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Y.L. Qian and J.D. Fry

`Meyer' zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.) was established on a silt loam soil in 27-cm-diameter × 92-cm-deep containers in a greenhouse to investigate the influence of irrigation frequency on turfgrass rooting and drought tolerance. Turf was irrigated daily or at the onset of leaf rolling with a water volume equal to the cumulative evapotranspiration of well-watered turf in small weighing lysimeters. After >90 days of irrigation treatments, a dry-down was imposed during which no additional water was applied for 55 days. A recovery period followed during which time turf was watered to maintain soil matric potential at greater than –30 kPa. Compared to turf irrigated daily, that watered at the onset of leaf rolling exhibited 1) 32% to 36% lower leaf water potential and 14% to 22% lower osmotic potential before the onset of drought; 2) 13% higher leaf water potential ≈40 days into dry-down; 3) more extensive rooting at 55- and 75-cm soil depths as indicated by 11% to 19% lower volumetric soil moisture content at the end of dry-down; 4) 25% to 40% lower shoot growth rate during irrigation and 13% to 33% higher shoot growth rate during dry-down; and 5) higher quality ratings during dry-down and recovery. Thus, deep, infrequent irrigation better prepares zoysiagrass for an oncoming drought than light, frequent irrigation.

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Y.L. Qian and M.C. Engelke

Determining the appropriate level of irrigation for turfgrasses is vital to the health of the turfgrass and the conservation of water. The linear gradient irrigation system (LGIS) allows long-term assessment of turf performance under continuous irrigation gradients from excess to no irrigation. The objectives of this study were to: 1) evaluate the minimum irrigation requirements and relative drought resistance of `Rebel II' tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), `Meyer' zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.), `Tifway' bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.], `Prairie' buffalograss [Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm], and `Nortam' St. Augustinegrass [Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walt.) Kuntze]; and 2) evaluate the long-term effects of irrigation levels on turf persistence, weed invasion, and disease incidence for the five selected turfgrasses under field conditions. Turf was sodded under LGIS with an irrigation gradient ranging from 120% Class A pan evaporation (Ep) to natural precipitation, along a 20-m turf area. Evaluation during the summers of 1993–96 indicated that grasses differed in drought resistance and persistence under variable irrigation regimes. Irrigation (Ep) required to maintain acceptable turf quality for respective grasses was `Rebel II' (67%), `Meyer' (68%), `Nortam' (44%), `Tifway' (35%), and `Prairie' (26%). Higher dollar spot (Sclerotinia homoeocarpa Bennett) infection was observed at 115% Ep irrigation regime in `Tifway' bermudagrass, whereas gray leaf spot [Pyricularia grisea (Hebert) Barr] was observed only at 10% Ep irrigation regime in St. Augustinegrass plots. An outbreak of brown patch (Rhizoctonia solani Kuehn.) occurred in Sept. 1996 in St. Augustinegrass plots receiving irrigation at >80% Ep.

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Lie-Bao Han, Gui-Long Song, and Xunzhong Zhang

Traffic stress causes turfgrass injury and soil compaction but the underlying physiological mechanisms are not well documented. The objectives of this study were to investigate the physiological responses of kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea), and japanese zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica) to three levels of traffic stress during the growing season under simulated soccer traffic conditions. Relative leaf water content (LWC), shoot density, leaf chlorophyll concentration (LCC), membrane permeability, and leaf antioxidant peroxidase (POD) activity were measured once per month. The traffic stress treatments caused a reduction in LWC, shoot density, LCC, and POD activity, and an increase in cell membrane permeability in all three species. Japanese zoysiagrass had less electrolyte leakage, and higher POD activity and shoot density than both kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue. The results suggest that turfgrass tolerance to traffic stress may be related to leaf antioxidant activity. Turfgrass species or cultivars with higher leaf antioxidant activity may be more tolerant to traffic stress than those with lower antioxidant activity.

