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Zachary J. Reicher and Glenn A. Hardebeck

Converting cool-season golf course fairways to creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds.) is desirable because it affords excellent playability, enhanced recuperative potential, and enhanced disease tolerance compared to annual bluegrass (Poa annua sp. Timm.) or perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), which are common species in fairways. However, converting current golf course fairways to creeping bentgrass with nonselective herbicides is problematic because it disrupts play and decreases revenue, as fairways must be closed for an extended period of time. The objective of our study was to quantify the effect of trinexapac-ethyl (TE), overseeding date, and overseeding rate on the success on the gradual conversion of cool-season fairways to creeping bentgrass over 3 years. `Penneagle' creeping bentgrass was overseeded at 0, 49, or 98 kg·ha-1 in fall, spring, or fall+spring after aerification, and application of TE at 0.0, 0.2, or 0.4 kg·ha-1. Gradual conversion to creeping bentgrass was effective, on perennial ryegrass fairways, with up to 36% cover of creeping bentgrass after 3 years of overseeding. However, only a maximum of 3% creeping bentgrass cover was obtained after the third year of overseeding into primarily annual bluegrass fairways. Fall overseeding with bentgrass at 49 or 98 kg·ha-1 was equally effective and additional spring overseeding did not improve establishment. Applications of TE prior to overseeding did not enhance the conversion. Chemical name used: 4-cyclopropyl-a-hydroxy-methylene-3,5-dioxocyclohexanecarboxylic acid ethyl ester (trinexapac-ethyl).

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Glenn A. Hardebeck, Ronald F. Turco, Richard Latin and Zachary J. Reicher

Pseudomonas aureofaciens strain Tx-1 is suggested as a biological control for Sclerotinia homoeocarpa (F.T. Bennett) and brown patch (Rhizoctonia solani Kuhn) on golf courses. To overcome application difficulties, a field bioreactor is used to grow Tx-1 daily and then inject into nightly irrigation on the golf course. Though Tx-1 shows some promise for disease control in vitro, it is relatively untested under field conditions. We conducted three field experiments to 1) evaluate the efficacy Tx-1 when applied through an irrigation system for the control of dollar spot and brown patch; 2) determine if there is an interaction between nitrogen fertility or fungicides on efficacy of Tx-1; and 3) determine if Tx-1 can extend the duration of dollar spot control by a single application of fungicide. Nightly applications of Tx-1 through irrigation did not affect brown patch on `Astoria' colonial bentgrass (Agrostis capillaris Sibth.) during the 2 years of our study. Tx-1 reduced dollar spot in `Crenshaw' creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds.) by 37% in 1998 compared to non-Tx-1 treatments, but Tx-1 had no effect on dollar spot in 1999. Under low disease pressure, Tx-1 increased the dollar spot control of fungicides by 32% and increased the duration of control by 2.6 days. However, Tx-1 had no effect on fungicide efficacy or duration of control later in the summer when dollar spot pressure was high. Fungicides did not negatively affect Tx-1's control of brown patch or dollar spot, nor did fertilizer regime affect brown patch or dollar spot control by Tx-1. Although delivery of Tx-1 in our studies was optimized, disease control was marginal and occurred only under low disease pressure. Therefore, we conclude Tx-1 has limited practical value for turfgrass disease control on golf courses.

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Bruce E. Branham, Glenn A. Hardebeck, Joseph W. Meyer and Zachary J. Reicher

Annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.) is an invasive weed producing copious amounts of viable seed that compete with seedling turfgrasses during renovation. These field studies were conducted to determine the effectiveness of dazomet (tetrahydro-3,5-dimethyl-2H-1,3,5-thiadiazine-2-thione), a granular soil sterilant that breaks down in soil to release methyl isothiocyanate (MITC), for controlling the soil seed bank of annual bluegrass during turfgrass renovation. Field trials in Urbana, Ill., and West Lafayette, Ind., in Spring and Fall 2000 and 2001 evaluated dazomet rate from 0 to 504 kg·ha-1 and soil preparation techniques to determine the most effective practices to reduce annual bluegrass reestablishment into a creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) seeding. The interval, in days, between dazomet application and creeping bentgrass planting was also examined to determine the optimal seeding time as measured by the level of annual bluegrass reestablishment. Spring trials generally gave poor results that were attributed to windy conditions resulting in rapid loss of MITC. The annual bluegrass soil seed bank was reduced 46% in spring trials compared to 78% in fall trials. Increasing dazomet rates reduced the absolute number of viable annual bluegrass seeds remaining in the soil. However, significant quantities of viable seed remained, regardless of dazomet rate. Annual bluegrass infested the renovated turf in all trials to varying degrees. Dazomet rates of 420 or 504 kg·ha-1 yielded the lowest rates of annual bluegrass reestablishment. Trials conducted in the fall at these rates resulted in annual bluegrass cover of 1% to 20% in the resulting turf. Creeping bentgrass planted at 1 day after dazomet application had significantly less annual bluegrass than when seeded at 7 or 9 days after dazomet application. Dazomet is a tool that can help reestablish a new turf with lower levels of annual bluegrass. However, eradication of annual bluegrass with dazomet is not likely and environmental conditions will dramatically affect the success of the sterilization.

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Zachary J. Reicher, Glenn A. Hardebeck, Fred F. Yelverton, Nick E. Christians, Barbara Bingaman and Jay Turner

Annual grassy weeds often inhibit establishment of spring-seeded creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds.) on golf courses. The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the safety of the annual grass herbicide quinclorac in spring-seeded creeping bentgrass in varying climatic regions of the United States. Experiments were initiated in Indiana, Iowa, and North Carolina in Spring 2000. Treatments included siduron at 6.72 kg·ha-1 a.i. applied immediately prior to planting (PRE), and quinclorac at 0.84 kg·ha-1 a.i. applied 7 days before seeding (DBS), PRE, and 14 or 28 days after emergence (DAE). Herbicides were applied to three creeping bentgrass cultivars at each location. Siduron reduced establishment of `Providence', `L93', and `Putter' creeping bentgrass in Indiana. Quinclorac applied PRE, 14 DAE, and 28 DAE caused short-term phytotoxicity, primarily in `Providence' in Indiana. Quinclorac applications did not significantly affect cover of `Providence', `L93', or `Putter' in Indiana or `L93', `Pennlinks', or `Penncross' in Iowa. All applications of quinclorac reduced cover of `L93', `Pennlinks', and `Penncross' in North Carolina. Though quinclorac applications resulted in no long-term damage when applied to creeping bentgrass seedlings in Indiana or Iowa, results from North Carolina indicate that caution should be exercised when using quinclorac on seedlings of creeping bentgrass. Chemical names used: 3,7-dichloro-8-quinolinecarboxylic acid (quinclorac); 1-(2-methylcyclohexyl)-3-phenylurea (siduron).