How Long Can Grass Seed go Without Water? (Answered)

There’s nothing like having a healthy, lush lawn on your landscape. If you’re just growing a fresh lawn or you’re doing a little reseeding, watering is the most vital care routine to start the seeds and keep them growing. If you’ve taken the time and resources to seed your lawn, keep in mind that your watering pattern can be the difference between growing a healthy, thick lawn and dealing with bare spots.

So it’s important to understand the water requirements of your grass seeds. But there are several factors involved, this is why we’ve created a guide for grass seeds that answers all your pressing questions. In this article, you’ll figure out how often you’ll need to water the grass seeds and how long it would take for your grass seed to germinate.

How Long Will Grass Seeds Live Without Water?

Grass seeds need to be in moist conditions to sprout. So your grass seed may survive in good climatic conditions for just a few days whereas if the temperature is hot and dry, it will accelerate the pace at which your grass seeds dry out.

Aside from weather conditions, other factors like seed type, growth stage, and soil type would also affect how long your grass seed can live without water. 

Seed type

There are different varieties of grass seeds. The type you sow would determine how frequently the grass seeds would need water. Certain seeds go dormant for quite a long time before they sprout, these seed types can go without water for weeks and still sprout.

For some other varieties that don’t stay dormant, frequent watering, favorably, each evening is very essential. Either way, regular watering would speed up the sprouting of the seeds whether it’s the dormant type or not. Also, make sure to grow seed types that are favorable for your prevalent weather condition.

Soil type

Your soil type would also determine how often you’d need to water your grass seed. If your soil retains water, your grass seeds can survive without water for a couple of days.

On the other hand, highly porous soil types that tend to drain water too quickly would hardly go a day without water. So it’ll be great for you to figure out your soil type and do what works for you.

Growth stage

Grass seeds have varying water requirements at different stages of growth. If your grass seeds are dormant or just yet to sprout, they can live without water for a week. But when it starts to germinate, it’ll need water daily to help accelerate its growth process.

So it is recommended that you water your grass seed twice daily during germination, that is, in the morning and evening. For grass sprouts, the shoots can retain water, so they can go for a few days.

How Often Should Grass Seed be Watered?

How often you should water your grass seed depends on the climatic condition of your region then.

  • If you live in a geographical area where the weather is cool and favorable, you can just water it two times daily. You don’t allow your seed grass to lack water for more than 12 hours.
  • Whereas, if you live in a very dry area, you should water your grass seed at least 3-4 times a day to prevent it from drying off. This is a result of the fact that when the temperature is too hot, it hastens the process of dryness of the seed grass and, as a result, would eventually lead to its death.

So all that is required is just 5 minutes of watering each time. By constant watering, your grass seed will be able to maintain a moderate level of wetness of about 20 inches deep and, as a result, improve its absorption rate of moisture and nutrient level absorption.

The most delicate stage of growth for the grass seed is during the germination stage as it would be at its weakest point and, as such, require a lot of water for rehydration and cell expansion.

If you don’t water it as often as possible at this stage, it is only a matter of a few days before you wake up and find it all dried out. Watering the grass seed won’t take too much of your time since it would have grown after 2-3 weeks.

How Long Can You Store Dry Seeds Before Planting Them?

You can store dry seeds for about two to three years before you plant them. Although some varieties can even be stored for 10 years, keep in mind that a small part of the seeds may lose viability.

Also, pay attention to the expiry date on the pack of the grass seeds. To store the grass seeds properly before you plant them, take the following steps to keep them dried in an airtight container:

  • Ensure the seeds are completely dried to the point of being brittle before packing them for storage.
  • You can place the dried seeds in a paper envelope to absorb any moisture that might get in and label it with the name and year to aid remembrance.
  • Keep the envelopes in a cool and airtight container.
  • Then store them in a very cool, dry, and dark place.

What Happens if you Forget to Water the Grass Seed?

If you forget to water your grass seed consecutively for several days, then your grass seed will stop germinating and developing. Grass seeds need water to germinate, so if the seeds dry out while sprouting, the grass seed would stop growing.

You’ll need to create a favorable condition for your grass seeds to ensure successful sprouting. You can make sure your grass seeds always get sufficient water by using a timed sprinkler or scheduling your watering with a simple phone alarm. Ensure you cover the entire grass seeds and water them evenly instead of just soaking the soil.

If you’ve planted your grass seeds during the rainy season, you can skip watering for days if the soil is moist. It’s also very important to always check your soil even if it rains to avoid overwatering the soil or underwatering it.  

How Long Does Grass Seed Take to Germinate?

All grass seeds do not take the same amount of time to germinate. But generally, a typical grass seed takes about 5 to 21 days to germinate. Several factors affect how long your grass seed would take to germinate, such as the grass species, time of the year, weather or climatic condition, soil moisture, etc.

To ensure faster and more successful germination of seeds, keep in mind to select a seed type that is suitable to your local climate. There are two major types of seeds – warm-season and cool-season grass seeds.

Cool-season grass seeds germinate much faster than warm-season grass, however, some grass seed mixes usually contain both kinds of grass. Read the grass seed package instruction to find out the grass variety and its requirements.

Grass varieties like buffalo, st. Augustine, Bermuda, and bahia grass are warm-season varieties. Cool-season varieties including perennial ryegrass, fescue, and Kentucky bluegrass would usually sprout in a week.     

Here are some other activities you can carry out to ensure successful germination:

  1. Ensure you keep the soil always moist but do not over-water it.
  2. The most appropriate time to sow your grass seed is in spring or autumn when the soil temperature is at least 8 degrees Celsius.
  3. You must not allow the soil to dry out until there is sufficient green growth where you sowed the grass seed.
  4. Ensure you use a high-quality seed mix and follow all instructions given on the packet on how to sow the seed.
  5. Finally, avoid sowing on a windy day because the wind can blow away your grass seed.

Will Grass Seed Grow Without Watering?

Just like most seeds, grass seeds can’t grow without water. Soil moisture is essential to start seeds and ensure their growth by providing oxygen, hydrogen, and nutrients to the grass seeds.

Watering ensures the germination of the grass seeds by soaking them till the moisture and moisture get to the embryo. Normally the seeds would absorb the water until it gets to the embryo and the embryo begins to grow until it sprouts and the roots grow.  

What Happens if I Miss a Day of Watering Grass Seed?

Most grass seeds would not die if you miss just a day of watering. After watering, the soil would likely still have some stored nutrients and water to keep it to the following day. If you’ve missed a day of watering, simply water it, as usual, the next day.

Missing a day of watering can make you panic badly. And if you suddenly remember at nighttime, you may want to make up for it by watering immediately. But watering after dark would cause fungal growth because the water would not be completely absorbed by the soil.

Always make sure to water the grass seeds during the day so the water is absorbed when the seed grass is active and then, sunlight would encourage the evaporation of any excess water.

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.