Gearing up to make your lawn look as beautiful as possible? Well, hopefully, we can help you with some of the questions you may have asked yourself. Let’s start with the term ‘germination,’ which refers to the process of the sprouting of a seed or a spore. This usually takes place after a period of dormancy. The dormancy period exists due to natural evolution. The seeds do not germinate immediately because that would mean simultaneous growth of all seeds, even in unsuitable conditions. The dormancy period allows the seed to take in the resources it needs, such as light, warmth, water, etc.
So there’s no need to worry if the grass seed you picked to inhabit your lawn takes some time to grow and give shape to the area. That’s perfectly natural!
Grass seeds sprout at different rates but, the general time is anywhere from 5-10 days, after which the grass will grow steadily at a pace of about 2cm per week. When we’re talking about this process, a few determinants can either hinder or help the process, so the sprouting occurs at a suitable time and in suitable conditions. These include the temperature of the surroundings, the temperature of the soil, the salinity of the soil, and a few others that we will discuss. All these factors help us determine what the best conditions are for grass seed germination.
To properly assess the optimal soil temperature, knowing the kind of grass seed you are using and its specific requirements is essential. The ideal temperature of the soil for different grass seeds can vary, although the number usually lies in the range of 20-30ºc (68-86ºc). The germination process will be the most effective and efficient when the soil temperature required by the grass seed is matched. Once the seedling has been established, the required soil temperature falls to a much lower value.
Temperature of the Surroundings
As the temperature is increased up to an optimum point, the germination time decreases as the process improves. However, when that point is surpassed, the process significantly gets regresses.
Salinity and Moisture of the Soil
When we say that soil has high salinity, the salt is present in a very high concentration in the ground. High salinity soil is not suitable for the process of germination since it reduces the potential of water absorption by the seed, which is what is required to initiate the sprouting.
Moist soil helps boost the process, but it needs to be in the sweet spot. This means that it shouldn’t be too wet or too dry. Hence why you should regularly water the grass seeds. However, be wary and use a spray or sprinkler system to ensure no puddle formation on the soil. This is due to the fact that puddles are a sure-fire way of hindering germination, or even worse, washing the grass seeds away altogether.
Another helpful tip is to check whether the grass seed you are planting is cool-season grass or warm-season grass. The timing of the sowing is something that should be taken into consideration. Cool-season grass tends to grow well in autumn, whereas warm-season grass thrives better in spring. Another rule of thumb is to not use your lawn for the season you planted the grass seeds. So, for example, if you sowed the seeds in spring, you should avoid using the lawn for that season and get back to it in summer.
Acid rain of a higher pH of 2.0 can have massively adverse effects on the germination of seeds, hindering the entire process by slowing it down by about 40%. On the other hand, a lower pH value of 5.0 would be much more unsuccessful in delaying the germination, meaning the favorability lies on the lower side of the pH scale.
Some Points to Remember
⦁ Take your time to research and invest in a high-quality grass seed that grows well when the instructions are followed
⦁ Winter is not ideal for most grass seed germination, so avoid sowing seeds then
⦁ Do not sow grass seeds if there is a forecasted frost within the next two months