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Huisen Zhu and Deying Li

Increased use of recycled water along with inherent soil salinity problems on golf courses make salinity an important issue for golf course management. The objective of this study was to investigate if using humus on golf fairways by topdressing or spraying can alleviate soil salinity problems and improve turf quality. The study was conducted from 2015 to 2017 at Aurora, CO, and Medora, ND. Treatments included an untreated control, topdressing (sand, sand + peat), and spraying of humic acid. Our results showed that the application of humus increased the soil microbial biomass and improved turf quality on fairways either with a soil salinity problem or irrigated with recycled water. The effects on turfgrass health and turf quality were dependent on the rates of humus applied. Humic acid at 3 gal/acre was equivalent to topdressing sand + peat (80/20 v/v) and consistently showed improved turf quality over the untreated control. Soil properties also were affected by the application of humus. Soil pH, electrical conductivity (EC), bulk density, water infiltration, and microbial biomass may have had an indirect contribution to turf quality.

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Yang Gao and Deying Li

Foliar application of fertilizers on turfgrass via overhead fertigation or spray can improve nutrient absorption efficiency and uniformity. Foliar fertilizers can also be combined with other chemical applications to save labor and energy. However, foliar application of nitrogen may result in root growth reduction. The objective of this study was to evaluate if a liquid organic amendment can be tank-mixed with liquid fertilizer to improve creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) performance. This greenhouse study was conducted on ‘Penncross’ creeping bentgrass grown in sand or 90 sand:10 peat (v/v) root zones. Three fertilizer packages (4N–0P–0.8K, 29N–0.9P–2.5K, and 20N–8.8P–16.6K) with or without the organic amendment, a liquid suspension derived from naturally mined humic materials, were tested in the study. Tank-mixing organic amendment resulted in better or same turfgrass visual quality and lower clipping yield compared with foliar fertilization alone. Tank-mixing organic amendment in liquid fertilizers resulted in an average increase of root/shoot biomass ratio from 0.62 to 0.65 grown in the sand-based root zones. The effect of organic amendment was shown in all liquid fertilizers tested except 20N–8.8P–16.6K. The results showed tank-mixing organic amendment with the right liquid fertilizer can reduce mowing frequency without reducing the turf quality. Field work is needed to test if the increased root/shoot biomass ratio by tank-mixing organic amendment with liquid fertilizer can contribute to drought tolerance in creeping bentgrass maintained at fairway height in sand-based root zones.

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Ruiqin Bai and Deying Li

Petroleum-based spills on turfgrass often occur during lawn care maintenance. The damages caused by hydrocarbons to turfgrass can be long lasting and difficult to correct because of the stable and toxic nature of hydrocarbons. The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of using detergent, nitrate nutrient, humic substance, and activated charcoal to enhance bioremediation and turf recover after gasoline, diesel, and hydraulic fluid spills. The turfgrass quality and reestablishment of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) reseeded at 0, 1, and 2 weeks after spills were evaluated. The results showed that using a liquid humic substance to remediate soil and reseed immediately after a gasoline spill was a practical method to reestablish acceptable turfgrass quality in 5 weeks. The most significant injury to perennial ryegrass caused by gasoline was bleaching of green tissues. Gasoline caused negligible residual herbicidal effects under the remediation regime in this study. However, diesel or hydraulic fluid showed phytotoxicity and residual effects in the contaminated soil for more than 2 months. Seeds applied immediately after diesel and hydraulic fluid spills lost viability as a result of the herbicidal effect of these hydrocarbons. As a result, reseeding was only successful 4 months after diesel and hydraulic fluid spills. Therefore, the time span for reestablishing perennial ryegrass turf may be too long for practical purposes in the lawn care industry.

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Longyi Yuan, Yang Gao and Deying Li

Petroleum-based spills on turfgrass often occur during lawn care maintenance. Damage caused by diesel and hydraulic fluid is particularly difficult to correct. The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of combining mulching with remediation for reseeding spilled areas in lawns. Diesel and hydraulic fluid were applied to plots at a rate of 15 L·m−2. Immediately after the spill treatments, two liquid humic amendments and an activated flowable charcoal were applied at a volume rate of 8 L·m−2, respectively, with tap water/dishwashing detergent used as a control. Nitrate nitrogen was added to each remediation treatment to facilitate remediation. The spilled areas were reseeded with perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and then mulched with biochar, peat pellets, and paper pellets, respectively. At 6 weeks after seeding, humic amendment 1 and activated charcoal showed better turf quality than humic amendment 2. Peat pellet mulching presented better turf quality than other mulching methods. Reseeding perennial ryegrass and mulching with peat pellets after remediation with either humic amendment 1 or activated charcoal resulted in acceptable turf quality 6 weeks after diesel and hydraulic fluid spills. Therefore, this reestablishment method is recommended as a practical way to deal with diesel or hydraulic fluid spills in cool-season turfgrasses.

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Huiying Li, Hongji Luo, Deying Li, Tao Hu and Jinmin Fu

Lead pollution is an important issue in the world. Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), as one of the widely used turfgrass and forage species, has a potential for bioremediation. The objective of this study was to investigate how antioxidant enzymes and their gene transcripts respond to Pb stress in perennial ryegrass. Ryegrass seedlings were subjected to 0, 0.5, and 3.2 mm of Pb(NO3)2 for 7 days in a hydroponic system maintained in a greenhouse. Both root and shoot growths were inhibited by Pb compared with the control. However, contents of chlorophyll (Chl) a and total Chl were unaffected by Pb treatment. Results from this study showed a substantial increase of malondialdehyde (MDA) content in leaf tissues when perennial ryegrass was exposed to Pb at 3.2 mm. The MDA content from plants in the 0.5 mm Pb treatment was lower than the control, indicating that an effective defense mechanism existed. Circumstantial evidence came also from the content of soluble protein in 0.5 mm Pb treatment, which was not different from the control. Furthermore, the activity of catalase (CAT) increased at 0.5 mm Pb compared with the control, indicating that CAT might play an important role in scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS). The expression profiles of eight genes encoding antioxidative enzymes were upregulated within 24 hours of Pb treatment. In conclusion, antioxidant enzymes responded to Pb at an early stage of exposure and their gene expression profiles provided more details in time courses of the activation of those systems.

