Cool Member
Posts: 62
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:52 pm
Location: Zone 6a, St Charles, MO

Germinating native grass seeds

I was on a little hike up in Minnesota last weekend while visiting some family, and collected a few seeds from a small clump of grass that I had seen growing here and there around the trail. I thought it would make a nice addition to some of my landscaping at home - the clumps were not too large, and the seed heads had a nice purplish hue to them.

My question is this - do 'wild' grass seeds need a winter freeze cycle to germinate the following spring? My plan was to plant them immediately at home in a container indoors and either move it outdoors towards the end of summer, or just keep them indoors under grow lights until next spring.

I'm a veggie grower, so I'm venturing into unfamiliar territory!

Thanks in advance.

User avatar
Posts: 29265
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Germinating native grass seeds

I am MOST curious to know what you will be growing. 8)

I don't have enough experience in this area. I bought buffalo grass seeds for the lawn and tried growing plugs in a 72-cell tray but it turned out to be easier to just scatter the seeds directly, and my purchased as plants prairie drop seed grass and wild sea oats have self seeded in the garden.

I grew out my lawn to identify individual species, then have encouraged native sedge, a plume type (forget the name... Hm... Thinking it's called "witchgrass") and blue eyed grass to grow.

But all of this has been outdoors on their own.

Here is a most likely resource I can think of for you:
:arrow: How-to-Germinate-Native-Seeds

If you look around their on-line catalog, you might spot the grass you are growing. Please let us know.

pow wow
Senior Member
Posts: 227
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:55 am
Location: Alberta Canada

Re: Germinating native grass seeds

I did exactly that several years ago. I found what I later learned was great basin wild rye. A huge grass, I collected the seeds and popped them into the fridge for a few months. I started the seeds indoors and in the spring I planted them into a little pot and put outside. I buried the pot into the ground over the winter. My neighbor was laughing at me when I had the grass in the pot. Telling me I was growing quack grass. Well, after taking the pot out of the ground that spring I crossed my fingers and planted it into a big bowl shaped pot. The grass took right off. My grass is even more spectacular than the grass the seeds come from. Of course I shoot mine up with 20-20-20 several times over the summer. Here is what my grass looked like in season two and today.


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