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

A bioorganic fiber seeding mat was compared to traditional seeding into a prepared soil to ascertain any advantages or disadvantages in turfgrass establishment between the planting methods. Bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum), bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), carpetgrass (Axonopus affinis), centipedegrass (Eremochloa ophiuroides), st. augustinegrass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), and zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica) were seeded at recommended levels in May 1995 and July 1996. The seeding methods were evaluated under both irrigated and nonirrigated conditions. Plots were periodically rated for percent turf coverage; weed counts were taken about 4 weeks after study initiation. Percent coverage ratings for all grasses tended to be higher for direct-seeded plots under irrigated conditions in both years. Bermudagrass and bahiagrass established rapidly for both planting methods under either irrigated or nonirrigated conditions. Only carpetgrass and zoysiagrass tended to have greater coverage ratings in nonirrigated, mat-seeded plots in both years, although the percent plot coverage ratings never reached the minimum desired level of 80%. In both years, weed counts in mat-seeded plots were lower than in direct-seeded plots. A bioorganic fiber seeding mat is a viable method of establishing warm-season turfgrasses, with its biggest advantage being a reduction in weed population as compared to direct seeding into a prepared soil.

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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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Qi Zhang and Kevin Rue

Saline and alkaline conditions often coexist in nature. Unlike salinity that causes osmotic and ionic stresses, alkalinity reflects the impact of high pH on plant growth and development. In this research, seven turfgrass species, tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.), creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.), bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon var. dactylon (L.) Pers.], and alkaligrass [Puccinellia distans (Jacq.) Parl.], were germinated under 10 saline–alkaline conditions [two salinity concentrations (25 and 50 mm) × five alkalinity levels (pH = 7.2, 8.4, 9.1, 10.0, 10.8)] in a controlled environment. Seed germination was evaluated based on final germination percentage and daily germination rate. Alkaligrass and kentucky bluegrass showed the highest and lowest germination under saline conditions, respectively. Limited variations in germination were observed in other species, except bermudagrass, which showed a low germination rate at 50 mm salinity. Alkalinity did not cause a significant effect on seed germination of tested turfgrass species.

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Michele R. Warmund, Rusty Fuller, and John H. Dunn

Rhizomes of `Meyer' zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.) were subjected to temperatures below 0 °C and were subsequently placed in a growth chamber with air at 34 °C day/28 °C night to determine the rate of shoot growth from nodes. Rhizomes exposed to subzero temperatures produced shoots steadily up to 16 days after freezing (DAF), but subsequent shoot growth from rhizomes was minimal. At 32 DAF, shoots were present on 68% and 44% of the nodes of unfrozen control (2 °C) rhizomes and those frozen to -7 °C, respectively. In another study, samples were frozen to a sublethal temperature (-7 °C) to examine the distribution of extracellular ice voids near the apical meristems of rhizomes and to characterize tissue recovery. Extracellular voids were present within the leaf tissue and between the leaves in samples prepared for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) immediately after freezing to -7 °C. By 12 DAF, most of the remaining voids were observed in older leaves. Nearly all extracellular voids in the leaves were absent by 20 DAF. However, by 28 DAF, some rhizomes still had small voids between leaves. Although the structure of zoysiagrass rhizomes subjected to -7 °C was temporarily disrupted, tissues recovered from extracellular freezing and new shoot growth was produced following exposure to warm temperatures.

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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)

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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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Aaron J. Patton, David W. Williams, and Zachary J. Reicher

Zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.) requires few inputs and provides high-quality turf in the transition zone, but is expensive to sprig or sod. Establishment by seed is less expensive than vegetative establishment, but little is known about renovation of existing turf to zoysiagrass using seed. Two experiments were performed to determine effects of herbicides and seeding rates on establishment of zoysiagrass in Indiana and Kentucky. In the first experiment, interseeding zoysiagrass into existing perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) without the use of glyphosate before seeding resulted in 2% zoysiagrass coverage 120 days after seeding (DAS). In plots receiving glyphosate before seeding, zoysiagrass coverage reached 100% by 120 DAS. In the second experiment, MSMA + dithiopyr applied 14 days after emergence (DAE) or MSMA applied at 14+28+42 DAE provided the best control of annual grassy weeds and the greatest amount of zoysiagrass establishment. Applying MSMA + dithiopyr 14 DAE provided 7% less zoysiagrass coverage compared to MSMA applied 14 DAE at one of the four locations. Increasing the seeding rate from 49 kg·ha-1 to 98 kg·ha-1 provided 3% to 11% more zoysiagrass coverage by the end of the growing season at 3 of 4 locations. Successful zoysiagrass establishment in the transition zone is most dependent on adequate control of existing turf using glyphosate before seeding and applications of MSMA at 14+28+42 DAE, but establishment is only marginally dependent on seeding rates greater than 49 kg·ha-1. Chemical names used: N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine (glyphosate); monosodium methanearsenate (MSMA); S,S-dimethyl 2-(difluoromethyl)-4-(2-methylpropyl)-6-(triflurormethyl)-3,5-pyridinedicarbothioate (dithiopyr).