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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Chicory and English Plantain Responses to Sowing Depth

Authors
item SANDERSON, MATT
item Elwinger, Gerald

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 18, 2000
Publication Date: November 1, 2000
Citation: Sanderson, M.A., Elwinger, G. Chicory and english plantain responses to sowing depth. Agronomy Journal. 2000. v.92(6). p. 1206-1210.

Interpretive Summary: Establishment of new pastures from seed is risky. Sowing small-seeded forages too deep in the soil reduces emergence, seedling vigor, and ultimately the established stand. Thus, knowledge of the optimum seeding depths for individual forage species is critical to establishing productive stands in pastures. We conducted growth chamber and greenhouse experiments sto examine seedling morphology when planted at several depths and conducte two field experiments in different environments to verify responses. Plantain had better seedling emergence in the field than did chicory. Controlled environment studies showed that deeper planting reduced root weight, length, and number more in chicory than plantain, perhaps explaining differences in field emergence. Differences in seedling size between cultivars within species were mainly related to differences in seed mass. Chicory emergence was poor (< 20%) at any seeding depth in dry soil conditions, whereas plantain emergence was relatively high (> 50%) in both moist and dry seedbeds. Deep planting reduced emergence in all cultivars and species. Both chicory and plantain should be planted no deeper than one cm for rapid establishment.

Technical Abstract: Chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) and English plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.) have been introduced recently as perennial herbs for use in pastures. We conducted growth chamber, greenhouse, and field studies to compare the seedling emergence and structure of chicory and plantain from three sowing depths. 'Grasslands Puna,' 'La Certa,' and 'Forage Feast' chicory, and 'Ceres Tonic' and 'Grasslands Lancelot' plantain were sown at 1, 3, and 6 cm depths in the growth chamber and greenhouse, and seedlings were destructively sampled at 14 d after emergence. The number and weight of leaves and roots were recorded. The same cultivars were sown in field plots in July and September, 1998, to determine seedling size and emergence from 1, 3, or 6 cm planting depths in a moist and dry seedbed. Controlled environment studies showed that deeper planting reduced root weight, length, and number more in chicory than in plantain. Differences in seedling size among cultivars within species were mainly related to differences in seed mass. Plantain had better seedling emergence in the field than did chicory (54 vs. 27% in a moist seedbed and 60 vs. 17% in a dry seedbed), and these differences were not related to differences in seed mass. Chicory emergence was poor (< 20%) in dry soil conditions, whereas plantain emergence was relatively high (> 50%) in both moist and dry seedbeds. Planting deeper than 1 cm reduced emergence in all cultivars and species (34 and 60% reduction in emergence when planted at 3 and 6 cm, respectively, compared to 1 cm). Both chicory and plantain should be planted no deeper than 1 cm for rapid establishment.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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