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Yiwei Jiang and Robert N. Carrow

Canopy reflectance has the potential to determine turfgrass shoot status under drought stress conditions. The objective of this study was to describe the relationship of turf quality and leaf firing versus narrow-band canopy spectral reflectance within 400 to 1100 nm for different turfgrass species and cultivars under drought stress. Sods of four bermudagrasses (Cynodon dactylon L. × C. transvaalensis), three seashore paspalums (Paspalum vaginatum Swartz), zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica), and st. augustinegrass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), and three seeded tall fescues (Festuca arundinacea) were used. Turf quality decreased 12% to 27% and leaf firing increased 12% to 55% in 12 grasses in response to drought stress imposed over three dry-down cycles. The peak correlations occurred at 673 to 693 nm and 667 to 687 nm for turf quality and leaf firing in bermudagrasses, respectively. All three tall fescues had the strongest correlation at 671 nm for both turf quality and leaf firing. The highest correlations in the near-infrared at 750, 775, or 870 nm were found in three seashore paspalums, while at 687 to 693 nm in Zoysiagrass and st. augustinegrass. Although all grasses exhibited some correlations between canopy reflectance and turf quality or leaf firing, significant correlation coefficients (r) were only observed in five grasses. Multiple linear regression models based on selected wavelengths for turf quality and leaf firing were observed for 7 (turf quality) and 9 (leaf firing) grasses. Wavelengths in the photosynthetic region at 658 to 700 nm or/and near-infrared from 700 to 800 nm predominated in models of most grasses. Turf quality and leaf firing could be well predicted in tall fescue by using models, evidenced by a coefficient of determination (R 2) above 0.50. The results indicated that correlations of canopy reflectance versus turf quality and leaf firing varied with turfgrass species and cultivars, and the photosynthetic regions specifically from 664 to 687 nm were relatively important in determining turf quality and leaf firing in selected bermudagrass, tall fescue, zoysiagrass and st. augustinegrass under drought stress.

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Bernd Leinauer, Matteo Serena, and Devesh Singh

A field experiment was conducted at New Mexico State University to investigate the effect of seeding rates and ZEBA polymer [starch-g-poly (2-propenamide-co-propenoic acid) potassium salt] seed coating on the germination and establishment of warm- and cool-season grasses, and cool-season blends and mixtures. Grasses were established at recommended and reduced (50% of recommended) seeding rates with coated and uncoated seeds under two irrigation regimes (98% and 56% reference evapotranspiration). With the exception of ‘Bengal’ creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera), the polymer coating did not improve germination of the turfgrasses tested 22 days after seeding (DAS). However, at the end of the establishment period (92 DAS), plots established with ‘Bengal’, Dunes Mix [mixture of ‘Hardtop’ hard fescue (Festuca longifolia), ‘Baron’ kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), ‘Barok’ sheep fescue (Festuca ovina)], ‘Panama’ bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), and Turf Sense™ [mixture of ‘Baronie’ kentucky bluegrass, ‘Barlennium’ perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), and ‘Barcampsia’ tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa)] achieved greater coverage (based on visual estimations) when coated seed was used compared with uncoated seed. Establishment was greater for ‘Bengal’, Dunes Mix, ‘Panama’, Turf Sense™, and Turf Saver™ [blend of ‘Barlexas II’, ‘Barrington’, and ‘Labarinth’ tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea)] when normal seeding rates were applied compared with reduced seeding rates. ‘Barleria’ crested hairgrass (Koeleria macrantha) plots did not establish, regardless of the treatments applied. Results showed that seed coating has the potential to improve establishment at recommended and reduced seeding rates and can compensate for less favorable conditions such as reduced irrigation, reduced seeding rate, or for a combination of both. At the end of the establishment period, not all grasses achieved coverage greater than 50%. Further research over a longer establishment period is needed to determine if coated seed can be beneficial in achieving full coverage.

