Sanjeev Sabhlok's notes on technology, hardware, gardening

How long does couch grass take to germinate?

Couch seeds are hard to grow. I planted seeds on the evening of 28 March 2018 (just before Easter) but as write (3 weeks later), barely 2 per cent of the seeds have sprouted.

A lady at Bunnings told me to sprinkle them on the top of the topsoil because the seeds need the sunlight. This was probably not a good idea since the seeds were now very visible to the birds. I should probably have scattered the seeds and then sprinkled some topsoil on top.

Anyway, here’s what happened.

I watered the seeds three times a day. Gentle spray.

During the first two weeks the lawn attracted a lot of birds (up to 12-15 at a time) that ate the seeds. By the end of the second week the birds could not find any more seeds because the few remaining seeds had gone below the soil and become invisible to them. I assume at least some seeds survived. But these few seeds did not sprout for quite some time.

I would have assumed that these seeds would sprout within 2 weeks. But by the end of two weeks only a (very) few seeds – mostly those that were in the shade – sprouted.

I kept watering since I knew there were some areas of the lawn in which birds had not feasted – but even these seeds had not yet sprouted. So this was not simply about the birds having eaten all the seeds.

After around 18 days some more seeds did start sprouting all across the lawn. Now in the beginning of the 4th week I can seeds are going to sprout all across the lawn if one keeps watering. A good number of them have been eaten but at least a few should now come up.

On the 25th day, around 4-5 per cent of the seeds have started sprouting.

But that was it. No more seeds came. Very poor show.

SECOND ROUND OF SEEDS

On 5 May 2018 I put more seeds and a bit of topsoil on top. Will need to wait to see whether these sprout. (A few – very few – of the older seeds keep sprouting each day; the total is still pretty much close to 5 per cent of the expected cover).

Looks like the main issue was not the water. I had watered the seeds properly. The main issue was heat. The seeds were planted when the maximum temperature was in the 20s, and on a couple of days went to 30 degrees. Most seeds could not survive the heat.

The second time around there has been a phenomenal outburst of seedlings. In just 7 days (in a much cooler weather) the seeds have come out in abundance. During this period it also rained and being cloudy, the water in the soil did not evaporate as much.

So the learning for  couch seed is to grow them when the weather starts cooling  down. And water in abundance/ have rain.

13 May report:

Looks like the main issue was not the water. I had watered the seeds properly. The main issue was heat. The seeds were planted when the maximum temperature was in the 20s, and on a couple of days went to 30 degrees. Most seeds could not survive the heat.

The second time around there has been a phenomenal outburst of seedlings. In just 7 days (in a much cooler weather) the seeds have come out in abundance. During this period it also rained and being cloudy, the water in the soil did not evaporate as much.

So the learning for  couch seed is to grow them when the weather starts cooling  down. And water in abundance/ have rain.

sabhlok

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