Best Ways to Grow Grass Fast (2024)

Best Ways to Grow Grass Fast (1)

Creating a lush, vibrant lawn often requires time, effort, and patience. So, whether you’re looking to rejuvenate a patchy lawn, cover up bald spots, or simply want a greener expanse to enjoy, understanding the best ways to grow grass fast is the key to success.

Having a well-maintained lawn not only enhances your property’s aesthetic appeal but also provides a safe and comfortable space for outdoor activities. Learn about the most effective approaches and how you can choose the right grass species for your region so you can transform your lawn from meh to wow in no time.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • 4 best ways to grow grass fast
    • Option 1: Sod installation
    • Option 2: Seeding
    • Option 3: Hydroseeding
  • How to help your grass grow even faster
    • Prepare your soil
    • Water and protect the grass
    • Mow the right way
    • Fertilize using the right mix
  • FAQ about the best ways to grow grass fast

4 best ways to grow grass fast

If you want to grow grass fast, there are a few methods that yield the quickest results. Combine your method of choice with the ideal time of year to plant grass in your area, and before you know it, you’ll have lush, healthy grass.

To start, you’ll need to select the most appropriate method from the following options:

Option 1: Sod installation

Best Ways to Grow Grass Fast (2)

Sod is better than fast. So, if you want an instant lawn, this method is perfect for you. It involves laying pre-grown grass in the form of turfgrass rolls or squares directly onto prepared soil. The grass used for sodding is typically mature, making it a quick way to establish a lush, green lawn.

After you put down your chosen variety of sod, your lawn can look new in a matter of hours. In short, the fastest way to grow grass is to pay someone else to grow it for you. Whether you need to redo your whole lawn or only repair a few bare spots, installing sod is a great way to get an instant lawn.

Sod is the most expensive option on this list, but if you install it yourself (or with the help of a few friends), you can save on labor costs. In a matter of three to four weeks, you will have a fully rooted lawn you can mow and walk on. It doesn’t get much quicker than that.

Pros of sodding

  • Requires less work to establish
  • Less susceptible to weed infestations
  • Eliminates the waiting period for seed germination
  • Prevents soil erosion, making it ideal for sloped or exposed areas
  • You can use your new lawn almost immediately for recreational activities

Cons of sodding

  • Proper maintenance after installation is essential for long-term success
  • It may not perfectly match your existing lawn, leading to visible seams
  • Choices of grass types may be more limited than with seed
  • Requires careful soil preparation and labor for installation
  • Most expensive method of growing grass

Special care

Sod is great for small patch jobs, new lawns, and lawn renovations. However, it will only stay beautiful if you care for it as it becomes established. Ask your sod supplier for specific watering recommendations. A general rule of thumb is to water once or twice per day for the first three weeks or so. After that, water deeply once per week.

Don’t mow until the third or fourth week, and keep people and pets off the grass at least until after the first mow. Fertilize the new grass using a specially formulated starter fertilizer at about the one-month mark. Also, most sod varieties grow best in full sun.

Pro tip: Some grass species, like bermudagrass and Zoysiagrass, spread through stolons (above-ground runners) and rhizomes (below-ground stems). So, if you select these grasses, it can lead to faster spreading and coverage.

Option 2: Seeding

Seeding is the traditional method of growing grass, where grass seeds are sown directly onto prepared soil. For existing lawns, overseeding can help fill in bare spots and thicken the grass cover, promoting faster growth.

Seeding isn’t as fast as sod, but it has the advantage of being much cheaper. Remember to look for seed blends designed for quick germination. Most grass seeds have a germination period of five to 30 days, depending on the species of grass.

Grass typeGermination time
Bermudagrass10 to 30 days
Centipedegrass10 to 28 days
Fine fescue7 to 14 days
Kentucky bluegrass14 to 30 days
Perennial ryegrass5 to 10 days
Tall fescue7 to 12 days

The actual germination time can vary based on factors such as temperature, soil conditions, and moisture levels. To ensure successful germination, remember to follow the recommended seeding rates and techniques, as well as the specific planting instructions for your chosen type of grass.

Pro tip: You can overseed using a broadcast spreader or slit seeder to ensure the grass seeds have good contact with the soil to allow for quick germination and even distribution. For small areas, you may hand-cast the seeds instead.

