ESTABLISHING SERICEA ON HIGHWAY SLOPES

LESPEDEZA CUNEATA (SERICEA) IS A DEEP-ROOTED LEGUME THAT IS WIDELY ADAPTED IN THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES. THIS LEGUME IS PERSISTENT BECAUSE OF ITS TOLERANCE TO DRY SOILS, REASONABLY LOW TEMPERATURES, LOW FERTILITY, AND ACID SOILS. IT IS ALSO PERSISTENT BECAUSE IT IS NOT READILY INJURED BY DISEASES AND INSECTS AND IT IS AGGRESSIVE TOWARD WEEDS. IT HAS A DEEP, VIGOROUS TAPROOT SYSTEM, HENCE IT IS A DESIRABLE PLANT FOR EROSION CONTROL. THE COVER PROVIDED BY LEAF LITTER GIVES ADDITIONAL PROTECTION FROM EROSION; ACCUMULATION OF SUCH LEAF MULCH HAS BEEN OBSERVED TO BE OF CONSIDERABLE MAGNITUDE OVER A PERIOD OF YEARS. THE SHORT GROWING SEASON AND FROST-BROWNED FOLIAGE ARE OBJECTIONABLE. ESTABLISHED SERICEA IS AN EFFECTIVE PLANT FOR EROSION CONTROL. HOWEVER, BECAUSE SERICEA IS SLOW TO ESTABLISH, SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS MUST BE TAKEN TO CONTROL EROSION DURING THE INITIAL PERIOD OF GROWTH. ONE OR MORE QUICKLY ESTABLISHING SPECIES SEEDED WITH SERICEA HELPS CONTROL EROSION, BUT THIS COMPETITION MAY DESTROY SERICEA SEEDLINGS. KENTUCKY 31 FESCUE AND REDTOP SEEDLINGS ARE VERY COMPETITIVE TOWARD THE LESS VIGOROUS SERICEA SEEDLINGS; KENTUCKY 31 FESCUE AND REDTOP PRODUCED 4.8 AND 3.1 TIMES AS MUCH GROWTH, RESPECTIVELY, IN 51-DAY-OLD SEEDLINGS AS DID SERICEA. HIGH NITROGEN FERTILIZATION WAS FOUND TO BE DETERIMENTAL TO THE STANDS OF CERTAIN LEGUMES. IT IS ALSO WELL KNOWN THAT NITROGEN FERTILIZATION AUGMENTS GRASS GROWTH AND ITS AGGRESSIVENESS TOWARD SEEDLING LEGUMES. IT APPEARS DESIRABLE TO SEED GRASSES IN COMBINATION WITH SERICEA TO PREVENT EROSION DURING THE ESTABLISHMENT PERIOD OF SERICEA; HOWEVER, NITROGEN SHOULD BE LIMITED TO ABOUT 40 LB PER ACRE TO AVOID LOSING SERICEA STANDS. GRASS SEEDING RATES SHOULD BE RATHER LOW, BUT IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO USE LOW NITROGEN THAN LOW GRASS SEEDING RATES. THE GRASS SEEDING RATE AND NITROGEN FERTILIZER RATE ALSO DEPEND ON LENGTH AND STEEPNESS OF SLOPES. LONG SLOPES, PRONE TO EROSION, SHOULD HAVE HIGHER RATES OF SEED AND NITROGEN THAN SHALLOW SLOPES. GRASS ASSOCIATES, ALTHOUGH AGRESSIVE TOWARD SERICEA, WERE DESIRABLE BECAUSE THEY REDUCED WEEDINESS. A SUGGESTION FOR ESTABLISHING SERICEA IS TO USE 850 LB PER ACRE OF A 5-20-10 FERTILIZER AND A SEEDING MIXTURE OF 50 LB OF SERICEA, 1 LB OF REDTOP, AND 10 LB OF KENTUCKY 31 FESCUE PER ARCE. SEEDINGS SHOULD BE MADE IN LATE WINTER OR EARLY SPRING. /AUTHOR/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • No 1030, pp 3-14, 8 FIG, 6 TAB, 6 PHOT, 4 REF
  • Authors:
    • Carson, E W
  • Publication Date: 0

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  • Accession Number: 00205143
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 6 1971 12:00AM