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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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Christian M. Baldwin, Haibo Liu, Lambert B. McCarty, William L. Bauerle, and Joe E. Toler

Studies on bermudagrasses (Cynodon spp.) have demonstrated variability in salinity response among species and cultivars. However, information on ultradwarf bermudagrass cultivars in relative salinity tolerance associated with trinexapac-ethyl (TE) [4-(cyclopropyl-α-hydroxy-methylene)-3,5-dioxocyclohexanecarboxylic acid ethyl ester], a cyclohexanedione type II plant growth regulator (PGR), remains unknown. Therefore, two replicated greenhouse studies were conducted to determine the salinity tolerance of two ultradwarf bermudagrass cultivars treated with TE on turfgrass quality (TQ), total root biomass, and root and shoot tissue nutrient concentration. Turfgrasses included `TifEagle' and `Champion' bermudagrass (Cynodondactylon(L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensisBurtt-Davy). Daily sodium chloride (NaCl) exposure was 0, 12.90 (8,000 ppm), 25.80 (16,000 ppm), and 38.71 dS·m–1 (24,000 ppm). Biweekly TE applications (active ingredient 0.02 kg·ha–1) were initiated 2 weeks after salinity exposure. `Champion' was more salt-tolerant than `TifEagle' based on TQ and root mass. At 12.90, 25.80, and 38.71 dS·m–1 of NaCl, nontreated (without TE) `Champion' consistently outperformed nontreated `TifEagle' with greater TQ on most rating dates. At 12.90 dS·m–1, TE treated `Champion' (8.0) had greater TQ than nontreated `TifEagle' (6.1) at week 10. Regardless of TE application, after 2 weeks of applying 25.80 dS·m–1 of NaCl, both cultivars fell below acceptable TQ (<7). When averaged across all salinity treatments, applying TE four times at 0.02 kg·a.i./ha in two week intervals enhanced root growth for both bermudagrass cultivars by 25%. Also, both cultivars decreased root mass as salinity levels increased. Non TE-treated `TifEagle' had 56% and 40% less root and shoot Na uptake compared to TE treated cultivars at 25.80 dS·m–1. In conclusion, the two bermudagrass cultivars responded differently when exposed to moderate levels of NaCl.

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Lambert B. McCarty, Raymond K. McCauley, Haibo Liu, F. Wesley Totten, and Joe E. Toler

Overseeded perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) aggressively competes with bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] for resources and may adversely affect spring transition by releasing allelochemicals into the environment. Growth chamber studies examined germination and growth of ‘Arizona Common’ bermudagrass in soil amended with 0%, 2%, 12%, or 23% perennial ryegrass root or shoot debris or in soil treated with irrigation water in which perennial ryegrass roots at 0, 5, 10, or 20 g·L−1 or shoots at 0, 10, or 20 g·L−1 had been soaked. Inhibitory effects on bermudagrass germination and growth were most extensive when soil was amended with ryegrass shoot debris, because germination, root ash weight, root length density, and root mass density were reduced 33%, 55%, 30%, and 52%, respectively. Soil amended with ryegrass root debris only inhibited bermudagrass-specific root length. Application of irrigation water containing either ryegrass root or shoot extracts only inhibited bermudagrass-specific root length. In conclusion, results obtained when soil was amended with shoot debris demonstrated perennial ryegrass can inhibit bermudagrass germination and growth in controlled environments.

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Christian M. Baldwin, Haibo Liu, Lambert B. McCarty, Hong Luo, and Joe E. Toler

