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  • Author or Editor: Michael Richardson x
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Many early spring bulb species are naturally found in grassy areas such as meadows or lawns. However, few studies have been conducted to define this concept in maintained lawns, especially warm-season lawns such as zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica) or bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon). Four early spring bulb species, including two crocus species (Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’ and Crocus chrysanthus ‘Goldilocks’), reticulated iris (Iris reticulata ‘Cantab’), and snowdrop (Galanthus elwesii) were established in a zoysiagrass lawn site in Fall 2010. In Spring 2011 and 2012, five common preemergence herbicides used on lawns were applied across the plots to determine phytotoxicity. In addition, mowing treatments were started on plots at two timings (15 Mar. and 15 Apr.) to determine how mowing might affect survival and performance of the bulb species. Early performance was good for all bulb species and greater than 50% flower production was observed in the first spring (2011) after planting. However, in the subsequent 3 years (2012–14), the only species that persisted and continued to flower adequately each spring was ‘Ruby Giant’ crocus. Herbicides and mowing did not affect bulb survival or performance in the trial, suggesting that typical lawn management practices will not be deleterious to the bulbs. These results demonstrate that early spring bulbs may be incorporated into dormant, warm-season lawns, but species and cultivar selection will be crucial for long-term performance.

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Bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum) is widely used for slope protection and water and soil conservation in southern China. The plants develop an extensive root system that plays a crucial role in the protection of both soil and water. However, little is currently known about the factors that influence early root growth in bahiagrass. Here, the effects of boron (B), calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), lanthanum (La), cerium (Ce), salicylic acid (SA), and melatonin (MLT) on root growth characteristics were examined. Bahiagrass seedlings were grown in 1/25 strength modified Hoagland nutrient solution supplemented with boric acid, calcium chloride, ferric ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (Fe-EDTA), lanthanum chloride, cerium chloride, SA, or MLT. Root lengths, root surface areas, and the number of root tips were analyzed using a root scanning system after 2, 4, and 6 days of treatment. We found significant effects on root growth after some treatments. Thus, 0.270 or 0.360 mm B for 2 days enhanced root tip number, whereas 0.15 mm Fe for 6 days increased root surface area. Although 3 or 5 mm Ca caused an increase in root tip numbers, the root length was reduced. The addition of La to the nutrient solution significantly increased root length and surface area, and addition of Ce increased root surface area and root tip numbers. Root growth characteristics were optimal after 0.3 μm La for 6 days or 1.0 μm La for 4 days. For Ce treatment, optimal root characteristics were observed at 0.5 μm Ce for 6 days. Root tip numbers increased after 0.1 or 1.0 μm MLT for 6 days, whereas SA treatment reduced the root length, surface area, and root tip numbers. Overall, the analyses indicate that treatment with B, Fe, La, Ce, and MLT benefited root growth in bahiagrass seedlings.

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Covers, mulches, and erosion-control blankets are often used to establish turf. There are reports of various effects of seed cover technology on the germination and establishment of warm-season grasses. The objective of this study was to determine how diverse cover technologies influence the establishment of bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides), centipedegrass (Eremochloa ophiuroides), seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum), and zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica) from seed. Plots were seeded in June 2007 or July 2008 with the various turfgrass species and covered with cover technologies, including Curlex, Deluxe, and Futerra products, jute, Poly Jute, polypropylene, straw, straw blanket, Thermal blanket, and the control. Establishment was reduced in straw- and polyethylene-covered plots due to decreased photosythentically active radiation penetration or excessive temperature build-up, respectively. Overall, Deluxe and Futerra products, jute, and Poly Jute allowed for the highest establishment of these seeded warm-season grasses.

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Cultural and environmental factors can place creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) under extreme stress during the summer months. This stress, coupled with the growth adaptation of creeping bentgrass, can result in shallow, poorly rooted stands of turf. To enhance root zone oxygen and rooting of creeping bentgrass, golf courses use methods such as core and solid-tine aerification, and sand topdressing. An additional method of delivering oxygen to the soil could be irrigation with nanobubble-oxygenated water. The properties of nanobubbles (NBs) allow for high gas dissolution rates in water. Irrigating with NB-oxygenated water sources may promote increased rooting of creeping bentgrass putting greens during high-temperature periods and lead to a more resilient playing surface. The objectives of this study include comparing the effects of irrigation with NB-oxygenated water sources with untreated water sources on creeping bentgrass putting green root zone and plant health characteristics using field and controlled environment experiments. Treatments included NB-oxygenated potable water and irrigation pond water, and untreated potable and irrigation pond water. In the field, NB-oxygenated water did not enhance plant health characteristics of creeping bentgrass. In 1 year, NB-oxygenated water increased the daily mean partial pressure of soil oxygen from 17.48 kPa to 18.21 kPa but soil oxygen was unaffected in the other 2 years of the trial. Subsurface irrigation with NB-oxygenated water did not affect measured plant health characteristics in the greenhouse. NB-oxygenation of irrigation water remains an excellent means of efficiently oxygenating large volumes of water. However, plant health benefits from NB-oxygenated irrigation water were not observed in this research.

Open Access

Many bermudagrass (Cynodon sp.) and zoysiagrass (Zoysia sp.) cultivars are not available as seed and are commonly planted vegetatively using sprigs, especially for sod production or in sand-based systems. Sprig planting is typically done in late spring or early summer, but this can result in an extended grow-in period and delay the use of the turf in the first growing season. The objective of this study was to determine if sprigs of bermudagrass and zoysiagrass could be planted earlier in the year, during the dormancy phase, to hasten establishment. A field study was carried out in Fayetteville, AR, in 2014 and 2016 using ‘Tifway’ hybrid bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon × Cynodon transvaalensis) and ‘Meyer’ zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica), and in Guangzhou, China, in 2015, using ‘Tifway’ hybrid bermudagrass and ‘Lanyin III’ zoysiagrass (Z. japonica). Sprigs were planted in March (dormant), May (spring) and July (summer) in Fayetteville, and in January (dormant), March (spring) and May (summer) in Guangzhou. Sprigging rates of 30, 60, and 90 m3·ha−1 were tested at both locations and across all planting dates. Bermudagrass was less affected by planting date, with dormant, spring or summer plantings effectively establishing full cover in the first growing season. Zoysiagrass that was sprigged in the dormant season was successfully established by the end of the first growing season while a full zoysiagrass cover was not achieved with either spring or summer plantings in Arkansas. Dormant sprigging reached full coverage as fast or faster than traditional spring or summer planting dates at both locations, indicating that bermudagrass and zoysiagrass establishment can be achieved earlier in the growing season using dormant sprigging methods.

Open Access