Updated On

May 10, 2023

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    Whenever I planted seeds for a customer, their biggest question was, “How long does it take for grass seed to grow?” Everyone wants quick results, but it honestly depends on several factors.

    You should notice moderate growth from most grass seeds in around 10–14 days, but some warm-season grasses like Bermuda can take up to 30 days to germinate. 

    In this guide, I’ll explore how long you can expect to wait for your grass seed to start bringing new life to your yard.

    Speaking of new life, have you ever heard of Sunday Lawn Care? It’s one of the best DIY lawn care providers in the business. It provides tailor-made plans and ingredients based on your lawn’s specific needs. Click the button below to learn more.

    What Factors Affect How Fast Your Grass Seed Will Grow?

    Growing a beautiful lawn starts with your grass seed, but many factors can impact how fast it will grow:

    • Germination
    • Weather
    • Type of grass seed
    • Soil composition

    In the next sections, we’ll break these down to help ease your nerves as you wait for your grass to grow.


    Germination is the process by which a seed begins to grow and develop into a plant. When germination occurs, it’s the physical process of the seed breaking open and sprouting. Water, heat, and sun are three factors responsible for this process.

    The type of seed you choose will determine how quickly this happens. Here are some popular grass seeds and their average germination rates:

    • Bermuda grass: 7–14 days
    • Kentucky bluegrass: 7–10 days
    • Fescue: 7–14 days
    • Ryegrass: 5–10 days
    • Zoysia grass: 14–21 days
    • Buffalo grass: 14–30 days

    It’s worth noting that these are just averages, and the germination rate of your grass seed can be affected by other factors, such as weather and soil conditions which I’ll get into next.


    More so than anything else, the weather will impact how fast your new grass seed grows. This is something that is out of your control, but it’s important to plant seeds during ideal growing conditions.

    Most grass types are likely to germinate when the air temperature is between 60℉ to 75℉.

    If the temperature drops below this range, the germination process may be delayed; if it rises above it, the grass seed may not germinate.

    Today’s Homeowner Tips

    If you’re worried about soil temperatures getting too low for your grass seed, cover the seed with hay. It acts as an insulator and helps preserve warmth and moisture in the ground, similar to how mulch does this for your plants.

    Beyond the temperature, drought and heavy rain will also impact your seed growth. Drought conditions can prevent the seed from receiving the necessary moisture to grow, while heavy rain can wash away the seed and soil.

    While you may not have control over the weather three weeks from now, look at the extended forecast in your area and at least ensure optimal temperatures are in the future.

    Type of Grass Seed

    Some cool-season grasses, like fescue, can sprout in as little as seven days, while warm-season buffalo grass can take up to 30 in ideal conditions. 

    Certain seeds are designed for specific climates. For example, the mid-Atlantic and Midwest region of the country grows fescue and Kentucky bluegrass. In the Southwest, the best choice is Bermuda or buffalo grass. Nature’s Seed has a great chart that breaks this down based on your location.

    If you don’t use the right grass seed, it may not germinate at all, and if it does, it’ll grow slowly and be more susceptible to weather conditions that it’s not designed for.

    Soil Composition

    The quality of your soil will have a major impact on the growth of your seed. Soil that is too compacted can prevent the seed from taking root and receiving the necessary nutrients to grow. Conversely, soil that is too loose can cause the seed to dry out and prevent it from germinating.

    The best soil for grass growth is loose and well-aerated. It should have a pH between 6.0–7.0. Now you might be saying, how am I supposed to know the pH of the dirt in my yard?

    There are a number of options that can help you, including test strips you can buy on Amazon or at your local garden center.

    The next question is, how do you change your soil’s pH if it’s too high or too low?

    • pH too low —Add a lime-based compound like agricultural limestone or wood ashes.
    • pH too high —Increase nitrogen in the soil by adding compost and organic matter.

    Avoid These Common Mistakes When Growing Grass Seed

    If you’re planning to overseed or spot grow in your yard, you’ll want to avoid any mistakes. Keep reading for common mistakes I see homeowners make every day.

    Not preparing the soil — This one really gets me going because it’s so simple, but it makes such an impact. Make sure to rake the grass to remove loose grass, leaves, and twigs. If you’re trying to grow a new lawn and planting seeds in bare soil, rake it to allow the seeds to directly contact the dirt. You’ll thank me later.

    Using the wrong grass seed for your region — Different types of grass are better suited for certain climates, soil types, and sun exposure. It’s important to research which type of grass will thrive in your area before purchasing and planting seeds.

    Improper coverage rate — Planting too little or too much seed can lead to problems. You may have patchy or thin grass if you don’t use enough seed. Using too much can create competition for resources, and you’ll end up with overcrowded, unhealthy grass.

