Grass Going to Seed: What’s It All About?

The expression going to seed has negative connotations.

“His apartment is really going to seed…”

It suggests neglect and things going from bad to worse.

Grass going to seed can happen for various reasons so we’ll take a quick snapshot today at the perils of letting your lawn go to seed.


What Does It Mean When Grass Goes To Seed?

grass going to seed

Source: Tuff Turf MoleBusters

If you notice your lawn looking rather untidy with some blotches and patches, it might well on its way to seed.

Maintaining your garden is essential. If it seems like hard work at times, try to focus on the therapeutic benefits of tending your garden. Make sure you invest in the best garden tools for the job.

With your grass, you really do need to cut it regularly. Slack off and you could be faced with a lawn going to seed.

If you see lighter patches and thick, tough stems growing, it could be time to snap to action.

Don’t blame yourself if your grass starts going to seed. Weather can bring this about. Hot weather can stress grass and this stressed grass can often “bolt” and make a last attempt to run to seed before it gives up the ghost.

The important thing is to know how to remedy this.

Why Do Some People Let Their Grass Go To Seed?

One school of thought suggests that if you let your grass run to seed, it will help to fill in any bare or sparse patches.

Letting your grass grow until it grows seed heads is not always the answer, though. Often, energy is pulled away from the runners and used elsewhere less efficiently.

Grass needs more nutrients for seeds to develop than it does in order to grow runners. Essentially, if you deliberately let your grass go to seed, you are causing nutrients to be pulled from the soil and the existing grass to be weakened.

3 Problems With Grass Going To Seed

grass going to seed

There are 3 key drawbacks to letting your grass go to seed…

1) It Weakens The Grass

Part of the reason for regularly mowing your lawn is so that your garden looks pleasing to the eye.

The other core purpose of mowing is to keep your grass remaining strong and healthy. Proper, frequent mowing is central if you want a lush, green lawn.

By easing off on the mowing, you’re actually harming your grass in the long run.

A great deal of the seed that does appear is likely to be sterile. Don’t bank on any bare patches being miraculously filled.

When you mow, you should not cut off more than one-third of the stem. This becomes awkward to achieve if you neglect your mowing duties and the grass becomes lengthy and unmanageable.

2) Creating Seeds Take Energy From Your Grass

The job of creating seeds is not easy for grass. It takes a lot of hard work.

When your lawn starts running to seed, the grass is forced to divert the energy it would ordinarily use for growing into the production of seeds. This will only serve to further weaken your grass.

The grass will also receive signals to stop it from repairing itself or kicking out so many rhizomes so you really are doing yourself and your lawn a disservice.

3) Stops Effective Weed Control

Every gardener across the face of the globe is menaced by weeds. They grow quickly and are often very stubborn and hard to remove.

By allowing your grass to run to seed, you are permitting weeds to run rampant, inviting them in with open arms.

A consistent mowing regime ensures that weeds are cut back on a regular basis.

Don’t slip up and let weeds get the upper hand. They are enough of a pest anyway without being given a needless advantage.

How Can I Stop Grass Going To Seed?

 grass going to seed

There is not really much you can do about the times when grass naturally runs to seed. This is simply part of the natural order of things.

In general, though, frequent mowing and watering are the best preventive medicine for grass running to seed.

It’s a smart move to use a swisher or take before mowing. This works a bit like combing the grass. The flowering stems are lifted up and easier to cut when separated from the sward. If you keep this practice up, the energy of the grass will be focused on producing a vibrant green growth which is precisely what you’re looking for.


We hope you have enjoyed this glance at the perils of letting your grass go to seed.

Comment using this simple form if you have any feedback or you have any queries about any aspect of gardening. We are always delighted to hear from our readers as this site develops.

Now stay vigilant and don’t let your grass start going to seed!

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