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Charles H. Peacock and Paul F. Daniel

Initial release of N from waste materials used as natural organic N carriers for turfgrass may be slow due to the need for microbial degradation. In a greenhouse study, `Rebel' tall fescue (Festucau arundinacea Schreb.) and `Tifway' bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy] growth response to a natural organic fertilizer (Turf Restore) amended or not amended with a soil-derived microbiological inoculum were compared with soluble urea using sterilized and nonsterilized soil. No interactions of soil sterilization and fertilizers were noted at 19 days after treatment (DAT). Urea fertilizer increased tall fescue growth rates by 68% in the nonsterilized soil and 126% in the sterilized soil compared to rates for turf grown with inoculated Turf Restore. Nitrogen uptake rate was 419% higher with urea-fertilized turf in the sterilized soil than for turf fertilized with inoculated Turf Restore. Soil sterilization at 33 DAT no longer affected turf response, but turf growth rate was 133% higher and N uptake 353% higher with urea fertilization than with inoculated Turf Restore. Infection of the plants with Rhizoctonia spp. at 72 DAT was unaffected by fertilizer treatments. Bermudagrass response was similar to that of tall fescue. Growth rate was 67% and N uptake 51% higher with urea than with Turf Restore through 17 DAT, regardless of inoculant addition. Amendment of the natural organic fertilizer Turf Restore with a soil-derived biological inoculant did not enhance turf growth rate or N uptake nor impact infection with Rhizoctonia spp.

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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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Pamela B. Trewatha

Through contacts, observations, and travel throughout the midwestern United States during Spring and Summer 2004, a number of weed species were noted to be relatively new problems, or growing problems in turfgrass and/or horticultural cropping situations. These include hophornbeam copperleaf (Acalyphaostryifolia), garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), blackgrass (Alopecurus myosuroides), Palmer amaranth (Amaranthuspalmeri), waterhemp species (Amaranthus spp.), biennial wormwood (Artemisiabiennis), lambsquarters complex species (Chenopodium spp.), windmillgrass (Chlorisverticillata), showy chloris (Chlorisvirgata), Asiatic dayflower (Commelinacommunis), horseweed (Conyzacanadensis), redstem filaree (Erodiumcicutarium), toothed spurge (Euphorbia dentata), dovefoot geranium (Geranium molle), pitted morningglory (Ipomoealacunosa), purple deadnettle (Lamium purpureum), birdsfoot trefoil (Lotuscorniculatus), roundleaf mallow (Malvarotundifolia), star-of-bethlehem (Ornithogalumumbellatum), cressleaf groundsel (Packeraglabella), striate knotweed (Polygonum erecta), creeping yellow fieldcress (Rorippa sylvestris), lanceleaf sage (Salviareflexa), sibara (Sibaravirginica), white campion (Silene latifolia ssp. alba), hairy nightshade (Solanumphysalifoium), spiny sowthistle (Sonchusasper), and others. Possibilities for this increase or spread include natural invasiveness of the weeds, control of previous weed competitors, resistance to widely used herbicides, changes in cropping practices, and other weed adaptations to current weed management methods.

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Jennifer A. Kimball, M. Carolina Zuleta, Matthew C. Martin, Kevin E. Kenworthy, Ambika Chandra, and Susana R. Milla-Lewis

St. augustinegrass [ Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walt.) Kuntze] is a coarse-textured, warm-season, perennial turfgrass species well adapted for home lawns and commercial landscapes across the southern United States and upward into the southern regions

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R.C. Shearman, H. Budak, S. Severmutlu, and R.E. Gaussoin

