Aeration depth and seeds

RigglePLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids MI
On August 20, 2017, I found a small shady spot in my own yard to compare and contrast aeration hole depth and seed germination. Perennial rye, red fescue (CRF) and Kentucky bluegrass were sown. I used a pinch--about 20 seeds. Weather was mostly dry with a light shower and occasional irrigation. Soil temp was 75 F, and air temp was 83. The holes made with a 3/4" soil probe, were at 3 inches, 2 and 1 inch deep, and then zero (surface applied with no preparation). After 6 days, red fescue (CRF) had sprouted in holes at 1", 2" and 3" deep.
Perennial rye sprouts were visible from holes at 2 and 3 inches deep. After rain, the holes tended to breakdown and fill-in; 1-inch holes became invisible. Bluegrass had no germination--so far. I suspect the deeper holes had more moisture.

First photo was on the day after seed was sown. In the photo, left to right, holes are 3,2,1, and 0 depth. Top to bottom: P. rye, CRF and bluegrass.
A similar test a few hundred feet away--has shown no response--probably due to dry weather.

This does not exactly agree with a test 2 years ago.
https://www.lawnsite.com/threads/aeration-depth-and-seed.460855/

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OP
RigglePLC

RigglePLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids MI
By 22 days CRF (creeping red fescue --Boreal), had sprouts in holes at zero, 1,2, and 3 inches depth. Perennial rye had sprouts at 1,2 and 3 inches depth. There was no germination from the Kentucky bluegrass. The holes were about 2 inches apart, and to the left of the white labels, in order, zero, 1, 2, and 3 inches deep. Temperature high after 22 days was 72 F. Rain was light--irrigation was light, as needed.
CRF was slightly ahead of the perennial rye.
It seems likely that the 2-inch deep holes had more moisture--resulting in quicker germination. If irrigation kept the soil moist, 1-inch holes would probably be satisfactory.

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