View Full Version : How to pregerminate seed

04-09-2003, 07:31 PM
How does one actually go about pregerminating seed? Does this work with blends of seed or mixes or both? How long do you have to work with it before it sprouts?

Never done this before - so if someone can walk me through the process as a neophyte, that would be great.


Mike Bradbury
04-11-2003, 01:44 AM
I remember reading of it on a website some time ago, but didn't bookmark it. Spreading it would seem to be the problem?? Drop seeder for sure I guess?>

Green Pastures
04-11-2003, 10:30 AM
Leave a bag of seed in the back of your pickup for a couple of weeks. :D

Most of it will be germinated by then. Don't ask me how I know.

I used it though and It's looking good.

04-11-2003, 10:52 AM
Ive never done it, but a few ways would be to soak the seed in water, or find a way to scarify the seeds.

04-11-2003, 11:04 AM
I've done it filling up buckets half full of seed then adding water to the buckets (not all the way to the top the seed will expand when it soaks) in the evening. In the morning you can see some green in your seed . I then use the seed that day. It does make it a pain to fill up the hydroseeder lugging up buckets of wet seed . I've done it a few times but I really don't think it worth the hassle.

04-11-2003, 12:08 PM
I'm wondering when you soak the seed if you're then supposed to let it dry or how do you spread it. We use the good old traditional methods of rotary, drop spreaders and a Ryan Slitseeder depending on the application. Oh, and the tried and true mehtod of hand tossing.

With wet seed I don't see any of these methods of spreading working well. Maybe I'm wrong...

If you soak it over night in water - certainly depending on weahter, what can you expect for germination time on rye, fescue. And for that matter, blue grass?


04-11-2003, 10:32 PM
Only do it with hydroseeding. Fill tank the night before and dump in seed. If more than one tank use garbage cans and pick up with the skid. It is a pain. Don't really know if its worth it though.

Mike Bradbury
04-12-2003, 12:22 AM
I don't see how that would speed things up enough to make a difference. The item I read about used a trash can and measured amount of water to 50lbs of seed. I "think" the seed stayed in for a week, with lid on, not floating. Been awhile........

04-12-2003, 07:12 AM
I don't know of anyway to do this unless you are hyroseeding. We have a small hydroseeder 300G and the way we do it is to get 5 gallon pails fill with whatever seed rate your doing and let it sit overnight. Dump each pail into he hydroseeder.

Does it make a diference? Not alot that I can see. Conditions after spraying is what makes the difference.

Mike Bradbury
04-12-2003, 11:33 AM
means the seeds are sprouted when planted, not just soaked over night. Given that BG takes at least a month of every day moisture, seems kind of silly to think that soaking them overnite is going to speed it up very much/at all.

04-13-2003, 04:00 PM
The old farm method is to soak the seed over night, then drain the old water and apply fresh water. The soaking trays were galvanized about 15ft long and 3" deep. The seed was only put in about an inch thick and the tray was then filled with water so as to allow the seed to swim, not just getting it wet but letting it have room to move. In a bucket the bottom seed would not get air. The tray was drained every morning and rested for a couple of hours then the fresh water applied. This was repeated for a week and when it was planted it had been without water for about 12 hours. They were then put into a hydro seeder and taken to the field. Rye and wheat were the only seed that I saw used this way. It was not sprouted at this point but within a couple of days after planting you could find seedlings in the field.

04-13-2003, 11:07 PM
I did an experiment with pregermination a few years ago. Very much in the manner ladibugg describes but on a much smaller scale. I did about a pound of seed in a tray. Changed the water everyday, but didn't let the seed rest betwen water changes. Kept the tray in the house to keep it at a constant temperature.

Started seeing green sprouts in about 10 days. Then I spread the seed/sprout mix over a screen to drain for a day or two. After mixing the seed with some sand, I put it down by hand to patch some bare spots in a lawn I was repairing. It worked well. I wonder how it would have worked had I added a bit of starter fertilizer to the soaking water each day?

Interestingly, and not joking, it was the son of an old farmer who suggested I try this. He told me that's how his farmer dad used to do it except he did it with large quantities of seed.

Mike Bradbury
04-14-2003, 01:48 PM