnnual ryegrass is often used to overseed warm-season grasses to provide cover to lawns during the winter. This grass is often a temporary solution and is not normally used as turf.
  • Bentgrass—Known more as a specialty grass that is difficult to maintain, bentgrass is not often used for home lawns. Creeping bentgrass is a popular variation, but because it grows aggressively, it competes with the nutrients more desirable kinds of grass need. Creeping bentgrass is sometimes considered a weed.

On the other hand, if you live in the Southern or Southeastern regions of the U.S., you’ll want to consider warm-season grasses. Warm-season grass grows best in areas where temperatures range between 80°F and 95°F and includes:

  • Bahia—This type of grass is drought and heat tolerant and doesn’t require a lot of watering and fertilizing. Bahia goes dormant and brown during the winter months and is greenest during its growth and germination stage, which takes about 7–21 days. When it goes dormant, you could consider overseeding with a cool season grass like annual ryegrass.
  • Bermuda—An aggressive grass in terms of growth, Bermuda germinates in about 10–30 days and can become a pest to other kinds of grasses, as it spreads quickly. It tolerates heat, drought, and salt the best among the warm-season grasses and goes brown during the winter season.
  • Centipede—This grass grows best in warm months and is very sensitive to cold temperatures. Centipede grass germinates about 14–21 days, and while it is very low maintenance, it does require very specific soil alkalinity.
  • St. Augustine—Notoriously difficult to germinate, St. Augustine grass often comes in the form of sod or plugs to lay into a lawn. It will spread on its own once it is established. It prefers moist climates and areas and is popular in the Gulf Coast region. Because it flourishes in tropical climates.
  • Zoysia—This type of grass germinates about 14–28 days and establishes slowly. Zoysia grass is very low maintenance and tolerates drought, heat, and foot traffic very well.

How to grow grass

Aside from temperature, soil acidity levels, weather changes, and the presence of disease can impact grass germination and growth. With all these factors, it takes care and consideration to grow your grass into a luscious lawn.

Here are 10 of our best tips on how to successfully grow grass.

1. Season/temperature is crucial.

Ideally, you should plant new cool-season grass in spring or early fall and warm-season grasses in early summer. If you are trying to grow grass seeds yourself, then it’s important to know which kinds will grow best in your area. You can also save yourself the time and headache of reseeding your lawn by hiring a lawn care company to do the dirty work for you.

2. Consider whether you want to reseed or replace.

If you plan on just overseeding (spreading grass seeds over an existing lawn), then you should be able to get your lawn in better shape on your own. However, if you are replacing an existing lawn, consider using a sod cutter to cut out old grass roots. Alternatively, you can use an herbicide that will kill all of the existing grass.

3. Think about grass seed quality

When shopping for new turf, purchasing quality grass seeds is worth considering. Look for grass seed bags marked with an National Turf Evaluation Program (NTEP) rating. NTEP ratings indicate that the seeds have been specifically bred to be more durable and resistant to pests or diseases.

4. Your soil is your canvas.

Optimize it for grass seed or sod growth:

  • Loosen the top soil if you’re planting new grass seeds.
  • Breaking apart big pieces of soil so that there aren’t any large clumps. Though, you don’t want your soil to be too fine.
  • Get rid of any debris like grass cuttings, sticks, leaves, and stones.
  • Ensure there aren’t any pockets of soil where water can puddle. Even out dips and hills in your lawn using a rake.
  • Fertilize with nitrogen-rich fertilizer
  • Add lime if your soil is too acidic for a certain type of grass. This is called soil amendment.

5. Plant grass seeds evenly.

Ideally, you should place about 16 seeds per square inch to ensure that the grass seeds aren’t fighting for nutrients in the soil. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil, fertilizer, and mulch, so the seeds don’t wash away. Don’t put too much soil on top, since the seeds need sun exposure.

6. Keep soil moist.

The key to getting grass seeds to germinate is to keep the thin layer of soil on top of the seeds moist. Don’t overwater, or you’ll drown the seedlings. Watering your lawn once a day with a light spray should work. On hotter days, you should water it more often. The idea is to keep the roots and the soil moist. If you see mold growing, stop watering.

7. Monitor germination.

Once you see seedlings, you can transition to watering less. Consult our grass information above for germination times and when you should expect to see seedlings. Be patient. If you don’t see results, reseed.

8. Keep an eye for grass establishment.

Monitor whether the grass is taking root and spreading or flourishing. Reseed if there are any dead patches and remove crabgrass.

9. Wait to mow.

Allow grass to grow 2–3 inches before mowing and don’t use pesticide or weed killers without first consulting an expert.

10. Consider pregermination.

If you want your seeds to germinate faster, start your grass seeds in a container, mixing them with compost, keep the compost moist, and wait for seedlings to appear. Once the seeds begin to germinate, you can transplant them into your prepared soil. If the conditions are right, you should see results faster. Moreover, make sure that there isn’t heavy foot traffic on your lawn.

A child and a young golden retriever are running on the green grass outdoors.

What it takes to grow grass

The average American spends 70 hours on lawn care. Considering that’s only the average and takes into account people who spend zero hours on their lawn, that statistic is probably much higher. It takes a lot of research, money, time, effort, and patience to grow grass and maintain a healthy lawn. If you want your grass to look green and lush year-round, you’ll have to commit to hours of diligent lawn maintenance. If you can commit to that, great! If not, then it’s time to bring in the professionals.

 

Growing Grass: DIY or Hire?

HIRE: Growing and germinating grass properly is a science. An entire industry is dedicated to caring for your lawn, and you have the knowledge and experience of professionals working for you. What’s not to like?

DIY

  • You may be saving money, but the results can vary greatly between success to ruining your lawn. More often than not, you get what you pay for.
  • You’re going to need to invest in tools and products that you won’t likely need again.
  • If something goes wrong, you’ll have to end up spending more money trying to diagnose and fix the problem than if you’d hired someone in the first place.

Hire

  • Lawn care professionals, specialists, and experts do the work for you and you’ll get the best results this way.
  • If something goes awry with any step in the process, they are the ones who are best equipped to know how to handle it.
  • If you’re not happy with the results, you’re backed by TruGreen’s Healthy Lawn Guarantee®◆.

House Method recommends going with TruGreen for your grass. TruGreen is America’s #1 professional lawn care company, and they have the expertise and resources to ensure your grass is in good hands.*

Here’s why we choose TruGreen:

  • They are professional lawn care specialists who inspect the conditions of your lawn, so you get a tailored treatment plan.
  • Backed by their Healthy Lawn Guarantee, TruGreen will have someone stop by between your scheduled visits to ensure you are satisfied with your lawn.
  • They do everything—from soil preparation, to picking the right kind of grass, to providing the right kind of grass seed mixture, to aerating and fertilizing your lawn. Basically, everything that you have read up to this point can be performed by TruGreen.
  • They will monitor your grass growth for you.
  • Their prices are reasonable. If you want to stop your subscription, you can cancel at anytime.

Get your free quote by clicking here or calling 888.535.3193.

Call the professionals.

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*America’s #1 lawn care company based on U.S. market share of professional lawn care companies. 2016 NorthStar Partners U.S. Share Tracker Guarantee applies to full plan customers only.

About the author

Sylene Cortez is a writer and editor for whom home has meant everywhere from the Philippines to Arkansas. If home is where the heart is, she writes to help make sure where you are is the best version of a home that it can be.


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