Lawn: How To Speed Up The Germination Of Seeds

Meanwhile, it is already a good thing that in every garden in this country is planted an area of lawn. Here some factors are important, such as the duration of germination. Everything about this and to shorten it below.

Germination time and requirements


Anyone who wants to create a lawn in his garden knows that this requires a little patience for a good result. In addition to thorough soil preparation and proper seeding, the germination time also plays a decisive role. This can be a period of between 7 and 21 days until the lawn seed finally germinates. The duration depends on various factors such as

  • Quality of the seed
  • oxygen present in the soil
  • important for root formation
  • high air and soil moisture
  • soil temperature of at least 10 ° C
  • ideal sowing date April/May or August/September


At this time, the seed does not yet need to be supplied with nutrients from the outside. However, it is important to provide water, appropriate humidity, which allows the lawn seeds to swell. Meanwhile, with the help of the enzyme diastase starch is converted into sugar. Then germination can begin, the stored nutrients are available to the seedling. Only after the seeds have germinated and the first roots have formed do the seedlings depend on nutrients from the soil. If necessary, a starter fertilizer can be administered there. Irrespective of this, there are ways to accelerate germination, but whether this makes sense in every case remains to be seen.

Note: The individual lawn seeds of a seed mixture germinate quite differently, since this is composed of different types of grass. Furthermore, the trade offers so-called cheap mixtures and more expensive, but high-quality lawn mixtures. As a rule, the cheap variety germinates faster, but the result sometimes leaves much to be desired.

Cover with plastic film

Lawn: How To Speed Up The Germination Of Seeds

In order to accelerate the germination time for lawn seeds, i.e. to shorten it, all the factors already mentioned must be present for successful germination. However, the weather can sometimes not always play along. Strong temperature fluctuations and inconsistent precipitation can quickly affect the germination period. Covering the sowing area with foil can help here and accelerate the germination of the seeds. Use should be

  • special growing film or
  • alternatively transparent plastic film


In any case, the films used must be

  • translucent
  • water permeable and
  • permeable to air.


Why cover?


Covering the area with foil creates a kind of “greenhouse climate” due to the radiation of the sun underneath, which makes the lawn seed germinate faster. The foil provides

Lawn: How To Speed Up The Germination Of Seeds
  • Protection from drying out due to wind and sun
  • Soil remains evenly moist
  • protection from heavy rain
  • protection against washing away of seeds
  • faster warming of the soil
  • even distribution of the seeds
  • protection against stepping on the surface
  • protection from bird predation


This method is quite simple, but very effective in accelerating the germination period.

Proper covering


Now, before stretching the tarp over the lawn area in question, a few things need to be done:

  • before sowing thoroughly roughen the soil.
  • ideally use a power hoe
  • Sow seeds evenly
  • not deeper than 1 cm
  • this increases the germination rate
  • Lightly roll the lawn seed
  • this creates good contact with the ground
  • Water the area thoroughly
  • do not soak completely
  • then spread the turf flat on the ground
  • the strips should overlap by at least 30 cm
  • fix the foil sheets on the sides
  • use stones or wooden boards for this purpose

The film must not lie flat on the ground, because the seedlings need space to grow. Overlapping of the film sheets is necessary so that there is no covering of the partial areas in strong wind or rain. Otherwise, the seeds can easily sponge away and the result is poor germination.

Note: The film must not serve as a cover for too long. It should be removed when the first roots are firmly established in the soil. The plants now need enough oxygen, enough air for their development.

Pre-growing the seeds


This is a method of increasing the germination capacity and likewise the resistance. Here, too, various conditions are necessary, such as

  • sufficient oxygen, air
  • heat and
  • corresponding humidity


If these factors are fulfilled, the pre-sprouting can start:

  • Spread out kitchen paper on a baking tray
  • Spray with water
  • Cloth should be damp, but not wet
  • Spread the seed evenly
  • Avoid overlapping
  • Place in a warm place
  • windowsill is ideal
  • avoid draught
  • Regular control of humidity
  • if necessary, spray with a spray bottle
  • use of warm water
Lawn: How To Speed Up The Germination Of Seeds

Note: The seed does not tolerate drought. Quickly the seeds can die.

Covering with a transparent film can again influence the germination of the seeds. In this case, the sowing tray can also be in a slightly cooler place, for example, in the winter garden. In any case, the lawn seed should not be left like this for more than five days. As soon as the first roots are formed, they need contact with the ground to provide themselves with nutrients. In principle, the seedlings can then be moved to their intended place.

Note: A lawn mixture always consists of different grass species, which also have different germination times. If pre-sprouting takes too long, there is a possibility that one grass species will have already died and another will still be germinating.

Does pre-growing make sense?


In principle, pre-sprouting of seeds is useful for other types of plants. But usually pre-sprouting of grass seed does not really accelerate the germination period. In principle, this is only an advance of the respective germination process. This is already completed for the most part before sowing. However, this method is also advantageous, because it results in faster growth of the lawn. The area is greened earlier than with normal seeding. However, it must be noted that for a new installation of a lawn pre-sprouting is very costly and therefore not really useful. It should be considered that for a normal area countless seedlings are needed. Here the expenditure would be much larger than with a completely normal sowing.

However, the situation is different for reseeding, when gaps have to be closed on a lawn. Pre-seeding is ideal for this purpose.

Note: So-called turbo reseeds are available in the trade. Due to a germination accelerator, the germination period can be brought forward by 30 percent. The first plantlets are already visible after seven days. This seed is excellent for repairing gaps.

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