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Suleiman S. Bughrara, David R. Smitley, and David Cappaert

Six grass species representing vegetative and seeded types of native, warm-season and cool-season grasses, and pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica) were evaluated in the greenhouse for resistance to root-feeding grubs of european chafer (Rhizotrogus majalis). Potted bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), buffalograss (Buchlöe dactyloides), zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica), indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea), and pennsylvania sedge grown in a greenhouse were infested at the root zone with 84 grubs per 0.1 m2 or 182 grubs per 0.1 m2. The effects on plant growth, root loss, survival, and weight gain of grubs were determined. Survival rates were similar for low and high grub densities. With comparable densities of grubs, root loss tended to be proportionately less in zoysiagrass and bermudagrass than in other species. European chafer grubs caused greater root loss at higher densities. Grub weight gain and percentage recovery decreased with increasing grub density, suggesting a food limitation even though root systems were not completely devoured. Bermudagrass root weight showed greater tolerance to european chafer grubs; another mechanism is likely involved for zoysiagrass. Variation in susceptibility of plant species to european chafer suggests that differences in the ability of the plants to withstand grub feeding damage may be amenable to improvement by plant selection and breeding.

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G. P. Hubbell and J. H. Dunn


Zoysia japonica ‘Meyer’, is frequently used as lawn and golf turf in the upper South because of its excellent summer qualities and superior winter hardiness compared to other warm-season grasses. Planting is mostly by vegetative methods to obtain uniform turf. Planting in existing turf slows spread of zoysiagrass because of plant competition. The objective of this study was to selectively inhibit growth, with growth retardants, of competing Kentucky bluegrass, Poa pratensis L. ‘Baron’, turf into which ‘Meyer’ zoysia had been planted. Mefluidide, at a rate of 0.028 kg/ha, enhanced the spread of zoysiagrass in bluegrass by 20% compared with untreated plots during the 1st year, without serious injury to the bluegrass turf. Fertilizing zoysiagrass plugs with UF (38N-0-0) also increased zoysiagrass cover by 10-20% during the 1st 2 years compared with control plots or those fertilized with urea after zoysiagrass had been transplanted. Irrigation location had no effect on zoysiagrass spread, possibly because of the relatively mild and wet summers of 1981-82 when minimal irrigation was needed to maintain good quality turf. Results of this study show that growth retardants in combination with certain N fertilization techniques can enhance the spread of transplanted zoysiagrass without serious injury to the existing bluegrass sward. This is attributed to selectively decreased growth of bluegrass and, therefore, partial elimination of bluegrass competition from the bluegrass or, to possible stimulation of zoysiagrass by mefluidide.

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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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Ross C. Braun, Jack D. Fry, Megan M. Kennelly, Dale J. Bremer, and Jason J. Griffin

been used as an alternative to overseeding with cool-season grasses to improve color and quality of hybrid bermudagrasses ( Cynodon dactylon × C. transvaalensis ) and manilagrass ( Zoysia matrella ) during winter dormancy ( Briscoe et al., 2010 ; Liu

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Aaron J. Patton, David W. Williams, and Zachary J. Reicher

Zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.) requires few inputs and provides high-quality turf in the transition zone, but is expensive to sprig or sod. Establishment by seed is less expensive than vegetative establishment, but little is known about renovation of existing turf to zoysiagrass using seed. Two experiments were performed to determine effects of herbicides and seeding rates on establishment of zoysiagrass in Indiana and Kentucky. In the first experiment, interseeding zoysiagrass into existing perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) without the use of glyphosate before seeding resulted in 2% zoysiagrass coverage 120 days after seeding (DAS). In plots receiving glyphosate before seeding, zoysiagrass coverage reached 100% by 120 DAS. In the second experiment, MSMA + dithiopyr applied 14 days after emergence (DAE) or MSMA applied at 14+28+42 DAE provided the best control of annual grassy weeds and the greatest amount of zoysiagrass establishment. Applying MSMA + dithiopyr 14 DAE provided 7% less zoysiagrass coverage compared to MSMA applied 14 DAE at one of the four locations. Increasing the seeding rate from 49 kg·ha-1 to 98 kg·ha-1 provided 3% to 11% more zoysiagrass coverage by the end of the growing season at 3 of 4 locations. Successful zoysiagrass establishment in the transition zone is most dependent on adequate control of existing turf using glyphosate before seeding and applications of MSMA at 14+28+42 DAE, but establishment is only marginally dependent on seeding rates greater than 49 kg·ha-1. Chemical names used: N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine (glyphosate); monosodium methanearsenate (MSMA); S,S-dimethyl 2-(difluoromethyl)-4-(2-methylpropyl)-6-(triflurormethyl)-3,5-pyridinedicarbothioate (dithiopyr).

