Cover crops + soil microbes + weed seeds = ?

Written by: Erin Hill

Primary Source: MSU Weeds Blog

Recently Karen Renner has begun working with MSU’s soil biologist, Lisa Tieman, to explore how cover crops influence the microbiology of the soil and weed seeds. Last week we put tiny mesh bags of weed seeds into an incubation experiment hoping to gain some preliminary information. It is always exciting when different disciplines come together to try to understand a system. After one week of our bags being in the incubators we had some germination and growth of giant foxtail and velvetleaf. We removed the seedlings (pictured below), but it will be interesting to see if germination correlated to any of the factors that Lisa and her team are measuring…stay tuned.

Soil incubation tube with emerged giant foxtail seedlings.

Soil incubation tube with emerged giant foxtail seedlings.


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Erin Hill
I am interested in weed ecology as it pertains to agricultural production. I am also interested in field crop and vegetable production systems, the use of cover crops and other sustainable practices, herbicide resistance, and environmental preservation.