Creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera var. palustris Huds.) is desirable as a putting green turfgrass in the transition zone as a result of year-round green color, ball roll, and playability. However, management challenges exist for bentgrass greens, including winter temperature fluctuations. Frosts often cause cancellations or delays of tee time resulting in lost revenue. In response to this winter golf course management issue, a research project was initiated at Clemson University from 1 Dec. 2005 and 2006 to 1 Aug. 2006 and 2007 on a ‘L93’ creeping bentgrass putting green to determine the impacts of foot traffic or mower traffic and time of traffic application on bentgrass winter performance. Treatments consisted of no traffic (control), foot traffic, and walk-behind mower traffic (rolling) at 0700 and 0900 hr when canopy temperatures were at or below 0 °C. Foot traffic included ≈75 steps within each plot using size 10 SP-4 Saddle Nike golf shoes (soft-spiked sole) administered by a researcher weighing ≈75 kg. A Toro Greensmaster 800 walk-behind greens mower weighing 92 kg with a 45.7-cm roller was used for rolling traffic. Data collected included canopy and soil temperatures (7.6 cm depth), visual turfgrass quality (TQ), clipping yield (g·m−2), shoot chlorophyll concentration (mg·g−1), root total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC) (mg·g−1), soil bulk density (g·cm−3), and water infiltration rates (cm·h−1). Time and type of traffic significantly influenced bentgrass winter performance. On all TQ rating dates, 0700 hr rolling traffic decreased TQ by ≈1.1 units compared with foot traffic at 0700 hr. In December, regardless of traffic application time, rolling traffic reduced bentgrass shoot growth ≈17%. However, in February, chlorophyll, soil bulk density, and water infiltration differences were not detected. By the end of March, all treatments had acceptable TQ. Root TNC was unaffected in May, whereas shoot chlorophyll concentrations were unaffected in May and August. This study indicates bentgrass damage resulting from winter traffic is limited to winter and early spring months and full recovery should be expected by summer.
Christian M. Baldwin, Haibo Liu, Lambert B. McCarty, Hong Luo, Joe Toler, and Steven H. Long
Joe E. Toler, Thomas G. Willis, Alan G. Estes, and Lambert B. McCarty
Annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.) can be a troublesome weed to control in established turfgrass stands; it has developed herbicide resistance after repeated use of products with similar modes of action, and several new herbicides have been registered for use on turfgrasses. Four field studies were conducted near Clemson, S.C., from 2003 through 2005 to evaluate postemergence annual bluegrass control in dormant, nonoverseeded bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] turf using various herbicides applied in either December or February of each year and rated in the spring. Annual bluegrass control can be accomplished in dormant, nonoverseeded bermudagrass turf using a wide range of products applied in either December or February. Flazasulfuron, foramsulfuron, glufosinate, glufosinate + clethodim, glufosinate + glyphosate, glyphosate + clethodim, glyphosate + diquat, pronamide, rimsulfuron, and trifloxysulfuron provided 87% or greater annual bluegrass control regardless of application timing. Imazaquin and simazine controlled annual bluegrass greater than 85% when applied in December but less than 80% when applied in February. Glyphosate provided 93% annual bluegrass control when applied in February but only 72% control with December applications. No detrimental effects on bermudagrass spring greenup were observed for any herbicide treatment or application time. The availability of several effective herbicide options with differing modes of action provides turfgrass managers with the opportunity to use herbicide rotations that may prevent, or at least delay, the development of resistant annual bluegrass populations to these chemical products.
Jeffery W. Marvin, Robert Andrew Kerr, Lambert B. McCarty, William Bridges, S. Bruce Martin, and Christina E. Wells
Clarireedia jacksonii sp. nov. formerly Sclerotinia homoeocarpa F.T. Bennett, one of the causal agents of dollar spot, is the most widespread pathogen in turfgrass systems. Dollar spot (DS) affects both cool- and warm-season grasses, during a wide range of environmental conditions. Field studies were conducted at Clemson University, Clemson, SC, on a creeping bentgrass [Agrostis stolonifera L. var. palustris (Huds) cv. Crenshaw] putting green for 2 consecutive years from August to October in year 1 and July to September in year 2. The objective of the studies was to evaluate biological control agents (BCAs) and synthetic fungicides at reduced rates for their efficacy controlling dollar spot. Four replications of 1.5 × 1.5-m plots were used in the experimental design. Treatments included the following: Bacillus subtilis (BS); plant extract oils (EO) including clove oil + wintergreen oil + thyme oil; extract of Reynoutria sachalinensis (RS); Bacillus licheniformis (BL); chlorothalonil (CL); and azoxystrobin + propiconazole (AzP). Synthetic fungicides were used at reduced rates in combination with biological control agents, to evaluate curative control efficacy of various combinations. All reduced synthetic programs, except CL + EO, provided acceptable disease severity (≤15%) at the end of year 1 and acceptable (≥7) turfgrass visual quality. Azoxystrobin + propiconazole, CL, AzP + BL, AzP + EO, AzP + BS all provided ≤15% disease severity and ≥7 visual turfgrass quality 14 days after the last application in year 2.