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M.S. Flanagan, R.E. Schmidt, and R.B. Reneau Jr.

The “heavy fraction” portion of a municipal solid waste separation process was evaluated in field experiments as a soil amendment for producing turfgrass sod. Soil organic matter and concentrations of extractable NO3-N, P, K, Ca, and Zn in the soil increased with addition of heavy fraction. Soil incorporation of heavy fraction resulted in greater air, water, and total porosity and lower bulk density of a loamy sandy soil. .Sod strength measurements taken 8.5 and 9.5 months after seeding were higher for Kentucky bluegrass (Poaprutensis L.) grown in heavy-fraction-amended topsoil than for turf grown in topsoil only. The use of this by-product may reduce the time required to produce a marketable sod. Soil incorporation of heavy fraction did not influence post-transplant rooting of Kentucky bluegrass sod but enhanced rooting of bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] sod at the highest rate evaluated. Results of these studies suggest that the use of heavy fraction for sod production may provide cultural benefits in addition to reducing the volume of solid waste deposited in landfills.

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Grady L. Miller

The effects of several soil amendments, following a single filling of core aerification holes, on growth and transpiration of `Tifdwarf' bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt Davy] were examined during drought stress. Soil amendments had variable effects on turf quality. In general, turf grown in ZeoPro®- and Profile®-amended sand had the highest quality. Data indicated that the evaluated soil amendments have the potential to influence soil water content, ultimately influencing transpirational response to drought stress. Amended sand contained 1% to 16% more transpirable water compared with non-amended sand. Turfgrass grown in Axis®- and Isolite®-amended sand required 0.4 to 1.4 days longer to reach the endpoint (transpiration rate of drought stressed plants <12% of well-watered plants) during a period of rapid water depletion. Data from this study suggest that the total volume these amendments occupied in the root zone, following a single filling of core aerification holes in sand, may positively influence soil moisture status, resulting in an increase in drought avoidance.

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M.L. Elliott

The growth responses of 10 Rhizoctonia zeae isolates, obtained from turfgrasses in Florida and Ohio, to four temperatures (20, 25, 30, and 35 °C) and seven fungicides at four concentrations (0, 1, 10 and 100 μg·mL-1 a.i.) were compared. Greenhouse pathogenicity tests were conducted using hybrid bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy]. Optimal temperature for growth for all isolates was 30 °C. Growth of R. zeae isolates from both geographic locations was severely limited (>75%) at 20 °C. All R. zeae isolates were insensitive to the benzimidazole fungicides, benomyl and thiophanate methyl. Their sensitivities to iprodione, mancozeb, and quinotzene fungicides were similar. The Florida isolates were more sensitive to chlorothalonil, and the Ohio isolates to thiram. All isolates were pathogenic to hybrid bermudagrass. Chemical names used: methyl 1-(butylcarbamoly)-2-benzimidazolecarbamate (benomyl); dimethyl 4,4′-O-phenylene bis(3-thioallophanate) (thiophanate methyl); pentachloronitrobenzene (quintozene); 3-(3,5-dichlorophenyl)-N-(1-methylethyl)-2,4-dioxo-1-imidazolidinecarboxamide (iprodione); tetrachloroisophtalonitrile (chlorothalonil); tetramethylthiuram disulfide (thiram); manganese ethylenebisdithiocarbamate (mancozeb).

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K.L. Hensler, B.S. Baldwin, and J.M. Goatley Jr.

