Main content area

A comparison of two methods of establishing bahiagrass test plots

Burton, G.W.
Crop science 1989 v.29 no.1 pp. 223-225
Paspalum notatum, design, plant establishment, Georgia
The objective of this study was to determine how well a 12-plant-plot establishment method that saves at least 1 yr and supplies other useful information in a field-yield trial could evaluate 10 bahiagrass entries (Paspalum notatum Flugge), established by the conventional seeded-plot method. The 12-plant-plot-test can indicate if a selection is apomictic (uniform) or sexual (variable) in its mode of reproduction, suggest the extent to which it will "breed true" and produce seed the first year--not supplied by the seeded-plot method. The 10 bahiagrass entries included the apomictic tetraploid, Tifton 54 and nine sexual Pensacola diploids. The 12-plant-plots were established with plants from seed planted in the greenhouse in December and transplanted to 5-cm clay pots in early February. Twelve such potted plants were set 30 cm apart in a single row in the center of 1.3- by 4.3-m plots 30 Apr. 1980. On the same day, the 10 entries were seeded at a rate of 22 kg/ha in the same sized plots arranged so that the two establishment methods of each entry were side-by-side. At the end of the first year, the plants in the 12-plant-plots had established a solid strip of grass about 60 cm wide. Respective correlation coefficients comparing the 1980, 1981, 1982, and 3-yr averages for seeded vs. 12-plant plot were 0.67, 0.73, 0.83, and 0.94 for dry matter yield; 0.82, 08.3, 0.89, and 0.95 for dry matter percentage; and 0.45, 0.33, 0.87, and 0.78 for in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD). Thus the 12-plant plot test that requires only a few seeds, saves at least 1 yr in a field-yield trial and supplies other useful information, can adequately evaluate bahiagrass selections and replace the seeded-plot test when circumstances deem it desirable.