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Billy J. Johnson, Robert N. Carrow, and Tim R. Murphy

Field experiments were conducted to determine the effects of foliar iron (Fe) applied with postemergence herbicides on injury, color, and quality of `Tifway' bermudagrass [Cynodon transvaalensis Burtt-Davy × Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.]. Iron significantly decreased injury and improved quality and color of `Tifway' bermudagrass in conjunction with herbicide treatment. Turf injury was less for 4 to 18 days after the initial MSMA application when Fe was added. Injury was also less from sequential Fe treatment with MSMA + metribuzin (up to 4 days) and MSMA + imazaquin (from 4 to 10 days) compared to the respective herbicides applied alone. There was no difference in turf injury from Fe when imazaquin at 1.3 kg·ha-1 was applied as a single treatment. However, turf treated with Fe and two applications of imazaquin (9- to 10-day interval) recovered from herbicide injury faster than when treated only with the herbicide. Iron did not prevent immediate 2,4-D + mecoprop + dicamba injury to the bermudagrass, but did hasten turf recovery from injury at 26 days after treatment. With a few exceptions, `Tifway' bermudagrass quality was higher and color improved when Fe was added. However, injury expressed as loss of shoot density was not affected by Fe and only injury expressed as color loss was improved by Fe. Chemical names used: 3,6-dichloro-2-methoxybenzoic acid (dicamba), 2-[4,5-dihydro-4-methyl)-4-(1-methylethyl)-5-oxo-1H-imidazol-2yl]-3-quinolinecarboxylic acid (imazaquin), (±)-2-(4-chloro-2-methylphenoxy)propanoic acid (mecoprop), 4-amino-6-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-3-(methylthio)-1,2,4-triazin-5(4H)-one (metribuzin), monosodium salt of MAA (MSMA), and (2,4-dichlorophenoxy)acetic acid (2,4-D).

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Brian J. Tucker, Lambert B. McCarty, Haibo Liu, Christina E. Wells, and James R. Rieck

As golfers demand higher quality golf green putting surfaces, researchers continue to seek improved turfgrass cultivars. One such improved cultivar is `TifEagle' bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy], which is an improvement over traditional bermudagrass cultivars such as `Tifgreen' and `Tifdwarf' due to its ability to tolerate mowing heights of ≤3.2 mm for extended periods. One observed disadvantage of `TifEagle' is its lack of a deep, dense root system compared to previous bermudagrass cultivars. This field study measured mowing height, N rate, and biostimulant product effects on `TifEagle' rooting. Three mowing heights (3.2, 4.0, and 4.8 mm), three N rates (12, 24, and 48 kg N/ha/week), and two cytokinin-containing commercial biostimulant products (BIO1 and BIO2) were examined. Plant responses measured were root length density (RLD), root surface area (RSA), thatch layer depth (TLD), and turf quality (TQ). Increasing mowing height from 3.2 to 4.0 mm increased RLD by >11%, RSA by >11%, and TQ by >17%. Increasing N rates from 12 to 24 kg N ha-1 week-1 increased RLD by >17%, RSA by >26% and TQ by >16%. No effect on RLD was observed after the first year of biostimulant use, however, after the second year, BIO1 increased RLD by >11% when applied with the lowest rate of N (12 kg N/ha/week). Higher mowing heights (4.8 and 4.0 mm) increased TLD >6% compared to the lowest mowing height (3.2 mm), and higher N rates (48 and 24 kg N/ha/week) increased TLD >3% compared to the lowest N rate (12 kg N/ha/week). Overall, a mowing heights ≥4.0 mm, N rates ≥24 kg N/ha/week, and long-term use of a cytokinins-containing biostimulant had a positive effect on `TifEagle' rooting.

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G.A. Picchioni and Héctor M. Quiroga-Garza

Two greenhouse studies were conducted to trace the fate of fertilizer N in hybrid bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy `Tifgreen'], and to estimate total plant N recovery and losses. The first experiment was performed during winter, with artificial light supplementing natural light to provide a photoperiod of 13.6 to 13.8 hours. The second experiment was conducted during summer and fall under only natural light conditions, with a progressively decreasing photoperiod of 13.7 to 11.1 hours. Urea (UR), ammonium sulfate (AS), and ammonium nitrate (AN) were labeled at 2 atom% 15N, and applied at N rates of 100 or 200 kg·ha-1 for 84 days (divided into six equal fractions and applied every 14 days). Fertilizer N source did not affect total dry matter (DM) accumulation by the plant components, but the high N rate increased clipping DM production under the longer photoperiod. Under the decreasing photoperiod, overall DM production was reduced, and clipping DM production was unaffected by increased N rate. Average N concentration of clippings varied between N sources, ranging from a high of 38.6 g·kg-1 DM with AS to a low of 34.7 g·kg-1 for UR. In Expt. 1, the greatest total plant N recovery [clippings, verdure (shoot material remaining after mowing), and thatch plus roots] occurred with AS (78.5%) and the lowest with UR (65.9%). In Expt. 2, these values declined to 53.0% and 38.0%, respectively. Urea fertilization resulted in the greatest N losses as a fraction of the N applied (33.6% to 61.5%) and AS fertilization the lowest (20.7% to 46.3%). In view of the greater N losses, UR may be a less suitable soluble N source for bermudagrass fertilization within the conditions of this study. In addition, late-season N fertilization may result in a significant waste of fertilizer N as bermudagrass progresses into autumnal dormancy when temperature, photoperiod, and irradiance decline and cause reduction in growth and N uptake.

