Ethephon and Gibberellic Acid Inhibitors Influence Creeping Bentgrass Putting Green Quality and Ball Roll Distances

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  • 1 Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520
  • 2 Department of Horticulture, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0375

Plant growth regulators (PGRs) are often applied in combinations to reduce turf clippings, enhance turf quality, and suppress Poa annua L.; however, effects of PGR combinations on putting green ball roll distances have not been reported. Two field experiments were conducted on an `L-93' creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera var. palustris Huds.) putting green in Clemson, S.C., to investigate effects of four PGRs with and without a subsequent application of ethephon at 3.8 kg·ha–1 a.i. 6 days after initial treatments. The PGRs initially applied included ethephon at 3.8 kg·ha–1 a.i., flurprimidol at 0.28 kg·ha–1 a.i., paclobutrazol at 0.28 kg·ha–1 a.i., and trinexapac-ethyl at 0.05 kg·ha–1 a.i.. Ball roll distances were enhanced 3% to 6% (4 to 8 cm) by exclusive flurprimidol, paclobutrazol, and trinexapac-ethyl treatments. The additional ethephon application reduced ball distances 2% to 9% (2 to 11 cm). Paclobutrazol and trinexapac-ethyl treated turf receiving the additional ethephon application had longer or similar ball roll distances to non-PGR treated turf. The additional ethephon treatment reduced turf quality to unacceptable levels 1 and 2 weeks after applications. However, bentgrass treated previously with trinexapac-ethyl and paclobutrazol had 8 to 16% higher visual quality following the additional ethephon treatment relative to non-PGR treated turf receiving the subsequent ethephon application. Overall, ethephon may have deleterious effects on monostand creeping bentgrass putting green quality and ball roll distances; however, applying ethephon with GA inhibitors could mitigate these adverse effects. Chemical names used: [4-(cyclopropyl-[α]-hydroxymethylene)-3,5-dioxo-cyclohexane carboxylic acid ethyl ester] (trinexapac-ethyl); {α-(1-methylethyl)-α-[4-(trifluoro-methoxy) phenyl] 5-pyrimidine-methanol} (flurprimidol); (+/-)–(R*,R*)-β-[(4-chlorophenyl) methyl]-α-(1, 1-dimethyl)-1H-1,2,4,-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol); [(2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid] (ethephon).

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