Your Winter Grass Questions, Answered: Guide to Growing Winter Grass

People who live in southwest Arizona, including Phoenix and Tucson, have the option to keep their lawns green in winter. But many people have questions about this process. One of the most common questions we get asked is, "How long does it take for winter grass to grow?"

We're here to answer that question for you, and provide other tips to create a beautiful, lush, green lawn in the winter. With just a little effort and proper overseeding, your winter lawn will be the envy of the neighborhood!

Photograph of a backyard in winter, featuring a lush green lawn and outdoor fireplace.

How Long Does Winter Grass Take to Grow?

It takes 7-10 days for the seed to germinate. Once the seed has germinated, your winter grass will begin to grow. Then it will take an additional 10-14 days for your grass to grow tall enough to mow.

Now that we've answered that popular question, let's get into a bit more explanation and detail. That answer we just provided is accurate for folks who overseed their lawns. This is the most popular method of keeping a sod lawn green through winter. Typically, people in Arizona have a Bermuda lawn in the summer and overseed it with perennial ryegrass to keep it green through the winter.

Once you've spread the winter grass seed on your lawn, it's extremely important to keep that soil moist for those first 7-10 days. If it's not kept moist enough, the seeds may not germinate. During this critical time, you will want to water 4 to 5 times per day for very short cycles that leave no puddles and no dry spots. After the seed has germinated and grown to a height of 3/4" to 1", you may reduce watering to 2-3 times per day. After ten to fourteen days, you can reduce watering to once per day. Once your winter lawn is established, you will be able to water every other day through the winter.

Time It Right

Fall is generally the right time for overseeding, as it provides some time before the ground gets too cold to promote growth. Because our temperatures are warmer in Arizona than much of the country, late fall and early winter overseeding works perfectly, as the ground maintains much of its heat and provides an optimal germination place for the young grass.

Get Prepared with the Right Tools

You never want to find yourself in the middle of a job only to realize you're short-handed in the tool department. Before you begin this task, make sure you have the following items available at your disposal:


Know How to Care for Your Overseeded Lawn.

You'll want to make sure you have some type of irrigation or watering system in place. In Arizona, you'll need to water your lawn three to four times on average for six to eight minutes per session for the first couple weeks to obtain the best results. Once the grass starts growing, you can reduce the time or frequency of watering, but be careful not to begin neglecting it.

Understand Your Fertilizer Options

If you're inexperienced in the land of lawn care, you might think that all fertilizers are pretty much created equally. This simply isn't so, but fertilizer is a vital part of the growth process for your grass. Make sure you read up on the various types of fertilizers, and be sure to speak to an expert if you have any questions. If you purchase the incorrect fertilizer, you may end up doing more harm than good to a lawn that would have otherwise turned out lush and healthy.

Get Our Full Guide to Fall Overseeding & Growing a Winter Lawn

Check out our step-by-step guide to fall overseeding. It will walk you through the whole process on how to transition your lawn from warm season to cool season. Contact us if you have any questions. You can also sign up for our newsletter by entering your email address in the box on the right of this page, and we will email you each spring and fall when it's time to start getting your lawn ready for the upcoming season.

Finally, if you're looking for more ways to get creative with your outdoor space, check out Lowe's lawn and garden ideas and inspiration.

Article Updated: 9/16/2020

Seasonal Arizona Sod and Lawn Care Tips

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