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  • Author or Editor: Aaron Patton x
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Important financial savings, along with reductions in environmental impact, can be achieved by planting lawns with low-input turfgrass species. Drawing on data from an online survey, this article provides empirical evidence on the factors that influence consumers’ willingness to adopt low-input turfgrasses. We group consumers into two segments: Willing Adopters and Reluctant Homeowners. Regardless of segment, consumers who regard maintenance requirements as more important were more willing to adopt low-input turfgrasses, whereas those who placed a higher value on appearance, were more unlikely to change to a low-input turfgrass, especially for Reluctant Homeowners. We categorized the barriers to adoption as follows: 1) Promotion, 2) Benefits and Accessibility, 3) Peer Effect, 4) Sample, and 5) Information. Our models predict that consumers’ willingness to adopt low-input turfgrass can be significantly increased if the identified barriers are removed. Based on our study, suppliers/retailers should adopt heterogeneous and multiple marketing strategies, such as promoting through multiple channels, informing and advising the public on proper information, providing photos or exhibiting in-store samples, triggering communication between different types of consumers, and providing incentives and improving accessibility, to target different consumer groups.

Open Access

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).

Free access

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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Preemergence (PRE) herbicides are used to control crabgrass (Digitaria spp.). Single spring applications are common in areas with relatively low crabgrass pressure, whereas sequential applications often are used to extend control in locations with high crabgrass pressure. Our objectives were to determine if changing a.i. in initial and sequential applications affects crabgrass control and if single spring applications of tank-mixed PRE herbicides provide season-long crabgrass control. Studies were conducted 2009, 2010, and 2011 in West Lafayette, IN, and 2011 in Wymore, NE. The PRE herbicides prodiamine, pendimethalin, and dithiopyr were tested using different application strategies. Sequential applications were applied mid-April and mid-June using all possible combinations of the three herbicides and untreated for the initial and sequential application. These herbicides also were applied mid-April as single full-rate PRE application or as a tank mixture of two PRE herbicides at half-plus-half or half-plus-quarter rate. Season-long crabgrass control was consistently achieved using sequential applications regardless which of the three herbicides was used for initial or sequential applications. Single applications of tank mixtures also provided consistent crabgrass control, equivalent to single full-rate applications of the individual PRE herbicides. Tank mixtures of half-plus-quarter rate and single half-rate applications resulted in more crabgrass cover than single full-rate or half-plus-half rate applications regardless of the herbicide applied.

Free access

Annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.) control with postemergence herbicides in cool-season turfgrass is often inconsistent. Amicarbazone and mesotrione have complementary modes of action but have not been evaluated in tank-mixtures for control of mature annual bluegrass in cool-season turfgrass. Field experiments were conducted during 2018 in New Jersey, and in Indiana, Iowa, and New Jersey during 2019 to evaluate springtime applications of amicarbazone and mesotrione for POST annual bluegrass control in cool-season turfgrass. On separate tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) and kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) sites in 2018, three sequential applications of amicarbazone (53 g⋅ha−1) + mesotrione at 110 to 175 g⋅ha−1 provided >70% annual bluegrass control, whereas three sequential applications of amicarbazone alone at 53 and 70 as well as two sequential applications at 110 g⋅ha−1 provided <15% control at 14 weeks after initial treatment (WAIT). In 2019, results in New Jersey were similar to 2018 where amicarbazone alone provided less control than mesotrione + amicarbazone tank-mixtures. In Indiana, where the annual bluegrass infestation was severe and most mature, tank-mixtures were more effective than amicarbazone alone at 6 WAIT, but at 12 WAIT all treatments provided poor control. In Iowa, where the annual bluegrass infestation was <1 year old, all treatments provided similar control throughout the experiment and by >80% at the conclusion of the experiment. This research demonstrates that sequential applications of mesotrione + amicarbazone can provide more annual bluegrass control than either herbicide alone, but efficacy is inconsistent across locations, possibly due to annual bluegrass maturity and infestation severity.

Open Access

Identifying sources of turfgrass cultivar performance data can be difficult for many consumers. Currently, the best source for data of this type is the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP). Unfortunately, these data are made public in a format that is not readily usable for most consumers. Ideally, turfgrass cultivar data would be available in an easily accessible database. We conducted an online survey to investigate user preferences for accessing publically available turfgrass performance data in the United States. We found users desire a turfgrass cultivar performance database that allows for the identification of cultivars best adapted and tolerant to environmental stresses. The information on turfgrass mixtures and blends is also important to most users. Users’ sociodemographic backgrounds, such as gender, education, occupation, and experience in the turf industry, affected their attitudes toward information provided in the turfgrass database. Turfgrass consumers need the new database to provide information on identifying turfgrass options that are resource efficient and endophyte resistant. Turfgrass breeders, researchers, and extension specialists use the turfgrass database to compare different turfgrasses cultivars to do further analysis. The results of this study provide important implications on how an updated turfgrass cultivar performance database and platform can fulfill the different needs of turfgrass researchers, extension personnel, breeders, and stakeholders.

Open Access

Zoysiagrass (Zoysia sp.) is used as a warm-season turfgrass for lawns, parks, and golf courses in the warm, humid and transitional climatic regions of the United States. Zoysiagrass is an allotetraploid species (2n = 4x = 40) and some cultivars are known to easily self- and cross-pollinate. Previous studies showed that genetic variability in the clonal cultivars Emerald and Diamond was likely the result of contamination (seed production or mechanical transfer) or mislabeling. To determine the extent of genetic variability of vegetatively propagated zoysiagrass cultivars, samples were collected from six commercially available zoysiagrass cultivars (Diamond, Emerald, Empire, JaMur, Meyer, Zeon) from five states (Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas). Two of the newest cultivar releases (Geo and Atlantic) were to serve as outgroups. Where available, one sample from university research plots and two samples from sod farms were collected for each cultivar per state. Forty zoysiagrass simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers and flow cytometry were used to compare genetic and ploidy variation of each collected sample to a reference sample. Seventy-five samples were genotyped and an unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean clustering revealed four groups. Group I (Z. japonica) included samples of ‘Meyer’ and Empire11 (‘Empire’ sample at location #11), Group II (Z. japonica × Z. pacifica) included samples of ‘Emerald’ and ‘Geo’, Group III (Z. matrella) included samples of ‘Diamond’ and ‘Zeon’, and Group IV (Z. japonica) consisted of samples from ‘Empire’, ‘JaMur’, ‘Atlantic’, and Meyer3 (‘Meyer’ at sample location #3). Samples of ‘Empire’, ‘Atlantic’, and ‘JaMur’ were indistinguishable with the markers used. Four samples were found to have alleles different from the respective reference cultivar, including two samples of ‘Meyer’, one sample of ‘Empire’, and one sample of ‘Emerald’. Three of these samples were from Texas and one of these samples was from Florida. Three of the four samples that were different from the reference cultivar were university samples. In addition, one sample, Empire11, was found to be an octoploid (2n = 8x = 80). For those samples that had a fingerprint different from the reference cultivar, contamination, selfing, and/or hybridization with other zoysiagrasses may have occurred.

Free access