How Long After Planting Grass Seed Can You Walk On It?

how long after planting grass seed can you walk on it

You cannot walk on newly seeded grass until the roots are firmly established in the soil. The process can take 60 days or even up to 12 days depending on how fast the grass is growing.

However, not being able to walk on the grass does not mean you should not mow it, either. In fact, after the grass has reached a certain height it is recommended to mow the lawn for healthier growth.

Read on to learn more about the do’s and don’ts when seeding a lawn and how to take care of a newly seeded lawn.

Walking on a Seeded Lawn vs Turfed Lawn

Growing a lawn from seeds is a much longer process than placing turf. So, you also have to wait longer before walking on your lawn if it has been seeded versus when it has been turfed.

This is because seeded lawns need more time to grow and fill in all the patches evenly. Although turf needs to establish roots as well, it has the advantage of height above ground.

Often it is okay to walk on a turfed lawn after just 3 weeks. A seeded lawn requires much more patience – on average you have to wait at least 60 days before walking on a seeded lawn.

seed or turf lawn

How to Know When It Is Safe to Walk on a Seeded Lawn

60 – 90 days is the rule of thumb but how long it exactly takes before you can walk on a seeded lawn depends on how well the grass is growing. These are the factors you should take into account.

  1. The number of times the lawn has been mowed
  2. The height of the grass blades
  3. The number of days since planting seeds

The first two months, nobody should step on the lawn. This is when the grass is at its most fragile and the weight of a person will stunt the growth.

The grass needs time to grow to a height of about 4 inches which will take around 60 days. Note that depending on the climate and soil fertility it may take more or less than these 8 weeks.

Once the grass has reached about 4 inches in height, it is time for its first mowing. You can cut it back down to about 2 – 2.5 inches which will help the roots establish better.

After the first mowing, let it grow back to around 3 inches before mowing it again. Repeat this process around 3 – 5 times before letting people step on the grass.

Giving the grass time to grow each time is an important part of the process. Longer blades need more support and nutrition so the roots will adapt to provide for the longer blades.

How to Mow Seeded Lawns

reel mower

If stepping on a newly seeded lawn will damage it, you can imagine that mowing it must be done very carefully. The key to mowing a seeded lawn is being as gentle as possible.

The best tips for mowing a lawn after seeding are:

  1. Only mowing with a sharp blade, preferably a reel mower
  2. Moving slowly and lightly
  3. Only mowing when the grass is dry

The sharp blade creates a neater cut. If the mowing blade is dull the cut will have awkward edges which makes the blade more vulnerable to damage.

Moving slowly and lightly is to reduce the pressure exerted on the fragile grass blades. Don’t make any abrupt movements and take your time when turning the corners.

Most importantly though, never mow wet grass. Moist grass gets stuck on the blade and other parts of the lawnmower which can cause serious damage, even down to the roots.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Often Do I Water New Grass Seed?

New grass seed needs a lot of moisture for germination so you need to water your lawn quite frequently. The first 2 – 3 weeks seeded lawns need watering every day, followed by every other day in week 4 – 6 and then every 3 days until it has reached the right height for mowing for the first time.

After the first time the lawn has been mowed you can water the lawn just once a week. The rule of thumb is that there is 2 inches of moist soil at all times when growing a new lawn.

Does Cutting Grass Make It Grow Faster?

Cutting grass does help make it grow faster. This is because newly cut grass will work harder to ‘repair’ itself and so mowing your lawn actually helps make the grass stronger.

Grass that is mowed frequently enough tend to have more thickness at the bottom which makes them less susceptible to damage. This is also why a new lawn needs mowing, even before it is okay to step on.

How Long After Grass Starts Growing Can You Cut It?

You can cut your grass for the first time after it has reached about 4 inches. How long it takes for the grass to reach 4 inches depends on the climate, grass type and soil fertility. On average, it takes 60 – 90 days for grass to reach this height.

Summary

If you are starting a new lawn from grass seeds it takes quite a while before you can actually enjoy using your lawn. Grass is still very fragile in the beginning stages of growth which is why you should avoid walking on a newly seeded lawn the first few months.

Don’t touch a seeded lawn during the first two months. Around this time, the blades will have grown to about 4 inches, depending on the specific climate and soil fertility, and it is time for mowing.

A newly seeded lawn should be mowed whenever the blades reach a height of about 4 inches. Cut it back down to about 2 inches for stronger grass.

After the new lawn has been mowed 3 -5 times it is safe to step on it.

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