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How to Pre-Germinate Grass Seed

How to Pre-Germinate Grass Seed - Green Lawn Fertilizing

Lawn Care Lawrence Township, NJ

Some types of grass seeds are slow to germinate, leaving you either hoping for success at the end of fall or trying to speed along the process come spring. Fortunately, you aren’t stuck with the wait-and-see approach to germination thanks to a process called pre-germination. This involves taking care of your seeds to try to get them to show the first signs of life before spreading them on your turf. Learn how to pre-germinate your grass seed and determine if this is the right option for you.

How to Pre-Germinate Grass Seed

1. Paper Towel and Plastic Bag

This method is easy and ideal for when you don’t need to pre-germinate many seeds.

  1. Wrap grass seeds in a moist paper towel. Place the towel in a zip-lock bag.
  2. If you are using a cool season grass, store the bag in a refrigerator for 30 to 120 days. This helps mimic the cold season conditions of the cool-season grasses that germinate in the spring. For other varieties, you can place the bag in a cool, dark area and check for signs of shoots every few days.
  3. Once you see sprouts and the weather is favorable, remove the seeds and plant them in prepared soil.

2. Bucket of WaterHow to Pre-Germinate Grass Seed

This method is the right choice when you want to pre-germinate a lot of seeds at one time.

  1. Select your grass seed and set aside how much seed you think you’re going to need. Check the weather to make sure you have cooler but not freezing weather to apply the seeds once ready.
  2. Soak your seeds in water for 24 hours in a warm location like a heated shed or garage. We recommend using storage tubs, buckets, or pots without drainage holes. Stir the bucket once or twice a day to ensure even distribution of water.
  3. After about three days, check for signs of seed shoots popping up. You might need another day or two, but be ready to spread the seeds as soon as you see the shoots.
  4. Sow your seeds, ideally in grass that has been aerated. If possible, cover with germination sheets or netting to help keep birds away from this easy food.

How To Spread Pre-Germinated Grass Seed

To ensure your pre-germinated grass seed thrives, kindly follow these carefully curated steps for even distribution and optimal growth:

1. Moisten the Soil: Begin by lightly watering the prepared soil to foster a welcoming, damp environment for the seeds.

2. Spread the Seeds: With care, evenly distribute the pre-germinated seeds across the designated area. For broader expanses, we recommend utilizing a broadcast spreader (similar to what we use in our aeration and seeding service), adjusted to the seed package's suggested rate, to achieve uniform coverage.

3. Lightly Rake and Press: Delicately rake over the soil to lightly cover the seeds. Following this, either use a lawn roller or gently walk over the area to press the seeds into the soil, ensuring they make good contact for successful germination.

4. Cover: To safeguard your seeds from birds and maintain necessary moisture, we advise covering the seeded area with a thin layer of straw or a germination blanket, if possible.

These steps, when followed with care, are designed to support the successful establishment of your lawn, contributing to its health and vitality.

For the Greenest Grass on the Block, Call Green Lawn Fertilizing.

Skip the work of pre-germinating your grass seed and call Green Lawn Fertilizing to help your yard thrive. Serving our neighbors in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey, we know all about what type of grass is best for this part of the country. Call us today at 855-469-0692 to get a free quote for our comprehensive Green Lawn Program and to find out about your lawn’s exact needs.

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