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Sharon Marie
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Location: Jeffersonville, IN

How Long for Grass Seed to Grow?

How long does grass seed take to germinate typically. It's been watered (thanks to mother nature) every day. Also, what is the difference between perrenial grass and annual grass? Will the perrenial grass go brown in the winter?
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Zone 6A - Jeffersonville, Indiana

Bestlawn
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Perennial is what lawns are normally. It means several life cycles or continual growth.

Annual grass only grows for one season and when conditions are no longer favorable (seasonal temps/moisture), it dies out (completing its life cycle) and doesn't return the following year.

Indiana is not an area that supports green grass year round. They all go brown in winter because it is out of season but for the perennial grasses, that brown only means dormancy. Dormancy is a survival mechanism that allows the grass to go to sleep when conditions are not favorable to support growth. The cold, freezing temps, snow, ice, etc of weather there in Indiana during late fall and winter cannot support growth. The extreme temps of Indiana summers also do not support growth, which is the reason grass goes dormant in summer unless you keep it moistened. There are some grass types grown in Indiana that can tolerate summer heat better than others and take longer to go dormant, but they all should either be irrigated in summer to keep them hydrated and green. Or, you can withhold water and allow they go dormant, and they will perk back up as fall approaches when weather conditions are more favorable and moisture is available from rain or irrigation.

How long seeds take to germinate depends on the type of grass you planted. Some take a few days, while others take a few weeks or anywhere in between. What did you plant? When did you plant them?

Seeds only need to be watered every day so they are kept moist, not really wet. Light waterings two or three times a day is adequate. I don't know how much it has been raining, but there is a possibility that seeds can rot from too much water.

Following is irrigation schedule for your seeds. Begin at whichever week you are in your planting........

water 15-20 minutes twice a day for two weeks
water 20-30 minutes once a day for one week
water 30-45 minutes once a day every other day for one week
water 30-45 minutes once a day twice a week for one week
move into deep irrigation, increasing the time to provide 1 inch of water all over and decreasing the frequency to just once a week.

Starting off, the schedule supplies roughly 1/4 inch of water, then increases that amount while decreasing frequency of application at the same time. Like practically everything that concerns lawn care, this schedule is a general guideline and should be modified to accommodate your specific conditions. The lengths of time should be modified if you have an automatic sprinkler system since that will not take as long to provide adequate moisture. So, decrease amount of water (time) but maintain frequency as is. The tuna cans test is recommended. Your objective is to keep the upper 1 inch of soil moist and not let the seeds dry out.

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Sharon Marie
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Location: Jeffersonville, IN

It was Kentucky Bluegrass. Mother nature provided well above the water requirements. I seeded heavily and raked it into top 1/4 - 1/2" of soil and sprinkled a little on top. I can see germination in some areas already, but the areas that had standing water aren't fairing too well.
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Bestlawn
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So sorry I can't be certain of how much you seeded. I'm afraid "heavily" doesn't give me an indication but might scare me a little. LOL

Seeding rate for Bluegrass is 3-4 pounds per 1000 square feet for new establishment. It's 1-2 lbs/1000 for overseeding an existing lawn. I don't know if you overseeded or if there was no grass already there, but sowing more than the recommended rate is not suggested. Potential problems can only be surmised by knowing how much more, but one problem that could develop is fungus. Over crowding the seeds can cause fungus to colonize, and the addition of too much water can compound that potential.

We won't assume that will happen, but if you begin to have problems with the grass, be sure to mention the details of your seeding effort when asking for help.

Bluegrass can take up to 3 weeks to germinate even if it begins earlier than that. You probably won't have much luck in the areas of standing water though. Look into core aerating the lawn early next fall to relieve soil compaction so you don't have a standing water problem. Or, right now you can use a hose end sprayer and a liquid aeration product like [url=https://www.gardeniq.com/store/product/Nitron-A-35,150,94.aspx]Nitron[/url] or [url=https://www.natureslawn.com/aerify-plus.php]Aerify[/url].

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Sharon Marie
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Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:25 am
Location: Jeffersonville, IN

