Saturday, May 4, 2013


This past week we pregerminated some bentgrass seed.  Pregermination is the process of getting seed to germinate before you put it into the ground.  There are many different ways to accomplish this, one method is to put the seed into a burlap sack and dunk it into water with a fish tank aerator so that the seed does not rot.  You then replace with clean water every 12 hours  and after 3-5 days you are now ready to use the seed.  Another method is simply putting bentgrass seed into some wet sand and put it into a warm room.  After several warm days in my office the seed is ready to be planted.  There are many other ways to pregerminate seed, we used both methods above for pregerminating.

Keep in mind that bentgrass takes 10-25 days to germiante in IDEAL conditions.  Early spring and cold soil temperatures are not IDEAL for germination of bentgrass.  Because peak golf season is just around the corner we used pregermination to speed up the recovery process on our putting surfaces. 

As you play in the coming days you will notice small amounts of green sand in areas of the greens that expericanced winterkill.  In order to use the pregerminated seed we had to use green sand as our carrier.  Pregerminated seed is very fragile and needs a carrier like sand to minimize mortality.  Here are the steps in the seeding process:

                Step 1: Mix pregerminated seed with green sand and put into buckets.

                Step 2: Poke small holes into the winterkill areas with a hand spiker.

                Step 3: Take green sand and pregerminated bentgrass mixture and spread it over the small holes left by the hand spiker.

                Step 4: Level the green sand and bentgrass mixture with a leveling tool called a levelawn.

                Step 5: Roll the putting surface to achieve seed to soil contact.

                Step 6: Apply light and frequent watering in the days to come.

Most of our winterkill areas are very small and we will try to move the hole locations to areas away from the winterkill so that we minimize disturbance on the newly seeded areas.  The areas that have green sand are smooth and should  not be much of a disturbance.  We are sorry for the incovnience but this will help get our greens healed in sooner, despite the late spring.