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Lambert B. McCarty and Daniel L. Colvin

Buffalograss [Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.] is a turfgrass species traditionally adapted to low-rainfall areas that may incur unacceptable weed encroachment when grown in higher rainfall areas such as Florida. An experiment was performed to evaluate the tolerance of two new buffalograss cultivars, `Oasis' and `Prairie', to postemergence herbicides commonly used for grass, broadleaf, and sedge weed control. Twenty to 40 days were required for each cultivar to recover from treatment with asulam, MSMA, and sethoxydim (2.24, 2.24, and 0.56 kg-ha-l, respectively). Other herbicides used for postemergence grass weed control (metsulfuron, quinclorac, and diclofop at 0.017, 0.56, and 1.12 kg·ha-1, respectively) did not cause unacceptable buffalograss injury. Herbicides used for postemergence broadleaf weed control, triclopyr, 2,4-D, sulfometuron, dicamba (0.56, 1.12, 0.017, and 0.56 kg·ha-1, respectively), and a three-way combination of 2,4-D + dicamba + mecoprop (1.2 + 0.54 + 0.13 kg·ha-1), caused 20 to 30 days of unacceptable or marginally acceptable turfgrass quality, while 20 days were required for `Prairie' buffalograss to recover from atrazine treatments. `Oasis' buffalograss did not fully recover from 2,4-D or 2,4-D + dicamba + mecoprop through 40 days after treatment. Herbicides used for postemergence sedge control, bentazon and imazaquin, caused slightly reduced, but acceptable, levels of turf quality in both cultivars throughout the experiment. Chemical names used: 6-chloro-N-ethyl-N'-(1-methylethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine (atrazine); methyl[(4-aminophenyl)sulfonyl]carhamate (asulam); 3-(1-methylethyl)-(1H)-2,1,3-benzothiadiazin-4(3H)-one 2,2-dioxide (bentazon); 3,6-dichloro-2-methoxybenzoic acid (dicamba); (±)-2-[4-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenoxy]propanoic acid (diclofop); 2-[4,5-dihydro-4-methyl-4-(1-methylethyl)-5-oxo-1H-imidazol-2-yl]-3-quinolinecarboxylic acid (imazaquin); (±)-2-(4-chloro-2-methylphenoxy)propanoic acid (mecoprop); 2-[[[[(4-methoxy-6-methyl-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl)amino]carbonyl]amino]sulfonyl]benzoic acid (metsulfuron); monosodium salt of methylarsonic acid (MSMA); 2-[1-(ethoxyimino)butyl]-5-[2-(ethylthio)propyl]-3-hydroxy-2-cyclohexen-1-one(sethoxydim); 2-[[[[(4,6-dimethylethyl-2-pyrimidinyl)amino]carbonyl]amino]sulfonyl]benzoic acid (sulfometuron); [(3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinyl)oxy]acetic acid (triclopyr); (2,4-dichlorophenoxyl)acetic acid (2,4-D); 3,7-dichloro-8-quinolinecarboxylic acid (quinclorac).

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B. Todd Bunnell, Lambert B. McCarty, and Hoke S. Hill

Creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds.) is used on putting greens for its fine-leaf texture, consistent speed, smooth ball roll, and year-round color. In recent years bentgrass use has extended into the warmer climates of the southern United States. Being a C3 plant, bentgrass is not well adapted to extended hot and humid environmental conditions. Subsurface air movement systems are now commercially available that can transport air through the root zone to alter soil conditions and potentially improve bentgrass survival. This research investigated the effects of subsurface air movement on the composition of soil gases, matric potential, temperature, and growth response of a sand-based creeping bentgrass golf green. Treatments included: air movement direction (evacuate, inject, and no air) and duration of air movement (0400-0600 hr, 1000-1800 hr, and 24 hours). Treatment combinations were imposed for 13 days. Subsurface air movement reduced CO2 at the 9-cm depth to values <0.0033 mol·mol-1 when evacuating or injecting air, depending upon duration. Soil matric potentials at a 9-cm depth were decreased by a maximum of 96% when evacuating air for 24-hour duration compared to no-air plots. Soil temperatures at 9 cm were decreased ≈1 to 1.5 °C when injecting air from 1000 to 1800 hr and 24-hour treatments and increased ≈0.75 °C when evacuating air from 1000 to 1800 hr. Subsurface air movement did not improve creeping bentgrass turf quality or rooting. Although not effective in improving the growth response of creeping bentgrass, subsurface air movement may be a useful tool to improve soil gas composition, reduce excess soil moisture, and potentially reduce soil temperature(s) of heat-stressed creeping bentgrass golf greens.