Seasonal variations in temperature and solar radiation in the warm climatic region of the transition zone increase difficulty of creeping bentgrass [Agrostis stolonifera var. palustris (Huds.)] management throughout the year. The impact of winter shade on bentgrass quality and subsequent residual effects of winter shade in spring and summer months has not been investigated. Therefore, a 2-year field study investigated trinexapac-ethyl (TE) [4-(cyclopropyl-α-hydroxy-methylene)-3,5-dioxy-cyclohexanecarboxylic acid ethyl ester] as a winter management strategy to alleviate winter shade stress and determined the winter shade tolerance of ‘L-93’ creeping bentgrass under various reduced light environments. Treatments included a full-sunlight control; 58% and 96% morning, afternoon, and full-day shade artificial; and TE (0.02 kg a.i./ha) applied every 2 weeks from December to July. Data collection included daily light measurements (photosynthetic photon flux density), monthly canopy and soil temperatures, visual turfgrass quality (TQ), chlorophyll concentration, clipping yield, total root biomass, and total root nonstructural carbohydrates. Under 96% shade, canopy temperatures were reduced ≈57% from December to February, whereas soil temperatures were reduced 39% in February compared with full sunlight. Afternoon shade (58%) maintained acceptable TQ throughout winter for both years. Applying TE every 2 weeks in the winter negatively impacted bentgrass quality; however, TE enhanced spring and summer quality. Morning or afternoon shade minimally impacted parameters measured. Overall, moderate winter shade may not limit ‘L-93’ creeping bentgrass performance as a putting green in the transition zone. Results suggest winter shade does not contribute to creeping bentgrass summer decline because all shade-treated plots fully recovered from shade damage in spring months.

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Lambert B. McCarty, Jeffery M. Higgins, Frederick T. Corbin, and Ted Whitwell

Absorption, translocation, and metabolism of foliar-applied 14C-labeled sethoxydim (14C-sethoxydim) in sethoxydim-tolerant centipedegrass [Eremochloa ophiuroides (Munro) Hack.] and sethoxydim-sensitive goosegrass [Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn.] were determined. The distribution of 14C in treated leaves indicated that similar amounts (≈ 3%) were found in the epicuticular wax fraction (chloroform wash) of both species after 6 hours. After 2 hours, 16% of the applied 14C-sethoxydim was absorbed in the treated leaf by centipedegrass, but only 2% was absorbed by goosegrass. After 2 hours, centipedegrass also readily translocated greater amounts of 14C than goosegrass (4.3% vs. 0.4%). Six hours after treatment, however, no differences were found in amounts absorbed by the treated leaf and translocated to apical and basal leaves. Because sethoxydim-tolerant centipedegrass absorbed and translocated similar amounts of 14C compared to the sethoxydim-sensitive goosegrass, these two mechanisms do not appear to be a means of tolerance. The major difference found between the two species was in the metabolism of sethoxydim. After 6 hours, 81% to 98% of the 14C in goosegrass extracts remained as 14C-sethoxydim. In contrast, only 1% of the 14C found in apical leaves, basal leaves, and roots of centipedegrass was identified as 14C-sethoxydim. These data indicated that differences in tolerance to sethoxydim between these two species were based on metabolism. Chemical name used: 2-[1-(ethoxyimino) butyl]-5-[2-(ethylthio)propyl]-3-hydroxy-2 -cyclohexen-1-one (sethoxydim).

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John B. Stiglbauer, Haibo Liu, Lambert B. McCarty, Dara M. Park, Joe E. Toler, and Kendal Kirk

‘Diamond’ zoysiagrass [Zoysia matrella (L.) Merr.] has a potential to become a new alternative warm-season putting green turfgrass. The main objective of the study was to determine factors affecting establishment speed for ‘Diamond’ zoysiagrass as a putting green in the southern transition zone of the United States. Two sprigging rates, three nitrogen (N) sources, two N rates, and two mowing heights (2.5 and 3.2 mm) were compared at Clemson University, Clemson, SC. Sprigs of ‘Diamond’ zoysiagrass were planted at rates of 91 or 182 m3·ha−1 in 2007 and repeated in 2008. Urea, ammonium nitrate, and ammonium sulfate were applied at 1.7 or 3.4 g N/m2/week from weeks after sprigging (WAS) 3 to 10. Rates were halved from WAS 11 to 16. The N fertilizers were applied as solutions weekly for 16 weeks. Weekly percent cover, turf color ratings, root and clipping sample, and ball rolling were collected for both years. A significant difference occurred in turf cover between high and low sprig rates. Turf color and cover results show that high rates of fertility associated with high rates of sprigs produced 100% turf cover at WAS 11 and 13 in both years. At the 2.5-mm mowing height, ball rolling reached 258 cm in August and was significantly faster than the 3.2-mm mowing height. Results show ‘Diamond’ zoysiagrass can be established within the same growing season to meet a playable putting green quality, but the establishment speed may vary depending on summer monthly temperature fluctuations.