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Lijuan Xie, Deying Li, Wenjuan Fang and Kirk Howatt

Selective control of creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) is desirable when it has escaped into other turfgrasses. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence on creeping bentgrass control from adding urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) to mesotrione plus non-ionic surfactant (NIS) spray solution, and raking to remove dead tissues of creeping bentgrass. A 2-year field study was conducted with a split-plot design, where raking was the whole plot treatment and herbicide was the sub-plot treatment. Herbicide treatments included application of mesotrione at 56 and 70 g·ha−1 singly and sequentially with 0.25% (v/v) NIS or 0.25% (v/v) NIS plus 2.5% (v/v) UAN solution. Sequential applications were made three times on a 2-week interval. Removing the dead clippings by raking improved the creeping bentgrass control from 60% to 73% averaged over rates, timings, adjuvants, and years. Adding UAN to NIS plus mesotrione improved creeping bentgrass control from 78% to 98% with three sequential applications at 70 g·ha−1.

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Longyi Yuan, Deying Li, Yang Gao and Wenjing Xiao

Deicing salts often are applied to sidewalks and roadways to enhance pedestrian and driving safety during freezing weather. For example, in eastern North Dakota, average annual snow days and amount are 29 days and 40 inches, respectively. This study was conducted in Fargo, ND, to investigate the population dynamics of turfgrass mixtures composed of kentucky bluegrass [KB (Poa pratensis)], creeping red fescue [RF (Festuca rubra)], and alkaligrass [ALK (Puccinellia sp.)] with the goal of optimizing turf quality by selecting seed ratios containing these species in home lawn mixtures and subject to frequent applications of deicing salts. A total of 21 mixtures were generated based on simplex-lattice design with KB, ALK, and RF contributing to 0%, 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100% of their respective full-seeding rate of 150, 150, and 300 lb/acre, respectively, after pure live seed (PLS) adjustment. The mixtures were tested at annual deicing salt rates of 0, 160, 320 lb/acre, which represent typical application. The results showed that the botanical component of the stands of grasses shifted over a 2-year period for all salt levels. Despite the good salinity tolerance of ALK reported elsewhere, it did not contribute to the improvement of turf quality in mixtures receiving deicing salts at 320 lb/acre per year. Therefore, ALK is not recommended for lawn, but mixing KB and RF in 48% and 52% of their respective full-seeding rates was recommended for areas adjacent to deicing salt applications.

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Yongqiang Qian, Deying Li, Lei Han and Zhenyuan Sun

Understanding the effect of photosynthate translocation on the shoot density of buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) is very important to improve its turf quality. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of water stress on water transport patterns, endogenous hormone distribution and allocation, and photosynthate allocation for connected buffalograss ramets. Clones from a single parent plant of ‘Texoka’ buffalograss were used to generate three-ramet units. Ramets are members of a clone that are not independent from the parent plant. Each water stress treatment had one of the three ramets cultured in half-strength Hoagland solution with 30% of polyethylene glycol (PEG) of −1.2 MPa ψS, while the other two ramets were kept in half-strength Hoagland solution with ψS of −0.05 MPa. Results indicated that inter-ramet water integration happened when one of the connected ramets was under water stress. Transzeatin riboside content decreased in roots treated with PEG. Abscisic acid content increased in the roots of all treatments compared with the control. Water stress caused a reduction of indole-3-acetic acid content in shoots and roots, especially the ramet stressed. Gibberellic acid content in shoots and roots of all treatments increased compared with the control. Within the control, young ramets were sinks of photosynthate, but translocation toward older ramets was detected using 14CO2 label when the older ramet was under stress. Xylem, phloem, and parenchyma cells were probably involved in the physiological integration of these responses. Fates of connected clonal ramets of buffalograss were interrelated and the agronomic significance of this result should be evaluated further.

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Zhao Xiang, Zhu Huisen, Gao Yang and Li Deying

Tall fescue [Schedonorus arundinaceus (Schreb) Dumort] has potential in cool arid regions, where it is often subject to salinity stress. The objective of this 2-year field study was to investigate the effect of nitrogen sources on tall fescue turf quality under salinity stress in the northern Great Plains of North America. ‘Wolfpack’, ‘Wolfpack II’, ‘Tar Heel’, ‘Tar Heel II’, ‘Jaguar 3’, ‘Jaguar 4G’, and ‘Arid 3’ were treated with NaCl and CaCl2 in equal amounts. Six N sources were used for fertilization: nitrate-N, urea-N, ammonium-N, urea-N/ammonium-N/nitrate-N, urea-N with urase and nitrification inhibitor, and organic N. Salt treatment reduced turf quality of all cultivars. Turf quality was affected differently by N source. Regardless of salt treatments, urea stabilized with a urease inhibitor and a nitrification inhibitor consistently had the best turf quality. Equal amounts of nitrate, ammonium, and urea-N yielded the lowest turf quality. However, there was no interaction between N source and salt treatment. These results were also supported by green density (GD), dark-green color index (DGCI), shoot chlorophyll (Chl) content, and leaf relative water content (RWC). Tall fescue cultivars responded to salinity treatment differently, with ‘Wolfpack II’ being the cultivar ranked consistently at the top and maintained above the acceptable level of visual quality.