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Lambert B. McCarty, Leon T. Lucas, and Joseph M. DiPaola

Spring dead spot (SDS) [Gaeumannomyces graminis (Sacc.) von Arx & D. Olivier var. graminis Walker] is a serious disease of bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] throughout much of the southern United States and is believed to be at least partially influenced by the previous year's turfgrass management practices. Research was performed to: a) determine the efficacy of selected fungicide control measures; and b) determine the influence of N and K nutrient regimes on the expression of SDS symptoms in Tifway bermudagrass (C. dactylon x C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy). Averaged over two sites in 2 years, a 72% reduction in SDS followed a fall application of benomyl at 12 kg·ha. Fenarimol applied at three rates (1.5, 2.3, and 3.0 kg·ha) on three fall dates reduced SDS by a combined average of 66%. A single application of propiconazole (2.5 kg·ha) reduced disease by an average of 56%. Application of N (98 kg·ha) in late fall increased SDS 128% in one test location. Application of potassium sulfate (269 kg K/ha) in late fall resulted in an average increase in SDS expression of 89% the following spring over all experiments. Turf managers with severe SDS should minimize heavy late-fall K applications and possibly use benomyl, fenarimol, or propiconazole for disease suppression. Chemical names used: α -(2-chlorophenyl)α -(4-chlorophenyl)-S-pyrimidinemethanol (fenarimol); [methyl 1(butylcarbamoyl)-2-benzimidazolecarbamate] (benomyl); 1-[[2-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4propyl-1,3-dioxolan-2-yl]methyl]--1H-1,2,4-triazole (propiconazole).

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Patrick E. McCullough, Haibo Liu, and Lambert B. McCarty

Trinexapac-ethyl (TE) is an effective plant growth retardant for hybrid bermudagrass; however, growth responses of various dwarf-type bermudagrass cultivars to TE have not been reported. Two 60-day greenhouse experiments were conducted at the Clemson Greenhouse Research Complex, Clemson, S.C., to evaluate the response of `Champion', `FloraDwarf', `MiniVerde', `MS Supreme', `Tifdwarf', and `TifEagle' bermudagrass with and without TE at 0.0125 kg·ha-1 a.i. per 10 days. From 20 to 60 days after initial treatments, TE enhanced visual quality 9% to 13% for all cultivars. From four samples, TE reduced clippings 63%, 63%, 69%, 62%, 64%, and 46% for `Champion', `FloraDwarf', `MiniVerde', `Tifdwarf', and `TifEagle', respectively. Trinexapac-ethyl enhanced root mass 23% and 27% for `MiniVerde' and `FloraDwarf' bermudagrass, respectively. `Champion', `MS Supreme', `Tifdwarf', and `TifEagle' bermudagrass treated with TE had similar root mass to the untreated respective cultivars. Among untreated cultivars, `FloraDwarf', `MiniVerde', `MS Supreme', and `Tifdwarf' had similar root masses; however compared to these cultivars, `Champion' and `TifEagle' had 33% and 81% less root mass, respectively. Root length was unaffected by TE; however, `Champion' and `TifEagle' averaged 20% and 36% less root length compared to `Tifdwarf' bermudagrass, respectively, while `FloraDwarf', `MiniVerde', and `MS Supreme' had similar root length to `Tifdwarf'. Trinexapac-ethyl safely enhanced turf quality and reduced clipping yield at 0.0125 kg·ha-1 per 10 days without inhibiting root growth of six dwarf-type bermudagrasses. Chemical name used: [4-(cyclopropyl-[α]-hydroxymethylene)-3,5-dioxo-cyclohexane carboxylic acid ethyl ester] (trinexapac-ethyl).

