One frequently asked lawn care question we get each year pertains to a peculiar wheat-like growth in lawns. Fortunately, it’s not a weed, but a seed head! A seed head is a standard component of the grass life cycle that occurs every spring in our region. All grasses generate seed heads at some stage during the growing season as a means for reproduction and survival.
Seed heads vary in shape and size based on the grass species. The timing of seed head production in the grass life cycle also differs among plants. Some grass species, like Annual Bluegrass and Rough Stalk Bluegrass, produce seed heads early in spring, while others, such as annual ryegrass, may produce seed heads later in the season. Seed heads connect to a stalk that emerges from the grass plant’s center, resembling tiny wheat plants. The number of visible seed heads on a lawn depends on the grass varieties and the mowing frequency. Seed head production typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Although homeowners often mistake seed heads for weeds, they are simply a part of the grass life cycle.
Producing seed heads demands energy from the grass plant, possibly resulting in a temporary color lightening. The turf appears stemmy due to seed stalks and temporary thinning of the turf stand. These issues will eventually resolve as the plants grow and progress to the next phase in the grass life cycle. Regular watering and fertilization can help accelerate recovery.
Since seed heads are crucial for grass species’ survival, lawns with stressed areas may produce a higher density of seed heads. There is no chemical control or prevention for seed heads since they are part of the grass’s natural life cycle. However, some strategies can improve the lawn’s appearance during seed head growth.
If your lawn contains wheat-like plants, don’t worry—this is a standard part of the grass life cycle. The timing and quantity of seed heads produced depend on grass varieties and environmental conditions. Proper watering and fertilization can enhance the turf’s appearance while producing seed heads and promote faster recovery.