At what temps does side-oats gramma germinate?

Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)March 27, 2004

Will side-oats gramma germinate following cool-season annuals or?

Also when is the best time to take my LBS out that I started indoors? I've got roots making their way through the drainage holes!

Thanks

Vera

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froggy(z4/5 WI)

SOG should germinate shortly after LBS.
i have found SOG to be a bit tougher to inside germ than LBS.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2004 at 4:06PM
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Doctorant(6-MO)

Plant out those LBS after danger of frost has passed. Just cut off the roots poking out of the holes, or pull through. The plant, if healthy, should easily repair the damage.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2004 at 8:42PM
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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

I guess I wasn't clear...
The side-oats gramma were sown when I sowed the wildflowers last fall outdoors....I guess I mean when do they germ outside? LBS for that matter too? Those plugs of LBS I started indoors was just sheer winter bordom and wanting to see green grass LOL!

Boy I'm sure wishing I would have started a flat of the seeds I sown out so I could be knowing what was weed and what aint...

Vera

    Bookmark   March 27, 2004 at 10:30PM
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LauraZone5

Bouteloua curtipendula should germinate after about 3-5 days of soil temperatures of 75F. I read something recently in which a lab got it to germinate at 25C after 2-3 days but the article claimed the seed had been cold stratified. I tried to find the article for you but I can't. This might be a situation wherein which the side oats gramma seeds require cold stratification to break dormancy of the embryo so I am hoping you direct sowed your seed last fall or winter sowed it. If you did not, don't throw your seed away. If it doesn't germinate this year, let it go through another cycle and it may germinate next year. If I find that article, I will post it for you. I also have a book on native grasses and I can't find that either. Sorry about that but I think my recollection is accurate on the soil temps as I was just recently looking for this very same information for myself as I have been winter sowing native grasses and was sort of hoping for something to be sprouting. Nothing is sprouting for me and I have been anxiously waiting for little green anythings.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2004 at 11:17PM
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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

Thanks Laura!

I did sow the SOG last fall.
That means the grasses I've been seeing probably were blown in from the nearby ditch...grrrrr
I also "wintersowed" some LBS in containers...and I am seeing a few green shoots. Sheep Fescue has been up for about a week...going in my front yard more 'groomed' flowerbed...other wintersowed coming up for the bed are Coreopsis, E. purpurea & Linium lewisii. First WS for me...I'm hooked!

May you see green soon :)

Vera

    Bookmark   March 29, 2004 at 9:54AM
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john_mo(z5/6)

Can anyone tell me if sideoats and little bluestem truly need cold stratification? I have a couple small meadow areas -- burned within the past month -- that I would like to overseed with these species, but I haven't had a chance to purchase seed yet. We are within a couple weeks of our average-last-frost date. Did I miss my opportunity?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2004 at 11:22AM
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LauraZone5

Ok... I have been digging and I found my book on grasses. There is no information in there regarding germination- sorry about that. I have another book specifically on seed germination and maybe it was in that book. Give me a little bit of time and let me see if I can find that article. John, I wintersowed some big bluestem. I know I looked this up somewhere before making my decision to winter sow and determined that cold stratification was necessary so I had to either winter sow or direct sow last fall. I can not find my source and am going nuts trying to locate it for you as little bluestem would most probably require the same care.

John, I doubt you missed an opportunity though. If one door closes... another opens.

What I am going to suggest may be a little bit of a pain in the rear for you but here is what I would do just to be on the safe side... Get yourself some sand and mix it 50/50 with your seed. The mixture should be slightly damp and not at all moist. If it is too moist, your seed will probably mold. Set it in your refrigerator now for about 4-6 weeks. This will trick the seed into thinking it was cold stratified for the proper length of time. Take your seed out and let it dry out and then go for it by over-seeding your area. So what if you are a little late. You may not even be late for all I know and I may have AlzheimerÂs regarding what I read. It is my understanding the native plants need time to put down roots to better establish themselves the first year anyway so if they germinate a month or so after they normally would, I can't see the harm given weather conditions are so unpredictable anyway.

