Turfgrass Species Affect the Establishment and Bloom of Kura Clover (Trifolium ambiguum) in Lawns

in HortScience

Lawns represent one of the largest cultivated areas in urban landscapes, and in the Upper Midwest of the United States, lawns are typically composed of a small number of cool-season turfgrass species. There is increased interest in enhancing areas dedicated to lawns using flowering species for conservation purposes—for example, to support pollinators. In this study we used a model flowering forb, Kura clover (Trifolium ambiguum M. Bieb.), because—like many flowering species of conservation interest—it is slow to establish and is sensitive to grass competition. We varied the Kura clover seeding rate into four different turfgrass species treatments: kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.), hard fescue (Festuca brevipila Tracy), tall fescue [Schedonorus arundinaceum (Schreb.) Darbysh.], and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) in two separate trials. Establishment and bloom of Kura clover was significantly greater in trial 1 for kentucky bluegrass and hard fescue than tall fescue and perennial ryegrass. In trial 2, Kura clover established significantly greater in kentucky bluegrass compared with tall fescue and perennial ryegrass, whereas Kura establishment in hard fescue was not significantly different from the other treatments. The seeding rate of Kura clover did not affect establishment in either trial. The results from this study suggest kentucky bluegrass and hard fescue are promising turf companion grasses for future forb/turf interseeding research.

Contributor Notes

We acknowledge the Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund of Minnesota for providing the funding that made this study possible. We also thank Andrew Hollman for his assistance in establishing and maintaining the research trials. Last, we thank Johnathon Tetlie, Jason Ostergaard, and Garett Heineck for their assistance in collecting data.

Corresponding author. E-mail: lanex173@umn.edu.

Article Sections

Article Figures

  • View in gallery

    (A) Bar plots of mean seasonal Kura clover blooms and trifoliate leaves for trial 1 in 2014 and (B) trial 2 in 2015 in four different grass species. Error bars represent se and letters represent statistical differences as determined by pairwise comparison using Tukey’s mean separation protocol with α = 0.05.

Article References

  • BeauregardM.S.SeguinP.SheafferC.C.GrahamP.H.2003Characterization and evaluation of North American Trifolium ambiguum-nodulating rhizobiaBiol. Fert. Soils38311318

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BertinC.PaulR.N.DukeS.O.WestonL.A.2003Laboratory assessment of the allelopathic effects of fine leaf fescuesJ. Chem. Ecol.2919191937

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BertinC.SenesacA.F.RossiF.S.DiTommasoA.WestonL.A.2009Evaluation of selected fine-leaf fescue cultivars for their turfgrass quality and weed suppressive ability in field settingsHortTechnology19660668

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BertonciniA.P.MachonN.PavoineS.MuratetA.2012Local gardening practices shape urban lawn floristic communitiesLandsc. Urban Plan.1055361

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BrosnanJ.T.DicksonK.H.SorochanJ.C.ThomsA.W.StierJ.C.2014Large crabgrass, white clover, and hybrid bermudagrass athletic field playing quality in response to simulated trafficCrop Sci.541838

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ChristiansN.E.PattonA.J.LawQ.D.2017Fundamentals of turfgrass Management. 5th ed. Wiley Hoboken NJ

  • DeBelsB.T.GriffithS.E.KreuserW.C.MelbyE.S.SoldatD.J.2012Evaluation of mowing height and fertilizer application rate on quality and weed abundance of five home lawn grassesWeed Technol.26826831

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • EbelingA.KleinA.-M.SchumacherJ.WeisserW.W.TscharntkeT.2008How does plant richness affect pollinator richness and temporal stability of flower visits?Oikos11718081815

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Froud-WilliamsR.J.ChancellorR.J.DrennanD.S.H.1983Influence of cultivation regime upon buried weed seeds in arable cropping systemsAppl. Ecol.20199208

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GarbuzovM.FensomeK.A.RatnieksF.L.W.2014Public approval plus more wildlife: Twin benefits of reduced mowing of amenity grass in a suburban public park in Saltdean, UKInsect Conserv. Divers.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HarrisE.M.MartinD.G.PolskyC.DenhardtL.NehringA.2013Beyond “lawn people”: The role of emotions in suburban yard management practicesProf. Geogr.65345361

