Tropical signalgrass is one of the dominant weeds in the Florida turfgrass industry and is potentially troublesome for the southeastern turfgrass industry. Tropical signalgrass is especially problematic for St. Augustinegrass sod producers because of lack of control options. The objectives of our research were to determine the effect of light, pH, temperature, water potential, and planting depth on tropical signalgrass germination and emergence. Tropical signalgrass germination does not require light and is optimum at pH 5 to 6, temperature 25 C, and water potentials greater than − 0.4 MPa. Tropical signalgrass shoots emerged from depths of 0 to 7 cm, with maximum germination when placed on the soil surface. Tropical signalgrass seedlings emerged in the field during the second week of March in Ft. Lonesome, FL. Weekly mean soil and ambient air temperatures at the time of emergence were 20 C. Tropical signalgrass emergence was first observed at 118 and 73 growing degree-days (GDD) (13 C base temperature), with a peak emergence period at 222 and 156 GDD for 2001 and 2002, respectively.
Nomenclature: Tropical signalgrass, Urochloa subquadripara (Trin.) R. D. Webster BRASU; St. Augustinegrass, Stenotaphrum secondatum (Wait.) Kuntz.