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Grow Grass, Lawn Fast

How to Grow Grass Fast

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There’s no secret trick to get grass to grow overnight, but here are the top tips to get your grass to grow in thick and lush as fast as it can.

Author Image Written by Brenda Woods Updated 04/19/2024

If you wish your lawn would spring up thick, green, and vibrant overnight, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, getting a lush lawn right away by laying sod is expensive, and trying to take shortcuts when growing grass from seed can be counterproductive in the long run. However, by following a proper process, you can minimize the time it takes to establish your lawn. Choosing the optimal grass type and planting at the ideal time go a long way toward getting the lawn you want.

Whether you choose seed or sod, we’ll provide tips on getting your new turfgrass established quickly without damaging the soil. We’ll also recommend our choices for the top lawn care service to keep your new grass green and healthy.

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How Do You Grow Grass Fast?

The best way to grow grass fast is to plant the best grass seed for your climate and help it with water and fertilizer. An even faster—but more expensive—option is to lay down sod, which is grass that’s already grown. Whether you decide to seed or sod, the process starts by selecting the proper turfgrass.


Determining Your Grass Type

Understanding your grass type is a fundamental step in the process. To get the best, fastest growth, you need to pick the ideal species for your local climate—whether it’s a cool-season grass, warm-season grass, or a transitional grass type. If you choose the wrong type, you may see your grass grow quickly, then falter and fail.

Warm-Season Grass

Cool-Season Grass

Warm-season grasses grow best in regions with hot summers and mild winters, including the Deep South and Southeast. In general, warm-season grasses have vigorous growth from mid-to-late spring through early fall and go dormant in the winter. Their ideal growing temperature is between roughly 80–95 degrees Fahrenheit. The best time to plant warm-season grasses is between late spring and summer.

The fastest-growing warm season grasses include:

  • Bermuda grass: This grass type germinates in as little as seven to 10 days.
  • Buffalo grass: This variety takes two weeks to 30 days to germinate.
  • Centipede grass: This type of grass will germinate in 14–21 days.

Cool-season grasses’ active growth periods are during early spring and early fall. They grow best in the Northeast, Pacific Northwest, and Upper Midwest. These grasses are usually green in the winter and turn brown in the summer. Their ideal growing temperature is about 60–75 degrees Fahrenheit. The best time to plant cool-season grasses is in spring or during the fall, about 45 days before the estimated first frost.

The fastest-growing cool season grasses include:

  • Perennial and annual ryegrass: Both germinate in just seven to 10 days.
  • Tall fescue: This grass type germinates in 10–14 days.
  • Kentucky bluegrass: It typically takes two to four weeks for Kentucky bluegrass to germinate.

If you live in a transitional zone, you’re in luck. Both warm-season grasses and cool-season grasses will grow in your region. Plant warm-season grass first, then overseed it with cool-season grass.


How to Plant Grass Seed

There are several options for planting grass seed. You may look into hydroseeding—an efficient planting process that involves spraying a slurry of grass seed, fertilizer, water, mulch, and wood fiber through a high-pressure hose. Because of the built-in fertilizer, hydroseeding helps your grass grow quickly.

If you opt not to hydroseed, whether you think it’s too difficult to DIY or you don’t want to pay to hire a professional, you can plant seed the old-fashioned way.

  1. Test the soil: Use a garden store kit to test your soil for nutrient content and acidity. You want to make sure it’s set for optimum grass growth, with proper drainage and the right nutrients.
  2. Prep the soil: Be sure to remove any debris, including stones and wood. Scratch the soil with a rake and dig about 6 inches down with a spade to remove any roots. Till your soil either by hand or with a rototiller, then mix amendments, mulch, or compost into it based on the test kit’s results. Smooth the area out to make it level, breaking up any clumps.
  3. Sow the seed: You’ll need a spreader to ensure uniform growth. Use a broadcast or drop spreader in large areas and a hand spreader in smaller ones. Once you’ve set your spreader to the recommended rate, fill it up with just half of the seeds. Seed once in one direction and again in the opposite direction. The crisscross pattern will help with uniformity.
  4. Top-dress the soil: Place peat moss over your soil to lock in moisture. This layer can also prevent seeds from washing away in heavy rain and protect them from pesky birds.
  5. Fertilize the soil: Apply a thin layer of starter fertilizer before covering and tamping the soil. Starter fertilizers are low in nitrogen, which is key because too much nitrogen can encourage weed growth and compete with your new grass. Avoid fast-release fertilizers that promise rapid growth, as these are very high in nitrogen.
  6. Water your lawn: Newly seeded lawns need plenty of moisture to allow the seeds to germinate. Watering once or twice a week won’t cut it in the early stages. Instead, you’ll either need to take a mister and gently spray the area or run a sprinkler at a low setting two or three times a day for five to 10 minutes for the first week or so. When the grass grows high enough to mow the lawn, water your lawn 1–1.5 inches per week so that the soil is moist but not soggy. Always water your lawn before 10 a.m. or between 4 p.m.–6 p.m. to keep evaporation minimal.
  7. Mow the grass: It’s time for the first mow once the grass reaches 3–4 inches.

Laying Sod

Sod is, without a doubt, your fastest way to an established lawn since the grass is already germinated. However, it’s expensive and takes a fair amount of work, and fewer grass species are available as sod. You have to install sod as soon as you get it because it begins to spoil quickly on the pallet. Keep it moist while laying it down piece by piece, ensuring it’s smooth and has no gaps.

QUICK Tip
For the best-looking results, we recommend hiring a professional landscaper to lay sod. While you can attempt to do it yourself, sod is already pricey, and you want to protect your lawn investment.

Professional Lawn Care

After you’ve planted your new grass, we recommend hiring a professional lawn care service to help you keep it looking good. TruGreen is our top choice to ensure your lawn receives the proper care. TruGreen offers five annual plans, covering everything from aerating to soil amendments in every state except Alaska and Hawaii. For a free quote, call 1-866-817-2287 or fill out this simple form.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do you grow grass fast?

The best way to grow grass fast is to choose a fast-growing species that grows well in your region. Plant it properly and follow proper maintenance. If you want an instant lawn, you should invest in sod.

What type of seeds grow the fastest?

Bermuda grass is the fastest-growing warm-season grass, germinating in as little as 10 days. Ryegrass, which grows in cool climates, germinates just as fast.

Can you put down too much grass seed?

Plants need adequate room to grow, so spreading too much seed too close together is possible. You don’t want the seedlings competing for limited sunlight, water, and nutrients.


Our Rating Methodology

We back up our lawn recommendations with a detailed rating methodology that we use to score each provider objectively. We review lawn care plans and packages, navigate the provider website, speak with customer service representatives, request quotes, and analyze customer reviews for each provider. We then score the provider against our plan options review standards, additional benefits and customizability, availability, trustworthiness, and customer service to arrive at a final score out of 100.

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