Grass Seeds Not Germinating (Why and What to Do)


Grass seed that doesn’t germinate is one of the most frustrating problems to run into. It’s happened to me and it is not a rare problem. Often, it’s not even something you have control over but there are steps you can take to ensure that this is not the case. Find out how to identify the root cause of slow or no germination and how you can fix it.


Why is my Grass Seedning not working?

There are 7 main reasons you should not do it. grass seed isn’t germinating. These problems are caused by poor germination conditions. To get grass seed to germinate properly, certain conditions must be met. This is not true if the seeds have been left alone for too long, or if you are selling poor seeds.

Grass Seed Not Germinating – The Main Causes

To answer the question completely, “Why is my grass seed not germinating?” you’ll need to consider the following 7 primary causes.


For best germination, grass seed should be kept at 65F. Warm-season varieties should not be subject to temperatures below 65F during germination. While cold-season varieties will take longer to germinate, they can be germinated at a lower temperature.

Water Level

Grass seeds need to be kept moist throughout the entire process of germinating. You can do this by watering your grass seeds. Lawn multiple timesYou can purchase coated seed once a day or coat the seed after purchase. Seeds that are left to dry out during germination will not germinate properly.


Storage Length

Despite grass Seed can last for many yearsAfter the second year, around 30% of its germination rates will be lost in storage. This is especially true when temperatures are allowed to fluctuate in the storage facility. Even if seeds are kept for more than three years, they may not grow well even if they germinate in the most favorable conditions.


Germination of cool-season grass varieties takes about 7-10 days. Warm-season varieties take between 2 and 3 weeks to germinate. Some grass varieties may take upto a month to germinate, and they have a low success ratio in germination. If you’re still wondering how long your particular grass type may take to germinate, you can read more about that in this article about seed germination times.


Light is essential for grass seeds to germinate. This is why the ideal cover depth for grass seed is no cover to 1/8” of cover.


Insects are capable of eating or destroying grass seeds. This is usually found inside the grass seed bag. If there were no bugs on the seed before it was planted, it can be stored and less likely to germination..


Poor Seeds

If none of these causes you to experience slow or no growth it could be because you were sold poor seeds. This isn’t uncommon and can be caused by several events during the life of these seeds. This is not always the fault of the seed factory or seed farm.

Poor germination is usually caused by shipping damage or warehousing. Sometimes, shipments and warehouses may become too hot or cold to sustain the seeds. Sometimes they can stay too hot/cold for too long. These kinds of incidents are rare to be reported or recorded. These types of errors are rarely reported or recorded. There are usually compensation systems in place.

What to do if your grass seed isn’t germinating?

Just because grass seed isn’t germinating doesn’t mean it’s dead. There are many reasons your grass seed won’t germinate. Here are some things you can do. These steps can sometimes fail. You can usually recover some of your investment, and start over with new seeds.

Get ready for an indoor test

I recommend that anyone who plants grass seed should have at minimum 10% of the bag to fill any empty spots once they begin germinating. These seeds can also serve as a germination test. This will eliminate the guesswork involved in determining if the seeds can germinate. This is why I do this often when I seed a lawn.

These steps are required to prepare for germination testing.

  • Wash your hands.
  • Make small plastic sandwich bags or small glass containers. All bags and containers must be clean and new. If there is too many bacteria, the test may be invalidated.
  • To dampen the towel, use a napkin or paper towel.
  • Sprinkle 20 seeds onto one-half of the prepared paper towel or napkin.
  • Fold the other half of the napkin or paper towel over your seeds.
  • Place the seeds inside the container
  • Seal the container.
  • The container should be located in an area that is at minimum 65F and receives natural light. You can speed up germination by placing the container on top or a freestanding refrigerator. In most climates, a clean windowill is a good choice.
  • Wait at least a week for the seeds germination. If the seeds sprout, they will be edible. If there aren’t any sprouts, make sure the paper towel/napkin remains damp. If the napkin or paper towel is too dry, it may not have been sealed properly. You will need to re-try this test. You can add water to make it slightly damper but not as much. Wait another week. It is not uncommon for warm-season grasses not to germination by the second week.

Check the Temperature

What was the temperature of the air in the last week? Was it below the ideal temperature for germinating? Is it possible that it has remained below 45F for longer than 48 hours. If it did, it could be in hibernation. It will need warm weather for several days before it can get back up.

Temperature changes such as these should not cause any damage, provided the seeds aren’t damaged. If you are seeding small areas you can wait for the weather to warm before you plant your seeds. To increase the temperature and speed up the germination process, you can place a sheet made of clear plastic on the area. Use a solid-colored sheet or tarp. Light is crucial for grass seeds’ growth.

Reduced Cover

If the seeds are buried more than 1/8” you should work to uncover them so that they can get at least a faint amount of light.


Increase the frequency of watering

Misting your lawn or the area you’re trying to get the grass seeds to germinate at least 4 times a day for 1 to 2 minutes each session, in addition to a short morning watering session of 3 to 5 minutes is recommended. You want to keep the area moist throughout the germination process. You might need to add more water in hotter and sunnier environments.


It can take several days for grass seed to germinate. This is especially true for warm-season grass seed. You should keep an eye on your calendar to ensure you follow the steps before you begin reseeding.

Find and eliminate the infestation

If you find any insects or evidence of them in your grass seed packaging, it will not result in sufficient germination rates. Insecticides may be necessary to ensure good germination. Only use seed- or sprout-safe products

Contact the manufacturer

Grass seed still not germinating? Contact the manufacturer or distributor of your grass seeds. You can find contact information online, or on the seed packaging.

If the seeds fail to germinate, the manufacturer can offer advice and compensation provided you have the proof. This should not be your last resort. Although it is reliable for replacing subpar items, it can be slow and there is a small chance you won’t receive any.

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