Catchweed bedstraw and wild mustard each produce two populations per year: a winter population (WP) in June, and a summer population (SP) in September. Experiments were conducted to determine whether the WP and SP differ in seed mass and seasonal germination. Seeds of both weeds were buried at 0, 5, 10, and 20 cm in cultivated fields, and retrieved at monthly intervals for 24 mo for germination tests in the laboratory. Additionally, seedling emergence from seeds buried at 0, 5, and 10 cm in the field was evaluated for 1 yr. Seeds from the WP were heavier than those from the SP for both species. Germination of exhumed seeds was affected by burial depth and by seed population. It was highest for seeds that remained on the soil surface and declined with increasing depth of burial. The WP of catchweed bedstraw produced two germination peaks per year, whereas the SP and all populations of wild mustard had only one peak. The WP of both weeds germinated earlier than the SP. Seedling emergence for both species in the field was greater for the WP than for the SP. Increasing soil depth reduced seedling emergence of both the WP and SP of wild mustard and affected only the WP of catchweed bedstraw. We conclude that the WP and SP of catchweed bedstraw and wild mustard seeds used in this study differed in seed mass, seasonal germination, and seedling emergence. The ability of a WP to produce large seeds that germinate early and have two germination peaks per year could make these populations a serious problem in cropping systems.
Nomenclature: Catchweed bedstraw, Galium aparine L., GALAP; wild mustard, Brassica kaber (DC.) L.C. Wheeler. SINAR.