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Edward W. Bush, James N. McCrimmon, and Allen D. Owings

Four warm-season grass species [common carpetgrass (Axonopus affinis Chase), common bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon [L.] Pers.), St. Augustinegrass (Stenophrum secondatum Walt. Kuntze.), and zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.)] were established in containers filled with an Olivia silt loam soil for 12 weeks. Grasses were maintained weekly at 5 cm prior to the start of the experiment. Water stress treatments consisted of a control (field capacity), waterlogged, and flooded treatments. Waterlogging and flood treatments were imposed for a period of 90 days. The effects of water stress was dependent on grass species. Bermudagrass vegetative growth and turf quality were significantly reduced when flooded. Carpetgrass, St. Augustingrass, and zoysiagrass quality and vegetative growth were also reduced by flooding. St. Augustinegrass and zoysiagrass root dry weight was significantly decreased. Zoysiagrass plants did not survive 90 days of flooding. Leaf tissue analysis for common carpetgrass, common bermudagrass, St. Augustinegrass, and zoysiagrass indicated that plants subjected to waterlogging and flooding had significantly elevated Zn concentrations.

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B. Jack Johnson

A field study was conducted to assess the effects of N and Fe with trinexapac-ethyl (TE) on established `Tifway' bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon × C. transvaalensis) during 2 years at Griffin, Ga. There were no TE × Fe or N treatment interactions when applied in three applications at 4-week intervals each year. Combinations of Fe with TE improved turfgrass quality over TE alone at 1 to 2 weeks after each treatment. The improvement from Fe sources was 17 % higher with Sprint 300 and SoluPlex, 33% higher with Ferromec and LawnPlex, and 67% higher with ferrous sulfate. Vegetative suppression of `Tifway' bermudagrass at 14 weeks after treatment ranged from 46% in 1994 to 28% in 1995 when treated with TE at 0.1 kg·ha-1 in three applications at 4-week intervals. Neither N or Fe influenced vegetative growth when applied with TE. Chemical name used: 4 (cyclopropyl-α-hydroxy-methylene)-3.5-dioxocyclohexanecarboxlic acid ethyl ester (trinexapac-ethyl).

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James N. McCrimmon

Limited information is available concerning the mineral nutrient content of different turfgrass species. There is a need to develop sufficiency ranges for turfgrasses under various management programs. The nutrient concentration of a turfgrass provides an indication of the nutrient status and quality of the turf. A study was conducted to assess the mineral nutrient composition of selected turfgrass species and cultivars. Plant tissue samples of the following turfgrasses were collected: creeping bentgrass, Agrostis palustris Huds. `Penncross'; bermudagrass, Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. `NuMex Sahara', `Santa Ana', `Texturf 10', and Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × Cynodon transvaalensis Burtt-Davy `Tifgreen', `Tifway'; perennial ryegrass, Lolium perenne L. `Medalist × Blend'; St. Augustinegrass Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walt.) Kuntze `Seville'; and zoysiagrass, Zoysia japonica Steud. `El Toro' and Zoysia japonica × Zoysia tenuifolia Willd. ex Trin. `Emerald'. Three samples of each cultivar were collected, washed with deionized water for 30 s, and dried in a forced-air oven at 70°C for 72 hr. Plant samples were analyzed for both macronutrient and micronutrient concentration. For the bermudagrass cultivars, the concentrations of potassium (K) and magnesium (Mg) were less than 20.0 g·kg-1 and 2.0 g·kg–1, respectively, and less than known sufficiency levels. `Tifway' and `Texturf 10' had lower nitrogen (N) concentrations than other bermudagrasses. `Penncross' and `Medalist X' had the highest N concentrations. Zoysiagrass had low concentrations of N, phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca), K, and Mg. The concentration of copper (Cu) was low for zoysiagrass and three bermudagrass cultivars (`Texturf 10', `Tifgreen', and `Tifway'). There were differences among the turfgrasses for manganese (Mn) and zinc (Zn) concentrations.

