How long does grass live is a question many of you are curious about. We all want to plant and grow grass in our lawns and yards that last a long time.
Who has the time or energy to sow new grass seeds year after year, only for the grass to die after just one season?
That is why we have come up with this comprehensive guide that will tell you how long different grass types live and how to prolong their lifetimes further, keep reading all about the grass lifespan.
How Long Can Grass Live?
Grass lives to seven or eight years, if it is a perennial type, on the other hand, annual grass gives one year long. Artificial turfs, however, would last from around five to 15 years, depending on their quality and cost. Individual blades last about 40 to 50 days maximum in the right conditions.
– Annual Grass
Annual grasses have a lifespan that lasts only one year and then die. To begin with, they would germinate from grass seed, then grow grass blades, produce flowers that form seeds, and lastly they would start to degenerate and die.
The most popular grass types are annual ryegrass, bluegrass, and crabgrass, as all these follow the same life cycle.
Most annual grass types are aggressive in their growth habit and often invade the less competitive perennial grasses.
Many people consider crabgrass a weed and would do anything to get rid of it. Why would anyone want a grass that lasts barely one year? One example is when Bermuda grass is over seeded with annual ryegrass.
Bermuda grass undergoes dormancy during fall, which is the time during which annual ryegrass seeds germinate and sprout green leaves and flowers.
This way, your lawn stays green even during the winter dormancy period, in addition, when the annual grass dies ahead of the upcoming spring, its dying grass blades would be serving as fertilizer for the newly sprouting Bermuda grass, and of course, the cycle continues.
On the other hand, the weather conditions in the southern and mid-western states are better suited for warm-season grasses which is why the Bermuda grass is used in these regions. These grasses germinate and turn green from spring tool summer and stay so all through hot summers. Naturally, they are opposed to colder temperatures and turn dormant in winter.
– Perennial Grasses
Perennial grasses have an average lifespan lasting from four to seven years. These grasses, such as Perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and the Fescues, keep coming back year after year.
The perennial grass becomes dormant during the growing year, but turns green again after the dormancy period is over, and then the grass is alive again in spring.
The seeds of perennial grasses will germinate in lower temperatures, the grass sprouts blades in late fall and then goes through a period of winter dormancy, and this is how the lifespan will be effected.
Nonetheless, in early times of the next spring, the grass turns green again, and the cycle keeps repeating year after year until the lifespan of the grass reaches its end. If summertime temperatures rise too much, this would also put a cool grass season in dormancy.
If you take good care of your grass’ requirements and its soil, you may expect to extend its lifespan to 10 and even more. We all know someone who has always had a thick, lush lawn without replanting it.
This is why most people will always go for perennial grass types instead of annual ones. Their longevity means you will not have to replant grass seeds each year, saving time and energy.
– Artificial Grass
Good quality artificial grass has an average lifespan of about 15 years with a bare minimum of lawn care. This factor greatly contributes to the rising popularity of artificial turfs, especially among millennials who want to enjoy grass without having to deal with an actual one.
Artificial grass is made from synthetic fibers and comes in colors and forms. Depending on how much your pocket allows you to spend, you can get synthetic grass that looks and feels just like natural grass.
Artificial grass is commonly used in sports arenas called ‘sports turfs.’ Despite the heavy use these turfs are subjected to; these grasses tend to last upto eight to nine years before they need replacement.
With improvements in technology and the quality of semi-realistic fibers available, one can only expect artificial grass to last way longer in the future than ever. Their rising price ranges are justified when you look at how long they would last as a lawn grass.
How To Expand Grass Lifespan?
Expand grass lifespan by growing through stolons and rhizomes, you can reseed the grass and expend its life. You must regularly water it to keep it fresh, provide proper sunlight, and remember to keep the soil fertile, you may even avoid foot trafficking your grass to enlong the life.
– Grow By Stolons and Rhizomes
The method by which grass grows and spreads significantly impacts its lifespan. Some grasses, like Centipede and St Augustine, grow by stolons, horizontal stems from which multiple grass blades emerge.
Some grass types like Zoysia spread underground utilizing rhizomes, and these grass types spread faster and live longer when compared to grasses that grow in clumps, like orchard grass, due to their stable condition of growing.