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Patrick E. McCullough, Haibo Liu, and Lambert B. McCarty

Plant growth regulators (PGRs) are commonly used to enhance putting green quality and ball roll distances but their effects with various mowing operations have not been reported. Three experiments were conducted and repeated at Clemson University, Clemson, SC, on an `L-93' creeping bentgrass putting green to evaluate the effects of mowing operations and PGRs on diurnal ball roll distances. The PGRs tested included ethephon at (a.i.) 3.8 kg·ha-1, flurprimidol at (a.i.) 0.28 kg·ha-1, paclobutrazol at (a.i.) 0.28 kg·ha-1, and trinexapac-ethyl at (a.i.) 0.05 kg·ha-1. Mowing operations tested included rolling vs. mowing, morning mowing vs. morning plus afternoon mowing, and single vs. double morning mowing, all with and without PGRs. PGR by mowing operation interactions did not occur in any experiments. Ball roll distances decreased from 12:00 hr to evening observations in all experiments. In Experiment 1, rolling the green without mowing reduced ball roll distance 4% (5 cm) compared to mowing. Turf rolled without mowing in the morning and treated with flurprimidol, paclobutrazol, and trinexapac-ethyl produced similar ball roll at 12:00, 15:00, and 18:00 hr to mowed untreated turf. In Experiment 2, all plots were mowed at 08:00 hr and half of each plot was remowed at 12:30 hr. The second mowing at 12:30 hr enhanced ball roll distances 6% (8 cm) over the day. Turf mowed only at 08:00 and treated with paclobutrazol and trinexapac-ethyl had greater or equal ball roll distances at 12:30, 15:30, and 18:30 hr to untreated turf that had a second mowing at 12:30 hr. Turf receiving ethephon and 08:00 hr mowing had 4% to 12% (4 to 17 cm) shorter ball roll distances throughout the day compared to untreated turf mowed at 8:00 and 08:00+12:30 hr, respectively. In the third experiment, mowing twice in the morning increased ball roll 3% (4 cm) compared to mowing once. Trinexapac-ethyl and paclobutrazol treated turf mowed once in the morning had greater or equal ball roll distances throughout the day to untreated turf mowed twice in the morning. Overall, PGR use may provide putting green ball roll distances similar to or greater than untreated turf despite additional mowing; however, ethephon reduced ball roll distances regardless of mowing operations. Chemical names used: [4-(cyclopropyl-[α]-hydroxymethylene)-3,5-dioxo-cyclohexane carboxylic acid ethyl ester] (trinexapac-ethyl); {α-(1-methylethyl)-α-[4-(trifluoro-methoxy) phenyl] 5-pyrimidine-methanol} (flurprimidol); (+/-)-(R*,R*)-β-[(4-chlorophenyl) methyl]-α-(1, 1-dimethyl)-1H-1,2,4,-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol); [(2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid] (ethephon).

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Patrick E. McCullough, Haibo Liu, and Lambert B. McCarty

