2002 Direct Seeding Trials

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Plot Maintenance (2002)

In late May 2002, direct seeded milkweed plots were sown using a Hege 1000 series cone planter.  Due to excessive spring rains, the plots were tilled and replanted in mid June.  Emergence from the replanted plots was stunted due to dry summer weather.  Plot maintenance was done manually throughout the summer.  No flowers were produced in this first year of growth, but stalks were removed at the end of the season.


Planting Density Study

Seed was sown at 4 different spacings to study the effects of plant density on plant establishment and follicle production.  The between row distances used were 7.5, 15, and 30 inches as well as a broadcast treatment. The number of seed per plot was held constant.



Population Evaluations

Seed from two local collection sites were sown to evaluate their population vigor under cultivation.


Pre-emergence Herbicide Trials

An initial screening of 4 herbicides was conducted to evaluate possible pre-emergence herbicides for use with milkweed direct seeding.  Four herbicides were applied, but due to dry conditions, there was insufficient moisture to activate the chemicals.

Maintenance (2003)

In advance of milkweed emergence in early spring, a preemergence herbicide was applied to all plots.  This application provided good coverage for most weed species throughout the season with remaining weeds controlled by hand cultivation or grass herbicide application.  Plants in all plots emerged by April 24 and began blooming in July.  Many volunteer seedlings from ungerminated 2002 seed were observed emerging but did not survive due to the preemergence herbicide treatment.  Spot treatments of aphids and black spot were also performed as needed.

Second Year Results (2003)

Follicles from the planting density study were harvested in mid-September when 10% of the follicles were open.  A total of 5290 follicles were harvested from all plots providing a fresh weight of 121 pounds.  Of the nearly 790 total stalks present, 592 produced follicles. Statistical evaluation of the various densities is on-going.

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Last revised: October 19, 2012