Note that the Bermuda grass is one of the fastest-growing grass types, which grows by stolons and rhizomes under the ground. This grass naturally lives long because of its fast growth and reparative abilities.
Reseeding is a great way to improve the lifespan of your grass with only half the effort required of planting a new turf. Reseeding is when you sprinkle new grass seeds on soil with established grass growing over it.
Most lawn owners like to be over-seeded periodically to make the grass thicker, fill up the bare spots quicker, and improve the grass’s color due to new grass blades growing. This will help new seeds to sprout next to each other on the same lawn as they are already growing.
Reseeding also has another hidden benefit you may need to be aware of. The over-seeding process helps your grass live longer than it would normally have.
The right time to overseed is the same as when the sprouting of any new grass. On the other hand, the cool-season type of grasses need to be overseeded in late summer, as the early summer is the best time for overseeding warm grasses.
Even if you overseed every second to third year, this still leads to the sprouting of new blades that help keep the grass young. The growth of the grass that eventually slows down after this procedure also accelerates a few years.
– Water the Grass Regularly
Watering is the key if you want any grass to live longer. It is a common misconception that you need to bathe your entire lawn every other day with copious water, of course depending on the weather conditions.
Most grasses need only one inch of water daily to stay lush and vibrantly green. Which means that if your grass type grows long roots deep into the soil and the water table in your area is shallow, you will not even need to water it that much.
The same goes for neighborhoods that receive at least an inch of rain per week. The key to watering is that it should be done deeply, for a long time, and use only a reasonable quantity of water. You may set your sprinkler, and so the lawn would get irrigated for at least 20 minutes weekly.
These days, grass varieties have been developed that are resistant to conditions of prolonged drought. However, if you want your grass to live longer, keep watering it consistently.
– Proper Sunlight
All grass types need access to proper sunlight because it is their life source. Sure, some species of grass carry on growing even under partial shade, but even they do considerably better under full light as they get their watering needs in parallel.
Your grass will live a very long time if your lawn receives bright light for most of the day. More light means more photosynthesis and energy to sustain leaves and roots.
– Soil Fertility
No grass will live long in the soil of poor quality, no matter how resilient it is. Grassroots require a rich nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium source to keep them growing. However, in the absence of these essential nutrients, the growth of new blades and the repair of stressed ones will be slowed down.
Simply put, the grass will not be able to sustain itself and will degenerate and die within the next two or three years. This problem is often faced by lawn owners who only fertilize their lawns. Even if your soil is rich, to begin with, growing grass and plants in it will deplete nutrients in it over time.
Remember that it is key to fertilize only when needed as the grass goes through its active growth phase which is after its dormancy period, in the spring. This does not mean fertilizing the grass will make it live longer. This would have poorer consequences and might lead to grass burning and dying earlier.
– Avoid Foot Traffic
Your lawn grass will live longer if not used too much and left on its own. There may be more practical options for homeowners who want to spend time on their lawns. It is undoubtedly refreshing to see friends, family, and pets play around the lawn and enjoy the grass.
However, even the toughest and the most traffic-resistant grasses, like Bermuda grass, get affected when you trample on their blades a lot. If you want any grass to live as long as possible, you will have to significantly reduce foot traffic on it.
Note that some grass varieties are naturally sensitive to foot traffic and turn thin and weak even if you walk on occasionally. An example would be centipede grass, which consequently does not live long in case of even moderate traffic, because stomping on them would harm the grass and effect its lifespan.
Different types of lawn grass have their own requirements, dormancy periods, and challenges.
Here is a brief conclusion to answer how long the grass lives.
- On average most grass types live as long as seven to eight years under the right conditions.
- If you give your special grass care and attention, you can extend your lifespan to as much as 15 years.
- The longest-living grass is undoubtedly artificial turf that will last from around five to 20 years, depending on how much you invest in it.
- If you want your grass to live longer, provide it with regular watering and fertilizing, and not walking on them a lot.
You now know how long your average turf grass can live with proper care and attention. Follow our tips and see your grass live healthily yearly for as long as possible.
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