Grass seeds have a very short life. Once they are harvested, it is only a
few weeks before they die and are converted back into a grass plant.
Grass seeds are very interesting to study, because they are so small and
yet, they can produce large amounts of grass. Not all grasses produce
seeds, but most do at some point in their life cycle.
Grass comes in all shapes and sizes. It can range from just a few inches in height to several feet tall. There are two main types of grass, bunch grass and rhizomatous grass. Bunch grass grows by sprouting tillers, which sprout inside and up from the leaf stem. Rhizomatous grass (commonly referred to as turf grass) grows by sprouting shoots which branch out from the original shaft, and form additional rhizomes, shoots and stolons. Turf grass is usually shorter, and denser; usually not growing about two feet in height. Bunch grass is taller and sparser; and can grow over four feet high. Grass seeds themselves are typically extremely tiny, and often are not lager than 1/8th of an inch long.
Since there are so many different types of grass seeds, it can survive in many different climates and soils. Native grass will grow the fastest and healthiest in any area. Always choose a grass seed that is native, or adapted, to your growing region. Usually planting involves sprinkling the seeds over the ground, then raking a small amount of dirt over the seeds, or watering the seeds so that they sink into the soil. A fertilization of a regular 10-10-10 fertilizer in the early spring is usually enough to keep lawn grass healthy.
Once seeds are planted into the ground, they usually take about a month to fully appear. Sprouts may appear as soon as one to two weeks after planting. Germination occurs by the seeds receiving the right temperature (usually this is about 60 to 70 degrees). The warmer temperature signals the seed to sprout.
It takes three to five years for a patch of grass to become fully established, and ready to produce large batches of seeds. If the grass is allowed to grow without cutting, new seeds will appear in the late summer or early fall. The seeds can then be harvested and planted once more, or sold.
Grass plants will only bloom if they are allowed to grow to full height. These blooms then eventually produce the grass seeds that can form new plants. Grass seeds are harvested about 20 days after the grass has flowered. These seeds are harvested by swathing and combining or direct combining. The seeds are allowed to dry before they are planted into the ground.