Growing a beautiful lawn for some is as important as brushing their teeth. To others, keeping the lawn mowed is a part of household chores and not that important as long as it doesn’t detract from their overall landscaping. We all enjoy well-kept lawns, such as those in parks, and are grateful for the people who work hard to keep the grass nice. The basis for all lawns is grass seed unless you plan on laying sod, which still got its start from seed.
Plant Grass Seeds
So, how long does it take for grass seed to grow? Growing grass in our yards is as natural as ducks swimming in a pond. All you need is a decent lawnmower, grass seeds, patience, and lawn fertilizer. Once that grass seed sprouts, the ugly dirt is covered with tender green grass that can be mowed into a smooth carpet ready for bare feet and summer picnics.
Before you plant grass seeds, remember that awns are wonderful expanses of green that stretch in front of homes like a soft blanket. They are the canvas for the landscaping and flower gardens that accent the green grass. Seeding a lawn is not only far less expensive than sod or plugs, but the resulting lawn is more resilient than sod. Almost all grass seeds will have germinated and sprouted up thin green blades within 5 to 10 days after planting, depending on the moisture of the soil and the warmth of the air.
Types of Grass
There are around 10,000 species of grass plants recorded, but of those, only about 50 are suitable for planting as lawns. It can be confusing to figure out what grass seed would be best for your lawn, but realize there are basically two kinds of grass plants, cool weather, and warm weather.
The cool-weather grass is for areas with four seasons. The grass can live through the freezing, thawing, drought, and rain of the different seasons. Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, red fescue, turf-type tall fescue, titan, and thermal are examples of cool-weather grasses.
The warm-weather grasses tend to brown during the winter months and seem to grow better from sod or grass plugs than from seed. Centipede grass, Bahia, St. Augustine grass, buffalo grass, Bermuda grass, and Zoysia are examples of common warm-weather grasses.
Sowing grass seeds of both types should be done in the spring or fall before the heat and before freezing in the North.
Deciding on Grass Seed
Understanding the different features of grass will help you decide what kind of seed to buy. The cool-weather grasses have a deep green blade and a softer texture than the warmer grasses. The blades tend to be narrow in comparison with the warm grasses. They are easy to grow and will quickly fill in bare areas. If you want to grow grass quickly and add color, sometimes people in the South will overseed their warm-weather lawns with cool-weather grass seed to add to their otherwise brown yards.
Warm-weather grasses are tough and resilient. If your lawn gets invaded with these types of grasses, they are hard to get rid of. They will form a dense, thick mat of grass that will brown up over winter and then return to green in the spring. Most of these grasses are killed by freezing.
Lawn Grass Seeds & Other Plants
Look at a typical patch of lawn, and you may be surprised to see that there are all kinds of plants growing that are not grass at all. Many times other plants fill in areas without grass and grow just fine under the typical lawn conditions of being walked on and mowed every week. Clover, ground ivy, dandelion, carpet weed, chickweed, curly dock, henbit, violets, and sorrel are all common broadleaf plants that thrive in our yards and are actually pretty in some cases. They tend to stay soft and will help the lawn survive during periods of drought, as most of them are native groundcovers.
Applying a broadleaf herbicide will kill these plants and might leave large bare patches, depending on the thickness of your lawn. This is a prime application for reseeding with grass seed.
Grass Growth Time Frame
The grass growth timeline refers to the stages of growth that a grass plant goes through during its life cycle. These stages include seed germination, establishment, vegetative growth, and reproductive growth.
Seed germination: This is the first stage of grass growth, where the seed absorbs water and begins to grow roots and shoots. The seedling will emerge from the soil and start to photosynthesize, but it will still rely on the seed’s stored energy for survival.
- Establishment: During this stage, the grass plant develops a strong root system and begins to produce new leaves. It is essential to provide adequate moisture and nutrients during this stage to ensure the grass plant establishes itself successfully.
- Vegetative growth: In this stage, the grass plant experiences rapid leaf and stem growth, and the root system becomes more extensive. This stage is crucial for maintaining the plant’s health and vigor.
- Reproductive growth: This is the final stage of grass growth, where the plant produces flowers and seeds. Once the grass has produced seeds, it will start to decline, and the cycle will begin again.
The length of time it takes for grass to go through these stages will depend on several factors, such as the grass species, environmental conditions, and management practices. However, on average, it can take several months for a grass plant to complete its life cycle, with some species taking longer than others. Proper care and management of the grass can help ensure that it grows healthy and strong throughout its life cycle.
Planting grass seed on a well-prepared site with good soil and drainage will produce a light green, thin lawn in a week. After two weeks, the grass will not be much thicker, but it will be taller. Mowing the grass at this point with the lawnmower at the highest setting will force the grass plants to grow more leaves and become thicker. After three weeks, your lawn should be ready for weekly mowing and light traffic. You should have a nice green lawn ready for regular use within a month. Of course, any adverse conditions will slow this down, and you will have to allow for more growth time before allowing foot traffic.