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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 95 No. 4, p. 1054-1062
    Received: Aug 30, 2002

    * Corresponding author(s): lgibson@iastate.edu


Optimum Planting Procedures for Eastern Gamagrass

  1. Ezra Z. Aberlea,
  2. Lance R. Gibson *a,
  3. Allen D. Knappa,
  4. Phillip M. Dixonb,
  5. Kenneth J. Moorea,
  6. E. Charles Brummera and
  7. Roger Hintza
  1. a Dep. of Agron., Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA 5001
    b Dep. of Stat., Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA 5001


Eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides L.) is a warm-season, perennial bunch grass with great potential for use in grazing, cut forage, and conservation systems. Current recommendations for planting eastern gamagrass during the winter (November to February) are suitable for many areas but are inadequate in locales were the ground is frozen during most of this period. The objectives of this study were to determine the best combinations of planting date, planting depth, and seed stratification for eastern gamagrass in the northern range of its adaptation. Unstratified and stratified gamagrass seed was planted in mid-August, late October–early November, mid-April, mid-May, and mid-June at 2.5- and 5.0-cm planting depths over two growing seasons. Planting in the late summer and fall resulted in better stand establishment than planting in the spring and early summer. The net seedling survival from plantings in April and May was 39 and 48% less than from summer and fall plantings of unstratified seed in 1999–2000 and 2000–2001, respectively. Seed stratification was beneficial to April plantings in only one year of the study and did not improve May or June plantings. At most planting dates, depth had little influence on final stand. Full stands contained at least one plant per 25 cm of row. Plantings producing stands above this level were the August, November, and June plantings in both years and the April planting of stratified seed in the first study year. While the June plantings resulted in adequate final stand numbers, stand establishment was delayed for more than 10 mo because most of the plants did not emerge until the following spring.

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Copyright © 2003. American Society of AgronomyPublished in Agron. J.95:1054–1062.