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Grass Seed Germination

4 min read

Learn about grass seed germination from the experts at Jonathan Green and get help with smart lawn care practices that create healthy, green grass.

Jonathan Green has been growing beautiful lawns for six generations (since 1881). Today, we are a major supplier of genetically superior cool season grass seed, fertilizers, soil enhancers, organics, and weed, insect, and disease control products to the professional lawn care markets. Our products will transform your lawn and help it thrive.

Typical Germination Time

The germination time for most types of grass seed ranges from 5 to 30 days depending on the variety you plant. It can be even longer in cooler temperatures.

Perennial ryegrass will typically germinate in 7-14 days, tall and fine fescues will germinate in 10-20 days, and Kentucky bluegrass can take up to 21-28 days to germinate. Remember, germinate means, “start to grow” not that you will have complete lawn cover in 10 days!

At Jonathan Green, we mix elite varieties of Kentucky bluegrass seed with tall fescue and perennial ryegrass to create our Black Beauty® Ultra Grass Seed mixture. This seed germinates in 7 – 14 days, as do many of our other grass seed mixtures.

If you are looking for faster action, consider Jonathan Green Fast Grow Grass Seed, which germinates in 7-10 days. This rapidly establishing grass seed mixture is designed to fill in troubled areas in lawns or grow an entire new lawn quickly. The seed mixture contains annual ryegrass which is the fastest germinating grass seed variety. Lawns grown from Fast Grow can be overseeded with any Black Beauty® Grass Seed Mixture to establish a thick, beautiful lawn that will keep growing for years to come.

Importance of Water for Seed Germination

If there is too little moisture in your soil, or if proper watering directions are not followed, grass seed germination will be delayed. It’s important to provide adequate moisture at all times for your new grass seed. They don’t need to be swimming in water, but moist.

For the best results, water the seedbed a little bit every day to keep the newly planted grass seed wet while it’s germinating. Light watering twice or three times a day – in the early morning, early afternoon and late afternoon – will keep young seedlings moist and help them to fully germinate and grow into strong grass plants.

The germination process will stop if the soil gets too dry, so don’t allow the tender seedlings to dry out. One way to prevent this from happening is to use our Top Dress™ Seedling Cover and Growth Accelerator, which will keep moisture close to the seed.

After a few weeks, reduce watering to two to three times a week and water deeply, at least 30 minutes in each zone. This puts water deep down into the root zone and promotes deeper root growth.  Shallow watering does not provide the same benefit since much of the water is lost to evaporation, and the roots stay at the surface because this is where the moisture is. 

Once you start to mow your new lawn, it will need about 1/2 inch of water at each watering during the growing season. NEVER water the lawn at night.  Excessive moisture on established grass leaves at night will increase the risk of fungal disease.

Visit Jonathan Green online or find your nearest independent hardware store or garden center to learn more about grass seed germination.

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