Regional Roadside Testing - Materials and Methods

Plant material

  • 60 entries total
  • 50 individual cultivars (chosen based on recommendations from turfgrass breeders and publicly-available data suggesting potential as a roadside turfgrass)
  • 10 standard mixtures (two from each participating state based on current specifications for that state)

Trial locations

Project research sites in New Jersey, Minnesota, Nebraska, Michigan and Wisconsin
  • 10 sites total
  • Five states (MI, MN, NE, NJ, WI)
  • One urban and one rural site in each state
    • The urban sites were located on an urban or suburban street with a curb, having a daily traffic volume of between 10,000 and 15,000 vehicles
    • The rural sites were located along a rural highway without a curb having a ditch that sloped away from the road with a daily traffic volume of at least 30,000 vehicles

Weather conditions

Precipitation was measured at each site and local temperature data was collected by a nearby weather station.  See this table for specific weather information for each site. 

Trial establishment

roadside plots growing in after planting
  • Experimental design - randomized complete block with 3 replications
  • Individual plots were 1.5 m long (parallel to the road) and 0.9 m wide (perpendicular to the road)
  • Seeding rate was 2.0 pure live seeds cm-2
  • Granular starter fertilizer was applied at approximately 49 kg P2O5 ha-1 at seeding
  • Plots were covered with a germination blanket after seeding

Data collection

  • Turfgrass performance assessed using the grid-intersect method with a grid of 60 intersections overlaid each plot
  • An observation was made at each intersection (with each data point location recorded) as either living turf, weed, or bare soil / germination blanket
  • Plots were assessed four times: late fall 2016, spring 2017 (after snowmelt and prior to turf green-up), fall 2017, and spring 2018

See Also