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Glenn C. Wright, William B. McCloskey, and Kathryn C. Taylor

Several orchard floor management strategies were evaluated beginning in Fall 1993 in a `Limoneira 8A Lisbon' lemon (Citrus limon) grove on the Yuma Mesa in Yuma, Ariz. and in a `Valencia' orange (Citrus sinensis) grove at the University of Arizona Citrus Agricultural Center, Waddell, Ariz. At Yuma, disking provided acceptable weed control except underneath the tree canopies where bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus), and other weed species survived. Mowing the orchard floor suppressed broadleaf weed species allowing the spread of grasses, primarily bermudagrass. Preemergence (norflurazon and oryzalin) and postemergence (glyphosate and sethoxydim) herbicides were used to control weeds in the clean culture treatment in Yuma. After three harvest seasons (1994-95 through 1996-97), the cumulative yield of the clean culture treatment was 385 kg (848.8 lb) per tree, which was significantly greater than the 332 kg (731.9 lb) and 320 kg (705.5 lb) per tree harvested in the disking and mowing treatments, respectively. In addition, the clean culture treatment had a significantly greater percentage of fruit in the 115 and larger size category at the first harvest of the 1995-96 season than either the disk or mow treatments. At Waddell, the management strategies compared were clean culture (at this location only postemergence herbicides were used), mowing of resident weeds with a vegetation-free strip in the tree row, and a `Salina' strawberry clover (Trifolium fragiferum) cover crop with a vegetation-free strip. The cumulative 3-year yield (1994-95 through 1996-97) of the clean culture treatment was 131 kg (288.8 lb) per tree, which was significantly greater then the 110 kg (242.5 lb) per tree yield of the mowed resident weed treatment. The yield of the strawberry clover treatment, 115 kg (253.5 lb) of oranges per tree, was not significantly different from the other two treatments. The presence of cover crops or weeds on the orchard floor was found to have beneficial effects on soil nitrogen and soil organic matter content, but no effect on orange leaf nutrient content. The decrease in yield in the disked or mowed resident weed treatments compared to the clean culture treatment in both locations was attributed to competition for water.

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Héctor Mario Quiroga-Garza and Geno A. Picchioni

Total plant biomass, shoot growth rate, and the periodicity in shoot growth and color of hybrid bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy `Tifgreen'] in response to slow-release fertilizer N sources, rates, and application frequencies were studied in two, 120-day greenhouse studies. Plugs were planted in plastic cylinders filled with a growing medium of 93 sand: 7 peat moss (w/w). The first experiment was completed under progressively increasing photoperiod (13.1 to 14.9 hours) typical of the long-day requirements for bermudagrass growth. The second experiment occurred under progressively decreasing photoperiod (13.7 to 10.7 hours) representative of autumnal growing conditions and declining growth and N demand. Urea (URE), sulfur-coated urea (SCU), and hydroform (HYD, methylene urea polymers) were broadcast at N rates of 100 or 200 kg·ha-1 and at frequencies of 20 or 40 days. Bermudagrass was clipped at 3-day intervals and the average daily clipping growth rate (increase in shoot dry matter; DM) reached a maximum of 11.5 g·m-2 per day. Use of the least soluble source, HYD, produced the lowest total clipping DM, and at low HYD rate and frequency, leaf color intensity was frequently below the accepted standard of 7, in the scale from 1 “tan” to 9 “dark green”. A greater responsiveness of bermudagrass to N rate and application frequency (increased clipping growth rate and color intensification upon N application) occurred under increasing photoperiodic conditions as compared to decreasing photoperiodic conditions. Both clipping growth and color changed cyclically through time and mainly under long-day photoperiod (>12 hours), with greater oscillation at longer fertilization interval (40 days). With either SCU or URE, at low N rate and frequency (total N application of 0.25 g·m-2 per day), clipping growth rates were above 4 g·m-2 per day, and turf color was at or above the minimum quality standard through most of the growing period. Higher total SCU and URE application rates, previously shown to increase N leaching losses in these experimental conditions, produced significantly more clipping growth and did not appear to intensify color sufficient to warrant the increased risk of N loss.

