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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Accelerating the Germination of Common Bermudagrass for Hydroseeding1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 69 No. 1, p. 115-119
    Received: Jan 30, 1976

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  1. James A. Young,
  2. Burges L. Kay and
  3. Raymonds A. Evans2



Our purpose was to obtain more rapid germination of common bermudagrass [Cynodon dactflon (L.) Pers.l for hydroseeding. Accelerated germination is especially valuable in hydroseeding where rapid germination is necessary to take advantage of the investments which are made in water, nutrients, and wood fiber to modify seedbed environments. Establishment may be improved by assuring germination soon after the initial application of these materails. Germination was determined for hulled seeds of common bermudagrass as affected by constant and alternating temperatures of 0, 2, and 5 C, and 5-degree increments through 30 C, and at 40 C in the laboratory. Diurnal regimes consisted of 8 hours at the higher and 16 hours at the lower temperature. Phenological curves were developed for germination in relation to the optimum and near-optimum temperature regimes. A 10/40 temperature regime produced high and rapid germination. Soaking of the seeds at this optimum temperature regime before hydroseeding would accelerate germination. Commercial application of presoaked seeds at 10/40 C would require refrigeration of the soaking liquid to reduce temperature to I0 C at night and heating to increase temperature to 40 C during the day. In addition, because of rapid germination at 10/40 C, in subsequent hydroseeding many seeds would have germinated exposing fragile radicles to turbulence of the pump action and relatively high nozzle velocities. A constant 30 C for 24 hours of preplant soaking is suggested as a practical alternative. We used 25 C for postsoaking incubation because it is a reasonable temperature existing at the time of most seeding. Maximum germination at 30 C required soaking in a solution of 1.0 mM potassium nitrate (KNO3) for triggering germination during the first 24 hours of incubation plus 0.035 mM gibberellin (GA) for accelerated germination and growth from 48 to 72 hours. Seedling growth through 96 hours was greatly enhanced by the further addition of 0.01 mM kinetin.

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