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HillM.J.MulcahyC.1995Seedling vigour and rhizome development in Trifolium ambiguum M. Bieb. (Caucasian Clover) as affected by density of companion grasses, fertility, drought and defoliation in the first yearAustral. J. Agr. Res.46807819

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LabergeG.MaboodF.SeguinP.2005Kura clover early growth is comparable to that of white clover when not nitrogen limitedJ. Plant Nutr.28447457

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LarsonJ.L.KesheimerA.J.PotterD.A.2014Pollinator assemblages on dandelions and white clover in urban and suburban lawnsJ. Insect Conserv.18863873

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LaskeyB.C.WakefieldR.C.1978Competitive effects of several grass species and weeds on the establishment of birdsfoot trefoilAgron. J.70146148

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LeffelR.C.GibsonP.B.1973White clover p. 167–176. In: Forages: The science of grassland agriculture

  • LermanS.B.ContostaA.R.MilamJ.BangC.2018To mow or to mow less: Lawn mowing frequency affects bee abundance and diversity in suburban yardsBiol. Conserv.221160174

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McCurdyJ.D.McElroyJ.S.GuertalE.A.HallF.2013White clover (Trifolium repens) establishment within dormant bermudagrass turf: Cultural considerations, establishment timing, seeding rate, and cool-season companion grass speciesHortScience4815561561

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McCurdyJ.D.McElroyJ.S.GuertalE.A.WoodC.W.2014White clover inclusion within a bermudagrass lawn: Effects of supplemental nitrogen on botanical composition and nitrogen cyclingCrop Sci.5417961803

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MilesiC.RunningS.W.ElvidgeC.D.DietzJ.B.TuttleB.T.Nemani.R.R.2005Mapping and modeling the biogeochemical cycling of turf grasses in the United StatesEnviron. Manage.36426438

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MorrisK.N.20162005 National Kentucky bluegrass test 2006–10 data final report. NTEP No. 11-10. 2011

  • PottsS.G.VulliamyB.DafniA.Ne’emanG.WillmerP.2003Linking bees and flowers: How do floral communities structure pollinator communities?Ecology8426282642

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RobertsH.A.DawkinsP.A.1967Effect of cultivation on the numbers of viable weed seeds in soilWeed Res.7290301

  • SeguinP.SheafferC.C.EhlkeN.J.BeckerR.L.1999Kura clover establishment methodsJ. Prod. Agr.12483487

  • SeguinP.SheafferC.C.EhlkeN.J.RusselleM.P.GrahamP.H.2001Nitrogen fertilization and rhizobial inoculation effects on Kura clover growthAgron. J.9312621268

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ShwartzA.MuratetA.SimonL.JulliardR.2013Local and management variables outweigh landscape effects in enhancing the diversity of different taxa in a big metropolisBiol. Conserv.157285292

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SincikM.AcikgozE.2007Effects of white clover inclusion on turf characteristics, nitrogen fixation, and nitrogen transfer from white clover to grass species in turf mixturesCommun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal.3818611877

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SmithL.S.BroylesM.E.J.LarzleerH.K.FellowesM.D.E.2014Adding ecological value to the urban lawnscape: Insect abundance and diversity in grass-free lawnsBiodivers. Conserv.244762

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SmithL.S.FellowesM.D.E.2015The grass-free lawn: Floral performance and management implicationsUrban For. Urban Green.14490499

  • SparksB.MunshawG.WilliamsD.BarrettM.DriveV.WoosleyP.2015Preplant cultivation techniques and planting date effects on white clover establishment into an existing cool-season turfgrass swardHortScience50615620

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SpringerT.L.1996Allelopathic effects on germination and seedling growth of clover by endophyte-free and -infected tall fescueCrop Sci.3616391642

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • TurgeonA.J.1999Turfgrass management. 5th ed. Prentice Hall Upper Saddle River NJ

  • VandevenderJ.2003Kura clover planting guide. Natural Resource Conservation Service Plant Materials Center Alderson WV

Article Information

Google Scholar

Related Content

Article Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 348 348 73
Full Text Views 52 52 7
PDF Downloads 21 21 4