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Christian M. Baldwin, Haibo Liu, Lambert B. McCarty, William L. Bauerle, and Joe E. Toler

Studies on bermudagrasses (Cynodon spp.) have demonstrated variability in salinity response among species and cultivars. However, information on ultradwarf bermudagrass cultivars in relative salinity tolerance associated with trinexapac-ethyl (TE) [4-(cyclopropyl-α-hydroxy-methylene)-3,5-dioxocyclohexanecarboxylic acid ethyl ester], a cyclohexanedione type II plant growth regulator (PGR), remains unknown. Therefore, two replicated greenhouse studies were conducted to determine the salinity tolerance of two ultradwarf bermudagrass cultivars treated with TE on turfgrass quality (TQ), total root biomass, and root and shoot tissue nutrient concentration. Turfgrasses included `TifEagle' and `Champion' bermudagrass (Cynodondactylon(L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensisBurtt-Davy). Daily sodium chloride (NaCl) exposure was 0, 12.90 (8,000 ppm), 25.80 (16,000 ppm), and 38.71 dS·m–1 (24,000 ppm). Biweekly TE applications (active ingredient 0.02 kg·ha–1) were initiated 2 weeks after salinity exposure. `Champion' was more salt-tolerant than `TifEagle' based on TQ and root mass. At 12.90, 25.80, and 38.71 dS·m–1 of NaCl, nontreated (without TE) `Champion' consistently outperformed nontreated `TifEagle' with greater TQ on most rating dates. At 12.90 dS·m–1, TE treated `Champion' (8.0) had greater TQ than nontreated `TifEagle' (6.1) at week 10. Regardless of TE application, after 2 weeks of applying 25.80 dS·m–1 of NaCl, both cultivars fell below acceptable TQ (<7). When averaged across all salinity treatments, applying TE four times at 0.02 kg·a.i./ha in two week intervals enhanced root growth for both bermudagrass cultivars by 25%. Also, both cultivars decreased root mass as salinity levels increased. Non TE-treated `TifEagle' had 56% and 40% less root and shoot Na uptake compared to TE treated cultivars at 25.80 dS·m–1. In conclusion, the two bermudagrass cultivars responded differently when exposed to moderate levels of NaCl.

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Patrick E. McCullough, Haibo Liu, Lambert B. McCarty, Ted Whitwell, and Joe E. Toler

Dwarf-type bermudagrasses [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davey] tolerate long-term golf green mowing heights but require heavy nitrogen (N) fertilizations. Inhibiting leaf growth with trinexapac-ethyl (TE) could reduce shoot growth competition for root reserves and improve nutrient use efficiency. Two greenhouse experiments evaluated four N levels, 6 (N6), 12 (N12), 18 (N18), and 24 (N24) kg N/ha/week, with TE at 0 and 0.05 kg·ha–1 a.i. every 3 weeks to assess rooting, nutrient allocation, clipping yield, and chlorophyll concentration of `TifEagle' bermudagrass grown in PVC containers built to U.S. Golf Association specification. Trinexapac-ethyl enhanced turf quality on every date after initial application. After 8 weeks, high N rates caused turf quality decline; however, TE treated turf averaged about 25% higher visual quality from nontreated turf, masking quality decline of high N fertility. `TifEagle' bermudagrass treated with TE had clippings reduced 52% to 61% from non-TE treated. After 16 weeks, bermudagrass treated with TE over all N levels had 43% greater root mass and 23% enhanced root length. Compared to non-TE treated turf, leaf N, P, and K concentrations were consistently lower in TE treated turf while Ca and Mg concentrations were increased. Root N concentrations in TE treated turf were 8% to 11% higher for N12, N18, and N24 fertilized turf than respective N rates without TE. Compared to non-TE treated turf, clipping nutrient recoveries were reduced 69% to 79% by TE with 25% to 105% greater nutrients recovered in roots. Bermudagrass treated with TE had higher total chlorophyll concentrations after 8 and 12 weeks. Overall, inhibiting `TifEagle' bermudagrass leaf growth appears to reallocate nutrients to belowground tissues, thus improving nutrient use efficiency and root growth. Chemical name used: trinexapac-ethyl, [4-(cyclopropyl-[α]-hydroxymethylene)-3,5-dioxo-cyclohexane carboxylic acid ethylester].