    Overwatering — Overwatering your seeds is easy because you fear underwatering them. Too much water will promote fungal growth, which will kill grass sprouts. Be sure to water early in the morning or evening to prevent midday evaporation.

    Most problems that arise when growing grass seed can be linked to inexperience. TruGreen is one of our recommended lawn care providers, especially for new homeowners and those new to lawn care as a whole. Use the link below to get a free quote in minutes.

    Tips You Should Follow for Optimal Grass Seed Growth

    I don’t want you just to grow grass; I want you to cultivate a lush and beautiful green lawn that’s soft to the touch when you step on it with your bare feet. Sounds pretty sweet, right? These tips will help:

    1. Ensure the Grass Gets Sun

    This might sound obvious, but many homeowners think an area gets full sun when it really doesn’t. Your growing area needs at least six hours of direct sunlight for optimal growth. If you’re worried about the area not getting enough sun, choose a shade-friendly seed like creeping red fescue.

    2. Plant Seeds at the Right Time

    Timing is everything when it comes to planting grass seeds. Depending on your climate, the ideal time to plant grass seeds is early spring or early fall. This allows for moderate temperatures and consistent moisture levels, which will help your grass grow.

    Use a geographical seed map to decide what grass seed is best for your location and when you should plant it.

    Another thing I want to mention is, don’t overthink too much. By this point, you might be so overwhelmed with information that you’re ready to throw in the towel. Just make sure you have the right seed and it’s warm enough outside. As long as you do that, you’ll be fine.

    3. Provide the Right Amount of Water

    Too much water isn’t good, and too little water isn’t good either. It’s important that you water the grass seed consistently and make sure everything stays in place. Don’t be one of those people who turns on the jet setting and sprays the grass seed into a pile in the corner of the yard.

    A nice consistent, and gentle mist will keep the soil moist without waterlogging it in various places.

    4. Always Prepare the Soil

    Prepare the soil, prepare the soil, prepare the soil. Do these things before planting your grass seed:

    • Rake the grass to remove dead clippings, leaves, and twigs.
    • Loosen the soil with a rake if planting on bare soil.
    • Mow the grass low to ensure the seed reaches the soil when overseeding an existing lawn.
    • Lightly water the soil ahead of time to soften it.

    5. Protect Your Grass Seed

    Once you’ve planted your grass seed, protect it from external factors that may hinder its growth. Avoid foot traffic and keep pets away from the area. You can use a light covering of straw or mulch to protect the seed and retain moisture.

    You also need to keep birds and squirrels in mind. They like seeds, so protecting it with a layer of straw will deter them as well.

    6. Don’t Fertilize Too Soon

    Fertilizing is important for grass growth, but doing it too early is a huge mistake that will burn and kill the grass. Many fertilizers contain chemical compounds that are too harsh.

    Wait until the grass has reached optimal mowing length before fertilizing it. This will help the grass develop strong roots that can absorb the nutrients from the fertilizer.

    How Fast Does Grass Grow After Germination?

    The rate of grass growth after germination can vary depending on various factors, such as the type of grass, climate, soil conditions, and maintenance practices. Generally, most grass seed germination will take about 7 to 30 days, depending on soil and weather conditions. Here is a table that details what you can expect as far as growth for the top five types of grass in the U.S.:

    Grass TypeGrowth Rate (Inches Per Week)
    Bermuda Grass.5–1.5
    Kentucky Bluegrass1–2
    Zoysia Grass.5–1
    Perennial Ryegrass1–2
    Tall Fescue1–2

    All factors that impact germination time have been previously covered in this guide. Refer back to them if you’ve skipped to the end.

    So, how long does it take for grass seed to grow? Now you know. But if you’ve reached this point and still think you can’t grow grass on your own, don’t worry. These two lawn care providers offer affordable and professional services to homeowners like you:

    Editorial Contributors
    Coty Perry

    Coty Perry


    Coty Perry is a lawn and garden writer for Today’s Homeowner. He focuses on providing homeowners with actionable tips that relate to the “Average Joe” who is looking to achieve a healthier and greener lawn. When he isn’t writing he can almost always be found coaching youth football or on some trail in Pennsylvania in search of the next greatest fishing hole.

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    Lora Novak

    Senior Editor

    Lora Novak meticulously proofreads and edits all commercial content for Today’s Homeowner to guarantee that it contains the most up-to-date information. Lora brings over 12 years of writing, editing, and digital marketing expertise. She’s worked on thousands of articles related to heating, air conditioning, ventilation, roofing, plumbing, lawn/garden, pest control, insurance, and other general homeownership topics.

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