You could easily think your lawn has weeds when your grass goes through the seed stage, but don’t be in a rush to apply weed killers because this is a natural process.
“Why does my grass look like wheat?” is a common question homeowners ask.
Your grass looks like wheat because it is going through the seed stage and the portion of the grass that looks like wheat is actually the seed heads.
The seed head is a normal and natural part of your grass’s life cycle that occurs during different seasons based on the type of grass growing on your lawn.
Everyone wants a lush green lawn, so your grass looking like wheat isn’t something to look forward to. The need to prevent it is perfectly understandable but is it possible?
Continue to find out.
Why Does My Grass Look Like Wheat?
Seed heads are the reason your grass looks like wheat, and it’s perfectly normal and part of the life cycle of your grass.
They result from your grass directing its energy to the production of seeds, and the grass blades could appear lighter because the grass is working hard to produce seeds.
All grasses develop seed heads during the growing season as it’s the only way they can reproduce and make sure it survives. This process occurs at different times for various grasses, but spring is the most common season for seed production.
A majority of cool-season grasses such as the Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, and Tall Fescue produce seed heads in spring. However, seed heads in some varieties of Bluegrass like Rough Stalk Bluegrass and Annual Bluegrass come out in very early spring.
In addition, seed heads come in different sizes and shapes, depending on the species of grass. Although seed heads are dull, making your grass look stemmy and seedy, this is a temporary occurrence that lasts about 2 to 4 weeks based on the grass type.
Your grass will go back to its green color once your lawn enters another phase in the grass’s life cycle.
It’s important to know that seed heads are not weeds, even though their presence makes your lawn look like it’s full of weeds.
Importance of Seed Heads
The growth of seed heads is an important part of the life cycle of grass, so don’t get frustrated if you have grass that looks like wheat at some point in the year.
The seed heads facilitate the production of seeds that are necessary for the grass to spread and propagate.
In addition, seed production ensures your grass species survive; that’s why the seed heads in stressed parts of your lawn will likely have greater density.
If you examine the soil in your lawn, you will notice that the parts with dry soil will produce more seed heads.
On the flip side, the parts with more moisture or cool shaded spots with lower rates of water evaporation might have fewer seed heads.
Generally, seed heads will not affect the health of your grass even if they grow out and drop into the soil since most grasses are sterile.
How To Manage Seed Heads In Your Lawn
While you cannot prevent the development of seed heads and, in turn, your grass resembling wheat, you can manage it in some ways. Here’s what to do:
1. Water Your Lawn
You need to make sure your grass gets sufficient water once the seed heads develop and grass growth begins because your grass will be thirstier than usual during this period.
Your yards will become dehydrated if it doesn’t receive enough moisture once the seed heads come up, and that could make your grass turn brown or yellow in late spring.
Read more: Watering New Grass Seed
Make sure your lawn receives about 1 to 1.5 inches of water weekly in spring to boost the faster growth of your grass and, in turn, make the seed heads grow out.
The best time to water your lawn is early in the morning before the sun rises and the temperatures increase, raising the evaporation rates.
2. Mow Your Grass Regularly
Cutting your grass often will also help you manage seed heads, but make sure you don’t mow too much of the grass’s blade. For the best results, ensure you don’t cut over 1/3 of the blade of the grass and make sure the blades of the lawnmower are sharp.
Cutting too much of the grass blade and using a blunt lawnmower blade will prompt your grass to seed much faster and have a more extended seeding season. It would be best to set the cutting height to 3 inches to 3.5 inches.
Moreover, consider mowing your lawn 1 to 2 times weekly in spring to keep the height of your grass at the desired level. You may be tempted to cut the seed heads, which is possible by lowering the height of the lawnmower blade, but that’s a bad idea because you could damage your grass’s vital parts like the crown.
3. Fertilize Properly
Lawn food is essential to establishing a healthy lawn, and spring is an excellent time to apply fertilizer when your grass is undergoing active growth.
It will also help your grass stay healthy, lowering the chances of developing many seed heads and will also shorten the seeding phase.
What Is Growing In My Grass That Looks Like Wheat?
Seed heads are what is growing in your grass, and they look like wheat. They are not weeds or wheat but a normal and natural part of the life cycle of grass, appearing during seed production.
Grass requires seeds to reproduce, and seed heads will appear more in stressed lawns. The appearance of seed heads usually indicates that the soil is dry.
Your lawn will look like a garden of wheat at some point in the year because, like any other living thing, grass will naturally want to reproduce, hence the development of seed heads. Don’t panic when this happens, thinking your yard is infested with weeds.
- Michigan State University Extension –When grass produces seedheads
Hey there, I’m Derek Schew, a writer for Lawnholic.com, where we cover everything and anything related to lawns. As someone who’s spent countless hours tending to my own lawn, I’m passionate about sharing my knowledge and helping others achieve the perfect yard. From lawn care tips to product reviews, I’m committed to providing our readers with the most accurate and up-to-date information available. So whether you’re a seasoned lawn enthusiast or just getting started, I invite you to join our community and discover the joys of a lush, green lawn.