Plant growth regulators are applied to inhibit uneven shoot growth of putting green turf but research is limited on responses of dwarf-type bermudagrass cultivars to growth inhibition. Experiments were conducted at the Clemson University Greenhouse Complex with `Champion' and `TifEagle' bermudagrass grown in polyvinylchloride containers with 40 cm depths and 177 cm2 areas built to United States Golf Association specification. Flurprimidol was applied at 0.14, 0.28, and 0.48 kg·ha–1 a.i. and paclobutrazol at 0.14 kg·ha–1 a.i. on separate containers. Flurprimidol at 0.28 and 0.42 kg·ha-1 caused 17% and 31% reduction in turf color 5 weeks after treatment (WAT), respectively. `Champion' exhibited unacceptable turf injury (>30%) 2 WAT from paclobutrazol and all flurprimidol rates. `TifEagle' had unacceptable turf injury from flurprimidol at 0.42 kg·ha–1 2 WAT, 0.28 kg·ha–1 3 WAT, and 0.14 kg·ha–1 4 WAT that did not recover. Moderate injury (16% to 30%) was observed from paclobutrazol on `TifEagle' but ratings were acceptable. After 6 weeks, flurprimidol at 0.14, 0.28, and 0.42 kg·ha–1 reduced bermudagrass green shoot density (GSD) per square centimeter by 20%, 40%, and 40%, respectively, while paclobutrazol reduced GSD 12%. `TifEagle' total clipping yield was reduced 60%, 76%, and 86% from flurprimidol at 0.14, 0.28, and 0.42 kg·ha–1, respectively, and 37% from paclobutrazol. `Champion' total clipping yield was reduced 82%, 90%, and 90% from flurprimidol at 0.14, 0.28, and 0.42 kg·ha–1, respectively, and 58% from paclobutrazol. After 6 weeks, flurprimidol reduced `Champion' total root mass by 44% over all three rates. `Champion' treated with paclobutrazol had similar total root mass to the untreated. `TifEagle' treated with all PGRs had similar rooting to the untreated. Overall, flurprimidol will likely not be suitable for dwarf bermudagrass maintenance at these rates; however paclobutrazol may have potential at ≤0.14 kg·ha–1. Chemical names used: Flurprimidol {α-(1-methylethyl)-α-[4-(trifluoro-methoxy) phenyl] 5-pyrimidine-methanol}; Paclobutrazol, (+/-)–(R*,R*)-β-[(4-chlorophenyl) methyl]-α-(1, 1-dimethyl)-1H-1,2,4,-triazole-1-ethanol.

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Patrick E. McCullough, Haibo Liu, and Lambert B. McCarty

Plant growth regulators (PGRs) are often applied in combinations to reduce turf clippings, enhance turf quality, and suppress Poa annua L.; however, effects of PGR combinations on putting green ball roll distances have not been reported. Two field experiments were conducted on an `L-93' creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera var. palustris Huds.) putting green in Clemson, S.C., to investigate effects of four PGRs with and without a subsequent application of ethephon at 3.8 kg·ha–1 a.i. 6 days after initial treatments. The PGRs initially applied included ethephon at 3.8 kg·ha–1 a.i., flurprimidol at 0.28 kg·ha–1 a.i., paclobutrazol at 0.28 kg·ha–1 a.i., and trinexapac-ethyl at 0.05 kg·ha–1 a.i.. Ball roll distances were enhanced 3% to 6% (4 to 8 cm) by exclusive flurprimidol, paclobutrazol, and trinexapac-ethyl treatments. The additional ethephon application reduced ball distances 2% to 9% (2 to 11 cm). Paclobutrazol and trinexapac-ethyl treated turf receiving the additional ethephon application had longer or similar ball roll distances to non-PGR treated turf. The additional ethephon treatment reduced turf quality to unacceptable levels 1 and 2 weeks after applications. However, bentgrass treated previously with trinexapac-ethyl and paclobutrazol had 8 to 16% higher visual quality following the additional ethephon treatment relative to non-PGR treated turf receiving the subsequent ethephon application. Overall, ethephon may have deleterious effects on monostand creeping bentgrass putting green quality and ball roll distances; however, applying ethephon with GA inhibitors could mitigate these adverse effects. Chemical names used: [4-(cyclopropyl-[α]-hydroxymethylene)-3,5-dioxo-cyclohexane carboxylic acid ethyl ester] (trinexapac-ethyl); {α-(1-methylethyl)-α-[4-(trifluoro-methoxy) phenyl] 5-pyrimidine-methanol} (flurprimidol); (+/-)–(R*,R*)-β-[(4-chlorophenyl) methyl]-α-(1, 1-dimethyl)-1H-1,2,4,-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol); [(2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid] (ethephon).

