Grass Seed Germination Rates for Planting

Grass seed germinating
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If you love planting in your garden, then you likely already know about germination, which is the process by which a plant grows from a seed. Seeds germinate and grow when the right amount of water, warmth, and soil comes together.

What Is Germination and Its Process?

Have you ever wondered how seeds sprout? You may have seen one of those time-lapse videos online or in a movie that shows a small seedling sprouting into a bigger plant. Or, you may have planted a seed yourself in a garden and watched it grow magically in front of you.

Seeds first grow roots when they are planted, and a plant will begin to grow by breaking through the soil. This entire process is known as germination. After the plant goes through the germination process, it will start to self-produce food from nutrients in the soil and grow into a bigger and bigger plant. Calculating the germination rate of a seed is important because it helps planters make sure their seeds will grow without problems, and in turn, the seeds will transform into lovely plants with much success.

How Do You Calculate the Germination Rate?

To calculate the germination rate for each type of seed, the first step is to document the number of seeds you planted and the second is to see how many of those seeds actually germinated. You can use the following formula to calculate the germination rate: 

Germination rate = The number of seeds sprouted divided by the number of total seeds sprouted, then multiplied by 100.

What Factors Determine the Germination Rate?

Several factors will determine the germination rate of grass seed. Air temperature and soil to seed are a few factors that determine germination rates. Other factors include contact, presence, and consistency of moisture plus the age and quality of the seed.

Different types of seeds germinate at various times, and it is important to take that into consideration when planting. If seeds are sown too late in the season, it might germinate and seem successful, but may not survive the winter as a seedling and then you are back to square one.

List of Germination Rates for Seeds

The following grass seed germination rates are within a range based on ideal conditions.

  • Annual ryegrass: 5 to 10 days
  • Bahia grass: 14 to 28 days
  • Bermuda grass: 10 to 30 days
  • Buffalo grass: 14 to 30 days
  • Centipede grass: 14 to 21 days
  • Hard fescue: 7 to 14 days
  • Kentucky bluegrass: 14 to 30 days
  • Perennial ryegrass: 5 to 10 days
  • Red fescue: 7 to 14 days
  • Seashore paspalum: 7 to 14 days
  • Tall fescue: 7 to 12 days
  • Zoysia grass: 14 to 21 days