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Cerinda Loschinkohl and Michael J. Boehm

The effects of incorporation of compost to a disturbed urban soil on turfgrass establishment, growth, and rust severity were assessed in a replicated field study. A blend of two locally available composted biosolids (sewage sludge) was incorporated into a nutrient-deficient subsoil at a rate of 130 m3·ha-1, adding NO3-N, P, and K at 126, 546, and 182 kg·ha-1, respectively, to each compost-amended plot. Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), and a mixture of these two species were seeded into both compost-amended and nonamended plots and observed for 1 year. Turfgrass establishment estimated from visual assessments of percentage cover and growth measured by clipping yields were significantly (P < 0.05) enhanced by the incorporation of the composted biosolids. These effects were first observed and most pronounced on plots seeded with perennial ryegrass and were apparent for the duration of the study. The severity of leaf rust caused by Puccinia sp. was significantly (P < 0.05) less on perennial ryegrass seeded on the compost-amended plots. This study demonstrates the feasibility and potential benefits of amending disturbed urban soils with composted biosolids to enhance turfgrass establishment and is the first report of the suppression of a foliar turfgrass disease through the incorporation of compost into soil.

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Tracy Dougher, Toby Day, Paul Johnson, Kelly Kopp, and Mark Majerus

The ongoing drought in the Intermountain West has brought a great deal of attention to water conservation over the past several years. During that time, turfgrass irrigation has been targeted as a source for large potential water savings. Some communities promote downsizing turfgrass areas as the best water conservation measure. In reality, turfgrass controls erosion, reduces evaporation from a site, and provides a safe surface for human activities. One alternative to elimination would be wider use of low water-use-grasses appropriate to the area. However, many questions arise regarding the choice of such grasses and their management. Our research addresses these questions. Plots have been established at Montana State University, Bozeman; Utah State University, Logan; and USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Center, Bridger, Mo. The grasses considered include 12 single species and 12 mixed species stands of `Cody' buffalograss, `Foothills' Canada bluegrass, `Bad River' blue grama, sheep fescue, sandberg bluegrass, muttongrass, and wheatgrasses `Sodar' streambank, `Road Crest' crested, `Rosana' western, and `Critana' thickspike with Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue as controls. Line source irrigation allowed the plots to be evaluated at a number of levels of irrigation. Experimental measurements on the plots included growth response as determined by clipping yield and quality ratings, and species composition. Fescues and wheatgrasses retained their color, texture, and density throughout the growing season, regardless of moisture level. Warm-season grasses performed well in June, July, and August only, and worked poorly in mixtures as the green cool-season grasses could not mask the brown dormant leaves in cooler weather.

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

Dwarf bermudagrass morphological characteristics following the use of plant growth regulators have not been reported. The objective of this greenhouse study was to determine short-term effects of seven plant growth regulators on clipping yield, chlorophyll concentration, and root mass of `TifEagle' bermudagrass. Growth regulators tested included ethephon, fenarimol, flurprimidol, maleic hydrazide, mefluidide, paclobutrazol, and trinexapac-ethyl. Two applications of each compound were made over a 6-week period. Root mass was reduced 39% by fenarimol and 43% by flurprimidol, while other PGRs had root mass similar to untreated turf. `TifEagle' bermudagrass treated with paclobutrazol, mefluidide, fenarimol, and flurprimidol averaged 45% less root mass than trinexapac-ethyl-treated turf. Trinexapac-ethyl was the only compound to reduce clippings and enhance turf quality without negative rooting effects. Chemical names used: [4-(cyclopropyl-[α]-hydroxymethylene)-3,5-dioxo-cyclohexane carboxylic acid ethyl ester] (trinexapac-ethyl); {α-(1-methylethyl)-α-[4-(trifluoro-methoxy) phenyl] 5-pyrimidine-methanol} (flurprimidol); (+/-)-(R*,R*)-β-[(4-chlorophenyl) methyl]-α-(1, 1-dimethyl)-1H-1,2,4,-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol); (N-[2,4-dimethyl-5 [[(trifluoro-methyl)-sulfonyl] amino]phenyl]acetamide) (mefluidide); [1,2-dihydro-3,6-pyridazine-dione] (maleic hydrazide); [(2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid] (ethephon); and (2-(2-chlorophenyl)-2-(4-chlorophenyl)-5-pyrimidinemethanol) (fenarimol).

