grass seed not germinating

ryan 3ryan 3 Posts: 9

hi there, i recently sowed some new grass seed on my very patchy back garden, this was carried out on the 31/03/2014. Before sowing i carried out lawn aeration, and scarification. i gave the soil a really good rake, put a few new bags of top soil on and mixed in a lot of grass seed into the bare patches.Its been almost three weeks now and apart from a few new blades of grass i'm very disapointed in the out come.

I'm not not sure where i've gone wrong, the temperature hasn't been the warmest, which i know can effect the seed. I only have watered the ground when it has looked really dry.


Any tips or help would be very much appreciated guys, thanks for reading




  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    Me too, and I'm pretty annoyed given I haven't had trouble with grass seed before and we invested in some special stuff with water retaining gel in the seed and everything.  But for us, I think the problem lies in the dryness and the fact that even though I have sometimes watered twice a day, the area has dried out very quickly due to the sunshine and drying wind we have had.  Watering has formed a bit of a crust on the top of the soil, which must be pretty off putting for a little seed.  A more normal April, with intermittent showers and some overcast-ness would probably be better.  So, I have decided that I will mix the seed with a 50:50 mix of compost and sieved soil and put that over the area I want to seed.  I am hoping that the water retention of the compost and the fact that the seeds will be covered will give a better chance of the seed taking off.  I'm not saying that will work, but it's my gut feeling about a course of action to take here.  You are not the only one with this issue this year, and normally, April or September are seen as the optimum time to sow grass seed.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,518

    Is your watering really soaking the soil - put a sprinkler on for a good  20 - 30 minutes - I'd do it in the morning when a sunny day is forecast - that should get the seed germinating image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Well, for me I would think it possible that the soil temperature isn't warm enough for your grass seed to germinate.

    Grass seed germinates best when daytime temps are between 60 & 70f.

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Keep it well watered ryan 3 the recent warmth will encourage it to germinate. You sowed it a bit too early really, be patient it will come.

  • ryan 3ryan 3 Posts: 9

    hey folks, thank you so much for all your help and tips, I will keep you all posted on how its develops, many thanks again guys!

  • ryan 3ryan 3 Posts: 9

    is there a stage where the grass seed which has been lying on the ground for the last number of weeks be unuseable, (die)?


  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Some may not germinate, but again it's a case of patience to see what comes and what doesn't. Just wait and see. If you need to re sow do so, if not let the grass develop.

  • ryan 3ryan 3 Posts: 9

    thanks dave, much appreciated!


  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,088

    I always expect to wait 3 weeks for grass.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,518

    With respect to other's experience - the Lawn UK website says this, stressing it in bold print " ....It is also worth noting, that there needs to be adequate warmth in the soil, 6-8 degrees Celsius is required for germination, and this is usually when the air temperature is above 10 degrees Celsius." 

    and the RHS website says ".... Seed germinates most readily in early autumn and mid-spring.  The soil is warm, there is plenty of moisture and the weather is neither too warm nor too cold......"  it goes on to say ".... germination should take between 7 and 10 days ...." .

    And indeed that is also my experienceimage

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

Sign In or Register to comment.