Priming, Pregermination or bio-Priming seed

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by ICT Bill, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    What is the difference?
    Is one better than another?

    You can cut your germination time in half

    Priming grass seed - have you ever noticed after a rain that there are a multitude of weeds almost over night. The seed have laid dormant for some time and then whoosh there they are the next day growing as a plant. The seeds have been primed, a process of getting wet and then drying out PRIMES the seed, when it get favorable conditions it germinates
    When we prime seed we do the same thing typically in 12 hour increments, soak for 12 hours and let sit (out of the water) for 12 hours. You can dry the seed out and apply with a spreader

    Pregermination - In pregermination you soak the seed the entire time and go apply, this is typically better for hydroseeding guys but can be dryed out and used in a spreader. KBG can be soaked for 4 or 5 days and applied, if you try that with ryes you will have a big mass of rooted seedlings

    Bio-Priming - We use the same method as priming but we use inoculants like compost tea. In this method it is best to use an air pump with a diffuser on the end in the water, it will keep things agitated and the tea fresh or you could recirculate with a pump. If you are able to mix mycorrhizae or trichoderma in this mix you will have a natural rooting agents (mycorrhizae) and trichoderma will help with fungal disease long term. azotobacter is also a good one to add, you could also add gibberlins or auxins both natural rooting hormones. Basically you have just armed your grass seed with all of the good guys to go down into soil profile and the long term health of the plant should be much better as well.

    Pennington actually just came out with a mycorrhizae coated seed called Myco-Seed

    I am hoping to have list on here on of the different varieties of turf grass and the length of time that they should be primed, bio-primed or pregerminated.

    If you know please chime in so I don't have to do the research

    Sorry TG, I kind of left you out on this one I don't believe that they have seed for St.Augustine but maybe I wrong
  2. srm077

    srm077 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Okay, I'm game. I'll try and prime half the seed for my yard with 123 Tea and not the other half and see what comes in first. I'm using Scotts ProSeed Hybrid Power TTTF and Hybrid Heat Tolerant Blue. We'll see how it goes. Maybe I'll do 3 or 4 different 3x3 patches in my back yard to see how it goes and try a few other things I have heard about.
  3. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    I seed mostly un-irrigated sites and choose not to pregerminate the seed. the reason is simple. On none irrigated sites, speeding up the germination process can result in seed germinating before the conditions are favoritable for long term plant growth. With a hydroseeder you are already applying a massive amount of water to the soil and this moisture, with a proper mulch rate, will stay around for a couple of days. At the end of those few days, if it doesnt rain, the seed will already be primed and ready to popup with the next rain event. If that rain event is several days or weeks away, the seed will just lay dormant. If the seed has already been primed prior to hydroseeding, you can get germination in those few days from the moisture that was applied by the hydroseeding process. What happens then if you dont get rain for 2 or three weeks, the seed that has germinated dies. Of course not all the seed will germinate at once, and you will still probably get a decent stand of grass, but even cheap seed is a $1 a lb now, why waste it.

    On irrigated sites, the only time you will gain by soaking the seed is the number of days the seed was soaked before planting. This might be worth the extra effort to lug around a sack of wet seed if you are doing a job that needs grass established really fast, but in most hydroseeding situations, the extra time gained just isnt worth the effort. Another thing to consider is if you soak the seed for a day or two and then you cant apply the seed the day you had planned, just how many days is that water logged seed going to stay viable. Needless to say, I have let fully mixed slurries set in my hydroseeder for a week at a time because of some unplanned event that prevented me from doing the actual seeding according to plan. Usually I will just dump in some extra seed and spray the mixture out on the targeted area, but sometimes, and especially if its in someones front lawn where the owners wouldnt like to smell the stinking stuff, I have simply just sprayed the slurry out on a bare area along the developments roadbanks. It always seems to comeup, even without adding extra seed, so I dont have a clue as to how long the seed can soak and remain viable and germinate. Certainly more than a day or two.
  4. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Hey Mudd, good to hear from you. Hope your season is busy and profitable

    In non hydroseed applications and on the typical 3 to 5K lawns the statement that a buddy of mine says to the homeowner is (sod or seed)...."I have a guarantee, if you don't water this and keep it wet for the next 7 to 10 days, I guarantee that it will not come up and you will not be satisfied"

    Priming is an interesting way to do it

    And then if you pregerminate and miss your date you can throw the seed in the refrigerator and it will hang for quite some time
  5. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    bill I have got to see this fridge that you keep talking about! we cant even get a keg of beer in ours with all the drawers and shelf's gone...........

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,134

    but we all dont have a fridge big enough to put seed in? but i like the idea.
    however i have run into some that think u can get away with not much mulch out of a jet machine and skechy results.
    and call themselves a pro?> what to do?
  7. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    we have just got some seed for a ditch at the old TS so we figured about 350 sqft per pound, and its 4000 long and 25 across, so we figured about 250 lbs of seed, it is like a small mountain!!! the bags are only 25 lbs but theres 10 of em and its bulky!!!

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