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I have heard and read quite a bit about the benefits of pre-germinating grass seed in terms of getting a lawn growing quicker than it would if you simply seeded.

The procedures I've seen involve several days of soaking, rinsing, draining, changing water, etc. before spreading the seed, but it seems like they all start counting "time till green" from when they sow. But if the preparation time is factored in, is there still a time savings compared to seeding into good soil and maintaining proper moisture?

And are there other benefits/costs that might affect a decision to pre-germinate?

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It normally takes me at least 2 weeks to get good germination of KGB here in Ohio, when mixing with the soil and watering mornings and evenings. I recently mixed seed with soil in a 5-gallon bucket, moistened it and kept in a warm room in my home. In three or four days, almost all the seed was germinated and I spread it about an inch thick for patches in my lawn. I only watered once a day for a week or so. Unreal results and a huge time saver.

  • ...temperature as well as watering, and when you do it inside, you can control temperature. – Ecnerwal May 15 '15 at 15:39
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As Evil Elf mentioned some seeds like Kentucky Bluegrass take a long time to germinate. While they're out in the lawn they're susceptible to being eaten by birds and inconsistent watering. If you get them started indoors you have a more controlled environment.

I haven't done a whole lawn like that but in the past I had done some patches by mixing grass seed with used coffee grounds. I kept the mixture moist in a can then spread them out and got very good results.

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