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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 64 No. 4, p. 535-538
    Received: Dec 13, 1971

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Legume Seedlings Stands Resulting from Winter and Spring Sowings in Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) Sod1

  1. T. H. Taylor,
  2. J. S. Foote,
  3. J. H. Snyder,
  4. E. M. Smith and
  5. W. C. Templeton Jr.2



This study was designed to test the hypothesis that successful establishment of white clover (Trifolium repens L.) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) may be realized if the seeds are sown on the soil surface of undisturbed Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) sod in late winter or early spring prior to the end of soil freezing and thawing.

Our data indicate that with a doubling of the seeding rate, establishment of these legume species is likely to be as successful from surface-seeding in undisturbed sod as with seed-coverage and normal rates of seeding.

Plantings made in December failed each year, mainly as a result of soil heaving. Legume stands resulting from plantings made below the soil surface, 0.6 cm (clover) and 1.6 cm (alfalfa), were superior to those obtained from surface seedings made in February, March, or April. Placing the seed below the soil surface was as important in February as in March or April. Plantings made in February, March or April had similar seedling stands in June. From the standpoint of seedling size in June, the February-sown clover plants were much larger than those sown in March or April, indicating that clover may be sown to good advantage in February. Alfalfa did not show this response, suggesting little or no advantage for seeding it in February over doing so in March. Paraquat (1:1-dimethyl-4,4'-dipyridylium dichloride) banded over the seeded row consistently enhanced seedling development. Seedbed preparation by tilling strips of soil 0.6 cm wide and 1.9 cm deep or 5.7 by 1.9 cm improved legume stands and increased seedling size over those of no-tilled plots. Width of tilled strip had no effect on stands or seedling size.

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