Sprigging Overview

Traditionally warm season C4 grasses have been propagated via a method known as sprigging. The method uses stolons which have been cut from desirable cultivars of turfgrass which are cut and collected. The plant material is then placed on the surface of the lawn, sports field or golf green and cut into the soil surface to increase nodal contact with the profile to aid establishment. The new roots will be produced from the nodes. Green or dormant tissue present on the nodes will establish successfully with the dormant tissue actually having a higher success rate.

Photographs: To establish small scale research plot of bermudagrass a volume of sprigs (Photo 2 Credit K. Williams) were spread across the desired area (Photo 1 - Credit K. Williams).

The spreading growth habit of warm season turfgrasses like bermudagrass ( Cynodon ssp.) allows for successful coverage of the surface. Sprigging is most successful when temperatures are greater than 20°C. Irrigation should be applied within 30 minutes of planting to ensure that the newly exposed growing points do not dehydrate. An irrigation cycle of twice daily can be sufficient to enhance establishment with these cycles running for two to three weeks. Fertilizer applications are important; with a slow release nitrogen source being most appropriate where the potential for leaching may occur. Once rooting has taken place and sprigs do not lift when pulled, mowing can occur. All products applied to the newly sprigged turf should be done carefully especially on sandy soils because of the potential for leaching which is enhanced with a juvenile root system.

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The Ohio State University Plant Science Online Certificates

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