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Germinataion rate of seed goes down with time and heat?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by jondcoleman, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. jondcoleman

    jondcoleman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 181

    Is it true that the viability/germination rate of seed will go down if it sits in a bag for a while. How long do you keep seed on hand? Thanks!
  2. TforTexas

    TforTexas LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 260

    If it hasn't been exposed to extreme heat/cold, germination will actually go up a little on seed that is about a year old. After 2-3 years it will start to go down some. I try not to keep any on hand more than a year or two.
  3. garydale

    garydale LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    I find you lose about 10% each year if properly stored. Adjust amount used by percent lost.
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,568

    I had some seed that did poor. It was tested about 9 months ago and label said use by this month. I planted a small left over sample in a coffee mug inside--100 seeds--germination was about 50 percent.
  5. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    Jon, depending upon the species of C3 turf viability is greatly affected once humidity exceeds 35-40% and temperatures go above 55*F after about four months or so.
    A point to remember is that C3 turf requires soil temps @ 58*F with adequate soil moisture for the endosperm to become viable enough for emergence.
    So once you get near this threshold it is inevitable that germination rates suffer.
    What T for Texas is referring to is C4 turfgrass that is less susceptible to this type of weathering verse C3 turfgrass seed.
    The best way to store C3 turfgrass seed is in a tuperware container large enough to hold what quantity you have. Be sure that the lid is tightly secured and the container is filled at least 75% of the way. Do not allow the seed to experience a hard freeze or a rapid temperature cycle.
    What I have done is late spring is to secure the seed like I mentioned then make sure it is stored in a basement away from the walls and furnace for the winter. If you have a bit of straw left over from a landscape project fill the remaining air space with the straw and the germination rate shouldn't suffer much at all. I have used seed stored this way for over ten years to good effect.
  6. jondcoleman

    jondcoleman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 181

    Thanks for the replies. What is C3 and C4? That is new language to me. I have some "transition blend" tall fescue from LESCO. Thanks!
  7. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    C3=cool season
    C4=warm season.
    Google for more info - you'll be amazed.

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