A bioorganic fiber seeding mat was compared to traditional seeding into a prepared soil to ascertain any advantages or disadvantages in turfgrass establishment between the planting methods. Bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum), bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), carpetgrass (Axonopus affinis), centipedegrass (Eremochloa ophiuroides), st. augustinegrass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), and zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica) were seeded at recommended levels in May 1995 and July 1996. The seeding methods were evaluated under both irrigated and nonirrigated conditions. Plots were periodically rated for percent turf coverage; weed counts were taken about 4 weeks after study initiation. Percent coverage ratings for all grasses tended to be higher for direct-seeded plots under irrigated conditions in both years. Bermudagrass and bahiagrass established rapidly for both planting methods under either irrigated or nonirrigated conditions. Only carpetgrass and zoysiagrass tended to have greater coverage ratings in nonirrigated, mat-seeded plots in both years, although the percent plot coverage ratings never reached the minimum desired level of 80%. In both years, weed counts in mat-seeded plots were lower than in direct-seeded plots. A bioorganic fiber seeding mat is a viable method of establishing warm-season turfgrasses, with its biggest advantage being a reduction in weed population as compared to direct seeding into a prepared soil.

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A.R. Mazur and J.S. Rice

Research was conducted to determine the influence of the rate of seeding perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) over bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy] on both the establishment of the ryegrass and the quality of bermudagrass golf greens. Increasing seeding rate from 90 to 180 g·m–2 resulted in more rapid establishment and a linear increase in turf quality. Turf density, as measured by leaf number, displayed linear and quadratic responses to seeding rates, with higher rates producing the greatest leaf numbers. Leaf width declined linearly with seeding rate, suggesting higher putting quality, as did tillers per plant. Spring transition to bermudagrass was slowed at high (150–180 g·m–2) seeding rates, with significantly more ryegrass present in late May. Emergence and growth of bermudagrass were suppressed longer at the higher overseeding rates. We conclude that the choice of seeding rate for ryegrass is a compromise between rapid development of, and maintenance of, quality turf vs. early smooth transition to bermudagrass in the spring.

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Haibo Liu

Aluminum toxicity is a major limiting factor for turfgrass establishment and growth when soil pH is <5.0. Limited information on aluminum resistance is available among warm-season turfgrasses and these turfgrasses often grow in the areas with acid soil conditions. The objectives of this study were 1) to evaluate seeded bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L.) cultivars for the ability to tolerate a high level of aluminum and 2) to measure the extent of aluminum damage to the root systems. In total, 16 bermudagrass cultivars were evaluated under greenhouse conditions using a solution culture and an acid Tatum soil (Clayey, mixed, thermic, typic, Hapludult). The soil had pH 4.4% and 69% exchangeable aluminum. A concentration of 640 μm aluminum and a pH 4.0 was used for solution culture. The grasses were grown for 28 days in solution culture; 28 days in the acid Tatum soil; and 78 days in the acid Tatum soil before harvesting. Aluminum resistance was determined by measuring the longest root length, the longest shoot length, dry root weight, dry shoot weight, and shoot to root ratio in comparing the control to obtain the relative Al resistance among the cultivars. The results indicate that seeded bermudagrass cultivars differ in their aluminum resistance.

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Gregg C. Munshaw, Jeffery S. Beasley, Christian M. Baldwin, Justin Q. Moss, Kenneth L. Cropper, H. Wayne Philley, Chrissie A. Segars, and Barry R. Stewart

Hybrid bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon × Cynodon transvaalensis] is frequently used throughout the southern and transitional climatic zones of the United States. These grasses can only be vegetatively propagated, such as by sprigging. Turf managers will often apply high rates of sprigs and nitrogen (N) in an attempt to minimize the time to establishment. However, little is known about how planting and N rates affect establishment. The objective of this study was to determine optimum sprigging and N rates during the establishment of ‘Latitude 36’ hybrid bermudagrass to minimize time to full surface cover. The study was conducted in four locations across the southern United States during Summer 2015. Sprigging rates consisted of 200, 400, 600, and 800 U.S. bushels/acre (9.3 gal/bushel), and N rates were 0, 11, 22, and 44 lb/acre N per week. Results showed that as the N rate increased, percent cover generally increased but only slightly [7% difference between high and low rates 5 weeks after planting (WAP)]. The effect of sprig rate on percent cover indicated that as rate increased, cover also increased. Differences in establishment due to sprig rate were present until 6 WAP at which time all plots achieved 100% cover. The greatest difference between N and sprig rate was that sprig rate showed differences in percent cover immediately, whereas N rate differences were not apparent until 2 WAP. Increasing sprig rather than N rate should be considered to speed up establishment.