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

Research was conducted in two studies at the Clemson University Greenhouse Complex, Clemson, S.C., with the objective of evaluating `TifEagle' bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon × C. transvaalensis) response to paclobutrazol. TifEagle bermudagrass plugs were placed in 40 cm polyvinylchloride containers, with 20.3-cm-diameters and built to U.S. Golf Association specifications with 85 sand: 15 peatmoss (by volume) rootzone mix. Paclobutrazol was applied to separate containers at 0, 0.14, 0.28, and 0.42 kg·ha-1 (a.i.) per 6 weeks. Minor phytotoxicity occurred with 0.14 kg·ha-1 applications, but turf quality was unaffected. Severe bermudagrass phytotoxicity occurred from paclobutrazol at 0.28 and 0.42 kg·ha-1. Total clipping yield from 12 sampling dates was reduced 65%, 84%, and 92% from 0.14, 0.28, and 0.42 kg·ha-1, respectively. Root mass after 12 weeks was reduced 28%, 45%, and 61% for turf treated 0.14, 0.28, and 0.42 kg·ha-1, respectively. Paclobutrazol reduced root length 13%, 19%, and 19% by 0.14, 0.28, and 0.42 kg·ha-1, respectively. Turf discoloration and negative rooting responses advocate caution when using paclobutrazol on `TifEagle' bermudagrass. Chemical names used: (+/-)-(R*,R*)-ß-[(4-chlorophenyl) methyl]-alpha-(1, 1-dimethyl)-1H-1,2,4,-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol).

Open access

Nick E. Christians

Abstract

A turfgrass blend of ‘Parade’, ‘Adelphi’, ‘Glade’, and ‘Rugby’ Kentucky bluegrasses (Poa pratensis L.) was treated with N-[2,4-dimethyl-5-[[(trifluromethyl) sulfonyl] phenyl] acetamide (mefluidide) at 0.28 and 0.56 kg ha−1; (2-chloroethyl) phosphonic acid (ethephon) at 2.24, 4.48, and 6.72 kg ha−1; 5-(4-chlorophenyl)-3,4,5,9,10-pentaaza-tetracyclo [5,4,1,02,6,08,11]dodeca-3,9-diene (BAS 106 00 W) at 1.68, 3.36, and 5.04 kg ha−1, and α-(1-methylethyl)-α-[4-(trifluromethoxy) phenyl]-5-pyrimidinemethanol (EL-500) at 0.84, 1.21, and 1.40 kg ha−1 in field and greenhouse studies. Each of the materials investigated was effective in retarding Kentucky bluegrass growth in field studies. However, effects on growth inhibition and turfgrass quality varied between years. Ethephon was the only material not effective in reducing clipping yield in the greenhouse, whereas none of the growth retardants inhibited root organic matter production or rhizome weight in the greenhouse study.

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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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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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C.A. Brown, D.A. Devitt, and R.L. Morris