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Robert Andrew Kerr, Lambert B. McCarty, Philip J. Brown, James Harris, and J. Scott McElroy

Summer annual grassy weeds such as goosegrass (Eleusine indica L. Gaertn.) continue to be problematic to control selectively with postemergence (POST) herbicides within turfgrass stands. In recent years, reduced performance by certain herbicides (e.g., foramsulfuron), cancellation of goosegrass-specific herbicides (e.g., diclofop-methyl), and cancellation and/or severe use reductions of other herbicides [e.g., monosodium methanearsonate (MSMA)] have limited the options for satisfactory control and maintenance of an acceptable (≤30% visual turfgrass injury) turfgrass quality. Currently available herbicides (e.g., topramezone and metribuzin) with goosegrass activity typically injure warm-season turfgrass species. The objectives of this research were to evaluate both ‘Tifway 419’ bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. ×Cynodon transvaalensis Burtt-Davy] injury after treatment with POST herbicides, and to determine whether irrigating immediately after application reduces turfgrass injury. Treatments were control (± irrigation); topramezone (Pylex 2.8C; ± irrigation); carfentrazone + 2,4-D + dicamba + 2-(2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxy) propionic acid (MCPP) (Speedzone 2.2L; ± irrigation); carfentrazone + 2,4-D + dicamba + MCPP in combination with topramezone (± irrigation); metribuzin (Sencor 75DF; ± irrigation); mesotrione (Tenacity 4L; ± irrigation); simazine 4L (±irrigation); and mesotrione + simazine (± irrigation). Irrigated treatments were applied immediately with a hand hose precalibrated to apply 0.6 cm or 0.25 inch (≈6.3 L). Visual turfgrass injury for combined herbicide treatments for the irrigated plots was 6% 4 days after treatment (DAT), 12% 1 week after treatment (WAT), 17% 2 WAT, and 6% 4 WAT, whereas nonirrigated plots had turfgrass injury of 14% at 4 DAT, 31% 1 WAT, 35% 2 WAT, and 12% 4 WAT. Irrigated pots had normalized differences vegetative indices (NDVI) ratings of 0.769 at 4 DAT, 0.644 at 1 WAT, 0.612 at 2 WAT, and 0.621 at 4 WAT, whereas nonirrigated plots had the lowest (least green) turfgrass NDVI ratings of 0.734 at 4 DAT, 0.599 at 1 WAT, 0.528 at 2 WAT, and 0.596 at 4 WAT. These experiments suggest turfgrass injury could be alleviated by immediately incorporating herbicides through irrigation.

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Ian R. Rodriguez, Lambert B. McCarty, Joe E. Toler, and Roy B. Dodd

Use of creeping bentgrass [Agrostis stoloniferous L. var. palustris (Huds.)] on golf greens has expanded into the hotter, more humid regions of the United States where its quality is often low during summer months. The summer decline in bentgrass quality may be partially attributed to respiration rates exceeding photosynthesis during periods of supraoptimal temperatures and adverse soil conditions, such as excessive CO2 and inadequate O2 levels. The objectives of this study were to examine the effects of high temperature, high soil CO2, and irrigation scheduling on creeping bentgrass growth. A growth chamber study was conducted using `A-1' creeping bentgrass. Treatments included all combinations of three day/night temperature regimes (26.5/21 °C, 29.5/24 °C, and 32/26.5 °C), three irrigation schedules (field capacity daily, field capacity every two d, and half field capacity daily), and four soil CO2 injection levels (10%, 5%, 0.03%, and a noinjection control). Creeping bentgrass shoot and root dry weights and net photosynthetic rates were greater for day/night temperatures <32/26.5 °C. High temperatures (32/26.5 °C) and 10% CO2 reduced bentgrass net photosynthesis by 37.5 μmol CO2/m2/s. Shoot and root total nonstructural carbohydrates also were lowest for highest temperature regime. Respiration exceeded gross photosynthesis at 32/26.5 °C when 5% and 10% CO2 injection levels were used, indicating a carbon deficit occurred for these conditions. Irrigation volume and frequency did not affect bentgrass growth. High temperatures combined with high soil CO2 levels produced poorest turf quality.

