A lush lawn enhances soil quality by drawing nutrients to the surface and retaining water, but it also adds aesthetics and increases curb appeal to your home.
The yard, however, can be made up entirely of soil and can be the case in new homes or homes that see lots of activity more than just footfall. Even kids playing can leave you with unsightly bare spots.
If you wish your lawn would grow thick, green, and fast, then you are not the only one. However, there is more to growing grass fast than you may think.
Luckily, you can shorten the time to develop a beautiful lawn you could be proud of with some knowledge. Rather than having an instant lawn and laying sod, you can find that cool-season grasses include many benefits.
In our guide, you can learn what you need to know how to grow grass fast. By the end, you’ll know about the best grass types, how other grasses grow in comparison and the ideal soil conditions for active root growth, and also how to deal with weed control and have a lawn green all year. (Read How Long Does Milorganite Take To Work On A Lawn)
Will Grass Seed Grow If You Just Throw It On the Ground?
You will have poor germination if you are planting grass seed onto bare soil. The seeds could dry before they germinate or are washed away by the rain if they are not adequately covered by existing grass or a thin layer of topsoil.
It all begins with picking the best grass seed and then making sure the conditions are ideal.
Choose a grass seed suitable for your grass climate zone, or your new grass could grow fast yet not last very long.
Grass seed mixes typically comprise two or more type of grass species. This will allow your lawn grass to deliver the best chances of effective seed germination, and new grass growth in areas where conditions such as partial shade or heavy soils are present.
Warm Season Lawn Grasses
Warm-season grasses grow in the summer and go dormant in the winter when temperatures range from 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bermuda grass (Cynodon spp) USDA zones 7–10
- centipede grass (Eremochloa ophiuroids) USDA zones 7–8
- Zoysia Lawns grass (Zoysia spp) USDA zones 6–9
- St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) USDA zones 8–10
- Annual ryegrass isn’t suitable for an instant lawn as it can’t cope with foot traffic. It does, however, offer drought tolerance and can protect the other grass from the summer heat as it tries to get established.
Cool-Season Lawn Grasses
Cool-season grasses thrive in areas where the winters are cold, and the summers are hot, with active growth periods in the early spring and early fall. (Find the Best Mulch Lawn Mowers)
You can find these include areas such as the Northeast, Upper Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and northern California. Cool-season grasses include:
- Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) USDA zones 5–7
- Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea) USDA zones 2–7 (offers good shade tolerance)
- Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis) USDA zones 2–7
Warm-Season Grass Offering Fast Growth
The fastest-growing warm-season grass is Bermuda grass, although its germination speed is influenced by soil temperature.
Bermuda grass seed germination needs a soil temperature of at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit, equating to at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit in daytime hot weather. You’ll find these in the Deep South, where they have mild winters.
If the temperatures are ideal, you can find your Bermuda grass seed germinate in as little as seven days, which is way faster than other warm-season grasses. Yet, if the temperatures are colder, then warm-season grass could take 30 days or longer for the seed to germinate.
Buffalo grass can take two weeks to 30 days to germinate after sowing seeds in the right manner.
Cool-Season Grass offering Fast Growth
Compared to tall fescue seed, which takes 10 to 14 days to germinate, and Kentucky bluegrass seed, which takes 14 to 21 days, perennial ryegrass seed germinates in seven to ten days.
One of the cool-season grasses that can snowball into a thick lawn turf is perennial ryegrass. It’s usually used with Kentucky bluegrass seed in grass seed mixes to blend ryegrass’s quick growth with bluegrass’s spread.
To germinate and grow perennial ryegrass, you have to have a 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit soil temperature corresponding to daytime temps of 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
As rising temperatures could cause your seed to become dormant, the best time to sow perennial ryegrass grass seed is in the fall. (Read Best Time To Fertilize Lawn Before Or After Rain)
How Do I Speed Up grass Seed Germination?
Gardeners can often wonder why grass seed germination seems to take so long. We have seen you need the right grass seed is not all grass species are equal. Thus, grass grow time needs you to pick the correct seeds for your region.
For example, cool-season grass grows fast when the temperature dramatically alters throughout the year. However, warm-season grass needs hot summers to thrive at its best.
So, picking the right seed for your grass is the most important component in seed germination. Choose a fast-growing grass seed that delivers nutrients to the garden while protecting the lawn from disease and helping with weed control as it grows.
If you live in a wet region, you’ll need a grass seed with a covering on top that absorbs more moisture than other fast-growing grass seed.
Treat Bare Patches
It’s pretty common to see bald patches on lawns. When watering your lawn, use a grass nutrient to help your grass add thicker and healthier growth. This tip can also be used after the warm season grasses seeds have been sown on your lawn.
Prepare the Lawn Soil
If the soil isn’t healthy, you can’t expect a healthy lawn from your cool-season grasses or your warm-season grasses. They grow in different conditions, yet an unprepared lawn is the same anywhere. A soil pH test can help determine if there are any amendments needed to make the soil pH right for your grass growth.
Remove weeds by the roots and dig up any blooms that you don’t wish to be planted. Rake your lawn to smooth out the soil and create a high-quality lawn that’s ready for cool-season grass, or you want to plant warm-season grasses such as centipede grass.
Water Grass Regularly
It’s time to keep up with the lawn care after you’ve planted your lawn grasses seeds in the ground. After fertilizing and sowing your lawn, it’s critical to water it regularly to aid seed germination and speed up the process of a centipede grass-established lawn.
To keep the soil moist, water the lawn after the seeds germinate until the grass is at least two inches tall. Add water to the ground every few days and more frequently in the summer using a garden hose or a sprinkler. Continue to water the soil regularly to reach the roots, such as for Annual Ryegrass that has shallow roots, so it needs more watering.
Mow At the Right Time
It’s important to keep mowing correctly until your warm-season grass seeds germinate and the established lawn grass reaches around three inches in height. When you mow with low-set blades, you stimulate weed growth while also risking injuring your new grass seeds. (Read How To Dethatch A Lawn)
Soak Your Seeds
You need the best circumstances to plant grass seeds to germinate to have green grass. A healthy and successful lawn and starts with germination.
Place the warm season grass seeds in a bucket with fresh, healthy compost and let them sit for four days after buying suitable grass seed for your lawn. The seeds could enlarge and show white growth after a few days. This is normal and a terrific way to get your grass seeds started.
After that time, dry the seeds by laying them on a clean surface for 24 hours. You can plant the seeds in your garden once they are completely dry. Get the seed moist, place it in a hot environment in a sealed container, and you have germination as fast as in two days.
Plant Seeds Correctly
Before you add your seed, you can add a layer of starter fertilizer to help grow grass in the best possible conditions.
Plant your fast-growing grass seed, spread them onto the fresh soil, and ensure that they’re not just placed onto the soil’s top layer but become embedded in the roots. Then, place straw on top of the new seeds. Although, you only need a thin layer to allow the full sun to access the seeds for germination.
Plant cool-season grasses around the early fall or late spring. Germination occurs when the soil temperature is between 50- and 65-degrees Fahrenheit where the daytime air temperature will be 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mow more often.
Fast-growing grass necessitates more mowing to keep blades at the species’ ideal height. While the average lawn only needs mowing every two weeks, the fastest-growing cool- and warm-season grasses require more frequent mowing to maintain the turf clean.
For example, Bermuda grass generally calls for mowing every five to seven days to keep it at an optimal height of one to two inches. In comparison, ryegrass needs a trim every seven to 10 days to maintain a height of 1½ to 2½ inches.