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  • Author or Editor: Meghyn Meeks x
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Interspecific hybrids between texas bluegrass (Poa arachnifera Torr.) and kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) are known to exhibit good heat tolerance, which has aided in their adaptation to the warmer climates of the southern United States, but their tolerance to shade has not been investigated. The objectives of this study were to 1) evaluate the growth responses of interspecific bluegrass hybrids (P. arachnifera × P. pratensis) in comparison with kentucky bluegrasses and a shade-tolerant cultivar of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) under full sunlight and shaded environments, 2) identify optimum times to evaluate shade tolerance using the selected growth measurements, 3) calculate the minimum daily light requirements to retain acceptable turfgrass quality, and 4) determine if trinexapac-ethyl (TE) applications enhance hybrid bluegrass quality under shade. Two 10-week greenhouse experiments (late spring and early fall) were conducted in Dallas, TX. Within each of three light environments a randomized complete block design was used to accommodate three replications of eight genotypes treated with and without TE (0 or 0.228 kg·ha−1 a.i.). Turfgrass quality, leaf elongation rates, clipping dry weights, and percent green cover were measured. Meaningful comparisons were best during the late spring when daily light integrals (DLI) were optimum for healthy plant growth. Shade-tolerant hybrid bluegrasses (DALBG 1201 and TAES 5654) were identified using turfgrass quality and leaf elongation rates. These genotypes exhibited above-acceptable turfgrass quality in all environments, and a reduced leaf elongation rate similar to the tested dwarf-type tall fescue. DLI requirements of DALBG 1201 and TAES 5654 were ≤4 to achieve acceptable quality. TE applications generally did not improve turfgrass quality of genotypes, although leaf elongation rates were significantly reduced in all environments.

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