Should I Worry If My Grass Seed Is Not Growing After 3 Weeks?

Growing grass can be quite the process, and it can take anywhere from 7 to 30 days to see any sort of a result.  Many factors play into growth, including water, temperature, quality of the seed, and the environment.

After 3 weeks, there should be some progress, but if there isn’t, don’t panic.  There are many factors that go into creating a lawn all your neighbors are jealous of, but don’t worry; you’ll get there.

Not sure? Keep reading, we’re here to help. 

How To Tell If Grass Seed Is Germinating

We’ll start at the beginning.  To make sure we’re on the same page, the term “to germinate” means “to begin to grow.” It can take up to 30 days for grass seed to germinate, but most of this depends on the type of seed you planted.  For example, ryegrass can take only 7 days to germinate, while bluegrass can take up to 30 days.

What To Do If Grass Seed Doesn’t Grow

It’s day 21, and your grass still isn’t growing.  The tall, beautiful grass you’re hoping to mow isn’t sprouting as it should.  Frustrating, we know.  What are you supposed to do now?  Here are a couple of tips to get your grass looking beautiful in no time.

What To Do If Grass Seed Doesn’t Grow


Seeds need some water to germinate, but not so much that they are drowning.  When seeds are germinating (or trying to), a solid general rule is water once a day for 5 to 10 minutes.  This should be a gentle stream so you don’t disrupt the seeds.  If you have the hose turned up to 10, you may drown the seeds or cause them to float to the top, not taking root.

  • Before Planting- Saturate the area with a depth of 6 to 8 inches ( to measure, use a screwdriver. If it sinks 6 to 8 inches in the ground without excessive resistance, there is adequate saturation).
  • Immediately after Planting- Moisten the first several inches of soil for 5 to 10 minutes. This is an important step, as watering regularly after planting and into germination helps the grass form deep roots. 
  • After Planting- Saturate the area daily for 5 to 10 minutes (unless it rains every day). You don’t want to let the soil get too dry, so ensure you saturate it thoroughly.

Temperature And Sunlight

For most of us, as soon as spring hits, we go crazy about planting grass and flowers.  In theory, early spring is an excellent time for planting, as it rains regularly and is a pleasant 50 degrees outside, right? Wrong.

In order for grass seeds to germinate, the soil temperature must be at least 50 degrees, meaning air temperatures must be at least 60 degrees.  Late spring and early summer are best for growing grass, as the ground temperature is warm enough for the seeds to germinate.

Now that we’ve figured out the temperature, let’s talk sunlight.  Shaded areas getting only 1 to 2 hours of sunlight will take a painful amount of time to grow (and that’s if they do).  Now, 3 to 4 hours will give the seeds a much better chance of growth.

Seed Quality

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Perhaps the most ornery part of this process is the quality of the seed you plant and the environment it grows in.  Ryegrass and Fescues are good options for faster-germinating seeds, as they take 7-21 days. Bluegrass, on the other hand, may take up to 30 days to germinate.  This being said, it is essential to find the correct type of grass for the area you are planting it.  Find the right region below:

  • Northern Region- This area ranges from Washington, Nebraska, to New York (north to the midwest and northeast). In this region, cool-season grasses thrive, including grasses like Fescue and Bluegrass.
  • Deep South and Gulf region- In San Diego, New Mexico, Houston, and Florida, warm-season grasses grow best.  This includes Bermuda, Centipede, Bahia, and St. Augustine grass.
  • Transitional Region- Las Vegas, North and South Carolina, and Arkansas are considered transitional regions. A mixture of cool and warm-season grasses grow best, including Bermuda, Fescue, and Zoysia.

Environment Quality

There are several things to consider when it comes to soil quality, one being pH levels.  You want a happy medium, pH levels that are not too high or low.  An easy way to determine this is to get a test kit available at most gardening stores.

Then, you can add fertilizer to create a healthy environment for grass to grow in.  One thing to avoid is weed killer.  We know, you don’t want weeds.  However, a weed killer is designed to stop any weed from germinating.  This, in turn, also prevents the grass from growing.

Give the grass 3 to 4 months to grow before adding any weed killer to your yard.  In the meantime, you can pull any stray weeds.