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Wheeler G. Foshee, William D. Goff, Michael G. Patterson, and Donald M. Ball

Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth), common vetch (V. sativa L. `Cahaba White'), arrowleaf clover (Trifolium vesiculosum Savi `Yuchi'), crimson clover (T. incarnatum L. `Tibbee'), red clover (T. pratense L. `Redland II'), yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus L.), buckwheat (Fagopyrum sagittatum Gilbert), hairy indigo (Indigofera hirsuta L.), bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flugge `Pensacola'), common bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.], and centipedegrass [Eremochloa ophiuroides (Munro) Hack] were grown for 3 years in a 3 × 3-m spacing around young pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] trees. Compared to weed-free plots, all cover crops suppressed tree growth substantially, and there were no differences among cover crops in the degree of suppression. Mean trunk cross-sectional area of weed-free trees increased 26-fold by the end of the third growing season but increased only 13-fold for trees grown with any cover crop. These results suggest that cover crops, if grown in young pecan orchards to promote beneficial insects, should be excluded from the immediate area around the young trees.

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G.C. Munshaw, X. Zhang, and E.H. Ervin

Bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] is widely used along its northern limit of adaptation. However, cold hardiness and winter survival are common concerns facing turfgrass managers in these areas. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of moderate salinity applications on bermudagrass cold hardiness. Two trials were conducted in Summer 2002. The cultivar Princess was seeded into pots in a glasshouse at a rate of 24 kg·ha-1. Pots received a weekly solution of 20-20-20 at a rate of 4.9 kg·ha-1 N. Bi-weekly salinity treatments began ≈2 months after germination and consisted of 0, 5, 20, and 40 dS·m-1 in the form of NaCl. These treatments continued for ≈8 weeks. Weekly quality ratings and chlorophyll fluorescence measurements showed similar results, with the high salinity treatments having the poorest quality. Soil electrical conductivity measurements showed a significant increase for the high salinity rates over the lower rates at the end of the trials. Proline concentrations increased with increasing salinity treatments in Trial 1 and were highest with the 20 dS·m-1 rate in Trial 2. Plants were acclimated in a growth chamber, and artificial freezing tests revealed that the 5 and 20 dS·m-1 treatments had the highest percentage of regrowth after freezing. These results indicate that moderate applications of salt or the use of effluent water prior to hardening may be an important way to increase bermudagrass cold hardiness.

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Michael Maurer* and Justin Weeaks

Throughout much of the Southwestern United States, poor quality water and limited water resources require innovative methods to conserve water. No research to date has indicated whether seeded bermudagrass Cynodon dactylon can be established by using subsurface drip irrigation (SDI). In 2001 (Expt. I) and 2002 (Expt. II), seeded bermudagrass was evaluated for establishment using SDI. Treatments consisted of emitters and tubing spaced at 30, 46, and 61 cm. The control treatment consisted of pop-up sprinklers. Salinity accumulation is a concern when irrigating turfgrass in areas of poor water quality and low annual rainfall. Salinity accumulation was visible at the soil surface during establishment in 2001, but turfgrass showed no visible signs of stress due to salinity. In 2002, substantial rainfall reduced salinity accumulation during establishment as salinity was not present on the soil surface. Salinity accumulation was greater in most months at the 0-15 cm depth in both years compared to the 15-30 cm depth. Full turfgrass coverage (≥90%) for the control plots in 2001 was about 8.5 weeks and the SDI treatments had complete coverage in 10 weeks. Turfgrass coverage for all treatments in 2002 was 9 weeks. Expt. II had a slightly faster establishment rate due to greater rainfall and different soil characteristics than that of Expt. I. Root count and depth of roots for both years showed roots to 61 cm depth in all treatments. A general trend of higher salinity accumulation at the midpoint between tubing was seen in Expts. I and II. However, after significant rainfall salinity levels returned to concentrations comparable to initial soil salinity concentrations in both years. This research documents the ability to successfully establish seeded bermudagrass using SDI.

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Glenn R. Wehtje, Joey N. Shaw, Robert H. Walker, and Walker Williams

