Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Troubleshoot My Grass Seed Not Germinating

...
Sprout image by Lidia from Fotolia.com

There are many possible reasons why the grass seed you planted did not germinate properly. In order to grow healthy and lush grass, the temperature, soil conditions and moisture must remain within acceptable ranges. Typically, grass will begin to germinate within two to three weeks after being planted. If you have not seen any germination shortly after this recommended germination period, you will want to examine your growing area, as well as the grass seed used, for possible reasons.

Check for proper aeration. Hard, crusted soil with no air circulation is not conducive to grass germination. Aerate existing lawn that have been over seeded with new grass seed or use a rake to lightly break up the top 4 inches of soil on newly seeded areas.

  • There are many possible reasons why the grass seed you planted did not germinate properly.
  • If you have not seen any germination shortly after this recommended germination period, you will want to examine your growing area, as well as the grass seed used, for possible reasons.

Verify you used enough grass seed per square foot. Sowing too few grass seeds per square foot will result in poor seed germination. Consult the seed bag for proper sowing ratios and reseed with the correct amount if necessary.

Check the age of the grass seed used. The date on the seed bag should be no farther backdated than nine months from the date you planted the grass seed. Reseed with new grass seed, if the seed used is expired and there is time before the first frost arrives.

Keep the soil moist. Grass seed will only germinate in moist soil conditions.

  • Verify you used enough grass seed per square foot.
  • Consult the seed bag for proper sowing ratios and reseed with the correct amount if necessary.

Add a phosphate-rich fertilizer. If fertilizer was not used prior to planting your grass seed, add it now at a rate of 8 lbs. per 1,000 square feet. A 6-12-12 fertilizer is recommended.

Tip

Only specific, shade-tolerant grass varieties will grow in shaded areas. If the grass seed has not germinated in shady areas of your lawn, you may need to use a shade-tolerant variety in these areas.

Warning

All grass varieties should list their germination rate on the seed bag. This number, shown in percent, is the percentage of grass seeds you can expect to see germinate.

Related Articles

How to Spread Buffel Grass Seed
How to Spread Buffel Grass Seed
How to Germinate Grass Seed Using Epsom Salts
How to Germinate Grass Seed Using Epsom Salts
How to Grow Blue Grass in Georgia
How to Grow Blue Grass in Georgia
When to Plant Grass Seed in West Virginia
When to Plant Grass Seed in West Virginia
How Long Is the Oat Growing Season?
How Long Is the Oat Growing Season?
How to Sell a Used Lawn Mower
How to Sell a Used Lawn Mower
Grass Seed & Freezing Temperatures
Grass Seed & Freezing Temperatures
How to Sow Centipede Grass Over Fescue
How to Sow Centipede Grass Over Fescue
How to Plant Buck Forage Oats
How to Plant Buck Forage Oats
How to Get Rid of Clover Without Hurting the Grass
How to Get Rid of Clover Without Hurting the Grass
How to Grow Grass From Bird Seed
How to Grow Grass From Bird Seed
Vigoro Vs. Scott Grass Seed
Vigoro Vs. Scott Grass Seed
Garden Guides
×