The University of Arizona

The grass seedling: when is it established?

R.E. Ries, T.J. Svejcar

Abstract


Adventitious roots of sufficient length and diameter must develop to assure that the photosynthetic surfaces receive sufficient water and nutrients before grass seedlings can be considered established. We evaluated development of crested wheatgrass [Agropyron desertorum (Fisch. ex Link) Schult.] and blue grama [Bouteloua gracilis (H.B.K.) Lag.] seedlings in the field to decide when they were established. Blue grams and crested wheatgrass seedlings, under the environmental conditions of this study, were considered established 21 days after emergence. At this time, crested wheatgrass seedlings had 4 leaves, 2 adventitious roots penetrating to a depth of at least 80 mm into the soil, and 1 tiller per plant. Blue grama seedlings had about 6 leaves, 2 adventitious roots penetrating to a depth of at least 100 mm into the soil, and 2 tillers per plant. Most seedlings that reached this stage by the end of the first growing season overwintered and survived the following growing season and provided adequate stands for both species.

Keywords


adventitious roots;leaves;Agropyron desertorum;seedlings;Bouteloua gracilis;tillers;North Dakota

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