About Lawn Seed Growth


Lawn grasses provide a covering that protects against erosion and provides an attractive surface for pets and human activities. While sod provides a quick method to establish a new lawn, seeding your lawn saves money and provides an extensive choice of grass varieties. Growing a new lawn from seed requires proper planting techniques and careful maintenance. Newly planted grass seeds go through several stages on their way to establishing a lush expanse of lawn.


Lawn grasses fall into two main categories. Warm-season grasses grow during the warm, summer months, while cool-season grasses begin growing earlier, while temperatures are still cool, and stop growing when temperatures become hot. Warm-season grasses, such as buffalo grass, begin growing after the soil warms sufficiently in the middle to late springtime. Cool-season grasses, like annual ryegrass, start to grow as soon as the soil begins to thaw in the early spring.


The first step in seed growth, grass begins to grow when the outer shell of the seed splits open and the root begins to emerge. Seeds must have adequate amounts of light, warmth and moisture to begin germinating. Soon after the roots emerge, grass seeds send out small shoots that begin to grow upward and eventually form the exposed blades of grass. Buffalograss and bluegrass can take up to 30 days to germinate, while ryegrass and fescue often germinate within the first week.


Several conditions affect the rate of grass seed growth. In addition to soil temperature, grass seeds require firm contact with the soil, adequate amounts of moisture, and soil nutrients to thrive and grow. Pressing down new seeds with a seed roller and covering them with a fine layer of mulch encourages proper germination and subsequent growth.


Although future water requirements depend on the variety of seeds, initial growth requires even, substantial moisture. Allowing new grass seeds to dry out can limit the rate of germination and destroy new growth. Although a few grasses, such as creeping bentgrass, tolerate slight shade, most types of lawn grass seeds need at least eight hours of sunlight to grow.


A newly seeded lawn can take an entire season to establish itself in your yard. During the first year of growth, your lawn grass requires regular watering to maintain an even level of moisture near the roots. Depending on your variety of grass and your climate, you may need to supply 1 or 2 inches of water every week to 10 days. Allow your new grass seed to grow to the upper level of its recommended height before mowing. Applying a nitrogen fertilizer can boost the health of your lawn and encourage green growth, while weeding reduces grass loss due to weed infestations.

Keywords: lawn seed growth, new lawn, grow grass seed

About this Author

Piper Li, a professional freelance writer, began writing in 1989. Her articles appear in Modern Mom, Biz Mojo, Walden University and GardenGuides. She is the co-editor for "Kansas Women: Focus on Health." With a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Mesa State, Li enjoys writing about health, horticulture and business management.