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Patrick E. McCullough, Haibo Liu, and Lambert B. McCarty

Trinexapac-ethyl (TE) is a plant growth regulator registered for periodic applications on creeping bentgrass greens but ball roll as affected by various TE regimens have not been reported. Field experiments were conducted in Clemson, S.C., from May to July 2003 and 2004 on an `L-93' creeping bentgrass putting green. Turf received a total of 0.2 kg·ha–1 a.i. of TE over 12 weeks in three application regimens: 0.017 kg·ha–1 per week, 0.033 kg·ha–1 per 2 weeks, and 0.05 kg·ha-1 per 3 weeks plus a control. Ball roll distances were measured weekly with a stimpmeter in the morning (900 to 1100 hr) and evening (>1700 hr). Morning ball roll distances were generally longer than evening. Ball roll distances increased from June to July 2003 and from May to July 2004, likely resulting from greater bentgrass summer heat stress during the test period. Turf treated with biweekly and triweekly TE regimens had enhanced ball roll on three and four dates, respectively, but inconsistencies occurred likely from reduced efficacy with greater time between repeated applications. Weekly TE applications enhanced ball roll distances from the untreated by 5% to 8% on six dates. Turf injury did not occur following TE applications regardless of regimen. Overall, weekly TE applications increased ball roll distances more frequently than biweekly and triweekly regimens, but enhancements were inconsistent over the 2 years. Chemical name used: [4-(cyclopropyl-[α]-hydroxymethylene)-3,5-dioxo-cyclohexane carboxylic acid ethyl ester] (trinexapac-ethyl); (tetrachloroisophthalonitrile) (chlorothalonil); [methyl(E)-2-(2-(6-(2-cyanophenoxy) pyrimidin-4-yloxy)phenyl)-3-methoxyacrylate] (azoxystrobin); [aluminum tris(0-ethyl phosphonate)] (fosetyl-al); [N-(2,6-Dimethylphenyl)-N-(methoxyacetyl) alanine methyl ester] (metalaxyl); [(1-[[2-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-propyl-1,3-dioxolan-2-yl) -methyl]-14-1,2,4-triazole] (propiconazole).

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Joe E. Toler, Lambert B. McCarty, and Jason K. Higingbottom

Annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.) continues to be a problem in bermudagrass golf greens overseeded with roughstalk bluegrass (Poa trivialis L. `Sabre) due to weed encroachment from adjacent fairways, lack of selective herbicide options, and weed diversity. A 2-year study was conducted on an overseeded `Tifgreen bermudagrass putting green to evaluate effects of herbicide treatments on overseeding and annual bluegrass control. Excellent annual bluegrass control (≥90%) and acceptable turfgrass cover (§70%) was achieved with oxadiazon at 2.2 kg·ha-1 a.i. applied 60 days before overseeding (DBO). Fenarimol (AS) at 4.1 kg·ha-1 a.i. (30 + 15 DBO) followed by 1.4 kg·ha-1 a.i. 60 days after overseeding (DAO) and dithiopyr at 0.6 kg·ha-1 a.i. (60 DBO + 120 DAO) also provided acceptable results. Dithiopyr at 0.4 kg·ha-1 a.i. (30 DBO + 120 DAO), dithiopyr at 0.3 kg·ha-1 a.i. (30 DBO + 30 + 120 DAO), and fenarimol (G) at 2.0 kg·ha-1 a.i. (45 + 30 DBO) followed by 0.8 kg·ha-1 a.i. 60 DAO provided inconsistent annual bluegrass control (55% to 75% in 1999 and 87% to 95% in 2000), but offered acceptable turfgrass cover (§70%) each year. The remaining treatments were generally ineffective and provided <50% annual bluegrass control one or both years. Oxadiazon applied 60 DBO at 2.2 kg·ha-1 a.i. provides an excellent option for annual bluegrass control in overseeded bermudagrass putting greens.

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Lambert B. McCarty, Landon C. Miller, and Daniel L. Colvin