Golf course renovation is tremendously popular as an alternative to new course construction throughout the nation (Park and Landschoot, 2003). To begin that renovation, most courses seek a method to eliminate existing plants and seeds to start anew without compromising the architectural integrity of the green or fairway (Calhoun and Branham, 1995). Dazomet is the soil sterilant options available due to the removal of methyl bromide from the market (Ristaino and Thomas, 1997). Dazomet is sold in a fine granular formulation and once applied and incorporated, turns into methyl isothiocyanate gas, killing all existing tissues as well as the seed within the soil (McClellan, 2009). Early studies have shown that when combined with either tilling or a plastic cover, dazomet can be an effective sterilant (Askew et al., 2004). However, tillage is often not a practical option when renovating turf areas, so a less intrusive method of incorporation is necessary (Hardebeck et al., 2001). All previous research with dazomet was conducted based on the product’s initial label, which was focused more on production agriculture fields. The goal of current research is to optimize weed seed germination control when dazomet is used as per the current, turf-focused label, which decreases legal application rates across all surfaces, regardless of incorporation method.
Dazomet has the capability to suppress emergence for a multitude of weed species. Park and Landschoot (2003) and previous research has proven that a multitude of rates of dazomet are effective in controlling annual bluegrass emergence (Branham et al., 2004). It is also known that the addition of a plastic cover will increase efficacy of dazomet (Park and Landschoot, 2001). Dazomet has also been formerly studied in combination with other chemistries; however, this was not an attempt to control annual bluegrass (Unruh et al., 2002). In addition, efficacy of dazomet has been tested by adding it to rootzone mix before initial seeding and suppressed germination was seen in multiple weed species (Brecke et al., 2005).
Sand topdressing is a widely used cultural practice as research has shown its ability to increase playing surface firmness while also reducing the disease (Skorulski et al., 2010). Golf courses around the country now have soil profiles consisting of various amounts of sand layers, and therefore, comparing the effects on efficacy of dazomet in these varying soil types is warranted. About 80% of viable annual bluegrass seed can be found in the top 2 inches of the soil profile (Branham et al., 2004). Sod removal of this layer as the first step during a renovation can be labor intensive, and if dazomet is effective without sod removal, then labor costs could be reduced. The objective of this research was to investigate efficacy of dazomet rates under combinations of the soil type and preparation method for annual bluegrass seed germination.
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