Pros of seeding

  • Most budget-friendly option
  • Best option for DIY enthusiasts
  • Offers a more gradual, natural lawn development
  • Grass from seed often develops stronger and deeper root systems
  • Seeding works well for filling in bare spots or overseeding existing lawns
  • No special equipment is needed – you can hand-cast seed for small areas

Cons of seeding

  • Seeded areas are more susceptible to weed competition, especially in the early stages
  • Requires careful soil preparation, watering, and protection against birds and pests
  • Some grasses, like Zoysiagrass, are too slow-growing to work well from seed
  • May have temporary bare spots before full coverage is achieved
  • Bare soil is vulnerable to erosion before grass is established
  • Takes more time to germinate than sod or hydroseeding
  • It can be too labor intensive

Choose the right seed

Select the right grass variety well-suited to your local climate and soil conditions:

  • Cool-season grasses: Perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, and rough bluegrass are some of the fastest-growing cool-season grasses. These varieties put forth a medium-full lawn in five to nine weeks.
  • Warm-season grasses: For warm-season varieties, the fastest-growing grasses are bermudagrass, buffalograss, and centipedegrass. These warm-season species take slightly longer to become relatively full. Expect to wait six to 11 weeks for these species to grow and start to look full.

Whether you choose a warm-season or cool-season grass variety, you should invest in high-quality grass seeds free from weeds and other contaminants. You also may opt to buy pre-seeded turf mats containing grass seed, fertilizer, and mulch. These can be easily rolled out onto prepared soil, offering a convenient and quick way to establish grass in problem areas.

Note: Some species of grass are not available as seeds. St. Augustinegrass, for example, is only available as sod or sprigs. Companies don’t sell this species as seed because it doesn’t produce much viable seed, so it’s easier to propagate vegetatively.

Best time to plant grass seeds

All the different types of grass varieties must be planted at the correct time of the year. If you want faster grass growth, you must understand the ideal time to plant grass seeds.

The timing varies depending on your region, the best grass for your area, and the type of lawn you aim to cultivate. Let’s explore the most favorable times of the year for planting grass seeds, keeping in mind the key factors influencing grass growth.

Late spring to early summer

The time between late spring and early summer is ideal for planting warm-season grass seeds. As the soil temperature reaches around 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit, warm-season grasses like bermudagrass or Zoysiagrass can quickly establish and flourish.

Late summer to early fall

When the soil reaches 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit in late summer to early fall, it’s the perfect time to plant cool-season grass seeds. Cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass and fescues thrive during this period. The soil retains warmth from the summer while the risk of scorching heat diminishes.

Early spring

While not the best time of year for planting grass seeds, early spring can still be a good time to plant warm-season grass seeds in regions with hot summers and more forgiving winters. The combination of warm soil and a growing season ahead allows for quick germination and robust grass growth.

Pro tip: Planting grass before their periods of peak activity results in the fastest grass growth and the best chance of success for healthy, green grass.

Option 3: Hydroseeding

Best Ways to Grow Grass Fast (3)

Hydroseeding is a technique for establishing grass that is time-efficient and cost-effective for large areas or areas prone to erosion.

The hydroseed is a mixture of water, starter fertilizer, green dye, wood or paper fiber, and grass seed. These ingredients are mixed well in a machine to create a slurry. This slurry is then sprayed onto large lawn areas using a hydroseeding machine.

This slurry or mulch mixture gives the seed a moist bed in which to germinate and ensures it stays put as it becomes established, preventing erosion or rain from washing the mixture away.

Hydroseeding may be slower to establish than sod but is faster than seed. This method is most cost-effective for larger residential and commercial properties. If you choose this option, you may have an almost full lawn in as little as 30 days to two months.

Pros of hydroseeding

  • Cost-effective for larger areas
  • Less costly than sodding a large area
  • Ideal for sloped or hard-to-reach areas
  • Helps prevent soil erosion and washout
  • Offers quick and uniform seed germination
  • Ensures even distribution of seeds and nutrients
  • Seed mixes can be customized to suit specific conditions

Cons of hydroseeding

  • Hydroseeding machines may not be readily available for homeowners
  • Requires careful maintenance to ensure successful establishment
  • Not good for small areas and minor patch jobs
  • Can be susceptible to weed competition
  • Costs more than traditional seeding
  • Not as fast to install or grow as sod

Note: If you’re low on budget or just need to fill in a few bare patches, you can use simple equipment like a garden hose attachment or sprayer for applying DIY homemade hydroseed mixture (grass seed, fertilizer, mulch, and water) instead of renting or buying a professional hydroseeding machine.

How to help your grass grow even faster

Achieving even more rapid grass growth requires a well-thought-out approach encompassing every aspect of lawn care.

