How to Harvest Grass Seed in Your Garden?
Harvesting grass seed is one of the common industrial agriculture practices. Producers harvest seed with specialized equipment. Yes, this is impractical for home growers. Does it mean you can’t harvest your own grass seed?
No, you surely can make it happen. After all, before the invention of special machinery, people used to gather grass seed by hand. So, why can’t you successfully do this?
Although the process may take some time, it’s easy to do and allows you to use your own grass seed during the next planting season. So, when should you go to harvest your grass seed? And, How to harvest grass seed from your garden?
Relax, after reading this article, all of your questions will blow away in the blink of an eye. Because we have stored here everything you need to know about the problem.
Okay, enough talking, let’s just know what’s there for you!
When To Harvest Grass Seed in Your Garden?
You must know when is the exact time to harvest grass seed. But the answer varies from grass to grass. Yes, it depends on from which grass you are harvesting seed. As we’ve compiled the guidelines here, you should no more worry about it. Let’s just look over these:
- Bentgrass (Colonial, Creeping, Velvet): Late July or early August. Seed will separate from the head when you rub in the palm of the hand.
- Bluegrass (Canada, Kentucky): July or early August. Heads will be yellow or brown, seed head moisture content 45-50%.
- Bromegrass (Meadow, Smooth): Late July or early August. Heads will be brown as well as upper stem turning brown. Seedhead moisture content 50-55%.
- Canarygrass (Reed): Mid-late July. Almost ½ of the seeds will be grey or brown. Seedhead moisture content 50-55%.
- Fescue (Creeping red): Early August. Seedhead moisture content 35-40%.
- Fescue (Meadow, Tall): Early August. Heads will be brown with a slight dye of green (5-15% of the seeds immature). Seedhead moisture content 45-50%.
- Orchard Grass: Mid-July to early August. Heads will look light brown (some will look greenish). The stem will turn yellow to brown. Seedhead moisture content 35-40%.
- Timothy: Early to mid-August. Heads will be grey with brownish dye and are gold-colored at the base. Seedhead moisture content 45-50%.
How To Harvest Grass Seed in Your Garden? – Step by Step Guide
So, now you are going to know about the process of harvesting grass seed in your garden.
If you want to contact Seed harvesters, they exist, but they are too large for use in a home lawn. Because most of the models are intended for commercial harvesting. So, for smaller volume harvesting as you are going to do at home, you will have to do the job manually.
Things You’ll Need
You are going to collect grass seeds from your garden and fortunately, it doesn’t require many things to do. The key thing you’ll need is:
- Plastic bag or similar containers
Well, it’s probably at your elbow, if not, purchase now and get ready for the steps you’ll go through.
5 Steps of Harvesting Grass Seed in Your Garden
Once you’re done purchasing the things, let’s look at the step by step procedure:
Step 0: Pre-Harvesting Consideration
Check and fix which area of grass you want to harvest seeds and allow the area to grow without cutting it for 20-30 days. It will let the tall stalks grow and develop seed heads within that time.
Step 1: Check The Seed Heads
Here you need to check the seed heads to be confirmed if they are ready to be harvested or not. How will you be confirmed? Easy, pull a stalk, and hit the seed head lightly against your palm.
If it releases seeds, you need to harvest immediately. If it does not, try again with a harder hit and harvest within a few days if it releases then.
Step 2: Hold a Seed Stalk
Now, hold a seed stalk with one hand. Gently pinch the stalk just under the seedhead with your other hand (holding it between your thumb and forefinger).
Step 3: Let The Seeds Release
Keep slight pressure between your fingers as well as slide up your hand. It will allow the seedheads to slide between your thumb and forefinger. The pressure will release the seeds. After that, collect them on top of your fingers and dump them into a plastic bag or any other container.
Step 4: Move On To The Next Stalk
Now, move on to the next stalk, grasp it, and harvest the seeds with your fingers. continue harvesting the seeds from the heads until you have harvested enough grass seed to suit your purpose.
Step 5: Mow The Grass
When you’re done with harvesting seeds, mow the grass. Cut off no more than ⅓ of its height in the first mowing. Try to mow again every few days as needed. Drop the blade height each time until the grass returns to its normal height.
Lovely! You’re done. If you can properly follow the steps, you can perfectly harvest grass seeds from your garden.
Now what? Yes, you have to store the seeds in a perfect way, at a perfect place. We have a tip for you!
After you harvest the grass seeds, keep them in a cool, dry place until you are ready to sow them. Remember, high temperature and excess moisture can cause seed failure and promote mold growth.
Harvest Grass Seed in Your Garden – FAQs
Question: What does rainfall during the harvest season?
Answer: Light rainfall isn’t a problem but heavy rainfall is. It will take more time to dry down to reach perfect seed moisture.
Question: What is the perfect moisture to store grass seed?
Answer: Grass seed can be stored safely at 8-12% moisture, depending on the species.
Still, tensed? Well, we hope you are not. Grass seed harvesting is not a complicated task. You just need to know the answers of When and How. As we discussed it all, you should be in relief now!
So, you now know how to harvest grass seed, go for it without overthinking. You can do it, good luck!