Influence of Fall-applied Treatments on Spring Transition of an Overseeded Bermudagrass Green

in HortScience

Bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy] greens across the southern United States are normally overseeded in the fall to provide a uniform green playing surface and tolerance to wear during winter bermudagrass dormancy. The spring transition from overseed grass back to bermudagrass is a major problem associated with overseeding because there can be a decline in putting green quality and playability. There have been recommendations, but relatively few published reports, on the effect of treatments associated with seedbed preparation and overseeding on bermudagrass spring transition. The objective of this 2-year study was to determine if spring transition of an overseeded `Tifgreen' bermudagrass green was influenced by fall-applied scalping level, chemical, and seed rate treatments. Treatment factors and levels were designed to reflect the range of practices used by golf course superintendents in the region at the time of the study. The green was located in the Palm Springs, Calif., area, which has relatively mild winters and a low desert, southern California climate. The first year of the study was from Sept. 1996 to July 1997 and the second year was from Sept. 1997 to July 1998. Scalping level treatments included a moderate and severe verticut and scalp; chemical treatments included a check, trinexapac-ethyl at two rates, and diquat; and seed rate treatments included a high and low rate of a mixture of `Seville' perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and `Sabre' rough bluegrass (Poa trivialis L.). The plot was maintained under golf course conditions and a traffic simulator was used to simulate golfer traffic. Visual ratings of percent green bermudagrass coverage were taken every 3 weeks from 20 Feb. 1997 to 29 July 1997 and from 11 Nov. 1997 to 22 July 1998. Visual turfgrass quality ratings were taken during the second year of the study. Results showed that spring transition was not influenced by fall-applied treatments during both years. Also, visual turfgrass quality was not influenced during the second year. Chemical names used: [4(cyclopropyl-αhydroxy-methylene) -3,5-dioxocyclohexanecarboxylic acid ethyl ester (trinexapac-ethyl); 9,10-dihydro-8a-, 10a-diazoniaphenanthrene (diquat).

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