Date of this Version
Li, L. 2015. Improving establishment of seeded buffalograss. M.S. Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE.
Buffalograss [Buchloë dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.] is a warm-season grass native to the North American Great Plains. Buffalograss is drought resistant, heat resistant and cold tolerant, and thus is well-adapted to many uses in areas that require low maintenance or erosion control. Since buffalograss is slow-growing, one challenge of establishing seeded buffalograss is to maximize seedling maturation and establishment before winter. We evaluated dormant seeding buffalograss in late fall and winter, when germination is not expected until soils warm in spring. We successfully dormant seeded ‘Sundancer’, ‘Bowie’ or ‘Cody’ buffalograss at 146 kg ha-1 from late November though late March, which allowed establishment before the following winter. Increasing seeding rate beyond 146 kg ha-1 had no effect on August buffalograss cover, regardless of seeding date. Buffalograss burs are commercially KNO3-treated and chilled to overcome dormancy. Our studies suggest commercial treatment of burs may not be necessary when dormant seeding, but should maximize germination when dormant seeding during exceptionally dry winters. Though established buffalograss can be maintained with minimal inputs, weed control is critical during the establishment period. We found the herbicides mesotrione, sulfentrazone, quinclorac, carfentrazone, simazine, amicarbazone, sulfentrazone + quinclorac, carfentrazone + quinclorac, or sulfentrazone + prodiamine applied either at seeding or at emergence were safe on ‘Bowie’ or ‘Sundancer’ buffalograss, effectively minimized weed pressure, and maximized buffalograss establishment.
Advisors: Zac Reicher and Keenan Amundsen