Research was conducted to assess the response of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) to water deficit conditions. Different leaching fractions (LF = drainage volume/irrigation volume) and irrigation frequencies (IF) were imposed over a 119-day summer period in Las Vegas, Nevada, followed by a 71-day recovery period. Plots of tall fescue contained 120 cm deep × 51 cm diameter draining lysimeters. Irrigations were based on an evapotranspiration (ET) feedback system to establish LFs of +0.15, 0.00, -0.15, -0.25, and -0.40. Plots were irrigated on a daily or twice per week schedule. N was applied to subplots at a rate of 0, 12.2, or 24.4 kg·ha-1 per month. As LF decreased, relative soil water in storage declined in a linear fashion (r 2 = 0.97, P = 0.001). Storage depletions for the four lowest LFs at the end of 119 days of imposed water deficits were about 15%, 40%, 60%, and 70% compared to the +0.15 LF treatment. Canopy temperature, soil matric potential (Ψm), leaf xylem water potential (ΨLX), leaf stomatal conductance (gs), clipping yield, color and cover ratings all statistically separated (P < 0.05) based on LF but not on IF. However, irrigation amount (I), ET, tissue moisture content and total Kjeldahl N (TKN) separated based on LF and IF with a significant LF by IF interaction for I (P < 0.05) and TKN (P < 0.001). An irrigation savings of 60.4 cm was realized during the 119-day water deficit period at the -0.40 LF. However, at the lower LFs, plant stress increased (all parameters) with color ratings declining below an acceptable value of 8.0. An Irrigation/Potential ET (I/ETo) threshold of 0.80 was determined for both color and cover. After a 71-day recovery period both color and cover returned to pre experimental values at the two higher N rates. Results of this experiment indicate that implementing a twice weekly irrigation strategy at a -0.15 LF on tall fescue during summer months in an arid environment would lead to savings of 37.5 cm of water while still maintaining acceptable color and cover ratings.

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Panayiotis A. Nektarios, Georgios Tsoggarakis, Aimilia-Eleni Nikolopoulou, and Dimitrios Gourlias

Two field studies (winter and summer) were performed to evaluate the effect of three different fertilizer programs and a urea formaldehyde resin foam (UFRF) soil amendment on sod establishment and anchorage. Fertilizer treatments involved were 1) a quick release (QR) granular fertilizer (12-12-17); 2) a slow release (SR) fertilizer (27-5-7); and 3) a foliar (FL) fertilizer (20-20-20). The application rate was 50, 30, 0.35 g·m-2 for QR, SR, and FL, respectively. The substrate consisted of sandy loam soil, and in half of the plots UFRF flakes were incorporated in the upper 100 mm at a rate of 20% v/v. The effects of the fertilizer and soil amendment on sod establishment were evaluated through measurements of the dry weight of clippings and roots and the visual quality of the turf. Sod anchorage was measured by determination of the vertical force required to detach a piece of sod. For each treatment the initial and final pH, EC, available P, exchangeable K, Ca, Mg, and Fe were also determined. It was found that FL reduced clipping yield but retained turf visual quality similar to the other fertilizer treatments except in winter, when it resulted in the worst quality ratings. However, FL fertilizer promoted root growth and provided high vertical detachment force values and therefore enhanced sod establishment. Slow release fertilizer resulted in moderate top growth and visual quality of the turf during winter, but delayed sod establishment. Quick release fertilizer increased top growth and improved turfgrass visual quality during the winter, but root growth and vertical detachment force were reduced, indicating poorer sod establishment. UFRF did not enhance sod establishment since there was a negative effect on root growth when temperatures were below 10 °C, without however affecting vertical detachment force. Differences in soil P, K, Ca, Mg and Fe between treatments were inconsistent between the two studies, except for final K concentration, which was higher for QR fertilization than SR and FL. Foliar fertilization can enhance sod establishment compared to QR and SR, by accelerating sod anchorage and root growth. QR can be used in late autumn to improve winter green up of the sod. UFRF does not improve or accelerate sod establishment and possesses a minimal capacity to improve soil properties of sandy loam soils.

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Benjamin Wherley and Thomas R. Sinclair

Sugden, 1996 ; Fagerness and Yelverton, 2000 ; Gardner and Wherley, 2005 ). Shoot growth in our study, as measured by weekly clipping yields, was noticeably reduced by TE application in both species during both studies ( Table 1 ). Clipping yield