Establishment of zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.) from sprigs is often impractical for golf courses and sports fields because of the slow growth rate of the species and subsequent long establishment period. A study was conducted at two different sites in Arkansas to evaluate the effects of soil topdressing and post-plant fertility rates on establishment of zoysiagrass from vegetative sprigs. Each site was planted according to standard methods using freshly-harvested sprigs (18 m3/ha) and either top dressed with 1.0 cm of native soil or maintained without topdressing. Beginning immediately after establishment, N was applied monthly at rates of 0, 1.25, 2.50, 3.75, or 5.0 g·m-2 as urea. Rate of cover was monitored throughout the growing season and elemental analysis of plant tissues was determined 120 days after planting. Topdressing the sprigs with native soil significantly improved establishment compared to traditional sprigging at both sites, presumably because of enhanced sprig survival. Applications of N during the establishment period had little or no overall effect on establishment, although the 0 g·m-2 rate was slightly inferior to all other rates. This study indicates that methods that enhance sprig survival are more important than added fertility for the rapid establishment of zoysiagrass sprigs.
Azalea lace bug (ALB), Stephanitis pyrioides (Scott), is an important economic pest of azaleas in the southeastern United States. In this study, 33 commercially available cultivars of evergreen azalea, Rhododendron spp., were evaluated for S. pyrioides feeding preference in both choice and no-choice feeding bioassays. Mean stomatal length and area, which were hypothesized to affect ALB feeding preference, were also measured for each of 33 cultivars and results were correlated with indices of ALB feeding (mean feces) and fecundity (mean eggs). An azalea cultivar, Fourth of July, was least preferred by ALB in both no-choice and choice tests, whereas ‘Watchet’ was most preferred. Cultivars Fourth of July and Delaware Valley White had the smallest mean stomatal areas despite their disparate susceptibilities to ALB feeding. Although stomates through which ALB insert their proboscides vary in size among azalea cultivars, they confer no obvious resistance to ALB feeding preference. Therefore, the mechanism for lace bug resistance in azalea remains elusive.