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

Ethephon is an effective growth retardant for suppressing Poa annua (L.) seedheads in creeping bentgrass putting greens; however, ethylene induction may cause bentgrass leaf chlorosis, reduced rooting, and quality decline. Two greenhouse experiments investigated the effects of nitrogen (N) fertility and ethephon applications on `L-93' creeping bentgrass over 9 weeks. Ethephon was applied at 0, 3.8, and 7.6 kg·ha–1 a.i. per 3 weeks and N was applied at 4 and 8 kg·ha–1·week–1. Ethephon applications linearly reduced bentgrass quality on every weekly observation. Increased N rate to 8 kg·ha–1·week–1 improved turf quality about 10% to 20% and 10% to 30% from ethephon applied at 3.8 and 7.6 kg·ha–1 per 3 weeks, respectively. Increased N rate to 8 kg·ha–1·week–1 enhanced shoot growth 30% but reduced root mass and length 12% and 11%, respectively. After 9 weeks, ethephon reduced root length by about 30% and root mass about 35% at both rates. From nine weekly samples, ethephon reduced dry clipping yield 10% and 16% at 3.8 and 7.6 kg·ha–1 per 3 weeks, respectively. From 2 to 9 weeks after initial treatments, ethephon linearly increased leaf water content. Increasing N fertility effectively reduced bentgrass leaf chlorosis from ethephon; however, repeat applications of ethephon and increased N may restrict bentgrass root growth. Chemical names used: [(2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid] (ethephon).

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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).

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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, Ted Whitwell, Lambert B. McCarty, and Haibo Liu

Preemergence herbicides are applied to prevent summer annual weed infestations in turf, but safety to dwarf-type bermudagrass golf greens has not been determined for many of these materials. Field experiments tested ‘TifEagle’ bermudagrass response to bensulide at 11.2 kg·ha−1 (a.i.), dithiopyr at 0.56 kg·ha−1 (a.i.), napropamide at 2.2 kg·ha−1 (a.i.), oxadiazon at 2.2 kg·ha−1 (a.i.), oxadiazon plus bensulide at 1.7 + 6.7 kg·ha−1 (a.i.), and pendimethalin at 1.7 kg·ha−1 (a.i.). All herbicides reduced root mass from the nontreated, but only losses incited by oxadiazon plus bensulide were acceptable (less than 20%). Dithiopyr, napropamide, and pendimethalin delayed spring greenup in 2003 and 2004, whereas oxadiazon plus bensulide delayed spring greenup in 2004. In greenhouse experiments, ‘TifEagle’ bermudagrass root mass was reduced 19% to 37%, 30% to 33%, 4% to 26%, 28% to 37%, and 24% to 30% from various rates of bensulide, dithiopyr, napropamide, and pendimethalin, respectively. Oxadiazon and oxadiaxon plus bensulide reduced root mass by only 2% to 15% and 15% to 22%, respectively. In another experiment, oxadiazon plus bensulide at 1.7 + 6.7 kg·ha−1 did not injure shoots or roots of ‘Champion’, ‘FloraDwarf’, ‘MiniVerde’, ‘Tifdwarf’, or ‘TifEagle’ bermudagrass. Overall, dwarf-type bermudagrass golf greens do not appear to tolerate mitotic inhibitor preemergence herbicides, whereas oxadiazon or oxadiazon plus bensulide caused minimal injury.

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Joe E. Toler, Jason K. Higingbottom, and Lambert B. McCarty

Centipedegrass [Eremochloa ophiuroides (Munro) Hack.] is widely grown throughout the southeastern United States as a low-maintenance turfgrass; however, limited peer-reviewed research is available on “best” cultural practices for established centipedegrass. This research was conducted to examine the long-term effects of mowing height and fertility regimens providing various rates and application times of soil-applied granular Fe and N on centipedegrass quality and surface coverage. Soil type was a Cecil sandy loam (clayey, kaolinitic, thermic Typic Hapludult) with a pH of 5.5. A mowing height of 3.8 cm was equal to or better than the 1.9 cm mowing height throughout the study. The rate of N fertilization played an important role in achieving optimal turfgrass quality and coverage with the two highest rates (97.6 and 195.2 kg·ha−1 N), generally providing similar results when applied as split applications in May and August and mowed at 3.8 cm. These treatments provided turfgrass quality ratings of 8.3–9.0, turfgrass color ratings of 8.1–8.7, and turfgrass coverage of 94% to 98% over a 3-year period. The addition of soil-applied Fe sulfate at a rate of 24.4 kg·ha−1 Fe was not beneficial to centipedegrass performance or color. Results indicate that the addition of 97.6 kg·ha−1 N, using split-applications in May and August and a mowing height of 3.8 cm for established centipedegrass, should achieve acceptable turfgrass quality and coverage.

Open access

Giovanni A. Caputo, Phillip A. Wadl, Lambert McCarty, Jeff Adelberg, Katherine M. Jennings, and Matthew Cutulle

Weed competition is a main factor limiting sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam] production. Yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus L.) is a problematic weed to control due to its ability to quickly infest a field and generate high numbers of tubes and shoots. Compounding this is the lack of a registered herbicide for selective postemergence control of yellow nutsedge. Research was conducted to evaluate the bentazon dose response of two sweetpotato cultivars and one advanced clone and to evaluate the plant hormone melatonin to determine its ability to safen bentazon post emergence. Bioassays using Murashige and Skoog (MS) media supplemented with melatonin (0.232 g a.i./L and 0.023 g a.i./L) and bentazon (0.24 g a.i./L) were conducted to evaluate the effect of bentazon on sweetpotato and to determine the interactive response of the Beauregard cultivar to bentazon and exogenous applications of melatonin. Beauregard swas the most tolerant cultivar and required dosages of bentazon that were two-times higher to cause the same injury compared with other cultivars. MS media containing melatonin and bentazon showed fewer injuries and higher plant mass than plants treated with bentazon alone. These results indicate that sweetpotato injury caused by bentazon may be reduced by melatonin.