Prepare your soil

  • Start with a soil test: Conduct a soil test to determine nutrient deficiencies and adjust your fertilization plan accordingly. Contact your local cooperative extension office for a soil sample bag. They will send your soil sample to the state lab for a reasonable fee. You also can buy soil test kits from your local home improvement store or online.
  • Measure the lawn area: You’ll need to know how large of an area you need to cover, especially if you are seeding or sodding an entire lawn. Precise measurements ensure you purchase the right amount of seed, sod, or fertilizer, saving you time and money.
  • Mow the grass (or remove it): If you’re starting from scratch, mow any existing grass as short as possible to allow for better seed-to-soil contact. For more extensive lawn improvements, you may consider removing the existing grass through methods like sod cutting or chemical removal.
  • Dethatch your lawn: If you are planting grass on a large area, consider dethatching first. Thatch is a layer of living and dead material between the actively growing grass and the soil. Removing excessive thatch over ½ inch allows water and nutrients to penetrate the topsoil better, resulting in faster and healthier grass growth.
  • Aerate the soil: If you don’t have thatch, aerating is a good way to open up your soil before you put down seed, especially if you have clay or compacted soil. Aeration helps improve soil compaction and allows grassroots to access air and nutrients more easily.
  • Add soil amendments: Based on your soil test results, you may need to apply lime or add soil amendments like compost, sand, phosphorus, or peat moss. Doing so can help enhance soil structure and provide essential nutrients for your grass.

Water and protect the grass

New grass seed is only as good as the watering you do afterward. Consistent moisture is crucial even for the fastest-growing grass, especially during the germination period.

Light, frequent watering is ideal to prevent seedlings from drying out, but be careful not to saturate the soil. A general recommendation is to water lightly two to three times per day for the first few weeks until the grass germinates.

To protect your new grass and help promote rapid grass growth, do the following after seeding or sodding:

  • Install an efficient irrigation system: Installing a sprinkler or drip system can help ensure your lawn receives consistent moisture, particularly during dry periods. Set the sprinkler to keep the soil moist but not muddy.
  • Ensure the grass receives adequate sunlight: Trim or prune overhanging branches and obstacles to maximize light exposure.
  • Protect your grass from pests and diseases: Monitor and address any fungal or disease issues promptly, as these can hinder grass growth and health. If your lawn has pests like grubs, take appropriate action to protect your grass from damage.
  • Cover newly seeded areas with turf blankets or straw: Doing so can help maintain consistent soil moisture and protect the seeds and sprouts from birds and erosion.

Mow the right way

Wait until the grass is 3 to 4 inches tall before mowing. Remember to mow at the appropriate height for your grass type and ensure your lawnmower blades are sharp.

You also can use a lawn roller or dethatcher to promote soil contact and even growth. These tools can help press seeds into the soil or remove excess thatch.

Note: Keep foot traffic off the lawn for at least two to three months.

Fertilize using the right mix

Apply a fertilizer based on your soil test results. You may want to put down compost at this point as a soil amendment. Also, applying a fertilizer with high phosphorus content can encourage root development, helping the grass establish quickly. Balanced fertilization throughout the growing season supports overall health and growth.

You also may use selective herbicides to control weed infestations, as they can compete with grass for resources and hinder its growth.

FAQ about the best ways to grow grass fast

How long do I have to wait before my lawn gets established?

Experts say a seeded lawn takes up to two months to become established. In a seeded lawn, the grass seeds can take as little as a week to germinate, but you may need to let the moon cycle twice around the Earth before your lawn is well established.

If you’re putting down sod, know that it takes much less time to establish itself, typically just around two to three weeks.

Will grass seeds grow if I simply throw them on the ground?

Yes, grass seeds can potentially grow if you simply throw them on the ground. However, there are challenges to overcome if you scatter the seeds without proper soil preparation.

The seeds might not have adequate seed-to-soil contact, making them vulnerable to environmental factors, such as wind, birds, and erosion. Additionally, the seeds might not receive the necessary nutrients and moisture for optimal germination and growth.

Is there a limit to how many grass seeds I should use?

Yes, you can’t use too many grass seeds, as doing so can have negative consequences. When you overseed or spread an excessive amount of grass seeds, the seeds can become overcrowded, leading to increased competition for resources like sunlight, water, and nutrients.

This overcrowding can result in stunted growth, weak grass, and an overall unhealthy lawn. Moreover, dense grass can create conditions that are favorable for diseases and pests, as good airflow and sunlight penetration become limited.

To avoid these issues, it’s important to follow the recommended seeding rates for your specific grass type and lawn area, ensuring the grass seeds have adequate space to grow and thrive.

Grow a lush lawn fast

Given these options for growing your new lawn fast, remember to choose the method that works best for your lawn. You also must budget accordingly and plant at an optimal time of year. If you follow these guidelines and best practices, you should have greener, healthier grass and landscaping before you know it.