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Robert L. Green, Grant J. Klein, Francisco Merino, and Victor Gibeault

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 Calif. climate. The first year of the study was from September 1996 to July 1997 and the second year was from September1997 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-_hydroxy-methylene)-3,5-dioxocyclohexanecarboxylic acid ethyl ester (trinexapac-ethyl); 9,10-dihydro-8a-, 10a-diazoniaphenanthrene (diquat).

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Robert L. Green, Grant J. Klein, Francisco Merino, and Victor Gibeault

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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B. Jack Johnson

A field study was conducted to assess the effects of N and Fe with trinexapac-ethyl (TE) on established `Tifway' bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon × C. transvaalensis) during 2 years at Griffin, Ga. There were no TE × Fe or N treatment interactions when applied in three applications at 4-week intervals each year. Combinations of Fe with TE improved turfgrass quality over TE alone at 1 to 2 weeks after each treatment. The improvement from Fe sources was 17 % higher with Sprint 300 and SoluPlex, 33% higher with Ferromec and LawnPlex, and 67% higher with ferrous sulfate. Vegetative suppression of `Tifway' bermudagrass at 14 weeks after treatment ranged from 46% in 1994 to 28% in 1995 when treated with TE at 0.1 kg·ha-1 in three applications at 4-week intervals. Neither N or Fe influenced vegetative growth when applied with TE. Chemical name used: 4 (cyclopropyl-α-hydroxy-methylene)-3.5-dioxocyclohexanecarboxlic acid ethyl ester (trinexapac-ethyl).

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Laurie E. Trenholm, Darin W. Lickfeldt, and William T. Crow

This research was conducted to determine if application of 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) could reduce turfgrass water requirements in soil infested with sting nematodes (Belonolaimus longicaudatus Rau). The effects of 1,3-D and fenamiphos were evaluated on quality and persistence of `Tifway 419' bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy) subjected to drought or deficit irrigation. The research consisted of two greenhouse studies in 2002 and 2003 where irrigation was either withheld or applied in deficit quantities, and one field study in 2003 where irrigation was withheld. In general, 1,3-D-treated turf maintained up to 40% higher quality during drought than other treatments and had up to 27% less leaf wilting. As drought severity increased, 1,3-D treatments had better spectral reflectance values, indicating better physiological functioning under stress. Results of this research suggest that application of 1,3-D in sting nematode-infested soils may increase bermudagrass drought survival.

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Ian R. Rodriguez, Grady L. Miller, and L.B. McCarty

For drainage, turfgrass is often established on sand-based soils, which are typically nutrient-deficient and require supplemental fertilization. The objective of this study was to determine the optimum N-P-K fertilizer ratio for establishing bermudagrass from sprigs in sand. `FloraDwarf' and `Tifdwarf' bermudagrasses [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burt-Davy] were sprigged on a United States Golf Association (USGA) green [85 sand: 15 peat (v/v)] in Aug. 1996 at the Univ. of Florida's Envirogreen in Gainesville, Fla. `TifEagle' bermudagrass was sprigged on a USGA green [85 sand: 15 peat (v/v)] and `Tifway' bermudagrass [C. dactylon (L.) Pers.] was sprigged on native soil at Clemson Univ. in Clemson, S.C. in May 1999. Treatments consisted of fertilizer ratios of 1N-0P-0.8K, 1N-0P-1.7K, 1N-0.4P-0.8K, 1N-0.9P-0.8K, and 1N-1.3P-0.8K applied based on a N rate of 49 kg·ha-1/week for 7 weeks. Growth differences were apparent among cultivars. A 1N-0P-0.8K or 1N-0P-1.7K ratio is insufficient for optimum growth of bermudagrass during establishment, even when planted on a soil high in P. Increased coverage rate with additional P was optimized at a ratio of 1N-0.4P at all four sites. Increased coverage with P was greatest on the sand-based greens, probably due to the very low initial P levels of the soils. On two of the sand-based greens, P in excess of a 1N-0.4P ratio decreased coverage rate.

