Fast-Growing Grass Seeds for Both Warm & Cool Climates

Depending on whether you’re in a warm or cool region, you need to know that different types of grasses respond differently to different climates.

We’ve put together a list of grasses that respond well to both warm and cool climates as fast growers. 

What are the fastest growing grass seeds?

Bermuda grass, Zoysia, and Buffalo grass are among the fastest-growing seeds that thrive in warm climates. For cool climates, you will have the best success with Ryegrass, Fescue, and Kentucky Bluegrass.

Ready to get to know more about both cool and warm climate grass seeds? Let’s get started with a few introductions…

Fast-Growing Grass Seeds for Warm Regions

These grass seeds thrive in warm to sweltering conditions. Get to know each type better:

Bermuda Grass

Bermuda Grass Lawn from Above

Bermuda Grass is attractive grass that thrives in warm climates. The seed heads of this grass spring up in clusters of two to six spikes. The blades of Bermuda Grass grow between 2-6 cm, creeping along the ground and forming a dense mat.

Bermuda Grass isn’t native to Bermuda, though this invasive species is abundant there. 

  • Germination time: Bermuda grass can spring up in just 3-7 days in full sun and well-drained soil. Hulled seeds allow water to penetrate the grain quickly, thus significantly reducing germination time. However, if conditions are not ideal, unhulled seeds act like a “jacket,” protecting these seeds from dying; therefore, germination time may take 14-21 days.
  • Time until established: 5-6 weeks. 
  • Tolerates shade: Bermuda grass will not grow well in shaded areas, and areas with less light may result in blades being thinner. Bermuda grass flourishes in temperatures between 24 and 37 °C (75 and 99 °F).
  • Drought tolerant: Bermuda grass can tolerate drought but will become dormant during extended periods of drought. 
  • Foot traffic tolerance: The root system of Bermuda grass grows within six inches of the surface, though it can reach more than six feet in depth, making it resilient to heavy use. 

Zoysia Grass

Zoysia Grass Lawn

Zoysia grass is well-suited to lawns across southern states. Though native to Asia, this grass has been in the U.S. since 1895. In summer, you can enjoy the beautiful green color, but this grass will become tan or brown after the first fall frost.

Though this grass takes a little longer to establish itself, once it does, it is thick and lush.

  • Germination time: Under good growing conditions, it takes 14-21 days to germinate. 
  • Time until established: You can expect your lawn to be set firmly within a few weeks or a few months. 
  • Tolerates shade: This grass thrives in 6-8 hours of daily sunlight, though it can grow well in light shade. 
  • Drought tolerant: Zoysia can withstand heat and dry spells. 
  • Foot traffic tolerance: The blades of this grass grow densely together, making it a lush turf that can withstand foot traffic. 

Buffalo Grass

Buffalo Grass Lawn Closeup

Buffalo grass is a tough turf grass that is low maintenance, and when left to grow wild in the shade or sunlight, it makes an ideal ground cover. This grass is native to New Mexico. However, it has a history of being difficult to establish. 

  • Germination time: Buffalo grass takes between 15 – 21 days to germinate. Some species may even take up to 30 days to grow, while others may have a short germination time of just seven days under ideal conditions. 
  • Time until established: It may take up to four months to shape and set a lawn. 
  • Tolerates shade: Buffalo grass is shade tolerant but enjoys dappled sunlight. 
  • Drought tolerant: This grass can tolerate drought, and that’s why you can plant this grass all year round.
  • Foot traffic tolerance: Buffalo grass doesn’t tolerate high foot traffic, but it can withstand low or moderate foot traffic. 

Fast-Growing Grass Seeds for Cool Regions

These grass seeds thrive in places with below-freezing and temperate conditions. Get to know each type better:

Ryegrass

Small Patch of Ryegrass

Ryegrass is native to Europe and Asia. Perennial ryegrass comes back year after year to establish a permanent lawn. It features an established turf of fine-textured, shiny dark green blades. 

  • Germination time: Rye-grass seeds have a quick germination period within 7-10 days, provided that the soil is moist. 
  • Time until established: It can take as little as 45 days for your lawn to set firmly and not be easy to pull from the ground.
  • Tolerates shade: It prefers the sun but can tolerate lightly shaded conditions. 
  • Drought tolerant: Traditional ryegrass has limited heat and drought tolerance because of its shallow roots. 
  • Foot traffic tolerance: Ryegrass is wear and traffic tolerant and is a bunch forming grass that grows in clumps. 

Fescue

Fescue Grass with Morning Dew

Fescue originated in Europe and was introduced to the United States in the early 1800s as lawns became fashionable. It’s valued for its adaptability to a wide range of climates and tolerance for cold, heat, drought, and shade. 

  • Germination time: Fescue seeds need 7 to 14 days to germinate in optimal conditions.
  • Time until established: Fescue takes 45 days for roots to establish and set firmly on your lawn.
  • Tolerates shade: It performs well in open sunny areas but can tolerate moderate shade. 
  • Drought tolerant: Superior heat and drought tolerance thanks to its naturally extensive root system. 
  •  Foot traffic tolerance: Tuff type Fescue is resistant to foot traffic and grows in bunch type clumps. 

Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky Bluegrass Sod

Kentucky bluegrass is a perennial cool-season lawn grass native to northern Asia and Europe. It has the greatest cold-hardiness of all common cool-season lawn grasses in the US. It produces a dense, lush, durable lawn with a rich emerald to blue-green color. 

  • Germination time: Kentucky bluegrass seeds take 14 to 30 days to germinate in ideal conditions. 
  • Time until established: It needs 2 to 5 weeks to establish comprehensively and set firmly on your lawn. 
  • Tolerates shade: Kentucky bluegrass prefers full sun, but some varieties can do well in lightly shaded areas. 
  • Drought tolerant: Traditional Kentucky bluegrass has lower resistance to heat and drought because of shallow roots. Improved varieties offer better drought resistance. 
  •  Foot traffic tolerance: It’s traffic tolerant and hard-wearing, forming a dense, thick turf that recuperates quickly from damage. 

Tips To Establishing A Lawn Quickly

The best way to establish a lawn quickly is to plant the best grass seed for your climate and follow the necessary steps. Here are some tips to help your grass grow quickly:

  • Test your soil first to ensure it’s set for optimum grass growth.
  •  Prepare the soil by removing debris, tilling, and mixing with amendments like compost or mulch. 
  • Sow the seed using a spreader to ensure uniform growth. Hand spreaders, drop spreaders, or broadcast spreaders can be suitable depending on the area. 
  • Top-dress the soil using peat moss to lock in moisture, prevent seeds from washing away, and protect them from birds. 
  • Fertilize the soil using a starter fertilizer low in nitrogen.
  •  Water your newly seeded lawn more frequently to ensure enough moisture for seeds to germinate. 

Related Questions:

How Quickly Does Grass Seed Dry Out?

Grass seed can dry out within a day after seeding. Once planted, grass seeds shouldn’t go without water any day in the first few weeks of initial growth. Water your newly planted grass seeds 2 to 3 times a day for around a month. 

Does St. Augustine Grass Spread?

Yes! St. Augustine grass is an aggressive spreader. It can send out runners above and below ground and spread through stolons and rhizomes. 

Conclusion

While there’s no method to get grass to grow overnight, choosing the optimal grass type for warm or cool climates and following the proper process can minimize the time it takes to establish your lawn.

Make the correct choice for your region and follow the above tips to prevent your grass from failing. 

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