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Michael T. Deaton and David W. Williams

Common bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) and hybrid bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon var. dactylon × C. transvaalensis) often are used for athletic fields as a result of their wear tolerance and recuperative ability. A wear tolerance study was conducted May 2007 through Nov. 2008 in Lexington, KY. Plots were managed as athletic turf and simulated traffic was applied during the Kentucky high school football seasons. The cultivars Quickstand, Tifway 419, Riviera, and Yukon grown in a sand-based medium were evaluated. Trinexapac-ethyl (TE) was applied at label rates and frequencies or left untreated. Overseeding treatments were perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) at 0, 546, and 1093 lb/acre pure live seed. Traffic treatments were applied with a Brinkman traffic simulator three times per week, once each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, without regard to soil moisture status or weather for the periods 10 Sept. to 2 Nov. 2007 and 12 Sept. to 14 Nov. 2008. In both years of the study, the main effect of cultivar was significant (P < 0.05) in traffic tolerance (‘Tifway 419’ = ‘Riviera’ > ‘Quickstand’ = ‘Yukon’). Overseeding at the medium and high rates also provided significantly greater turf cover for the coarse-textured, more open cultivars (Quickstand and Yukon) over the fine-textured, more dense cultivars (Riviera and Tifway 419). Applications of TE did not significantly improve tolerance to simulated athletic traffic in either year of the study regardless of cultivar or overseeding treatment. Within the parameters of this study, data indicate that only cultivar has significant effects on tolerance to simulated traffic on a sand-based field. Overseeding treatments for the fine-textured, more dense cultivars and TE applications on sand-based field systems had no positive significant effects on tolerance to simulated traffic.

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Alexander R. Kowalewski, Brian M. Schwartz, Austin L. Grimshaw, Dana G. Sullivan, and Jason B. Peake

Hybrid bermudagrasses (Cynodon dactylon × C. transvaalensis) typically have excellent wear tolerance when compared with other turfgrass species. This trait should be evaluated during variety development to reduce the risk of failure when new grasses are planted in areas with traffic stress. The objective of this research was to evaluate the wear tolerance of four hybrid bermudagrasses with differing morphological characteristics. Traffic was applied to the hybrid bermudagrass varieties ‘Tifway’, ‘TifSport’, and ‘TifTuf’, as well as an experimental hybrids (04-76) using a traffic simulator for 6 weeks. Leaf morphology (leaf width, length, and angle) and quantitative measure of density and color [normalized difference vegetation index ratio (NDVI), dark green color index (DGCI), and percent green turf color] were characterized before traffic, and then percent green turf color after 6 weeks of traffic was measured to estimate wear tolerance. ‘TifTuf’ hybrid bermudagrass provided the greatest wear tolerance, as well as the narrowest and shortest leaf lengths, greatest NDVI values and percent green color, and lowest DGCI before traffic. Conversely, 04-76 produced the poorest wear tolerance, as well as the widest and longest leaves, lowest NDVI values and percent green color, and highest DGCI values before traffic. Regression analysis determined that DGCI, leaf length, and leaf width were inversely, or negatively, correlated to wear tolerance, whereas percent green turf color before traffic was directly correlated to wear tolerance. For these hybrids, DGCI had the strongest correlation to increased wear tolerance.

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Jayne M. Zajicek, Nowell J. Adams, and Shelley A. McReynolds

Landscape plantings have been designed traditionally using aesthetic criteria with minimal consideration given to water requirements. The primary objective of this research was to develop quantitative information on water use of plant communities conventionally used in urban landscapes. Pots of Photinia × Fraseri (photinia Fraseri), Lagerstroemia indica 'Carolina Beauty' (crape myrtle), or Ligustrum japonicum (wax leaf ligustrum) were transplanted from 3.8 l into 75.7 l pots with either Stenotaphrum secundatum 'Texas Common' (St. Augustinegrass), Cynodon dactylon × C. transvallensis 'Tiffway' (bermudagrass), Trachelospermum asiaticum (Asiatic jasmine), or left with bare soil. Whole community water use was measured gravimetrically. In addition, sap flow rates were recorded for shrub species with stem flow gauges. Sap flow measurements were correlated to whole community water use recorded during the same time intervals. Whole community water use differed due to the groundcover component; bermudagrass, Asiatic jasmine, and bare soil communities used less water than St. Augustinegrass communities. Differences were also noted in stomatal conductance and leaf water potential among the species.