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Joe E. Toler, Lambert B. McCarty, and Jason K. Higingbottom

Annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.) continues to be a problem in bermudagrass golf greens overseeded with roughstalk bluegrass (Poa trivialis L. `Sabre) due to weed encroachment from adjacent fairways, lack of selective herbicide options, and weed diversity. A 2-year study was conducted on an overseeded `Tifgreen bermudagrass putting green to evaluate effects of herbicide treatments on overseeding and annual bluegrass control. Excellent annual bluegrass control (≥90%) and acceptable turfgrass cover (§70%) was achieved with oxadiazon at 2.2 kg·ha-1 a.i. applied 60 days before overseeding (DBO). Fenarimol (AS) at 4.1 kg·ha-1 a.i. (30 + 15 DBO) followed by 1.4 kg·ha-1 a.i. 60 days after overseeding (DAO) and dithiopyr at 0.6 kg·ha-1 a.i. (60 DBO + 120 DAO) also provided acceptable results. Dithiopyr at 0.4 kg·ha-1 a.i. (30 DBO + 120 DAO), dithiopyr at 0.3 kg·ha-1 a.i. (30 DBO + 30 + 120 DAO), and fenarimol (G) at 2.0 kg·ha-1 a.i. (45 + 30 DBO) followed by 0.8 kg·ha-1 a.i. 60 DAO provided inconsistent annual bluegrass control (55% to 75% in 1999 and 87% to 95% in 2000), but offered acceptable turfgrass cover (§70%) each year. The remaining treatments were generally ineffective and provided <50% annual bluegrass control one or both years. Oxadiazon applied 60 DBO at 2.2 kg·ha-1 a.i. provides an excellent option for annual bluegrass control in overseeded bermudagrass putting greens.

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Grady L. Miller

High rates of potassium (K) are often applied in an attempt to increase stress tolerance of hybrid bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt Davy] turfs. Two field-grown bermudagrass cultivars, `Tifdwarf' and `Tifway', were used to determine the influence of applied K on plant nutrient content and nutrient retention in two soils. Six rates of K ranging from 0 to 390 kg·ha-1 were applied twice per month each growing season from 1992 to 1994. The cultivars were established on both a sand-peat (9:1 by volume) and loamy sand. Potassium chloride and K2SO4 were compared as sources of K, and were applied simultaneously with N applications. Extractable soil K and leaf tissue K concentrations increased with increasing K rates. There was a critical K fertilization level (74 to 84 kg·ha-1) for each cultivar and medium combination beyond which no increase in tissue concentration was observed. Increasing K fertilization resulted in a decrease in extractable Ca and Mg in both media with corresponding decreases in tissue Ca and Mg concentrations. High K rates appear to increase the potential for Ca and Mg deficiencies in bermudagrass, indicating that rates higher than those that provide sufficient K levels for normal growth should not be used.

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B. Jack Johnson

Xanthomonas campestris pv. poannua has potential as a biological control agent for perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), and it is being evaluated as a commercial bioherbicide. Field experiments were conducted on dormant `Tifway' bermudagrass [Cynodon transvaalensis Burtt-Davy × C. dactylon (L.) Pers.] and `Tifway' bermudagrass overseeded with perennial ryegrass to determine the effects of two isolates of X. campestris pv. poannua on annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.) control. Annual bluegrass control was 82% on 27 Apr. 1992 after isolate MB 218 was applied to dormant bermudagrass at 109 cfu/ml in three applications on 11 and 28 Feb. and 12 Mar. When isolate MB 245 was applied at the same rate and dates, it controlled only 60% of the annual bluegrass. The response from isolate MB 245 at the same rate and number of applications on 28 Apr. 1993 was similar to that in Apr. 1992, with 64% control on dormant turf and 52% control on overseeded turf. There was no significant advantage in annual bluegrass control when isolate MB 245 was applied at 109 cfu/ml in more than three applications during the fall and winter, compared to three applications on 15 Feb. and 1 and 11 Mar. when ratings were made on 28 Apr. 1993. The control of annual bluegrass in late Apr. 1992 and 1993 from X. campestris applied in three applications (11 and 28 Feb. and 12 Mar. 1992 and 15 Feb. and 1 and 11 Mar. 1993) at 109 cfu/ml was greater than when l08 cfu/ml was applied on the same dates.