A lush green lawn is a dream for most homeowners. Not only does a mature, healthy lawn look great, but it also increases the value of the property. Successfully growing your lawn from seed requires a combination of the right seed, timing, preparation, watering, and maintenance. So how long does it take for grass to grow? There is no simple answer to the question. Here is a breakdown of the different factors that affect the growth rate of grasses.

Cool Season Grasses vs Warm Season Grasses

Cool season grasses typically sprout and grow faster than warm season grasses. Cool season grasses such as Tall fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass germinate in 7 to 12 days. Within a month, they have grown to full lawn.

In contrast, warm season grasses take much longer to root and sprout. Zoysia and Centipede grasses take 14 to 21 days to germinate while Buffalo grass can take up to 30 days. Warm season grasses need an additional two months to grow to mowing height and up to a year to reach full density. Make a point to ask in local nurseries or check online for the best grass varieties for your zone.

Right Time and Temperature for Planting

Even with the suitable grass variety for your zone, your grass might still be delayed in germinating or not sprout at all if planted at the wrong time.

Cool season grasses thrive in daytime temperatures of 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The best planting time often coincides with late summer and early fall before temperatures hit 55 degrees. 

Warm season grasses love daytime temperatures consistently in the 80s. If you’re expecting frost in 60 to 90 days, it will not be a suitable time to plant these heat lovers. The frost can slow down germination or even kill off young plants. The best time to plant your warm season grasses is in late spring or early summer.

Watering Schedule and Sunlight

Watering can make or break your grass growing efforts. In the beginning, up until they germinate your goal is to keep the soil moist. This means many short bursts of watering, for example, water the grass for 15 minutes, four times a day. 

Thereafter, it is ideal to reduce watering frequency. Taper it off to 30 minutes once a day for two weeks. You can then do 40 minutes on alternate days and 45 minutes three times a week to maintain the lawn. Your goal after germination is to promote root development. Remember to omit watering when it rains. Overwatering is a sure way to kill an established lawn.

Grass needs a solid 6 hours of direct sunlight to grow well. If you are uncertain about shade coverage you should include shade-tolerant grass varieties in your seed choice.

Mowing

The last thing to consider carefully is the appropriate time for cutting your grass. Allow the grass to get to 4 inches before that first mowing. Mowing too early can hinder the development of roots.

Lawn Care in Alpharetta

How long it takes for grass to grow, is largely dependant on how thorough you are in following the right steps. Researching and implementing these steps can be a challenge and it is worth hiring a lawn care professional for a consultation. Contact us today for lawn care in Alpharetta.

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