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Robert Andrew Kerr, Lambert B. McCarty, Matthew Cutulle, William Bridges, and Christopher Saski

Goosegrass (Eleusine indica L. Gaertn.) is a problematic C4 weedy grass species, occurring in the warmer regions of the world where it is difficult to selectively control without injuring the turfgrass. Furthermore, control efficacy is affected by plant maturity. End-user options for satisfactory goosegrass control has decreased; thus, the need for developing management techniques to improve the selectivity of POST goosegrass control options in turfgrass systems is ever increasing. One possible means of providing control, yet maintaining turf quality is immediately incorporating applied products via irrigation. Greenhouse and field trials were conducted in Pickens County, SC, with the objectives of 1) evaluating turfgrass injury following use of POST goosegrass control options; 2) assessing if irrigating (0.6 cm) immediately following the herbicide application reduces injury of ‘Tifway 419’ bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × Cynodon transvaalensis Burtt-Davy]; and 3) determining if immediate irrigation influences goosegrass control at one- to three-tiller and mature growth stage. Following the application of herbicide treatments, irrigation was applied (+) or not applied (−). Treatments included the following: control (+/− irrigation); topramezone at 12.3 g a.i./ha (+/− irrigation); metribuzin at 420 g a.i./ha (+/− irrigation); and topramezone plus metribuzin (+/− irrigation) at 12.3 and 420 g a.i./ha. Irrigation treatment had minimum effect on greenhouse-grown goosegrass biomass, all treatments provided >85% control of 1- to 3-tiller goosegrass plants. However, control for mature plants was <50% for topramezone- and 60% to 70% for metribuzin-containing treatments. In field studies, at 1 week after treatment (WAT), the irrigated metribuzin and topramezone plus metribuzin had ≈37% and ≈16%, respectively, less goosegrass control vs. nonirrigated treatments. At 2WAT, irrigated metribuzin and irrigated topramezone plus metribuzin–treated plots, had ≈50% less mature goosegrass control vs. nonirrigated treatments. Irrigated herbicide treatments, however, experienced ≈23% less turfgrass injury at this time. At 4 WAT, irrigated metribuzin- and irrigated topramezone plus metribuzin–treated plots experienced reduced mature goosegrass control by ≈65% and ≈59%, respectively. Overall, incorporating POST herbicide applications via 0.6 cm of irrigation reduced turfgrass injury by at least 20% for all herbicide treatments, while maintaining goosegrass control.

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Philip J. Brown, Lambert B. McCarty, Virgil L. Quisenberry, L. Ray Hubbard Jr., and M. Brad Addy

Drainage is important to golf and athletic facilities trying to avoid lost play time. Native soil containing clay is sometimes incorporated into sand profiles with the intent to increase water and nutrient holding capacities. However, mixes high in silt and/or clay often have drainage problems. Research was conducted on soil physical properties from incremental 10% v/v additions of silt and clay (fines) to a U.S. Golf Association (USGA)-specification sand. Soils were evaluated based on volumetric water retention from 0 to 50 cm matric potential, saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat), porosity, and bulk density. The soil water characteristic (SWC) for 100:0 (sand:fines) had lower volumetric water content (θv) throughout the profile than any other mixture. Addition of 10% fines increased θv to more than 0.17 cm3·cm–3 throughout the 0- to 50-cm matric potential range, whereas 20% fines increased θv to more than 0.26 cm3·cm–3. The 70:30 mixture had greater θv throughout the profile than mixtures containing more than 70% sand. Mixtures with less than 70% sand produced similar SWCs. Increasing sand content increased bulk density, which altered saturated volumetric water content. Ksat was reduced from more than 265 cm·h–1 in 100:0 mixtures to 43 cm·h–1 for 90:10 mixtures, and to less than 5 cm·h–1 with ≥20% fines. The addition of ≥20% by volume of fines to a USGA sand increased water content in the soil to the point it was rendered unacceptable for trafficked turf sites. This research illustrates the influence fine particles, even in small amounts, can have on a USGA sand, and why they should not be added without prior evaluation.