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RigglePLC
04-10-2011, 11:07 PM
I am continuing my tests with cool weather and dormant seeding and soaking seed to pre-germinate grass seed. Also some seed was sown on top of snow in February.
This time Scotts "High Traffic" a mixture high in ryegrass (especially the highly regarded "Silver Dollar") was seeded in four different situations. This time the tests were outside in containers. Started April 8, 2011. Temperatures of soil were about 55 degrees. Seed in garden--no container--had a soil temp of 47. Air temps were cool (about 50) but on April 10 we had a record temp of 85 degrees. At 48 hours no sign of germination.

1. Untreated control
2. Soaked 24 hours
3. Soaked 72 hours
4. Untreated, sown direct in garden soil
5. Sown in February on top of snow in large container

Stay tuned.

grassman177
04-11-2011, 01:13 AM
always intersesting. pre soaked seed can be a very good thing, but dont know about the cold thrown in there. staying tuned

Smallaxe
04-13-2011, 08:32 AM
It will be interestting to see if the seed will pop this early. Around here the garden seedlings hit around May 4th... Of course this year, "La Nina" is kicking us around some...

RigglePLC
04-13-2011, 04:32 PM
Well, not official yet, not sure of this, but I think I see some tiny 1/16 tall sprouts of the grass seed planted in a container of potting soil on top of snow on Feb 25, 2011. Scotts "High Traffic" (high in Silver Dollar and Defender perennial rye). Today is April 13. Air temp 58. Soil temp 52. Site about half day shade.

Smallaxe
04-13-2011, 09:53 PM
Documentation, documentation and documentation... You seem to have all 3 priorities of good research in check... :)

44DCNF
04-13-2011, 10:32 PM
Someone here asked recently about a product called superthrive. I had some on hand so I did a seed soak trial with mung bean sprouts. In one I used superthrive, another a product called vegetable thrive. Control was filtered water. Each batch was soaked for 12 hours, then rinsed and drained two to three times a day for three days.

Being different products I don't know how close I got on dosing, but I tried to follow the requirements for regularly watering plants with each product.

One product is growth hormones and vitamins, the other is mix of beneficial bacteria. The beneficial bacteria, vegetable thrive, produced much thicker but shorter tails and the highest germination rate. The vitamin hormone mix-superthrive produced longer but skinnier tails at a lower germination rate. Water produced less germination yet and short skinny tails.

I don't know if that will help you any but I thought I'd share.

RigglePLC
04-13-2011, 11:10 PM
Tail? What is that? Sounds like the solution containing hormones produced long skinny "tails".

grassman177
04-13-2011, 11:12 PM
the radicle?

44DCNF
04-13-2011, 11:41 PM
Yes, the primary root. You're correct, the growth hormone/vitamin product produced long but thin tails....oops primary roots (stuck on that sprouting lingo).
I failed to add but the beneficials batch had their roots emerging first.
These were mung bean sprouts for eating so they didn't make it to the first true leaves stage. I suggest if you want to experiment with these or other products for sprouting, grow the grass seed into plants to also see the difference in color, growth rate, hardiness, etc.

The lengths and girths of the primary roots may not say much about the finished product but the higher and quicker germination rate and the stout roots in the beneficial bacteria batch is what impressed me.
I don't know what would be better. Longer thin roots may anchor faster but get uprooted or damaged easier, I suspect. Just throwing it out there so you can expand your trials a little if you want.

RigglePLC
04-15-2011, 08:40 PM
Seed sown on top of snow--early results. Seed was sown February 25, 2011, Scotts "High Traffic" High in Silverdollar, and Defender perennial rye. Today April 15, the early sprouts became visible. They are about 1/4 inch high. Weather has been in the 50's during the day and 30 to 40 at night, but one day hit 85 degrees. Only a few seeds sprouted so perhaps germination is low. I counted 6 sprouts.
Perhaps winter or dormant seeding might work.

Smallaxe
04-16-2011, 09:47 AM
Seed sown on top of snow--early results. Seed was sown February 25, 2011, Scotts "High Traffic" High in Silverdollar, and Defender perennial rye. Today April 15, the early sprouts became visible. They are about 1/4 inch high. Weather has been in the 50's during the day and 30 to 40 at night, but one day hit 85 degrees. Only a few seeds sprouted so perhaps germination is low. I counted 6 sprouts.
Perhaps winter or dormant seeding might work.

You have a nicer climate than we do on this side of the Lake, evidently... Dormant seeding isn't generally done on top of snow, so it is good to see that it can also work...

I have found that the 1/2" sprouts from last fall have come back OK, but we are still trying to warm up enough for sprouts... I see the dormant seeding is stuck to the soil, in the bare areas of last fall...

44DCNF
04-16-2011, 04:59 PM
You can sow your trials in cinder blocks painted black to provide warmer soil temps if your looking to push things along. Or stand water bottles around the containers you have them in. Even those things to warm t'maters.

What did you use for soil? Soil from your lawn or mix?

RigglePLC
04-17-2011, 02:21 PM
And...today April 17th...9 days after sowing, Scotts "High Traffic" and planting outside in coffee mugs, with temps mostly between 37 and 52 degrees. The seed soaked for 24 hours and then dried for a few weeks, showed tiny sprouts, about 1/8 inch tall.

