How to Pregerminate Grass Seed


Growing grass from seed in your lawn can be a tedious process. The seeds take anywhere from five to 21 days to germinate, which is a lot of time for something to go wrong. Torrential downpours pose a significant threat to newly seeded lawns. Heavy rain can wash away your entire lawn seed in a matter of minutes. A strong wind can blow the top layer of soil away and carry the seeds with it. Pre-germinating grass seed significantly closes the gap between seeding and germination. The seeds actually begin the germination process before they are planted.

Step 1

Measure out a set amount of grass seed and place in a cloth bag. Submerge in water for two to four days. Each day remove the seeds for two to four hours to allow the seeds to dry a little. This prevents seed rot.

Step 2

Spread the seeds out after the soaking process and allow them to partially dry. Look at the seeds. You should notice that they are swelled with the radicle barely visible--it will appear as a small white dot on the seed.

Step 3

Mix the seeds with equal parts sand and leaf compost. Distribute the seeds at a rate of 6 to 10 lbs. per 1,000 square feet.

Step 4

Water the soil and keep it consistently moist until your grass has reached 2 inches in height.

Tips and Warnings

  • If the rootlet emerges, there is a high chance of failure because a longer radicle will break easily. You want to plant the grass seed as soon as you see the "white dot" of the radicle.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth bag
  • Grass seed
  • Sand and leaf compost
  • Lawn sprinklers
  • Garden hose


  • Turf Talk: The Art of Pre-Germination
  • Walter Reeves: Fescue--Late Planting Trick
Keywords: pre-germinate grass seed, cloth bag, submerge in water, radicle, white dot

About this Author

Robin Gonyo has been writing for several years now. She has a deep love for gardening and has spent a vast amount of time researching that subject. Previously she has written for private clients before joining Demand Studios. She hopes to share her knowledge with others through her writing.