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  • Author or Editor: Michael Barrett x
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Cultural control methods for pest management are desirable as they can reduce pesticide use resulting in reduced costs and environmental impact. Previous research has shown increased mowing heights can reduce crabgrass (Digitaria sp.) populations. However, seasonal mowing height adjustments may further decrease crabgrass populations as lower heights of cut can increase turf density during optimal growing conditions. An experiment was conducted to determine ideal mowing height combinations during summer vs. fall/spring for crabgrass reductions in a tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) sward. A half rate of prodiamine was included as a split-plot treatment to determine if mowing height combinations could reduce the amount of pesticide required to control crabgrass. Four fall/spring mowing heights (1, 2, 3, and 4 inches) were combined with the same summer mowing heights such that all heights were represented in both seasons. Results indicate that seasonal mowing height variations did not provide any better reduction in crabgrass populations over only using higher heights of cut consistently throughout the year. Also, the half rate of prodiamine successfully controlled crabgrass in all mowing heights except the lowest mowing height during summer months.

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Managed turfgrass species require frequent inputs to maintain an acceptable level of density and appearance. Among these inputs, the N supply is often the most limiting input in terms of growth and development of the turfgrass stand. However, N fertilization has been linked to nonpoint source (NPS) pollution of groundwater and natural water bodies. White clover (WC), which would provide N in mixed turfgrass swards, could help reduce NPS pollution from N fertilization of turf. To test the feasibility of introducing WC into existing turf, a field study was designed to determine the best method of incorporating WC in mature stands of two cool-season grasses. Two varieties of WC, ‘Dutch White’ (DW), and ‘Microclover’ (MC), were sown (24.4 kg·ha−1) into existing stands of kentucky bluegrass (KBG) (Poa pratensis L.) and tall fescue (TF) (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). Establishment techniques tested included core aeration (CA), scalping (SC), and vertical mowing (VM) compared with direct sowing into the turfgrass stand. Establishment treatments were performed in April, July, and October of 2012–13 to examine for any seasonal timing effect on establishment. No significant difference in plant numbers (individual clover plants per square meter) was found between WC varieties among planting dates and techniques. The SC treatment resulted in the highest individual clover plant numbers. However, turfgrass recovery was significantly slower from the SC treatment than all other treatments. The summer planting date yielded the highest WC plant numbers. Recovery of the turfgrass from all preplanting treatments was also highest at the spring and summer planting dates.

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The use of abscisic acid (ABA) as an in vitro prehardening treatment to enhance ex vitro acclimatization of Stage III Aronia arbutifolia plantlets was explored. Effects of ABA (0-4 mg·liter-1) pretreatment on ex vitro shoot growth, leaf carbon assimilation (LCA) and nonstructural carbohydrate content were evaluated during plantlet acclimatization under two photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) levels (450 and 650 μmol·m-2·s-1). Stage III plantlets rooted in the presence of ABA exhibited both shoot growth inhibition and transient negative LCA rates at time of transfer ex vitro. Regardless of treatment, maximum LCA rates were achieved by day 20 post-transplant. Pretreatment with ABA had no effect on stem or leaf starch content at time of transplant, however, leaf and stem soluble sugar content was higher in ABA treated plantlets than controls. Further suppression of shoot growth and alteration in the pattern of stem starch utilization occurred at the higher irradiance level. These results indicate that ABA pretreatments provide no physiological advantage that would facilitate ex vitro acclimatization of Aronia plantlets.

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