Grass Seed Germination
Some Basics on Grass Seed Germination
Grass seed germination and growth process takes place when the seed absorbs a sufficient amount of moisture to sprout. The conditions needed for germination has been programmed into the seed already and is regulated by such things as soil temperature and light as needed per the variety of grass. In all the wisdom of the seed, the hull (hard outer casing) will delay this process until such conditions are met.
A few tips before you begin your grass seed germination are: Different grasses germinate differently and at different times-such as rye takes less than a week while other varieties take over two. It is important to find out the difference before beginning. Rainwater is always better than tap water, containing valuable trace elements which will encourage growth. Cheap seed usually result in poor germination. Put seed cost out of the picture as they will be the least costly part of the lawn by the time growing season has come to an end. Buy a good quality grass seed for the best results.
Inside the seed there is a wall that surrounds the embryo (in center). This embryo contains the DNA to reproduce in the image of its parent grass. It also contains every nutrient it will needs to be a blade of grass that will continue to grow for as long as it is taken care of. It will metabolize slowly within the hull until all the needed elements are in place.
In order for grass seed germination to take place there will need to be a soil medium, heat, light and water. When these four factors take place the hull will split and the tiny sprout will shoot up out of the seed’s casing. There are two times during the year when grass seed germination will be productive. In the spring when the cool night begin to warm and in the fall when seeds have all winter to get water, snow and lots of nutrients to ensure getting established.
The key to successful lawn/garden maintenance and grass seed germination is to first prepare your soil by aeration and then give it a top dressing of good compost. This will make it easier for the roots to take hold in the soil and become established. Preparing the soil with the addition of a good starter fertilizer gives seed a boost.
Seeds should be placed directly in the soil which will ensure their access to moisture. Lightly rake over the seed once they have been sown to mix them within the dirt and to make sure seeds are spread evenly. Be sure to restrict activity on the area being seeded at this time. Give to seeds every opportunity to get established.
Throughout grass seed germination adequate moisture must be maintained. One way to accomplish this is to water lightly several times a day rather than to wash the seeds out with one heavy drenching. Stop watering well before sundown so the seeds do not set in water during the night as this could lead to a fungal disease.
Assuming you have planted the appropriate grass for the appropriate season warmth from the soil and sunlight will be the next elements needed. Once the seed breaks through the ground the light will provide what it needs for photosynthesis to take place. This is the process by which the grass will be able to create its food.
Mulching with a thin layer (1/8-1/4th inch) of straw or hay can help soil retain moisture. Sprouts are hungry so newly germinated seed will needs energy to continue growing. At the appropriate times-according to seed package instructions, fertilize. Stay off the grass even after it sprouts until it has time to get a good hold on soil and grass seems to be doing well.