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Germinating Grass Seeds

Saptakee Sengupta Jun 30, 2019
Is your garden scoring low in green? Does it look like nothing but a nice, lush green lawn will make it look complete? Learn how to germinate grass seeds by reading ahead and you're good to go!
Grass is a surface plant that germinates from tiny seeds. Being extremely small in size, it has to constantly fight different elements of nature for its survival. Grass, can be easily eaten, washed away or downed by changes in weather. Thus, you must take extreme care for the seeds to overcome possible obstacles and germinate properly.
Growing grass isn't as difficult as maintaining it. There are a few conditions that need to favor its germination. Also, for a good growth, there are other things you need to keep in mind. This step-by-step procedure will help you with the entire process.



Adequate moisture is essential for germination and growth. The seeds must be moistened throughout the growth phase. The baby sprout fails to grow and germinate from the seeds if adequate moisture is not provided. Rainwater is always better than tap water, as it is laden with minerals.


Maintaining soil temperature is very important for complete germination of grass seeds. The temperature should normally be above 60 degrees for hot season and 40 degrees for cool season seed types. It is also important to know the climatic conditions prevailing in that particular geographical location for maximum germination.


Oxygen supports the life of the sprouts. Once the grass has come out of the seed casing, oxygen is needed for its growth. Make sure that the soil is aerated properly to support the root system. Water-logged and compact soil is not conducive for its growth.


The sprout must break though the support in order to get maximum light. Adequate light is needed for photosynthesis, to enable the plant to make food. Make sure you do not bury the seeds too deep; if you do, as a result, the sprouts will fail to reach the surface.

Points to Remember

Soil Preparation

You can start on bare land or renovate an existing lawn. The most important thing is aeration. Make the soil loose for optimal oxygen supply. Introducing organic matter and composting increases growth rate. Spread it evenly and avoid clump formation. A very thin layer of mulch helps to retain moisture. Bedding the soil with straw is also beneficial.

Right Seed

Select a species that is ideal for a particular location and its climatic conditions. Some grass types adapt only to warm temperature while others adapt well only to a cool climate. They are classified as cool season grass and warm season grass; plant them accordingly.
You can also select the species depending on soil conditions favorable for its growth. Avoid mixing different species as this can give you unequal growth, low viability, and a poor germination rate.

Protect Naked Seeds

Seeds when left uncovered can be eaten by birds. Take maximum protective measures to cover them. Also restrict activity of kids and pets during the germination period; prevent them from stamping over the grass seed bed.

Germination Rate

The label on the seed pack provides information about its germination rate. This rate varies from species to species. A rate of 90-95% is usually preferred, which means out of 100 seeds planted, 90 or 95 will germinate if favorable conditions are provided.

Germination Period

Just like the rate, the germination period varies for different species. For example, Bentgrass takes 10-15 days for germination, while Bermuda takes 10-30 days. Buffalo Grass takes 14-28 days, whereas Rye Grass takes only 5-10 days. Be patient and observe the process till successful germination has taken place.

Chemical-free Soil

Sometimes, the soil is sprayed with pesticides, fertilizers, weed killers, etc., that may not be suitable for grass seeds. So wait till the soil is chemical-free, and then sow the seed. These instructions are mentioned on the pack.
Follow all these instructions for a proper, healthy germination process.