When inspecting new seedings, do you wonder why one area germinated faster than another, even when they both have the same species of grass? There are so many factors that can affect germination, it's helpful to have some of them identified. Researchers at the Danish Centre for Forest, Landscape and Planning were curious if variation in seedlots and cultivar played a role in how quickly seeds germinated. Using four cultivars and a total of 20 seedlots of red fescue, four cultivars and a total of 19 seedlots of perennial ryegrass and five cultivars and a total of 16 seedlots of Kentucky bluegrass, they measured germination daily for approximately 20 days. Germination was recorded again on day 30. There was considerable difference in germination measurements between cultivars of the same species, with the least difference found amongst perennial ryegrass cultivars and the most difference found within Kentucky bluegrass cultivars. There were differences in seed lot germination characteristics, but cultivar variation was 53 to 99 percent larger than seed lot variation for a particular species. When evaluating your lawns for successful germination, be sure to include differences in cultivars as a possible factor.

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