John, I have one tray of about 100 big bluestems outside that I suspect will germinate. You are welcome to all that I have for your restoration (my treat). For me, there is always next year. One word of caution though. I am pretty sure I read somewhere that SOG can out-compete LBS and that they should not be companion planted.

Send me your address via GardenWeb mail if you want all of my BBS as I would like to get it out to you before it starts sending up shoots. If I mail it out now I can cushion the top well enough to withstand shipping. If the shoots come up, I can guarantee the box will be manhandled and you would open up a container of mishmash. Seriously, if I can help anyone out there with what little I have, I am more than happy to do so. Lord knows everybody has been helping me out since last fall.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2004 at 12:57PM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

Sideoats and little bluestem, as well as most other grasses, only require dry cold treatment. Seed sitting outside in the garage or in the fridge gets this. Chances are if you buy some seed and plant it when it's warm it will grow. Check the Prairie Moon Nursery catalog. Species marked with an A germination code means only dry cold is needed. I've started sideoats in early June with dry seed and had excellent germination. It helped to cover the seed with some mulch to retain moisture. Some of the plants I started in early summer last year actually set seed in the fall.

Btw, I don't think it is a good idea to let seed dry out after cold moist treatment. Quite often once a seed has taken up water it is ready to germinate and drying will kill the embryo.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2004 at 2:49PM
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LauraZone5

Hello John_MO- if you need to try one suggestion over the other... try what lycopus suggested over what I suggested as he has years of hands on experience and everything he has ever suggested that I do has worked better than suggestions I have tried out of books.

Hi lycopus- by the way... your suggestion to put sand on top of my Chionanthus retusus stopped the mold completely. I did pull each seed out and dip it in a mild hydrogen peroxide solution before placing them back in the container. All I can say is no more mold! Question... is my BBS ruined by having cold stratified it/winter sowed it or am I just going to have a reduced germination rate? I found my directions and that is in fact what was recommended. In looking at the directions, they recommended laying the seed out on a cookie sheet only to dry it enough to hand sow it directly outside so that it wouldn't land in clumps. I suspect your method will have a higher germination rate out of the two so I will try it next year. Last question, what have you heard about SOG outcompeting LBS or was that an old wives' tale?

And John, you are still welcome to my BBS if you would like to try it.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2004 at 8:57PM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

No, winter sowing shouldn't hurt the germination rate. With the grasses you can dry OR moist treat the seeds. Both should work. I don't know if I got better germination by sowing in early summer but growth was excellent because of the long, warm days. I haven't heard of sideoats outcompeting little bluestem. Sure that it is possible or even probable on an average soil. In a sandy soil I would wager that LBS would kick SOG's behind.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2004 at 4:10AM
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LauraZone5

Tee hee, you have such a way with words!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2004 at 8:21AM
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john_mo(z5/6)

Thanks for the prompt advice. I'll try to pick up some seed this weekend and get it on the ground ASAP. I will only be doing a light overseeding to add diversity, so the investment will not be too high even if it fails.

Laura, thanks for the offer of big blue seedlings, but I am trying to keep these areas in smaller grasses for esthetic reasons -- to allow the forbs to show better. I have a few scattered clumps of Indian grass in these areas already.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2004 at 11:07AM
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froggy(z4/5 WI)

id say that a soil temp of 75 for a few days sounds about right. if LBS is germ'in then SOG isnt far behind.

also, i agree with not letting ur seed dry out after treating it. that is one of the problems we have, that 'timing' thing so that our seed is ready to go when we and the weather and the customer are.

fyi, we have gone to almost completely seeding in the fall now. takes care of alot of those 'timing' issues.

froggy

    Bookmark   April 4, 2004 at 10:59AM
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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

I seeded in fall, but I have to give a drink with the hose...we got maybe 2 hours of light rain and one all nighter since snows been gone around Feb 20th...I'm sure the soil is nice and wet except for the top 1" or so where the seed is at....no rain outlook for another 10 days here.

Vera

    Bookmark   April 5, 2004 at 9:41AM
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