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First seed germinates in spring

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by RigglePLC, May 2, 2013.

  1. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,561

    I tested early seeding by planting seed (Scotts Perennial Ryegrass) on April 3, 2013 when it was still cold. It was planted outside in a shallow pan in about 2 inches of potting soil. Seed was sown on top of loose, bare soil with no soil preparation or raking-in. It has now (May 2nd)(29 days), germinated and sprouted, and the tallest sprouts are about 20 mm tall, (about 1 inch). Here are today's soil temps, 65 to 70, but they might not be the same in a shallow pan.

    Growing Degree Days base 50 (GDD 50) had reached 81 for the season.http://www.gddtracker.net/

    Clearly, April 3 is not too early, but it appears germination was inhibited by the cold in the first two weeks, (there were 6 frosts).
    Soil was flooded by heavy rains about two weeks into the test; the pan was tilted for a few hours until the excess water drained out and then poured off. The soil then cracked as it dried out.

  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    My dormant seeding in the little peat pots were just placed outside in the open air last week because they were growing a thick layer of fungus... the accidental covering of coffee grounds over the winter negated the experiment I was after...

    They also germinated yesterday... they were seeded in the house, placed outside in the cold, frozen solid with a thick layer of ice most of the winter, then germinated yesterday... my peat pots lacked drainage ONLY when the ground was still frozen...

    Too bad your pan flooded for so long as that is NOT the norm for planting grass,,, but I think there is one concept you can take away from the experiment:
    "Soaking the seed , even for 2 weeks, doesn't kill it... "

    It has been my experience that "seed to soil contact", is BEST accomplished with a good SOAKING,,, even flooding...
    you're experiment demonstrates that it doesn't hurt a thing so:
    Why not give it a try?"

    Most people are afraid to attempt living outside a preconcieved comfort zone,,, but is there any reason for LCOs to fear soaking/flooding seedbeds upon completion???
  3. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    I installed 2 lawns One I did 4-30 covered with straw and other one I did 5-1 and I hydro seed it
    So air temp are low again its snowing today 5-3-13 So I cant wait to see which one will germinates first. They talking next week back in the 70s

    Which one you think
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I don't think there will be significant difference, except,, that the straw may prevent the soil from warming as easily after the snow... :)
  5. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    I think the straw lawn will germinate faster with the straw on since the air temps are cooler The straw will hold heat in longer then the Hydro Seed

    The straw will pull in the heat and hold moisture better then Hydro mulch

    I wouldn't done the Hydro seeding on this one lawn. But USDA doesn't like straw. So it has to be hydro mulch. The ground temps are to low for Hydro Seeding to work fast. My ground temps are in mid 50s Hydro seed work best with ground temps of 60 and higher
    I couldn't wait, they gave me 30 days to get it seeded and covered up and I did it on 20th day of the order. If I waited after 30days The Kraft plant would been fined and I might lose a big account.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I disagree,,, but regardless, Let us know how it turns out...
    It is an education to ALL when we are able share experiences, even though they are not officially sprinlked with the 'holy water' of a peer revieved gov't statement...

    I am always more interestted in what the guy down the street did than some out of touch egghead's opinion of life... :)
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I'm perfectly happy being WRONG and you are on the right track to showing me, where I may have went wrong... but I still believe it will be a tie or the non-straw lawn will germinate first... I'm getting excited about the results.... :)
  8. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    :laugh: settle down Time will tell Next week calling for high 70s lows mid 50s

    This first time I hydro seed in this cold weather I'll check and take a pic at each location. Today wasn't no sign at either place
    Hydro Mulch was holding well it was the Wood fiber vs the paper fiber
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,561

    Let me clarify the conditions of my "early seeding test". The soil pan and seed was under a roofed porch, which was open from the sides, and in sun part of the day. It was flooded for less than 12 hours due to a driving rain storm. The soil pan was slanted and excess water drained off a few hours after the rain storm. Sorry, I gave the impression it was flooded for two weeks; it was not.

    Also my neighbor sowed some seed about two weeks ago on some bare spots on his lawn. He watered every day, if it didn't rain. The new grass attained a height of about one inch on May 2nd, 2013. This is about the date of the first mowing. Also the date of the major dandelion bloom. And major forsythia bloom. Temperature hit 87 that day, highest of the season. And GDD(50) accumulated to 81 for the 2013 season which had been rather cold up and wet up until that point.
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    We just got the forsythia bloom a couple of days ago also... no sign of dandelions yet, but the quackgrass in the garden grew about 8" long during the rain storm...

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