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D.W. Williams and P.B. Burrus

Perennial ryegrass (PR) (Lolium perenne L.) is often used as a low-mowed turf in the transition climatic zone. However, control of the fungal disease gray leaf spot (Pyricularia grisea (Cooke) Sacc.) has drastically increased the cost of PR management. Seeded bermudagrasses (SB) [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] are viable options for turfgrass management operations with limited pesticide budgets. Field trials in 2000 and 2001 tested the effects of two herbicides and several plant growth regulators (PGR) during renovation of mature PR to either of two cultivars of SB. The herbicides glyphosate and pronamide, and the PGR's trinexapac-ethyl, ethephon, paclobutrazol, and flurprimidol were applied at label rates to mature stands of PR. `Mirage' and `Yukon' SB were seeded separately either 1 or 7 days after applications (DAA) of chemicals. SB establishment, first-winter survival, and turfgrass quality (TQ) were rated and compared to an untreated control. Results indicated that only applications of glyphosate resulted in acceptable renovation of PR to SB, but also resulted in significantly lower (P< 0.05) TQ during the transition. Applications of pronamide resulted in significantly less (P < 0.05) SB transition than did applications of glyphosate, but pronamide plots maintained higher TQ. None of the PRG treatements had a significant effect (P < 0.05) on SB transition. There were no consistent significant effects (P < 0.05) due to DAA among any of the chemicals evaluated. First-winter survival was significantly higher (P < 0.05) with `Yukon' than with `Mirage' in both years. We conclude that among the chemicals tested, only applications of glyphosate resulted in acceptable transition of PR to SB, but a significant reduction of TQ should be expected during the transition. Chemical names used: [N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine] (glyphosate); [3.5-dichloro-N-(1,1-dimethyl-2-propynyl)-benzamide] (pronamide); [(2-chloroethyl) phosphonic acid] (ethephon); [4-(cyclopropyl-α-hydroxy-methylene)-3,5-dioxo-cyclohexane-cabroxylic acid ethyl ester] (trinexapac-ethyl); [(±)-(R*R*)β-[(4-chlorophenyl)-methyl]-α-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol] (paclobutrazol); [α-(1-methylethyl)-α-[4-(trifluromethoxy)phenyl]-5-pyrmidinemethanol] (flurprimidol).

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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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Marco Volterrani, Simone Magni, Monica Gaetani, and Filippo Lulli

The stoloniferous-rhizomatous growth habit of bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] is a key feature for fast turf establishment and effective recovery from wear and divots. Trinexapac-ethyl (TE) is a plant growth regulator used extensively to reduce the need for mowing. However, vertical growth suppression of vertical growth has the potential to reduce horizontal growth. Furthermore, side effects reported on several physiological functions could affect node ability to generate new plants. In a greenhouse trial, ‘Tifway’ hybrid bermudagrass (C. dactylon × C. transvaalensis Burtt Davy) grown in pots was treated with increasing rates of TE (untreated control, 0.015, 0.075, 0.150, and 0.300 g·m−2). The treatment effects on the number of stolons produced and their linear growth rate, node production, node vitality, and daughter plant characteristics were investigated. The effects of growth inhibition because of TE application on nodes and daughter plants and the relative duration were also assessed. Starting from 2 weeks after treatment (2 WAT), TE application resulted in reductions of stolon length of 24.6% and 52.9% compared with the untreated control, while at 3 and 4 WAT only 0.150 and 0.300 g·m−2 application rates produced significant reductions in stolon length with values of 37.1% and 52.9% at 3 WAT and of 34.1% and 48.3% at 4 WAT, respectively. The number of nodes per stolon was unaffected by treatments. No effect was observed in node vitality but daughter plants showed a postinhibition growth enhancement when nodes were excised at 4 WAT. TE application at the labeled rate did not affect the number of stolons produced by ‘Tifway’ hybrid bermudagrass compared with untreated control, while a reduction in stolon growth rate was recorded only at 2 WAT. Application at higher rates reduced stolon growth rate longer than labeled rate but not stolon production. None of the treatments reduced the number of vital nodes. Application rates higher than labeled rate produced a postinhibition growth enhancement in plants that originated from nodes excised at 4 WAT.