Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Seed Covers and Germination Blankets Influence the Establishment of Seeded Warm-Season Grasses.

Aaron Patton, Mike Richardson, and Jon Trappe. Horticulture, University of Arkansas, 1 University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701-1201

Covers and blankets are often used to reduce erosion, retain soil moisture, and increase soil temperature, plant germination, and establishment rates. There are reports of various effects of seed cover technology on the germination and establishment of warm-season grasses. The objective of this study was to determine how seed covers constructed out of various materials influence the establishment of seeded bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L pers.), buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.), centipedegrass (Eremochloa ophiuroides (Munro.) Hack.), seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum Swartz), and zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.). Plots were seeded 9 June with various species and covered with seed cover technologies including excelsior wood fiber mat, jute multifilament yarn, polypropylene jute netting, polypropylene, futerra, polyethylene, straw, straw and polypropylene netting, paper-based, polyester, and an uncovered control. Light transmission, soil temperature, soil moisture, and turf coverage were monitored throughout the study. Effects of these cover technologies on each species and soil properties will be discussed.