I followed the back of the bags for over seeding - that's what I meant by heavily. Now that the sun has been out - I'm seeing much more germination. I think we are ok. All except for the areas by the mailbox and end of the driveway where water sometimes stands. I keep telling people not to run over the grass when they park. I'm thinking of getting some black edging barrier and placing it against the concrete, and then filling it up with soil to build the area back up. Would that work I wonder..
Mostly I have filled in some bald patches and over seeded the existing lawn (after pulling up every single weed I could find. lol I got a little carried away when it came to that.. causing some bald patches. :( But... I think I did the right thing. The spots that are showing germination look very good. The little grass is still really short but I am amazed none the less. The grassy area between the sidewalk and the road was really neglected. The majority of the lawn looks good though. The back lawn is what I am working on this weekend. I am tilling up three areas that are completely overtaken with dandylions and viney short weeds that have purple flowers (those are spreading to other parts of the yard other than where the old owners swimming pool sat. The front yard was the easy part... the hard part is going to be the back. I saw a product at Home Depot. It was soil and grass seed mixed together. The previous owner did have a small dog and the dog has made several small holes. I am wondering if you think it would be a good idea to use the soil and grass seed mix in these areas. As for the 40ft long X 10 ft. wide garden that is currently bare - I've got my work ahead of me. There is a LARGE amount of "driveway" gravel that the previous owners have added to the garden. As long as I rake and remove the larger rocks, is it ok to leave some there? When I saw large amount, I mean a large amount. You can see 10-15 rocks per square foot. When I remove those rocks and dig some more, what do you guess I find.. loads of more rocks. Will this hurt the grass seeding process? It is currently bare. I've been digging the weeds out of it as they pop up. This alone is a 1/2 hour a day task as the weeds are growing like crazy right now.
We decided not to put another vegetable garden in due to we are next to a forrest, and the bugs come from EVERYWHERE! I am not a fan of pestiside. I'm sorry for all the questions here. This forum has helped in so many ways!
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Zone 6A - Jeffersonville, Indiana

Bestlawn
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I keep telling people not to run over the grass when they park. I'm thinking of getting some black edging barrier and placing it against the concrete, and then filling it up with soil to build the area back up.

That spot sounds like prime candidate for something like the Nitron product. It will work wonders. Something you can do without spending money for Nitron (although the Nitron will be great for the whole lawn if you don't normally aerate and don't want to do it mechanically. Also, it will help with germination and the new seedlings) is use a pitchfork. You can use a shovel if you don't have a pitchfork, the pitchfork works best. Drive it into the soil, and then rock it back and forth. You don't want to lift the soil from its bed, just loosen it. You might begin by driving it 3-4 inches and rock it to loosen that portion. Then, drive it deeper and rock to loosen the soil deeper.

LOL You went nuts on the weeds, huh? You'll likely get a crop of a bunch of others soon. These will be the warm season ones, like dandelions and clover. Leave them for the time being because you can't control weeds while trying to grow new grass. You can't use herbicides (if you might consider using herbicide) until the new grass grows up and has been mowed 3-4 times. You also want to stay off the new seedlings, so no walking to pull weeds for the first while.

Those purple-flowered weeds sound like creeping charlie (ground ivy) from your description. Creeping Charlie is a monster. Whatever you do to attempt control, you have to keep at it for probably 2 or 3 years, maybe more. The best time to do it is very late fall, around late October or early November. If you don't use chemical herbicides, then use garden vinegar (20%). Be careful with it though. It will kill anything you spray it on, so use on a calm day to prevent airborne spray. Two good ways to control the spray to direct to your target: 1) use some paper (several sheets or newspaper) or cardboard to shield the spray from desired vegetation, or 2) cut the bottom out of a paper/plastic cup or plastic soda pop bottle. Place the cup or bottle over the weeds you want to spray to isolate them within the cup/bottle, then spray the vinegar into the cup/bottle.

I am wondering if you think it would be a good idea to use the soil and grass seed mix in these areas.

I can't honestly advise you on that. I'm not familiar with the product, and I don't like quick fixes. Normally, products like that contain a ryegrass component, and that is often annual ryegrass for super fast germination, but it won't grow in again next year. When seeding, you want to do the whole area for uniformity so you don't have spots of different grass types. Different types are different colors (shades of green) and can look quite spotty when it grows in compared to the rest of area. Also, different grasses have different maintenance requirements, and you don't want to get stuck with one area needs mowing or needs water while the other areas do not. Whatever you use, use it over the whole lawn (the backyard I mean). The low spots can be filled with topsoil to level it off before sowing seeds.

As long as I rake and remove the larger rocks, is it ok to leave some there?

I think you need to remove it all because yes, it will interfere. Grass roots knit beneath the soil, especially Bluegrass because it also spreads across the soil. Beneath the soil are roots that grow vertically and knit and intertwine together. On the soil surface, or just barely beneath it, are rhizomes that grow and spread vertically. Roots and rhizomes need to be able to perform their functions without obstruction, especially so much obstruction.

You don't want anything in your garden bed or lawn bed that is not porous and does not decompose/degrade. An easy way to clear it is to use netting or closely knit/twined fencing to drag the area. It will remove the rocks and gravel, while sifting the soil. You'll have a mess, but that is easier to clean up and sweep the soil debris back into the bed with a broom than having to remove so much gravel and rocks by hand.

Because there is so much rock and gravel, maybe shovel dirt (soil, rock, gravel) onto the netting and then just shake, jog, jumble to sift the soil and carry the rest away. Sounds like a few trips but still easier than digging by hand. Maybe have a wheel barrel on hand.

No problem at all with the questions. Hope I helped a little. Tell me if I missed anything.
Just a side note, I think you should have the soil tested before planting the grass seeds.

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