Cool-Season Perennials vs Cool-Season Annuals Sod Seeded into a Bermudagrass Sward1
- A. M. Decker,
- H. J. Retzer and
- F. R. Dudley2
‘Midland’ bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L. Pets.) is an excellent producer of summer forage in Maryland, but this advantage of high summer yields is reduced by a relatively short growing season in the northern edge of the bermudagrass belt. Coolseason annuals sod seeded into bermudagrass to extend the pasture season are well documented. However, this requires a seeding each fall which adds to production costs. Theoretically, cool-season perennials could be substituted for these annuals to eliminate this annual expense.
The present study compared total forage yields and forage distribution of bermudagrass sod seeded with cool-season annuals [rye (Secale cereale L.), wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth)] vs cool-season perennials [orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), tall rescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), and crown. vetch (Coronilla varia L.)].
Although the perennials significantly increased total forage yields, production was highest when annuals were seeded. It was difficult to maintain uniform mixtures of cool- and warm-season perennials in the same field. The annuals were superior primarily because competition between bermudagrass and the cool-season perennials was much greater than that between bermudagrass and the cool-season annuals.
When hairy vetch was seeded with the cereals, yields were increased; at the same time, forage distribution and quality were improved with only half as much nitrogen.
When all factors are considered, bermudagrass plus sod-seeded, cool-season annuals was superior to bermudagrass plus sod-seeded, cool-season perennials.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
Copyright © . .