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Warren Roberts, James Shrefler, James Duthie, Jonathan Edelson, Bob Cartwright, and Nancy Roe

We conducted several experiments to determine the best system for production of spring cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. Capitata group) with conservation tillage (CT) in the southern plains of the United States. Rye (Secale cereale L.) was selected as the best cover crop to cover the soil in a short time. Raised beds were formed in the fall and planted with rye. With most studies, the rye was allowed to remain on the soil surface rather than being tilled into the soil. Planting densities, rates of nitrogen fertilizer, and herbicide materials were evaluated to determine the best system for cabbage production. In each study, various cover crop practices were compared with bare soil production systems. Soil erosion was reduced by the use of rye cover crops. Cabbage was produced in the CT system, but cabbage yields were higher in bare soil plots than in the rye-covered plots. We are also in the process of developing a system of CT that involves permanent bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] pastures and watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai]. This system allows both crops to be grown simultaneously on the same land.

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Yaling Qian and Jack D. Fry

Greenhouse studies were conducted on three warm-season turfgrasses, `Midlawn' bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy], `Prairie' buffalograss [Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.], and `Meyer' zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.), and a cool-season turfgrass, `Mustang' tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) to determine 1) water relations and drought tolerance characteristics by subjecting container-grown grasses to drought and 2) potential relationships between osmotic adjustment (OA) and turf recovery after severe drought. Tall fescue was clipped at 6.3 cm once weekly, whereas warm-season grasses were clipped at 4.5 cm twice weekly. The threshold volumetric soil water content (SWC) at which a sharp decline in leaf water potential (ψL) occurred was higher for tall fescue than for warm-season grasses. Buffalograss exhibited the lowest and tall fescue exhibited the highest reduction in leaf pressure potential (ψP) per unit decline in ψL during dry down. Ranking of grasses for magnitude of OA was buffalograss (0.84 MPa) = zoysiagrass (0.77 MPa) > bermudagrass (0.60 MPa) > tall fescue (0.34 MPa). Grass coverage 2 weeks after irrigation was resumed was correlated positively with magnitude of OA (r = 0.66, P < 0.05).

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Monica L. Elliott, Robert B. Hickman, and Mark Hopkins

Type 1 (necrotic) fairy rings in turfgrass result in dead or badly damaged grass. This type of fairy ring is a severe problem on golf course greens as they interfere with the aesthetics and playability of the putting surface. In Florida, Lycoperdon spp., basidiomycetes that produce puffball mushrooms, have been implicated as a common cause of Type 1 fairy rings on hybrid bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon × C. transvaalensis) putting greens. The fungicide flutolanil has basidiomycetes as the sole fungal target. It is also the only carboxin-related fungicide registered for use on turfgrass. Two experiments were conducted to examine the effect of flutolanil as a curative and preventive treatment for fairy ring caused by Lycoperdon. One experiment, established after the rings were present, determined that flutolanil significantly reduced mushroom production. The second experiment was conducted on a golf course that had experienced Type 1 fairy rings previously. One-half of each of nine putting greens was treated with flutolanil on a preventive basis. The other half of each green served as an untreated control. Type 1 fairy rings, due to Lycoperdon, developed only on the untreated control half of each green. These experiments confirm that flutolanil does have curative and preventive activity against Lycoperdon spp. that cause Type 1 fairy rings.

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Mark J. Gatschet, Charles M. Taliaferro, Jeffrey A. Anderson, David R. Porter, and Michael P. Anderson

Cold acclimation (CA) of `Midiron' and `Tifgreen' turf bermudagrasses (Cynodon dactylon L. Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy) induced tolerance to lower freezing temperatures and altered protein synthesis in crowns. LT50 (lethal temperature for 50% of plants) values were lowered ≈5C after 4 weeks in controlled-environment chambers under CA [8/2C (day/night) cycles with a 10-hour photoperiod] vs. non-CA (28/24C) conditions. LT50 values for `Midiron' plants decreased from -6.5 to -11.3C after CA and from -3.6 to -8.5C for `Tifgreen'. Proteins synthesized by isolated crowns were radiolabeled in vivo for 16 hours with 35 S-methionine and 35 S-cysteine. Sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and fluorography revealed increased synthesis of several cold-regulated (COR) proteins in CA crowns of both cultivars. Synthesis of intermediate molecular weight (MW) (32 to 37 kDa) and low-MW (20 to 26 kDa) COR proteins was greater in `Midiron' than `Tifgreen' crowns.

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Kenneth B. Marcum and Charles L. Murdoch

