Do You Bury Grass Seed? A Simple Guide to Germination
December 26, 2022

Do You Bury Grass Seed? A Simple Guide to Germination

By Adam Chronister

Many people think that you should bury grass seed for it to germinate. Surprisingly, this is not the case. Grass seeds germinate just fine if you scatter them on top of the soil.

In this blog post, we will explore the topic of germination and dispel the myth that you need to bury grass seeds. We will also provide tips on ensuring that your grass seed germinates properly. Read on to learn more about how to get your grass to grow!

What is Germination?

Germination is the process by which a plant grows from a seed. The seed germinates when it absorbs water and starts to grow. Then, the growing plant emerges from the soil and grows into a plant.

Grass seeds also need warm temperatures to germinate, so if you sow them in late fall or early winter, they may not get the warmth they need and will not germinate until spring.

The best time to sow grass seed is in late spring or early summer when the soil is warm and there is plenty of sunlight for the seeds to germinate.

The Different Types of Grass Seeds

Grass Seeds

There are many different types of grass seeds, each with their own distinct traits. The most common type of grass seed is the annual ryegrass, which germinates quickly and produces a thick, green lawn. 

Perennial ryegrasses are slower to germinate but produce a more durable lawn. Tall fescue grasses are another popular choice for lawns, as they are tolerant of heat and drought. Finally, buffalo grasses are a low-maintenance option that requires little watering or mowing.

There are also grasses that are better for different climates. Warm season grasses are types of grass that grow best in warmer temperatures, typically between 75 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. These grasses are commonly found in the southern and central regions of the United States. They tend to go dormant in the winter months, but come back strong in the spring and summer.

Cool season grasses, on the other hand, are types of grass that thrive in cooler temperatures, typically between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. These grasses are commonly found in the northern regions of the United States and are able to stay green throughout the winter months.

The Benefits of Germinating Grass Seed

There are several benefits to germinating grass seed:

  • It helps to improve the chances of successful establishment by increasing the number of viable seeds.
  • Germination also allows for better root development and results in a healthier overall plant.
  • Seeds that have been through the germination process are also more resistant to disease and pests.
  • Grass seed that has been germinated is also more tolerant of drought conditions.

In general, germinated seed will result in a stronger, healthier lawn that is better able to withstand environmental stresses.

How to Plant Grass Seed

First, make sure that the soil is moist in your existing lawn, but not too wet. The best way to achieve this is to water the area thoroughly before planting, and then lightly water the seeded area again after planting. It's also important to keep the seeded area free of weeds and debris.

Once the seed has been scattered on the soil surface, it's important to make sure that it receives enough water. The amount of water needed will depend on the type of grass seed being used, as well as on the weather conditions. Seedlings should start to appear within 10-14 days, at which point they can be fertilized if desired.

When to Plant Grass Seed?

Grass Seed

No matter what type of grass you are planting, you should always wait until the temperatures are cooler and the risk of frost has passed. For most places in the United States, that means waiting until late spring or early summer to help the grass seed grow.

If you plant grass seed too early, the delicate blades will likely be damaged by the heat and sun. The soil will also be warmer, which can speed up germination but also make it more difficult for the young plants to establish themselves.

It's better to wait until the weather is more forgiving before planting your grass seed. That way, you'll have a greater chance of success and a new lawn that looks fantastic all season long.

How to Care for Grass Seedlings

To care for grass seedlings, water them regularly and keep the soil moist. Fertilize the seedlings every two weeks with a half-strength fertilizer solution to help the grass seeds grow. When the seedlings turn into mature grass and are six inches tall, you can begin to mow them.


Does germination need light?

Yes, grass seed needs light to germinate. The ideal situation is to have the seed on the surface of the soil where it can receive sunlight. 

The young grass plant needs sunlight to produce food for itself through photosynthesis. However, if you are planting in an area that receives little sunlight, such as under a tree, you can still get grass to grow by covering the seed with a thin layer of straw.

Does germination need carbon dioxide?

Grass seed germination is a process that doesn't require much input from the gardener. One of the key requirements for grass seed germination is carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 is needed for the process of photosynthesis, which helps grass seeds to convert energy from the sun into food.

While most plants produce their own carbon dioxide, grass seeds are unable to do so. This means that they need to rely on external sources of CO2 in order to grow. One way to provide CO2 for germinating grass seeds is to bury them in compost or soil. The decomposing matter in these materials will release CO2, which will be absorbed by the seeds.

Another option is to use a commercial product that provides CO2 for plants. These products typically come in the form of pressurized canisters or tanks. They can be connected to a timer so that they release CO2 at regular intervals throughout the day.

Whatever method you choose, make sure that you provide enough CO2 for your grass seeds to germinate properly. Without it, they won't be able to grow into healthy plants.

How long does germination last?

It can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. The length of time depends on the type of seed, the conditions under which it is grown, and other factors.

Many grasses germinate quickly, within just a few days. Others may take a week or more. Once germination begins, it usually proceeds relatively quickly. However, there are some seeds that can take much longer to germinate. For example, certain tree seeds can take several months or even years before they finally sprout.

Are germination and sprouting the same?

Most people believe that germination and sprouting are the same thing, but there is actually a big difference. 

Germination is the process of a seedling emerging from a seed. This typically occurs underground, where the seed must first absorb water before it can start to grow. 

Sprouting, on the other hand, refers to the growth of a plant after it has already germinated. This usually happens above ground, where the plant starts to produce leaves and stems.

Is germination asexual reproduction?

Yes, germination is a form of asexual reproduction. When a seed germinates, it breaks open and a small plant begins to grow. The new plant is genetically identical to the parent plant.

Will grass seed germinate on the surface of the soil?

Yes, new grass seed will germinate on the surface of the soil. The depth at which the seed is planted will determine how quickly it germinates. Deeper planting and too much soil tends to result in slower germination, but a greater chance of survival.

Final Thoughts

Grass Lawn

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when it comes to deciding whether or not to bury grass seed. If you take the time to research and understand the needs of your lawn, you'll be able to make the best decision for your grass lawn.

If you're still not sure whether or not to bury grass seed, contact us! We will be able to help you determine what will work best for your lawn.