How to Pre-Germinate Grass Seed

Different Methods


How to Pre-Germinate Grass Seed

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

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.

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.

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 888-581-5296 to get a free quote for our comprehensive Green Lawn Program and to find out about your lawn’s exact needs.