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Chunhua Liu, James J. Camberato, S. Bruce Martin, and Amy V. Turner

Rough bluegrass (Poa trivialis L.) is being utilized more frequently to overseed bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy] putting greens and rapid seed germination is necessary for successful establishment. Cultivar and seed lot differences in germination rate and sensitivity to cold may exist. Germination of 10 rough bluegrass cultivars/seed lots was examined in growth chambers at 12-hour day/12-hour night temperatures of 25/15, 20/10, 15/5, and 10/0 °C, and on a bermudagrass putting green at three overseeding dates. Differences in germination among cultivars and seed lots were minimal at 25/15 or 20/10 °C, but substantial at lower temperatures. When seeded on the bermudagrass putting green, differences in germination among cultivars/seed lots were greater at the last seeding date (average daily max./min. of 16/2.7 °C), than at the first seeding dates (average daily max./min. of 21/6.1 °C). Use of blends of several cultivars or seed lots is suggested to ensure the successful establishment of rough bluegrass when overseeding at low temperatures.

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Kenneth B. Marcum, Mohammad Pessarakli, and David M. Kopec

Relative salinity tolerance of 21 desert saltgrass accessions (Distichlis spicata [L.] Greene var. stricta (Torr.) Beetle), and one hybrid bermudagrass `Midiron' (Cynodon dactylon [L.] Pers. var. dactylon × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy `Midiron') were determined via solution culture in a controlled-environment greenhouse. Salinity in treatment tanks was gradually raised, and grasses progressively exposed to 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, and 1.0 m total salinity in sequence. Grasses were held at each salinity level for 1 week, followed by determination of relative salinity injury. Relative (to control) live green shoot weight (SW), relative root weight (RW), and % canopy green leaf area (GLA) were highly correlated with one-another (all r values >0.7), being mutually effective indicators of relative salinity tolerance. The range of salinity tolerance among desert saltgrass accessions was substantial, though all were more tolerant than bermudagrass. Accessions A77, A48, and A55 suffered little visual shoot injury, and continued shoot and root growth at a low level, when exposed up to 1.0 m (71,625 mg·L–1); sea water is about 35,000 mg·L–1), and therefore can be considered halophytes.

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Jennifer M. Johnson-Cicalese and C.R. Funk

Studies were conducted on the host plants of four billbug species (Coleoptera:Curculionidae: Sphenophorus parvulus Gyllenhal, S. venatus Chitt., S. inaequalis Say, and S. minimus Hart) found on New Jersey turfgrasses. A collection of 4803 adults from pure stands of various turfgrasses revealed all four billbugs on Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.), tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), and S. parvulus, S. venatus, and S. minimus on Chewings fescue (F. rubra L. ssp. commutata Gaud.). Since the presence of larvae, pupae, or teneral adults more accurately indicates the host status of a grass species, immature billbugs were collected from plugs of the various grass species and reared to adults for identification. All four species were reared from immature billbugs found in Kentucky bluegrass turf; immatures of S. venatus, S. inaequalis, and S. minimus were found in tall fescue; S. venatus and S. minimus in perennial ryegrass; and S. inaequalis in strong creeping red fescue (F. rubra L. ssp. rubra). A laboratory experiment was also conducted in which billbug adults were confined in petri dishes with either Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, or bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon Pers.). Only minor differences were found between the four grasses in billbug survival, number of eggs laid, and amount of feeding. In general, bermudagrass was the least favored host and the other grasses were equally adequate hosts. The results of this study indicate a need for updating host-plant lists of these four billbug species.