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- Author or Editor: Bradley S. Sladek x
Slow growth and establishment rate has become a major limitation to the increased use of zoysiagrass (Zoysia spp.) as a turfgrass surface. Two separate field studies were conducted to evaluate the effect of genotype, planting date, and plug spacing on zoysiagrass establishment. Field experiments were conducted in 2007 and 2008 to quantify the establishment rate of six zoysiagrass genotypes from vegetative plugs. ‘Meyer’ exhibited the largest plug diameter (22 cm) 6 weeks after planting (WAP). In contrast, ‘Diamond’ exhibited the smallest plug diameter (13 cm) 6 WAP. A similar trend was observed 12 WAP. ‘Meyer’, ‘Zorro’, and ‘Shadow Turf’ exhibited the largest plug diameters (60, 58, and 57 cm, respectively) 12 WAP. In contrast, ‘Emerald’ and ‘Diamond’ exhibited the smallest plug diameters (41 and 40 cm, respectively) 12 WAP. Although statistically different, all zoysiagrass genotypes reached similar establishment 18 WAP indicating that plugging these genotypes in a comparable environment and using techniques described in this research may result in analogous long-term (18 weeks) establishment. Field experiments were conducted in 2006 and 2007 to determine the optimum planting date and plug spacing of ‘Shadow Turf’ zoysiagrass. ‘Shadow Turf’ zoysiagrass plugs planted on 28 July 2006 (11% to 65% cover) and 14 June 2007 (5% to 39% cover) exhibited the greatest increase in turfgrass cover 6 WAP, except for plugs planted 15.2 cm apart on 26 May 2006 (74% cover). Zoysiagrass cover was greatest for plugs planted on 26 May 2006 (63% to 100%) and 17 May 2007 (46% to 97%) 16 WAP regardless of plug spacing. These planting dates corresponded to the highest accumulative growing degree-days (GDD) experienced by all planting dates in both years. Plugs planted on 15.2-cm centers exhibited the greatest zoysiagrass cover 6 and 16 WAP regardless of planting date. Using late spring/early summer planting dates and 15.2- to 30.5-cm plug spacings may result in the quickest turfgrass cover when establishing ‘Shadow Turf’ zoysiagrass from plugs.
Establishing turfgrass in shaded environments can create a unique maintenance challenge. Shading reduces zoysiagrass (Zoysia spp.) photosynthesis and results in reduced turfgrass aesthetic quality. Zoysiagrass is a warm-season, perennial turfgrass that forms a dense, uniform turf through the production of rhizomes and stolons. It has demonstrated good tolerance to growth in reduced light intensity environments. Greenhouse experiments were conducted in 2006 and 2007 to evaluate the relative difference in growth response to three light intensities (0%, 50%, and 90% shade) among six zoysiagrass genotypes under artificial shade conditions. Percent change in zoysiagrass plug diameter decreased as shade level increased 6 and 12 weeks after planting (WAP) regardless of year or genotype. ‘Diamond’ and ‘Shadow Turf’ exhibited the greatest percent change in plug diameter 12 WAP (60% to 69%) followed by the remaining zoysiagrass genotypes (21% to 56%) when grown under 50% shade, regardless of year. In 2006, no zoysiagrass genotype maintained acceptable turfgrass quality (6 or greater) 12 WAP when grown under 50% shade. However, ‘Diamond’ and ‘Shadow Turf’ exhibited acceptable turfgrass quality ratings (7.0 and 6.3) 12 WAP in 2007, whereas all other genotypes exhibited unacceptable turfgrass quality ratings (5.0 to 5.7). In 2006, ‘Shadow Turf’ zoysiagrass exhibited the greatest percent increase in plug diameter (21%) followed by ‘DALZ 0501’ (15%) and ‘Diamond’ (5%) 12 WAP when grown under 90% shade. All other zoysiagrass genotypes exhibited decreases in plug diameter (31% to 87%). In 2007, ‘Shadow Turf’ and ‘Diamond’ exhibited the greatest percent change in plug diameter (11%) followed by ‘DALZ 0501’ (7%) 12 WAP when grown under 90% shade. All other zoysiagrass genotypes exhibited decreases in plug diameter (17% to 38%). Turfgrass quality declined as shade level increased 6 and 12 WAP regardless of year or genotype. ‘Shadow Turf’ and ‘Diamond’ exhibited the highest turfgrass quality ratings (4.7 and 3.7, respectively, in 2006 and 5.3 in 2007) 12 WAP when grown under 90% shade. Proper zoysiagrass cultivar selection may improve turfgrass growth and quality under low light intensity while increasing turfgrass options for shaded environments.