Various inorganic soil amendments have been promoted as a means of improving the chemical and physical properties of certain soils. To test this hypothesis, a marginally productive soil was supplemented with 20%, 40%, 60%, and 80% (v/v) of either selected inorganic amendments or sand. Amendments consisted of commercially available diatomaceous earth, calcined clay, zeolite, and crystalline SiO2. The soil material was extracted from the argillic horizon of a Cecil sandy loam (fine, kaolinitic, thermic Typic Kanhapludults). Ability of these soil-amendment mixtures to promote `Tifway' bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt Davy] growth was evaluated under greenhouse conditions, and contrasted to that obtained in nonamended soil. Selected chemical and physical properties that are pertinent to plant growth were also evaluated. The experiment, which was conducted 3×, began with a §60-day period in which both water and nutrients were optimum. This was followed by a 30-day drought. During optimum water and nutrients, no soil-amendment treatment(s) consistently resulted in superior bermudagrass growth compared to soil alone. However, <2% of the bermudagrass tissue that was produced during the drought became green and succulent with the resumption of irrigation in nonamended soil. This percentage was exceeded by all treatments that contained either ≥60% diatomaceous earth (Axis), or ≥40% calcined clay (Profile); and by 100% zeolite (Clinolite) and 100% silica (Green's Choice). Drought-sustaining ability of soil-amendment mixtures was significantly (P < 0.05) correlated with water-holding ability, soil strength, bulk density, and oxygen diffusion rate, but not correlated with either pH or cation exchange capacity (CEC). While certain inorganic amendments did improve the drought-sustaining ability of soil, the amount required was generally ≥40%.

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Hassan Salehi and Morteza Khosh-Khui

Turfgrass seeds can be sown individually, in mixes, or overseeded to provide green color and uniform surfaces in all the seasons. This investigation was conducted to compare different turfgrass species and their seed mixtures. In this research, the turfgrasses—perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. `Barball'), kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L. `Merion'), common bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon [L.] Pers.), and strong creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra L. var. rubra `Shadow')—in monoculture or in mixtures of 1:1 (by weight) and a 1:1:1:1 (by weight) and two sport turfgrasses—BAR 11 (Barenbrug Co.) and MM (Mommersteeg Co.)—were used. The seeds were sown in March and October (spring and fall sowing) in 1998 and 1999. The experiments were conducted in a split-split block design with year as main plot, sowing season as subplot, and turfgrass types as subsubplot. The turfgrasses were compared by measuring visual quality, chlorophyll index after winter and summer, rooting depth, verdure and/or root fresh and dry weight, tiller density, and clippings fresh and dry weight. Fall sowing was superior to spring sowing and resulted in greater root growth, clipping yield, and chlorophyll content. Poa+Cynodon seed mixture was the best treatment and had high tiller density, root growth, and chlorophyll content. Lolium and Festuca monocultures, and Poa+Festuca and Cynodon+Festuca seed mixtures were not suitable with regard to low tiller density, sensitivity to high temperatures, low root growth, and low tiller density, respectively. The cool-warm-season seed mixture (Poa+Cynodon) can be used alternatively in overseeding programs in the areas with soil and environmental conditions similar to this research site.

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Jordan M. Craft, Christian M. Baldwin, Wayne H. Philley, James D. McCurdy, Barry R. Stewart, Maria Tomaso-Peterson, and Eugene K. Blythe

Traditional hollow-tine (HT) aerification programs can cause substantial damage to the putting green surface resulting in prolonged recovery. Despite the growing interest in new and alternative aerification technology, there is a lack of information in the literature comparing new or alternative technology with traditional methods on ultradwarf bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis (Burtt-Davy)] putting greens. Therefore, the objective of this research was to determine the best combination of dry-injection (DI) cultivation technology with modified traditional HT aerification programs to achieve minimal surface disruption without a compromise in soil physical properties. Research was conducted at the Mississippi State University golf course practice putting green from 1 June to 31 Aug. 2014 and 2015. Treatments included two HT sizes (0.6 and 1.3 cm diameter), various DI cultivation frequencies applied with a DryJect 4800, and a noncultivated control. The HT 1.3 cm diameter tine size had 76% greater water infiltration (7.6 cm depth) compared with the DI + HT 0.6 cm diameter tine size treatment. However, DI + HT 0.6 cm diameter tine size had greater water infiltration at the 10.1 cm depth than the noncultivated control. Results suggest a need for an annual HT aerification event due to reduced water infiltration and increased volumetric water content (VWC) in the noncultivated control treatment. It can be concluded that DI would be best used in combination with HT 1.3 or 0.6 cm diameter tine sizes to improve soil physical properties; however, the DI + HT 0.6 cm diameter tine size treatment resulted in minimum surface disruption while still improving soil physical properties compared with the noncultivated control.

