pre germination of grass seed - Knowledgebase Question

DeWitt, IA
Avatar for rblb
Question by rblb
May 4, 2007
About 15 years ago my husband and I pregerminated grass seed for our new lawn. (directions were listed in a Midwest Living magazine article). I cannot remember what we did to do this. Have you heard of this? Can this be done? What should we do?

Answer from NGA
May 4, 2007
Since the pre-germination process actually slows grass seed germination, I'm not sure why you'd want to do this, but here's the information I've unearthed:
Some experts recommend that you "Pre-Germ" (prehydration) your seeds in order to increase germination time. This is somewhat similar to what happens when seeds are placed in the water tank of a hydroseeder. Usually the seeds are placed in a cloth bag and the bag is then submerged in warm water for a period of 12 hours. During the time you will NEED to either remove the bag every 10-15 minutes or pump air (fish tank pump) into the water to keep the seed aerated. Some experts recommend gibberellic acid also be used (consult with Extension on this and follow label directions as a risk of damaging the seeds exists.)

If you intend to broadcast the seeds (and not hydroseed), then the seeds must be dried out before they can be planted. Place seeds on a concrete floor or other surface and spread out to allow drying to occur. Stirring the seeds speeds up the process. Plant pre-germinated seeds within 24 hours of completing the process or sooner when possible.

If I were you, I'd simply broadcast fresh seed on the lawn area, keep it moist for 7-10 days and you'll have a new lawn.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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