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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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Y.L. Qian and J.D. Fry

Textbook recommendations suggest that turf should be watered deeply and infrequently to encourage drought resistance. Data supporting this recommendation are lacking, however. Studies were done to determine the influence of irrigation frequency on `Meyer' zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.) rooting and drought resistance. Turf was established on a silt loam soil in 27-cm-diameter by 92-cm-deep containers in the greenhouse. Irrigation was performed daily or at the onset of wilt with a water volume equal to daily or 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 >50 days. Compared to turf irrigated daily, turf watered at the onset of wilt exhibited: i) lower (more-negative) leaf water and osmotic potentials prior to the onset of drought; ii) higher leaf water potential and better turf quality at the end of dry-down; and iii) deeper rooting as indicated by lower soil moisture content at 50- and 70-cm depths at the end of dry down.

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P.H. Dernoeden and M.J. Carroll

In this field study, five preemergence and two postemergence herbicides were evaluated for their ability to hasten Meyer zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.) sod development when sod was established from the regrowth of rhizomes, sod strips, and loosened plant debris. Herbicide influence on zoysiagrass re-establishment was examined using two postharvest field preparation procedures as follows: area I was raked to remove most above-ground sod debris, whereas in adjacent area II sod debris was allowed to remain in place. Herbicides that controlled smooth crabgrass [Digitaria ischaemum (Schreb.) Muhl.] generally enhanced zoysiagrass cover by reducing weed competition. Meyer established from rhizomes, sod strips, and loosened plant debris, and treated with herbicides, had a rate of sod formation equivalent to that expected in conventionally tilled, planted, and irrigated Meyer sod fields. Effective smooth crabgrass control was achieved when the rates of most preemergence herbicides were reduced in the 2nd year. Chemical names used: dimethyl 2,3,5,6-tetrachloro-1,4-benzenedicarboxylate (DCPA); 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);N3,N3-di-n-propyl-2,4-dinitro-6-[trifluromethyl)-m-phenylenediamine (prodiamine); and 3,7-dichloro-8-quinolinecarboxylic acid (quinclorac).

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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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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).

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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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K.L. Hensler, B.S. Baldwin, and J.M. Goatley Jr.

A truly soilless turfgrass sod may be produced on kenaf-based (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) fiber mat that offers the integrity of field-cut sod without the use of mineral soil growing medium. This research was conducted to determine the feasibility of producing warm-season turfgrass sod on such a biodegradable organic mat. Seeded turfgrass plots contained 4.9 lb/1000 ft2 (24 g.m−2) of pure live seed planted on a 66-lb/1000 ft2 (325-g.m−2) organic fiber mat carrier placed atop either 66- or 132-lb/1000 ft2 (325- or 650-g.m−2) organic fiber mats. In an experiment using vegetative material, stolons were applied at rates of 16.4 ft3/1000 ft2 (0.82 L.m−2) over 132- or 198-lb/1000 ft2 (650- or 975-g.m−2) organic fiber mats and covered with a rayon scrim. All plots were placed on 6-mil black plastic. Nitrogen was applied at 0.9 lb/1000 ft2 (4.4 g.m−2) weekly in addition to a monthly micronutrient application. Bermudagrass (Cynodon σππ.) had quicker establishment than other grasses in the study, with stolonized and seeded plots achieving ≈100% coverage by 9 weeks in 1995 and 6 weeks in 1996, respectively. By 15 weeks after planting in 1995, the plot coverage ratings for seeded centipedegrass [Eremochloa ophiuroides (Munro) Hack. `Common'] and all stolonized grass plots of centipedegrass, zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud. `Meyer'), and St. Augustinegrass [Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walt.) Kuntze `Raleigh'] were 91% or higher. The results were much less favorable in 1996 than 1995 due to a later planting date and an irrigation failure.

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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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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)