In the case of a new lawn installation, the choice of whether to turf or seed is down to the preference of the lawn owner and their budget. Turf is 8 – 12 months old when it is harvested whereas it can take almost 6 months for newly sown grass seeds to get to the same point of maturity that turf is when it is laid.
One thing that we have learnt from experience is that lawn owners are so impatient when it comes to waiting for grass seed to germinate and establish. It is not uncommon to receive queries from customers within two weeks of sowing a lawn as to when the seed will be showing it’s shoots and when might we be able to use the lawn.
Typically it can take three weeks for Dwarf Rye Grasses that are in a typical quality lawn mixture such as The Lawn Shop’s Emerald Lawn Grass Seed Mixture to get to one leaf stage. Two leaf stages tends to happen a week later and three leaf stages around 4 – 6 weeks from sowing.
Best Tip – be patient, please
Factors affecting grass seed germination & establishment
- Lack of water, you may think you are watering sufficiently but is the ground staying moist to a depth?
- Natural water loss from sunny or windy weather, water loss can be 50% of any rain or irrigation applied to the lawn area on a hot day and you soon get a natural water deficit
- The top few inches is always the area of the lawn that dries out first in dry or windy weather and this is where the grass seed is trying to germinate
- Poor quality or old grass seed
- Type / species of grasses in the mixture
- Dry Patch areas in the lawn ahead of renovation, it will always be these areas that require a bit more encouragement and wetting agents will help greatly
- Poor nutrition at time of sowing and during establishment. Turf grasses need feeding too
Inadequate mowing practices or height or frequency
- Damping Off or Fusarium Disease
- Dog Urine Burns
- Weeds may develop amongst the new grasses and these can be controlled once the new grasses are strong enough to accept the weed killer
- Wet weather
- Autumn leaves smothering the grass seeds
- Excessive foot traffic or wear
- Worm Casts on the lawns surface or foot traffic smearing soil deposits over the new grasses, thus smothering them