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Effects of environmental modifications on the germination and development of perennial ryegrass seed in early spring 2008

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Project Leader: D. Chinery, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselaer County

Cooperator: F. Rossi, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

Abstract: Commercial pesticide applicators use more pre-emergent herbicide on turfgrass in New York State than any other pesticide.  One IPM goal is to find alternatives to chemical herbicides for lawns.  This goal can be met by increasing turfgrass density, since a denser lawn will naturally crowd out weeds.  Overseeding in the autumn has recently been demonstrated to improve turfgrass density, but similar efforts in spring have not been successful, due to lack of seed hydration and/or low soil temperatures.  This research found that compost and geotextile treatments as well as the early seeding date greatly increased the speed of germination and cover development in perennial ryegrass, and that the number of times seed was applied had less impact.