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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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Donald M. Vietor, Ronnie W. Schnell, Tony L. Provin, Richard H. White, and Clyde L. Munster

Incorporation or top-dressing of composted biosolids (CB) can enhance turfgrass establishment and sod properties at harvest, but soil phosphorus (P) and nitrogen must be managed to protect water quality. Alum treatment of CB could reduce soluble P concentrations in amended soil and limit runoff loss of P. The objective was to evaluate CB and Alum effects on turfgrass coverage of soil and runoff losses during ‘Tifway’ bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. var. dactylon × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davey] establishment from sprigs or transplanted sod. Three replications of eight treatments comprised a complete randomized design. Four treatments were composed of ‘Tifway’ sprigged in soil with and without incorporation of CB and Alum. Four remaining treatments were sods harvested from ‘Tifway’ grown with and without top-dressed CB that were transplanted with and without a surface spray of Alum. Surface coverage of ‘Tifway’ sprigged in soil mixed with inorganic fertilizer or CB was comparable to transplanted sod 25 days after planting. In contrast, Alum incorporation acidulated soil, slowed coverage rates of sprigged ‘Tifway’, and increased NH4-N runoff loss during early establishment in treatments without CB. Incorporation of Alum with CB or inorganic fertilizer in soil before sprigging reduced soil water-extractable P (WEP) more than 38% and reduced runoff loss of soluble reactive P (SRP) in three of four establishment treatments. Although SRP runoff loss from CB-amended sod was greatest among treatments, the Alum spray minimized SRP loss after transplanting. Alum effectively reduced runoff loss of SRP from CB, soil, and turfgrass sources during establishment from sprigs or sod. Additional field research is needed, but incorporated or surface sprays of Alum offer a potential new practice for mitigating runoff loss of SRP from establishing turfgrass.

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G.L. Miller, L.B. McCarty, and I.R. Rodriguez

Establishment of an acceptable turfgrass quality on sand-based golf putting greens presents major agronomic and environmental challenges to turfgrass managers. The objective of this study was to evaluate of five N:P:K fertilizer ratios to aid in the establishment of bermudagrass on sand-peat (85:15 v/v). `Floradwarf' and `Tifdwarf' bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burt-Davy] were sprigged in Aug. 1996 at the Envirogreen in Gainesville, Fla. `Tifeagle' and `Tifway' bermudagrass were sprigged in May 1999 at Clemson Univ. research green in Clemson, S.C. Treatments consisted of N:P2O5:K2O ratios of 1:0:1, 1:0:2, 1:1:1, 1:2:1, and 1:3:1 applied based on an N rate of 49 kg/ha per week. Treatments were applied weekly for 7 weeks. In Gainesville, the best growth rate was achieved from the 1:1:1 ratio of N:P2O5:K2O. While the 1:2:1 and 1:3:1 plots filled in well, they did not experience the same coverage rates as plots fertilized with the 1:1:1 ratio. In Clemson, similar growth was achieved with the 1:1:1, 1:2:1, and 1:3:1 treatments. The 1:0:1 and 1:0:2 plots were slow to establish at both locations. In general there were no differences in root and shoot dry weights of grasses grown in Clemson; whereas these weights were positively correlated to growth rates in Gainesville. These studies indicate that turf will respond to P fertilizer when it is grown in a P-deficit situation and that N or K cannot substitute for balanced nutrition.

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Dale A. Devitt, Lena Wright, Daniel C. Bowman, Robert L. Morris, and Michelle Lockett

Irrigators in arid and semiarid regions that use reuse water must maintain positive leaching fractions (LFs) to minimize salt buildup in root zones. However, with the continuous feed of NO3-N in reuse water, imposing LFs can also lead to greater downward movement of NO3-N. It is therefore essential that deep movement of NO3-N be assessed relative to nitrogen loading under such conditions. We conducted a long-term monitoring program on nine golf course fairways in southern Nevada over a 1600-d period. The fairways were predominantly bermudagrass [Cynodon Dactylon (L.) Pers.; 35 of 36 site × years] overseeded with perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.; 8 of 9 courses). Courses were irrigated with fresh water, reuse water (tertiary treated municipal sewage effluent), or transitioned to reuse water during the study. Solution extraction cups were inserted at depths of 15, 45, 75, and 105 cm on fairways and sampled and analyzed for NO3-N on a monthly basis. Distribution patterns of NO3-N varied from site to site. Concentrations exceeding 100 mg·L−1 were observed at the 105-cm depth on all three long-term reuse courses. On the transitional courses, 72% of the variation in the yearly average NO3-N concentrations at the105-cm depth could be accounted for based on knowing the amount of fertilizer nitrogen (N) applied, the amount of reuse N applied, and the LF (Y = –42.5 + 0.18 fertilizer N + 0.26 reuse N –62.0 LF). Highest N fertilizer applications occurred on transition courses with little or no reduction in N applications after courses had transitioned to reuse water (pretransition courses 394 + 247 kg·ha−1 N/year versus posttransition courses 398 + 226 kg·ha−1 N/year). The results of this study indicate a need for a more scientific approach to N management on reuse irrigated courses.