Effects of Seeding Date, Seeding Rate, and Seed Treatments On Saltgrass Seed Germination and Establishment.
Mohamed A. Shahba and Yaling Qian. Colorado State University, Ft Collins, CO 80523
Inland saltgrass [Distichlis spicata var. stricta (L.) Greene], native to western America, has great potential for use as a turfgrass and revegetation species of saline sites. Previously, we have found that stratification and machine scarification improve germination and establishment of seeded saltgrass. However, the effects of seeding date and seeding rate on saltgrass germination and establishment were not tested. A study was conducted in 2006 to determine the effect of different seeding rates, seeding dates, and two different seed treatments on establishment of saltgrass on sites where soil salinity is approximately 5.0 ds/m. Seeding dates selected were 15 May, 15 June, and 15 July. Saltgrass seeded in May could establish adequate coverage in September even using the lowest seeding rate (74 kg/ha). However, for plots seeded in July a high seeding rate (170 kg/ha) is required to establish adequate coverage (for example, to effectively prevent soil erosion) in September. In agreement with our previous findings, we found machine scarification and stratification improve saltgrass seed germination and establishment equally well.