How Long For Grass Seed To Germinate?

Waiting for the grass to germinate is just like watching a suspense movie. Every peek seems to be taking a lifetime!

Where are you right with your time estimate? Did all your seeds grow as expected? And, how long for grass seed to germinate?

Now you doubt if you did it right. Various types of grass have established different growing speeds.

Let us find out more about it.

How long for the grass to germinate?

how long for grass seed to germinate fescue

It really depends on what kind of grass you planted. It may take a long time but some sprouts just within a week.

Below is a list of grass types with their corresponding expected germination time.

Type of GrassExpected TimeCool or Warm*
Bent Grass10-14 daysCool
Bermuda Grass10-30 daysWarm
Buffalo Grass14-30 daysWarm
Centipede Grass14-21 daysWarm
Fescue7-14 daysCool
Kentucky Bluegrass14-30 daysCool
Rough Bluegrass7-10 daysCool
Rye Grass5-10 daysCool

* Cool Season: 60-75°F.  Warm Season: 80-95°F

You need to remember that even though you planted just one type of grass, it will not grow at the same time. Once your grass starts to sprout, expect a 2-3 cm grow rate per week.

If you have waited long enough based on the above guideline, try to check your soil moisture level or temperature. It may be the cause of the delay.

Significant aspects for a successful grass germination

1. Water

Do you know the basic rules of watering freshly planted seeds?

You just need to keep at least the top two inches of the soil damp but not squishy. If you see wet puddles on the surface, that means you have overwatered it. Frequent watering of the area with a small amount is more advisable.

If you like a much better result, try watering the soil area before spreading the seeds. Two days in advance, the most is great to prevent dry spots.

2. Soil temperature

how long for grass seed to germinate in august

Too little moisture will dry out your seeds. Dried seeds are dead. You can’t revive it with water.

On the other hand, too much moisture will rot your seed. It will inhibit sprouts from taking the air they need to thrive. This would mean also that the season is spring, summer, or early autumn. Never winter!

And, of course, lawns must be free of mossweeds, and diseases.

Understanding soil temperatures

Let us learn more about this area for better planting success.

Know that there are two types of grasses according to temperature. It is the cool season grasses and the warm season grasses.

It does not directly refer to the season but the area where the grass best grows.

Warm Season: grass thrives in warm areas, while the cool season grass thrives in the cooler area of the country.

Cool Season: grasses are fast to germinate and sprout, while warm season grasses are slower. Soil temperature is crucial if you need your grass to live. One common failure in germinating is wrong timing in spreading seeds. Seeds have an outer shell that keeps them from germinating, except conditions are exact. Never plant early.


Cool season grasses – ideal soil temperature is a minimum of 45-55°F

Warm season grasses – ideal soil temperature is a minimum of 55-65°F

If you don’t have a soil thermometer, you can use the air temperature as follows:

Cool season grasses – ideal air temperature is a minimum of 60-75°F

Warm season grasses – ideal air temperature is a minimum of 80-95°F

Some simple tips to help you out

When buying your seeds, check the germination rate on the label. This will show you the percentage of the germinated seeds according to their lab tests. Choose the highest percentage. A rating of 90-95% is recommended.

Each year keeping your bag of seeds in your storage area will lessen the germination percentage by 25%. Plant them as early as possible or buy them when you are ready to do so.

When you have stored a bag of seed long enough, test it by getting a handful and blowing softly across the top. If they fly away, they are dead.

You can do over seeding method to have a lavish lawn and fill in thin spots. This will prevent weeds from colonizing your area. Grow both cool and warm grass together.

Pre-germination for a faster lush lawn

how long for rye grass seed to germinate

If you’re the kind that does not have a lot of patience when it comes to waiting, this is the method for you.

Pre-germination means sprouting the seeds in the absence of soil. Then let it grow on soil afterward.

This way, you won’t wait too long to see green grass on your lawn. The process is so simple:

Just put your seed in a burlap bag, and let it plunge totally into a tub filled with room-temperature water. Close the lid of the tub and keep it in a dark place. Leave it. The ideal area temperature should be 67-75°F. 

Daily, get the bag and drain for an hour. Replace the fresh water in the tub and place the bag again, close the lid, and back to the dark area. Do this for a week.

On the 7th day, check for sprouts. If there are, get the bag out and let it drain well. Tip the water from the tub and replace it with compost or sand. Scatter the seeds all over and let it dry for an hour.

Blend the seeds with all the sand or compost. Spread it all over your prepared area. Use a rake to allocate it evenly. Water just when needed, and in a few days, you will have a green lawn.

The last words

So now you know how long for grass seed to germinate. It is not as simple as you think, is it? It involves a lot of factors to get there.

Follow through all the tips and methods that I have provided, and you will have your dream lawn.

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Ben Bareja

Ben Bareja, the owner-founder-webmaster of This website was conceptualized primarily to serve as an e-library for reference purposes on the principles and practices in crop science, including basic botany. Read more here

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