Little or no research information exists in the literature regarding recommended seeding rates of improved turf-type buffalograss (Buchloë dactyloides) cultivars, like `Bowie'. This research was conducted to determine the effect of bur seeding rate on turfgrass establishment of `Bowie' buffalograss. Two experiments were initiated on 21 July 2002 on diverse sites at the John Seaton Anderson Turfgrass Research Facility located near Mead, Nebr. Bur seeding rate effects on turfgrass quality, shoot density and cover, and seedling density were evaluated during the 2002 and 2003 growing seasons. Burs were seeded at 2.5, 5, 10, 20, and 40 g·m–2 (0.51, 1.0, 2.0, 4.1, and 8.2 lb/1000 ft2) of pure live seed (PLS). Turfgrass quality ratings increased linearly with bur seeding rate during the first growing season. However, by early in the second growing season, the response was quadratic with little or no difference in quality between 10 and 40 g·m–2. Turfgrass cover ratings responded in a similar manner to the quality ratings. Buffalograss is reported to establish slowly, taking more than one growing season to establish an acceptable level. In this study, `Bowie', a turf-type cultivar, had acceptable turfgrass quality (≥5.0) and cover (≥75%) ratings by 3 months at bur seeding rates of 5 to 40 g·m–2 of PLS, and acceptable quality and cover ratings were obtained at slightly over 1 month at rates of 20 to 40 g·m–2. These results indicate that bur seeding rates of 20 to 40 g·m–2 are advisable where rapid establishment of turf-type buffalograss is desired, and rates as low as 5 g·m–2 can be used when establishment within two growing seasons is deemed reasonable.

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Gurjit Singh, Shimat V. Joseph, and Brian Schwartz

The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), is a sporadic but serious pest of various warm-season turfgrass species in the mid-southern and southeastern United States ( Braman et al., 2000 ; Reinert and Engelke

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James T. Brosnan, Gregory R. Armel, William E. Klingeman III, Gregory K. Breeden, Jose J. Vargas, and Philip C. Flanagan

Star-of-bethlehem is a perennial weed of managed turfgrass areas throughout the upper transition zone of the United States. Plants grow from bulbs that are 2 to 3 cm long, producing channeled leaves that are 3 to 8 mm in diameter. Leaves are

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Annamarie Pennucci and Alan R. Langille

The N.T.E.P. fine fescue test was established in Sept. 1994 in the Turfgrass Experimental Plot Area of the Littlefield Ornamental Trial Garden on the Univ. of Maine campus. The test consisted of 59 cultivars seeded in a randomized complete-block design with three replications. Following soil preparation, the Marlowe fine sandy soil was amended with lime and starter fertilizer according to soil test recommendations. Seeding was facilitated using a 5 × 3-ft plywood box to eliminate wind drift, and seed was raked in by hand. The study was conducted in a shade-free location with a maintenance fertility program of N at 0.6 lb/1000 ft2 per month of growing season using a slow-release commercial 20-5-15 fertilizer. Supplemental moisture was supplied as needed using an in-ground irrigation system. Mowing was initiated in May 1995 at a height of 2.5 inches and reduced to maintenance height of 2 inches for the duration of the 3-year test. Visual turf quality, turf density, color, weediness, and disease ratings were made monthly during each growing season and were statistically analyzed. Cultivars Darwin, NJ F-93, Columbra, Florentine, and the Banner II and III series were ranked as the best performers in the early- and late-season evaluations. BARFRR4ZBD, Jasper, Defiant, Silverlawn, Treazure, SR 5100, and Spartan were cultivars that performed well in early summer; however, during August, all cultivars showed depressed quality scores and no differences were observed. With the onset of true autumn conditions in October, the number of excellent performing cultivars approximated the same number observed in the spring. These results confirm that a number of fineleaf fescue cultivars are now available whose performance begins to rival Kentucky bluegrass under Maine conditions and will certainly provide better long-term turf than will perennial ryegrass.

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Xunzhong Zhang, Damai Zhou, Erik H. Ervin, Greg K. Evanylo, Derik Cataldi, and Jinling Li

signaling plant defense responses ( Strivastava, 2002 ). Tall fescue, a cool-season turfgrass, is widely used for home lawns, recreational surfaces, and roadsides in the temperate to semitropical United States and experiences frequent summer drought stress

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Richard L. Parish

A simple, inexpensive device to measure the linear tear strength (tensile strength) of a strip of turfgrass sod was constructed for use in a research program. The device was fabricated from readily available components. A standard torque wrench served as the force-measuring device, providing torque readings that were converted readily to linear force measurements. The device worked very effectively.