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FutureStarrHow to Harvest Grass Seed OR.
Growing your own grass seed to reseed your existing lawn or cover bare patches ensures that the new grass you grow will match the grass that's already there. While growing the seed is effortless, harvesting it is another story. Grass seed harvesters exist, but they are typically too large for use in home lawns as most models are intended for commercial harvesting. For smaller volume harvesting like you would do at home, you'll need to do much of the work manually.Allow the area of grass you want to harvest seeds from to grow without cutting it for 20 to 30 days; tall stalks should grow and develop seed heads within that time.
Quite a bit of seed can be harvested from a healthy patch of lawn growing in full sun, and it should not take too long in the middle of summer. Treat the grasses like a garden plant. Don't walk on them. Ornamental grasses will go to seed naturally. Seeds will lose their green, fresh look and take on various shades of brown, gold and orange when they get near harvesting time. The seedhead also will take on more of a papery feel as it dries.Some types of perennial grass will spread vegetatively (not via seed). If you have this type, you may be able to take plugs from your existing lawn instead of collecting seed. As long as your lawn is a pure stand and you're not taking weeds up with the plugs, this will ensure that you're propagating a true genetic copy instead of risking cross-pollination.Many ornamental grasses can be grown easily from seed. Increase or refresh your stock by collecting seeds in autumn, for sowing in spring. They’re simple to collect, and will germinate quickly, producing young plants that will be mature enough to flower by late next summer.
Gather the seeds on a dry day, then store in labelled envelopes in a tin somewhere cool and dark, before sowing the following spring.Most 'domesticated' grasses such as cereals have been selected to retain seed in the heads for a single destructive harvest. Australian native grasses have inflorescences (seed heads) and seed structures that are far better adapted for the natural processes of seed dispersal by wind, water and animals than for man-made seed harvesters. One such adaptation is the differential flowering and ripening of seed that is common in our grasses. Seed is produced progressively along the inflorescence, and inflorescences are produced progressively on the plant throughout the growing season (Picture 1). As the seed ripens it falls to the ground (for most native grasses seed retention is low) widening the interval during which fresh seed is available to germinate. This process increases the chances of seedling survival in an extremely variable climate. It also poses a problem in terms of time of harvest and harvest efficiency. Some native perennial grasses have determinate flowering, i.e. each plant has only one flowering period each year, and some are indeterminate, i.e. can flower more than once a year, often in response to rainfall. (Source: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au)