Physiological responses to salinity and relative salt tolerance of six C4 turfgrasses were investigated. Grasses were grown in solution culture containing 1, 100, 200, 300, and 400 mm NaCl. Salinity tolerance was assessed according to reduction in relative shoot growth and turf quality with increased salinity. Manilagrass cv. Matrella (FC13521) (Zoysia matrella (L.) Merr.), seashore paspalum (Hawaii selection) (Paspalum vaginatum Swartz), and St. Augustinegrass (Hawaii selection) (Stenotaphrum secundatum Walt.) were tolerant, shoot growth being reduced 50% at ≈400 mm salinity. Bermudagrass cv. Tifway (Cynodon dactylon × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davey) was intermediate in tolerance, shoot growth being reduced 50% at ≈270 mm salinity. Japanese lawngrass cv. Korean common (Zoysia japonica Steud) was salt-sensitive, while centipedegrass (common) (Eremochloa ophiuroides (Munro) Hack.) was very salt-sensitive, with total shoot mortality occurring at ≈230 and 170 mm salinity, respectively. Salinity tolerance was associated with exclusion of Na+ and Cl- from shoots, a process aided by leaf salt glands in manilagrass and bermudagrass. Shoot Na+ and Cl- levels were high at low (100 to 200 mm) salinity in centipedegrass and Japanese lawngrass resulting in leaf burn and shoot die-back. Levels of glycinebetaine and proline, proposed cytoplasmic compatible solutes, increased with increased salinity in the shoots of all grasses except centipedegrass, with tissue water levels reaching 107 and 96 mm at 400 mm salinity in bermudagrass and manilagrass, respectively. Glycinebetaine and proline may make a significant contribution to cytoplasmic osmotic adjustment under salinity in all grasses except centipedegrass.

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J.M. Goatley Jr., V.L. Maddox, D.L. Lang, R.E. Elmore, and B.R. Stewart

The ability of a temporary turf cover and foliar-applied iron (Fe) to sustain or promote bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) × transvaalensis Burtt-Davy `Tifway' growth beyond its normal growing periods in central Mississippi was evaluated during the fall, winter, and spring seasons of 1998-2001. The application of a polypropylene turf blanket when night temperatures were predicted to be ≤4 °C extended acceptable bermudagrass turf quality by 5 to 8 weeks in the fall and winter period as compared to the uncovered control plots. Also, complete green-up of the turf occurred 4 to 6 weeks earlier the following spring. There was no enhancement in bermudagrass quality by temporarily covering at predicted night temperatures of ≤15 or ≤9.5 °C. Foliar applied iron (Fe) further enhanced turf quality in the fall and winter months, but resulted in no visible turf response the following spring. Total nonstructural carbohydrate (TNC) concentrations in rhizomes that were sampled during November, January, and April 2000 and 2001 were generally increased by the cover application as compared to the uncovered control. Foliar Fe applications did not influence TNC levels.

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G.E. Bell, B.M. Howell, G.V. Johnson, W.R. Raun, J.B. Solie, and M.L. Stone

Differences in soil microenvironment affect the availability of N in small areas of large turfgrass stands. Optical sensing may provide a method for assessing plant N needs among these small areas and could help improve turfgrass uniformity. The purpose of this study was to determine if optical sensing was useful for measuring turfgrass responses stimulated by N fertilization. Areas of `U3' bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.], `Midfield' bermudagrass [C. dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy], and `SR1020' creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds.) were divided into randomized complete blocks and fertilized with different N rates. A spectrometer was used to measure energy reflected from the turfgrass within the experimental units at 350 to1100 nm wavelengths. This spectral information was used to calculate normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and green normalized difference vegetation index (GNDVI). These spectral indices were regressed with tissue N and chlorophyll content determined from turfgrass clippings collected immediately following optical sensing. The coefficients of determination for NDVI and GNDVI regressed with tissue N averaged r 2 = 0.76 and r2 = 0.81, respectively. The coefficients of determination for NDVI and GNDVI regressed with chlorophyll averaged r 2 = 0.70 and r 2 = 0.75, respectively. Optical sensing was equally effective for estimating turfgrass responses to N fertilization as more commonly used evaluations such as shoot growth rate (SGR regressed with tissue N; r 2 = 0.81) and visual color evaluation (color regressed with chlorophyll; r 2 = 0.64).

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Alex J. Lindsey, Joseph DeFrank, and Zhiqiang Cheng

The use of nonpotable water for irrigation on various sport venues has led to an increased use of seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum) turf in Hawaii. An ongoing challenge many seashore paspalum turf managers struggle with is bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) infestations. Herbicide efficacy studies were conducted at the Hoakalei Country Club [‘SeaDwarf’ seashore paspalum (fairway cut)] and the Magoon Research Station [‘SeaStar’ seashore paspalum (grown in container)] on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Spray applications of the herbicides mesotrione, topramezone, metribuzin, and ethofumesate were evaluated alone and in tank mixtures for bermudagrass suppression and seashore paspalum injury. At the Hoakalei Country Club, maximum bermudagrass injury with minimal seashore paspalum discoloration was obtained with tank mixes of mesotrione (0.06 lb/acre) + metribuzin (0.19 lb/acre) + ethofumesate (1.00 lb/acre) and topramezone (0.02 lb/acre) + metribuzin (0.19 lb/acre) + ethofumesate (1.00 lb/acre). Unacceptable seashore paspalum turf injury was obtained in all treatments that did not include metribuzin. At the Magoon Research Station, maximum selective bermudagrass suppression was achieved with tank mixes of topramezone (0.01 lb/acre) + ethofumesate (1.00 lb/acre) and topramezone (0.01 lb/acre) + metribuzin (0.09 lb/acre) + ethofumesate (1.00 lb/acre). The addition of metribuzin and/or ethofumesate to the tank mix safened (reduced turf discoloration) seashore paspalum to topramezone or mesotrione foliar bleaching. Tank mixes of mesotrione, topramezone, metribuzin, and ethofumesate have the potential for bermudagrass suppression and control of other grassy weeds in seashore paspalum turf.

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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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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.