And if your definition of fast is having someone else do the work for you, hire a lawn care pro who knows the best ways to grow grass fast. They can plant or patch your lawn in a jiffy.

Main Photo Credit: Ochir-Erdene Oyunmedeg | Unsplash

Best Ways to Grow Grass Fast (4)

Melanie Joseph

After discovering her passion for writing through her beauty blog, Melanie left her engineering job in California, became a writer, and never once looked back. When she isn't writing, she loves dipping in the pool, tending to the garden, or doing simple home improvement projects.

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Best Ways to Grow Grass Fast (2024)

FAQs

How to grow grass very quickly? ›

One of the most effective ways to get your grass to grow quickly is to fertilize right after you plant. For use on all grass types, reach for Scotts® Turf Builder® Starter® Food for New Grass, which helps grass grow up to 70 percent thicker and 35 percent more quickly (vs. unfed).

How can I speed up the growth of grass? ›

Having constant access to moisture will make sure your grass seeds grow faster, thanks to having the proper environment for growth. When your grass becomes fully established, you should use more water, less often to help encourage good root development. A rule of 1 inch of water per all areas is a good starting point.

What is the quickest method of developing a lawn? ›

Turfing: This is the quickest method of making a lawn within a very short period. The intact pieces of uniform thickness of turf with soil are taken from the place where grass is compact and free from weeds. Then these pieces of carpets are spread on the ground evenly and covered with fine soil followed by watering.

What does grass need to grow fast? ›

Grass can germinate in as little as 10 days, depending on grass type, soil conditions and weather. Apply a balanced fertilizer with a 3:1:2 or 4:1:2 nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio to stimulate grass growth.

What triggers grass growth? ›

The four major factors that determine turf grass growth are sunlight, moisture, carbon dioxide and soil temperature. Other growth influencers include the: Amount of nutrients available in your soil.

How do you get grass up easily? ›

If you prefer a natural option, you can dig up a lawn with a tiller or sod cutter. Buying a tiller will make the work easier, but you'll need a heavy-duty, rear-tine model. You can rent a heavier grass-removal tool, such as a sod cutter, which will cut under the turf and slice it into strips.

What chemical makes grass grow faster? ›

Each element plays a crucial role in the development of healthy grass blades, but nitrogen is arguably the most important of all 3, and it is the element responsible for the rate at which your grass grows. In the right amount, nitrogen speeds up growth and gives your lawn a lush green color.

How do you make dead grass grow faster? ›

How can I revive brown grass? For brown or yellowing grass, proper irrigation and soil enrichment are key. Rake dead spots, plant new grass seed, water regularly, and use high-phosphorus fertilizer to encourage healthy growth.

What is the fastest germinating grass? ›

This fast growing grass seed mix contains annual ryegrass—the quickest germinating grass seed species. Lawns grown from Fast Grow can be overseeded with any Black Beauty® grass seed to establish a thick, beautiful lawn that will persist for years to come. This seed germinates in 7 – 10 days.

What not to do when growing grass? ›

Even if you're a first-time lawn grower, you can seed right and avoid these common mistakes:
  1. Planting the wrong type of seed.
  2. Skipping the soil test and recommendations.
  3. Using lime incorrectly or unnecessarily.
  4. Ignoring recommended seeding rates.
  5. Miscalculating your lawn dimensions.
  6. Planting without regard for proper timing.

What is the most inexpensive way to grow grass? ›

Seeding is the traditional method of growing grass, where grass seeds are sown directly onto prepared soil. For existing lawns, overseeding can help fill in bare spots and thicken the grass cover, promoting faster growth. Seeding isn't as fast as sod, but it has the advantage of being much cheaper.

What helps grass grow naturally? ›

There are three top nutrients grass needs to grow; potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Though all plants need these three key nutrients to thrive, grass requires higher concentrations for proper growth. Of all three, nitrogen is the most important as that is what gives grass its vivid color and tremendous growth.

Can grass grow in 2 weeks? ›

Most grass seed will start growing in about 10-14 days, but sometimes it can take up to 30 days.

How much can grass grow in 3 days? ›

In well-fertilized soil, most grass species will begin emerging within only 8-10 days after seeding. In a single day, healthy grass can grow a maximum of around 1/5 of an inch. In a week, well maintained grass grows roughly 1 inch if the soil meets ideal conditions.

Will grass grow in 30 days? ›

Cool-season grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass might take 14 to 30 days to begin growing. Warm-season grasses such as Bermuda Grass could start to grow within 10 to 30 days if the soil conditions and temperatures are favorable.

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