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  • Author or Editor: Anthony Koski x
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of soil-incorporated hydrogel to reduce irrigation requirements of transplanted Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) sod. The treatments included an untilled control, tilled soil, and tilled soil with incorporated hydrogel. Initial irrigation treatment were made daily, at various percentages of potential evapotraspiration (PET), to determine irrigation requirements of newly transplanted sod. Other irrigation treatments were later imposed on transplanted sod which had been established at 100% of PET, to determine irrigation requirements of established sod. Turf quality was measured weekly, and sod transplant rooting strength was also measured.

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Native turfgrasses have received greater attention in recent years because of their usefulness in growing in areas where many other grasses cannot. Saltgrass (Distichlis spicata) has good salt tolerance, but the natural germination rate for the seed is low. This is most likely due to the thickness of the seed coat inhibiting normal imbibition of water. Previous research in our laboratory has demonstrated increased germination with hand-scarification. The purpose of this research was to compare germination rates of machine-scarified, hand-scarified, and nonscarified seed. Scarifying the seeds by hand results in greater uniformity, but the operation is tedious and time-consuming. Machine scarification is quick, but the seeds have reduced uniformity. Two seed lots, one designated “Modoc” and one designated “Granite,” were compared in laboratory and field germination tests. Preliminary observations have shown that “Granite” seed had somewhat higher viability and vigor than the “Modoc” seed. Significantly greater germination occurred with scarification when seeds were germinated at 14 h of light at 30 °C and 10 h of darkness at 20 °C in the laboratory. Although scarification treatments were similar with the “Granite” seeds, near 80% germination, there were significant differences between hand and machine scarification with the”Modoc” seeds; hand scarified seed had greater germination. The field germination experiment had similar results to the laboratory experiments with “Granite” seed. However, scarification did not aid germination of “Modoc” seed. This is thought to be due to low vigor and associated death of seedlings prior to emergence. Preliminary data confirm the low vigor of the “Modoc” seed as compared to “Granite” seed.

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An assessment plan for the Horticulture and Landscape Horticulture majors has been developed as part of a university-wide effort to assess resident instruction. The program mission has been described as the preparation of graduates with a passion for Horticulture/Landscape Horticulture who can contribute to Colorado's agricultural and green industry economy through high levels of: 1) technical competency and skills, including disciplinary competence, and a working knowledge in the appropriate field; 2) management and leadership skills; and 3) problem-solving skills. Assessment methods involved the development of evaluation forms for internships, practicum, independent study, group study, and the capstone courses. Student, faculty, clients, and industry personnel used standardized forms, which varied somewhat for the two majors and seven concentrations, to critically assess and score student and faculty efforts. Internships, practicum, and capstone courses were evaluated for program purpose. The management and leadership skills of the students were evaluated based on their performance during internships by cooperators and also by their activities, as demonstrated through their involvement in university, college, departmental, and community activities. Problem-solving skills were evaluated primarily through student performance in capstone courses, with specific criteria in the internship and in leadership activities of clubs. The expectation is that 70% to 75% of the students will score 3 or 3+ on all criteria established for a rating system of 1–5. Students have generally met this standard and plans are under way to continually upgrade courses and related activities to improve the teaching program

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Buffalograss (Buchloë dactyloides [Nutt.] Engelm.) is adapted for use as a low maintenance turf in much of the semi-arid West. New cultivars with improved turf characteristics are being developed and released, but little information quantifying either relative tolerance or variability among germplasms to salt stress is available. An in vitro procedure was used to characterize seedling growth response to additions of 0-300 mol m-3 NaCl in 50 mol m-3 increments in media containing MS basal salts solidified with 0.6% agar. Germinated seeds of cultivars Sharp's Improved, Texoka, Topgun, and Plains transferred to treatments were evaluated after 40 d growth. The threshold for decline in shoot dry matter vs control was 50 mol m-3 NaCl for all cultivars. An average 50% shoot dry matter reduction vs controls across cultivars was found at 150 mol m-3 NaCl, affecting leaf length but not survival; shoot [Na+] ranged from 9.12 - 9.86 mg g-1 dry matter. Survival was severely affected at 250 mol m-3 NaCl. Cv. × NaCl interaction was significant.

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