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B. Todd Bunnell, Lambert B. McCarty, Roy B. Dodd, Hoke S. Hill, and James J. Camberato

Increased soil moisture and temperature along with increased soil microbial and root activity during summer months elevate soil CO2 levels. Although previous research has demonstrated negative effects of high soil CO2 on growth of some plants, little is known concerning the impact high CO2 levels on creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds.). The objective of this study was to investigate effects of varying levels of CO2 on the growth of creeping bentgrass. Growth cells were constructed to U.S. Golf Association (USGA) greens specification and creeping bentgrass was grown in the greenhouse. Three different levels of CO2 (2.5%, 5.0%, and 10.0%) were injected (for 1 minute every 2 hours) into the growth cells at a rate of 550 cm3·min-1. An untreated check, which did not have a gas mixture injected, maintained a CO2 concentration <1%. Gas injection occurred for 20 days to represent a run. Two runs were performed during the summer of 1999 on different growth cells. Visual turf quality ratings, encompassing turf color, health, density, and uniformity, were evaluated every 4 days on a 1-9 scale, with 9 = best turf and <7 being unacceptable. Soil cores were taken at the end of each run. Roots were separated from soil to measure root depth and mass. Turf quality was reduced to unacceptable levels with 10% CO2, but was unaffected at lower levels over the 20-day treatment period. Soil CO2 ≥2.5% reduced root mass and depth by 40% and 10%, respectively.

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Lambert B. McCarty, D. Wayne Porter, Daniel L. Colvin, Donn G. Shilling, and David W. Hall

Greenhouse studies were conducted at the Univ. of Florida to evaluate the effects of preemergence herbicides on St. Augustinegrass [Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walt.) Kuntze] rooting. Metolachlor, atrazine, metolachlor + atrazine, isoxahen, pendimethalin, dithiopyr, and oxadiazon were applied to soil columns followed by placement of St. Augustinegrass sod on the treated soil. Root elongation and biomass were measured following application. Plants treated with dithiopyr and pendimethalin had no measurable root elongation and root biomass was severely (>70%) reduced at the study's conclusion (33 days). Root biomass was unaffected following isoxaben and oxadiazon treatments, but oxadiazon applied at 3.4 kg·ha-1 reduced root length by 50%. Atrazine at 2.2 kg·ha-1 and metolachlor + atrazine at 2.2 + 2.2 kg·ha-1, did not reduce root length in one study, while the remaining atrazine and metolachlor + atrazine treatments reduced cumulative root length and total root biomass 20% to 60%. Metolachlor at 2.2 kg·ha-1 reduced St. Augustinegrass root biomass by >70% in one of two studies. St. Augustinegrass root elongation rate was linear or quadratic in response to all treatments. However, the rate of root elongation was similar to the untreated control for plants treated with isoxaben or oxadiazon. Chemical names used: 6-chloro-N-ethyl-N'-(l-methylethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine(atrazine);S,S-dimethyl2-(difluoromethyl)-4-(2-methylpropyl)-6-(t∼fluoromethyl)-3,5-pyridinecarbothioate (dithiopyr); N-[3-(1-ethyl-1-methylpropyl)-5-isoxazolyl]-2,6-dimethoxybenzamide (isoxaben); 2-chloro-N-(2-ethyl- 6-methylphenyl)-N-(2-methoxy-1-methylethyl)acetamide (metolachlor); 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).

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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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Patrick E. McCullough, Haibo Liu, Lambert B. McCarty, and Joe E. Toler

Dwarf-type bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy) putting greens tolerate long-term mowing heights of 3.2 mm but require heavy nitrogen (N) fertilizations that increase ball roll resistance. Applying a plant growth regulator, such as trinexapac-ethyl (TE), could reduce uneven shoot growth from high N fertility and improve putting green ball roll distances. Field experiments were conducted from April to August 2003 and 2004 in Clemson, SC to investigate effects of ammonium nitrate applied at 6, 12, 18, or 24 kg N/ha per week with TE applied at 0 or 0.05 kg a.i. per ha every 3 weeks on `TifEagle' bermudagrass ball roll distances (BRD). BRD were measured weekly with a 38-cm stimpmeter in the morning (900 to 1100 hr) and evening (>1700 hr) beginning 1 wk after initial TE treatments. Interactions were not detected among N, TE, or time of day. TE increased BRD about 15% from non-TE treated. BRD was reduced with increased N rate and from am to pm; however, bermudagrass treated with TE averaged 10% longer PM BRD than am distances of non-TE treated. Overall, increased N fertility and diurnal shoot growth may reduce BRD but TE will be an effective tool for mitigating these effects on bermudagrass putting greens. Chemical name used: [4-(cyclopropyl-[α]-hydroxymethylene)-3,5-dioxo-cyclohexane carboxylic acid ethyl ester] (trinexapac-ethyl).