August 2009 Native Grass Production

We have just completed sowing our second round of native grasses this year.  These grass plugs will be ready to transplant into the field when the first rains start.  Our first round of sowing was a little premature and the grass plugs were becoming too big for their containers.

This most recent round of sowing was conducted on August 12, 2009.  We decided to have a greater diversity of grasses in this round and types and numbers are listed below:

  • Purple Needle Grass (Nasella pulchra)   5000 plugs
  • Foothill Needle Grass (Nasella lepida)    3000 plugs
  • Blue Wild Rye (Elymus glaucus)  3200 plugs
  • California Fescue (Festuca californica) 1000 plugs
  • Meadow Barley (Hordeum brachyantherum) 1000 plugs
  • California Brome (Bromus carinatus) 1000 plugs

Except for the Meadow Barley, all of these species of grass are native to an upland grassland environment.  The Meadow Barley grows in a habitat of perennial partial soil moisture content.

These seeds were purchased at LeBallister’s Farm Supply and germination tests were performed for each species.  50 seeds were placed in wet petri dishes and germinating seeds were counted.  I have also presented the abbreviations I’ve been using.  Germination percentages and sowing rates are presented below:

  • Purple Needle Grass (NASPUL) 74%  3-4 seeds/cell
  • Foothill Needle Grass (NASLEP) 64%    4-5 seeds/cell
  • Blue Wild Rye (ELYGLA)   92%  2 seeds/cell
  • California Fescue (FESIDA)  72%  3-4 seeds/cell
  • Meadow Barley (HORBRA)  58%  5 seeds/cell
  • California Brome (BROCAR)  75%  3-4 seeds/cell

Upon further observations of germinations in the cells, these rates seemed to be a little high.  We will thin the additional plants so each cell has one healthy plant in them.

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