Silky windgrass and annual bluegrass are among the most troublesome weeds in northern European winter crops, while problems with rattail fescue have been especially linked to direct-drilling practices. This study investigated the germination patterns of silky windgrass, annual bluegrass, and rattail fescue in multiple water potentials and temperature regimes. Temperature and water potential effects were similar between silky windgrass and rattail fescue, but differed from annual bluegrass. The three grass weeds were able to germinate under low water potential (-1.0 MPa), although water potentials ≤-0.25 MPa strongly delayed their germination. Silky windgrass and rattail fescue seeds were able to germinate at 1 C, while the minimum temperature for annual bluegrass germination was 5 C. Germination of silky windgrass and rattail fescue was very similar across temperature and water potentials, which implies similar emergence flushes under field conditions, allowing management interventions to follow the same scheme.
Nomenclature: Annual bluegrass, Poa annua L. POAAN; rattail fescue, Vulpia myuros (L.) K. C. Gmel. VLPMY; silky windgrass, Apera spica-venti L. APESV.