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E.H. Ervin, C.H. Ok, B.S. Fresenburg, and J.H. Dunn

'Meyer' zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.) is a popular turfgrass species for transition zone golf course fairways and tees because it is generally winter hardy while providing an excellent playing surface with minimal chemical and irrigation inputs. However, its functionality declines readily on many of the shaded areas on these courses. Reduced irradiance causes excessive shoot elongation, reduced tillering, and weak plants that are poorly suited to tolerate or recover from traffic and divoting. Trinexapac-ethyl (TE) effectively reduces gibberellic acid (GA) biosynthesis and subsequent shoot cell elongation. The objective of this study was to determine if monthly applications of TE would reduce shoot elongation of 'Meyer' zoysiagrass and improve stand persistence under two levels of shade. Shade structures were constructed in the field that continuously restricted 77% and 89% irradiance. A mature stand of 'Meyer' was treated with all combinations of three levels of shade (0%, 77%, and 89%) and three levels of monthly TE application [0, 48 g·ha-1 a.i. (0.5×), and 96 g·ha-1 a.i. (1×)] in 1998 and 1999. In full sun, the 0.5×-rate reduced clipping production by 17% to 20% over a four-week period and the 1×-rate by 30% to 37%. Monthly application of TE at the 1×-rate increased 'Meyer' tiller density in full sun and under 77% shade. Both rates of TE consistently reduced shoot growth under shade relative to the shaded control. Only the monthly applications at the 1×-rate consistently delayed loss of quality under 77% shade. The zoysiagrass persisted very poorly under 89% shade whether treated or not with TE and plots were mostly dead at the end of the experiment. Our results indicate TE can be an effective management practice to increase 'Meyer' zoysiagrass persistence in shaded environments. Chemical name used: 4-cyclopropyl-α-hydroxy-methylene-3,5-dioxocyclohexanecarboxylic acid ethyl ester (trinexapac-ethyl)

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M.J. Carroll, P.H. Dernoeden, and J.M. Krouse

Sprigs of `Meyer' zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.) were treated with urea nitrogen, a biostimulator, and one of three preemergence herbicides or one of two postemergence herbicides to hasten establishment in two field studies. Monthly application of N at 48 kg·ha–1 during the growing season had no influence on sprig establishment the first year, but slightly increased (+5%) zoysiagrass cover the second year. Presoaking sprigs in a solution containing (mg·L–1) 173 auxin and 81 cytokinin, and iron at 1.25 g·L–1 before broadcasting of sprigs, and biweekly sprays (g·ha–1) of 53 auxin and 24 cytokinin, and iron at 0.2 g·L–1 or (g·ha–1) 68 auxin and 36 cytokinin, and iron at 1.45 g·L–1 after broadcasting sprigs had no effect on zoysiagrass cover or rooting. Preemergence and postemergence herbicide use generally enhanced zoysiagrass cover by reducing smooth crabgrass competition [Digitaria ischaemum (Schreb. ex Schweig) Schreb. ex Muhl]. Oxadiazon enhanced zoysiagrass coverage more than dithiopyr, pendimethalin, quinclorac, or fenoxaprop. Oxadiazon and dithiopyr provided similar levels of crabgrass control, but dithiopyr reduced `Meyer' zoysiagrass midsummer root growth. Chemical names used: 3,5,-pyridinedicarbothioic acid, 2-[difluromethyl]-4-[2-methyl-propyl]-6-(trifluoromethyl)-S,S-dimethyl ester (dithiopyr); [±]-ethyl 2-[4-[(6-chloro-2-benzoxazolyl)oxy]phenoxy] propanoate (fenoxaprop); 3-[2,4-dichloro-5-(1-methylethoxy)phenyl]-5-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1,3,4-oxadiazol-2-(3H)-one (oxadiazon); N-(1-ethylpropyl)-3,4-dimethyl-2,6-dinitrobenzenamine (pendimethalin); 3,7-dichloro-8-quin-olinecarboxylic acid (quinclorac).