Weed control is essential because tall fescue seedlings compete poorly with many weed species and other grass seedlings. With a prepared seedbed, fallow (cultivation) for at least 1 yr usually is needed to eliminate volunteer plants from buried seed or surviving roots or rhizomes. Alternatively, appropriate herbicides (Bohmont, 2003) can be sprayed on two or more occasions per season, or as necessary to control competition. This practice is essential when sod-seeding (direct-drilling or no-till seeding) into existing grassland stands. Care must be taken to observe recommended time intervals after spraying and before seeding so that potential residual effects on desired clovers (Trifolium spp.) and seedling grasses will have disappeared. In some regions, insects (see Chapter 9), nematodes (see Chapter 10), and other pests also may have to be controlled for establishment to occur successfully, unless tolerant cultivars are available. In some environments, seed treatment is needed for insect protection because endophytes can fail to protect young seedlings.


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