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Lambert B. McCarty, Leon T. Lucas, and Joseph M. DiPaola

Spring dead spot (SDS) [Gaeumannomyces graminis (Sacc.) von Arx & D. Olivier var. graminis Walker] is a serious disease of bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] throughout much of the southern United States and is believed to be at least partially influenced by the previous year's turfgrass management practices. Research was performed to: a) determine the efficacy of selected fungicide control measures; and b) determine the influence of N and K nutrient regimes on the expression of SDS symptoms in Tifway bermudagrass (C. dactylon x C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy). Averaged over two sites in 2 years, a 72% reduction in SDS followed a fall application of benomyl at 12 kg·ha. Fenarimol applied at three rates (1.5, 2.3, and 3.0 kg·ha) on three fall dates reduced SDS by a combined average of 66%. A single application of propiconazole (2.5 kg·ha) reduced disease by an average of 56%. Application of N (98 kg·ha) in late fall increased SDS 128% in one test location. Application of potassium sulfate (269 kg K/ha) in late fall resulted in an average increase in SDS expression of 89% the following spring over all experiments. Turf managers with severe SDS should minimize heavy late-fall K applications and possibly use benomyl, fenarimol, or propiconazole for disease suppression. Chemical names used: α -(2-chlorophenyl)α -(4-chlorophenyl)-S-pyrimidinemethanol (fenarimol); [methyl 1(butylcarbamoyl)-2-benzimidazolecarbamate] (benomyl); 1-[[2-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4propyl-1,3-dioxolan-2-yl]methyl]--1H-1,2,4-triazole (propiconazole).

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M.S. Flanagan, R.E. Schmidt, and R.B. Reneau Jr.

The “heavy fraction” portion of a municipal solid waste separation process was evaluated in field experiments as a soil amendment for producing turfgrass sod. Soil organic matter and concentrations of extractable NO3-N, P, K, Ca, and Zn in the soil increased with addition of heavy fraction. Soil incorporation of heavy fraction resulted in greater air, water, and total porosity and lower bulk density of a loamy sandy soil. .Sod strength measurements taken 8.5 and 9.5 months after seeding were higher for Kentucky bluegrass (Poaprutensis L.) grown in heavy-fraction-amended topsoil than for turf grown in topsoil only. The use of this by-product may reduce the time required to produce a marketable sod. Soil incorporation of heavy fraction did not influence post-transplant rooting of Kentucky bluegrass sod but enhanced rooting of bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] sod at the highest rate evaluated. Results of these studies suggest that the use of heavy fraction for sod production may provide cultural benefits in addition to reducing the volume of solid waste deposited in landfills.

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Gokhan Hacisalihoglu

Many warm-season turfgrass seeds have relatively poor germination percentages. Matriconditioning is a seed enhancement technique with a solid carrier and may be a practical solution to improve the germination characteristics of warm-season turfgrass. The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of matriconditioning on three nonaged and aged turfgrass cultivars: ‘Pensacola’ bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum), ‘Princess’ bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), and ‘Common’ centipedegrass (Eremochloa ophiuroides). Seeds were matriconditioned with a synthetic calcium silicate (MicroCel E) as a carrier and water at 30 °C for 5 days. Seed, carrier, and water ratio was 1 g, 0.5 g, and 1.5 mL, respectively. Matriconditioning increased final germination to 55% (bahiagrass), 90% (bermudagrass), and 70% (centipedegrass) compared with 92% in nontreated control seeds. Furthermore, matriconditioning decreased mean germination time 20% to 65% in all seeds compared with the nontreated control. Accelerated aging was induced by storing seeds for 0, 7, and 14 days at 42 °C and 95% relative humidity. Germination percentage decreased and mean germination time increased with the aging, especially after 14 days of aging treatment. These results suggest that matriconditioning is an effective technique to improve turfgrass seed performance.

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Haibo Liu

Aluminum toxicity is a major limiting factor for turfgrass establishment and growth when soil pH is <5.0. Limited information on aluminum resistance is available among warm-season turfgrasses and these turfgrasses often grow in the areas with acid soil conditions. The objectives of this study were 1) to evaluate seeded bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L.) cultivars for the ability to tolerate a high level of aluminum and 2) to measure the extent of aluminum damage to the root systems. In total, 16 bermudagrass cultivars were evaluated under greenhouse conditions using a solution culture and an acid Tatum soil (Clayey, mixed, thermic, typic, Hapludult). The soil had pH 4.4% and 69% exchangeable aluminum. A concentration of 640 μm aluminum and a pH 4.0 was used for solution culture. The grasses were grown for 28 days in solution culture; 28 days in the acid Tatum soil; and 78 days in the acid Tatum soil before harvesting. Aluminum resistance was determined by measuring the longest root length, the longest shoot length, dry root weight, dry shoot weight, and shoot to root ratio in comparing the control to obtain the relative Al resistance among the cultivars. The results indicate that seeded bermudagrass cultivars differ in their aluminum resistance.