Lawn Care Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,640 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Two teaspoons of "Midnight" Kentucky bluegrass were added to about 2 gallons of water in a bucket, and soaked at 63 degrees F. The seed sank to the bottom. After 24 hours a quarter-teaspoon of seed was removed and dried on a paper towel on a grid.
The water was poured off and replaced with new water. New samples will be removed and dried at 48 and 72 hours. See photos.
The intention is to plant the seed in topsoil indoors--and then compare the germination and early growth of this seed when untreated and soaked for various times. Photos included.
This seed was last tested in August of 2019. The germination may be low.
In theory, the seed count should be about 2600 per quarter teaspoon.
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,640 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The pre-germinated seed which was water soaked for 24, 48 and 72 hours, was planted indoors in paper cups today. Scattered on the surface of topsoil. Looks like excess seed, (naturally.) The 72 hour seeds look dark and less numerous--because they were still a bit wet. This was the same amount of seed.
I had about a teaspoon of the Midnight seed--soaked 72 hours left over--therefore it was planted outdoors on top of snow--because--why not? Temp was about 40 F.
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,640 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Today on day 7--there were a couple tiny grass sprouts--less than 1/4 inch-- where the Midnight Kentucky bluegrass seed had been soaked 72 hours before planting. The one weed in the UTC pot was about 1 inch tall.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,640 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
On January 3, UTC had a weed plus 1 sprout Midnight bluegrass.
Soaked 24 hours had 1 sprout, 48 hours soak had 3 sprouts, and 72 hours soak had 21 sprouts; this for Midnight Kentucky bluegrass.
The tallest seedling sprout was about 3/8 inch tall.
The weed was about 1.25 inches tall.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,640 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
After 12 days:
UTC had about 21 sprouts, maximum height of 1 1/4 inch. 24 hours pre-soak showing 21 sprouts with a maximum height of 1 3/4 inch.
48 hours pre-soak had about 39 sprouts with a height max of 1 inch.
72 hour pre-soak had about 50 sprouts with a max height of 1 and 5/8 inches.
It appears that Kentucky bluegrass seed pre-soaked in water for 72 hours resulted in the most and tallest germination.
48 hours pre-soak in water had almost as much germination, and the height was slightly less.
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,640 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
At 19 days old the Midnight Kentucky bluegrass seeded indoors, was about 3 inches tall.
The seed water-soaked for 72 hours before planting as a means to "prime" the seed germinated slightly faster.
There was not much difference in the height, germination nor density of the new of the new seedlings after 19 days.
Not much more I can do.
Discard or...?
What would happen if I put it outside? It is 20 degrees and headed down for tonight.
Later I may plant it outside, check it in spring--but of course the soil is frozen--cannot dig, right now.
I could spray it to see if herbicide (like three-way) would injure it--however--this cannot be applied until I thaw out the herbicide.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,856 Posts
That’s interesting, although pre-germination works, its usefulness appears to be limited. Apart from seeding bare soils susceptible to erosion, I wonder what else it’s useful for. Thanks for sharing this experiment with us.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,640 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Good point, Kerb.
Remember that annual rye seeds germinated, with first roots in 48 hours. This in my summer of 21 seed germination test under warm conditions.

I want to try pre-germinated annual rye seed to see if 24 hour germination is possible (under warm soil conditions).

Annual rye is not used much by professionals--however--potentially pregerminated annual rye could be used as a "nurse grass". That is...mainly...to convince the customer that his new grass is coming, thereby reducing the incidence of call-backs.

And the same idea could be applied to a fast-establishing perennial rye. A high-quality dark green cultivar with a large seed size and reputation for fast starts would be ideal.
"Zoom" For example:

Or "Tetradark"
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,640 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
And I was shocked--could hardly believe it!
I shopped the website of our local chain of 3 garden stores.
Scotts Turfbuilder Sun and Shade grass seed was $21.99 for 3 pounds (plus tax), $7.69 per pound--and was out of stock.
Bulk grass seed--generic quality from big tubs--was mostly $6.99 a pound.
True, it is late January--not in season yet.


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,357 Posts
Thanks for this study and it is quite interesting to me. This is a complicated bit of science and very little study available online. Supposedly, gibberellic acid is supposed to help initiate seed coat break. I ordered some for my study as I am very interested in pre-germ for hydroseeding.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,640 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hineline, I hope your hydroseed test works out OK. Gibberellic acid is a good idea, too.
I have heard that you can do the pre-germination in the hydroseed tank itself. Bubble air through it to remove any seed inhibitors accumulating in the water. There is probably no practical way to change the water in a big tank.
Potentially you could pre-germinate, dry, and store a few hundred pounds of seed. Then offer your special pre-germinated seed to customers at extra cost. Some people will gladly pay more for faster results and more complete germination. Plus, the customer needs less water. This because you already provided all the water that he would have needed in the first week after sowing the seed.
In theory, this should reduce callbacks--saving you money. Imagine, what if you could get the best type of perennial rye to germinate in 48 hours during warm conditions? Try some tests--let us know what happens. Get pictures, please!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,640 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I planted pre-germinated Midnight Kenucky bluegrass December 27, 2021, indoors in three paper cups. This week (March 16) I moved the indoor-sprouted "Midnight" Kentucky bluegrass to my neighbor's vacant lot. The new Midnight sprouts were about 4 inches tall. Temperatures were about 45 F. Soil temperature about 32 F; soil was frozen at deeper layers. So far at 3 days the Midnight grass looked OK.
Click for bigger photo.
 

Attachments

1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top