‘Meyer’ zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steudel) is commonly planted on home lawns and golf courses in the transition zone; however, poor shade tolerance limits its widespread use. This study was conducted to determine changes and differences in growth among selected Zoysia cultivars and progeny under a natural shade environment over a 3-year period in the transition zone. The study was initiated in June 2010 at the Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center in Manhattan, KS. Soil type was a Chase silt loam (fine, montmorillonitic, mesic, Aquic, Argiudoll). Zoysia genotypes were sodded in 0.37-m2 plots and arranged in a randomized complete block with five replications under silver maple (Acer saccharinum L.) shade that resulted in a 91% reduction in photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). Genotypes included ‘Zorro’ [Z. matrella (L.) Merrill], ‘Emerald’ [Z. japonica × Z. pacifica (Goudswaard) Hotta & Kuroki], ‘Meyer’, Chinese Common (Z. japonica), and experimental progeny Exp1 (Z. matrella × Z. japonica), and Exp2 and Exp3 [(Z. japonica × Z. pacifica) × Z. japonica]. ‘Zorro’ and ‘Emerald’ experienced winter injury, which negatively affected their performance. Tiller numbers decreased 47% in ‘Meyer’ from June 2010 to June 2012, but declines in [(Z. japonica × Z. pacifica) × Z. japonica] progeny were only 1% for Exp2 and 27% for Exp3, and both Exp2 and Exp3 maintained high percent green cover throughout the study. In general, by the third year of evaluation, progeny of [(Z. japonica × Z. pacifica) × Z. japonica] had higher quality ratings and higher tiller numbers than ‘Meyer’ and may provide more shade-tolerant cultivar choices for transition zone turf managers.
Attempts to establish buffalograss [Buchloë dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.] turfs from sprigs have been limited and successful stand establishment has been inconsistent. This study was conducted to determine whether accumulated growing degree-days (GDD) and cultivar of harvested sprigs have an effect on buffalograss sprig establishment. Two field studies were conducted on a Tomek silty-clay loam (fine smectitic mesic Pachic Agriudolls) in 2007 and again in 2008. The cultivars Legacy, a hexaploid, and Prestige, a tetraploid, were used in this investigation. Sprigs were harvested and planted on 29 June, 17 July, 31 July, and 15 Aug. in 2007 and 15 May, 4 June, 19 June, 2 July, 21 July, 31 July, and 18 Aug. in 2008. The GDDs were back-calculated from these harvest dates. The harvest date of the sprigs represented 1050, 1380, 1670, and 1980 GDD in 2007 and 120, 380, 620, 840, 1200, 1400, and 1720 in 2008. Aboveground buffalograss phytomass and percent buffalograss groundcover data were collected in 2007 and 2008. In 2008, total available sugar and starch content of harvested sprigs were determined for each sprig harvest date. In the 2007 studies, sprigs harvested at 1050 GDDs resulted in the best establishment for both cultivars. In the 2008 studies, ‘Legacy’ established successfully through 840 GDDs, and ‘Prestige’ established through 1200 GDDs. Sugar or starch content did not appear to influence sprigging success. These results support the recommendation to establish buffalograss from sprigs harvested before 1050 GDDs for best results.