Smallaxe
04-18-2011, 05:42 AM
Imagine how quickly they would sprout in good weather on soil that stays warmer than 37 degrees at nite... :)

RigglePLC
04-18-2011, 11:59 AM
So I put them near the edge of the porch for better sun exposure. And last night--sigh--snow. About an inch on top of new grass sprouts. 31 degrees--but I think new sprouts will not be harmed. Stay tuned. Yuck!

RigglePLC
04-23-2011, 12:58 PM
Early seeding result so far. I used store bought organic potting soil. Average high temp was 50. Low 36. Scotts "High Traffic" (high in Silver Dollar perennial rye). Seed soaked 24 hours, dried and planted outside in coffee mug, sprouted at 9 days. Seed soaked 72 hours and dried, sprouted at 15 days, (about 1/4 inch tall).
Untreated seed, no response. Untreated seed sown in garden, no response, so far.

Seed on top of snow sown in a container in February, tallest sprout now about 1 inch tall.
Seed on top of snow in February, on thin spot in shady lawn, tallest sprout now about a half-inch high.
Unseasonably cold this year, in Michigan.

Smallaxe
04-24-2011, 11:14 AM
Early seeding result so far. I used store bought organic potting soil. Average high temp was 50. Low 36. Scotts "High Traffic" (high in Silver Dollar perennial rye). Seed soaked 24 hours, dried and planted outside in coffee mug, sprouted at 9 days. Seed soaked 72 hours and dried, sprouted at 15 days, (about 1/4 inch tall).
Untreated seed, no response. Untreated seed sown in garden, no response, so far.

Seed on top of snow sown in a container in February, tallest sprout now about 1 inch tall.
Seed on top of snow in February, on thin spot in shady lawn, tallest sprout now about a half-inch high.
Unseasonably cold this year, in Michigan.

There is a change that seeds go through, when under water for a prolonged period of time... It is interestting that your 72 hour soaking took longer to germinate than the 24 hr. group...

RigglePLC
04-25-2011, 09:23 PM
Early seeding and soaking result so far. Outdoors, potting soil. Temperatures as afternoon highs between 52 and 62.
24 hour soaked and dried Sprout at 9 days
72 hour soaked and dried Sprout at 15 days
Untreated control Sprout at 17 days
Untreated planted in garden no result yet

RigglePLC
04-26-2011, 02:25 PM
And...today at 18 days the seed planted outdoors in my wife's flower garden, finally sprouted. Tallest sprouts are about a half-inch high. Temp 63 at the moment.

Smallaxe
04-26-2011, 03:42 PM
Do you happen to know what the soil temperature of the flower garden is right now?

RigglePLC
04-26-2011, 04:45 PM
Brb...Be right back.
Checked soil temp in wife's flower garden bare soil, about half day sun. Ok its 52 degrees F at 2 inches deep. Heavy rain a few hours ago.

Smallaxe
04-26-2011, 05:26 PM
52 degrees is just about what is always said for cool season grass germination. 2" is about all that matters to the grasses.

I was working up a shaded area yesterday that we want to try some more grass. The ice puddle disappeared last week and the sun can never really warm the soil, so I'd be surprised if it is even 40 degrees yet.
Is there a thermometer that is sold at a local hardware store that would work for soil temps?

RigglePLC
04-26-2011, 05:56 PM
I got my "soil thermometer" at the local auto parts store. Metal thermometer used for air conditioning work.

Smallaxe
04-26-2011, 06:26 PM
I'll have to give it a try... thanks...

in fact thanks for the entire experiment.. :)

RigglePLC
05-04-2011, 12:42 PM
Results from tests on seed, Scotts "High Traffic" (high in perennial rye like "Silver Dollar"), planted outside on April 8 in containers. Also some planted in February in tub on top of snow. Almost all grass sprouts were about the same size, about 2 inches high, with the only exception being untreated seed planted in a garden on April 8, slower sprouting.

Untreated control sprouted in 17 days
24 hour presoak and dried 9
72 hour presoak and dried 15
Untreated, planted in garden 18
Planted on top of snow in container in February, a few days in advance of others

Photo on May 3, 2011. White coffee mug is 24 hour soak, purple mug 72 hour soak, red cup untreated, garden planted is in front of white cup for photo contrast. Large white container--snow planting.

RigglePLC
05-06-2011, 10:44 AM
From this data it appears that the seed planted on top of snow had an advantage for early germination. The April seed soaked 24 hours and dried arose 8 days sooner than the untreated control--giving it a substantial advantage under cold soil conditions. However, all treatments were at about the same height after 25 days.
Clearly it is possible to successfully plant grass very early, even at 45 degrees soil temperature, and with frost likely. And it appears that pre-soaking for 24 hours and drying also adds an advantage. The germinating seed is probably ryegrass.
However from a practical point of view the grass height is still limited by the cold, attaining in this trial, about 2 inches after 25 days.
Late winter sowing of ryegrass blends may be practical where a busy schedule requires the use of all available dates, or where the customer or management demands the earliest possible grass.

Smallaxe
05-08-2011, 08:33 AM
... However, all treatments were at about the same height after 25 days.

...However from a practical point of view the grass height is still limited by the cold, attaining in this trial, about 2 inches after 25 days...

I noticed a while back that newly germinated seed would reach a certain height of green growth, then stay that way for a while... This was during warm weather and adequate moisture in one of my garden plots...
I figured out, that once the top at reached 'critical mass' it would simply photosynthesize materials necessary to grow root.

It makes sense, that deep roots are important for the survival of the seedling, and must be attended to first... :)