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D.S. Gardner

Vermicomposting is the process of fragmenting organic wastes with certain species of earthworms. A variety of vermicomposts are being marketed as fertilizer materials for turfgrass management, particularly in the golf course industry. In 2002 and 2003, field trials were conducted on established kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) in Columbus, Ohio, to evaluate the use of vermicomposted animal, food, paper, and turfgrass clipping waste materials as a turfgrass fertilizer under home lawn maintenance conditions. Visual quality of the plots was significantly higher for 2 weeks after application of paper vermicompost, regardless of application rate. Few other differences in either turfgrass visual quality of clipping yields were observed during a 6-week period after application, regardless of application rate or source of vermicompost. Based on the results of these studies, the use of vermicompost as a fertilizer material on established turfgrass is not warranted.

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J.M. Goatley Jr., A.J. Powell Jr., W.W. Witt and M. Barrett

Chlorsulfuron, diclofop, and sulfometuron were evaluated for potential use in selective control of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) in Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.). Polynomial trend analyses indicated highly significant linear and quadratic response curves for percentage of tall fescue reduction for each herbicide. Fall and spring treatments with chlorsulfuron and diclofop provided significant tall fescue control, with slight to moderate initial Kentucky bluegrass phytotoxicity. Fall and spring applications of sulfometuron resulted in excellent tall fescue control, but initial Kentucky bluegrass damage was severe and would be unacceptable for high maintenance turf. Chemical names used: 2-chloro- N -[[(4-methoxy-6-methyl-l,3,5-triazin-2-yl)amino]carbonyl]-benzenesulfonamide (chlorsulfuron); 2-[4-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenoxy]proponoate (diclofop); N -[[(4,6-dimethylpyrimidin-2-yl)amino]carbonyl]-2-methoxycarbonyl-benzenesulfonamide (sulfometuron).

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Shanqiang Ke, Chiwon W. Lee and Zong-Ming Cheng

Coleoptile tissues excised from young seedlings of `Touchdown' Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) were bombarded with the disarmed Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain EHA 101 carrying rolC (from A. rhizogenes), NPT II and GUS genes. These tissues were then cultured on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium containing 0.2 mg·L–1 picloram, 0.01 mg·L–1 naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA), 150 mg·L–1 kanamycin, and 50 m acetosyringone. Calli formed on this medium within 2 weeks. The regenerated plants from these calli were analyzed for the presence of the GUS and rolC genes by histochemical GUS assay, PCR, and Southern hybridization. Only 3.7% of the regenerants were transformed when determined by the GUS assay. A similar frequency of transformation in the regenerated plants was obtained after bombarding the coleoptile tissues with the DNA isolated from the pGA-GUSGF-rolC plasmid. Most of the putative transformants were either albinos or variegated plants that are composed of both albino and green tissues.

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Darin W. Lickfeldt, Thomas B. Voigt and Andrew M. Hamblin

Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) cultivars are often blended to incorporate diverse characteristics. Factors that may contribute to the actual cultivar composition have not been evaluated. Through the use of DNA markers, individual plants in blended stands can be identified. This study evaluated changes in cultivar composition of `Blacksburg', `Midnight', and `Unique' Kentucky bluegrass blends. Characteristics such as seed size, seed moisture content, percent germination, and seedling development did not affect the initial composition of blends at time of seeding. DNA markers were used to demonstrate how the composition of a blended `Blacksburg', `Midnight', and `Unique' turf changed during the first growing season following establishment. The composition of blends did not significantly change from time of seeding in Sept. 1999 to Apr. 2000 or from Apr. 2000 to Oct. 2000. Two of the three blends were significantly different by Oct. 2000 relative to the percentages seeded in Sept. 1999.

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E.H. Ervin and A.J. Koski

The effects of trinexapac-ethyl (TE) on the anatomical and biochemical composition of turfgrasses and their implications for its field use are poorly understood. Two greenhouse experiments were conducted to determine if application of TE increased Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) leaf blade cell density, chlorophyll concentration, or structural carbohydrate content. Kentucky bluegrass (KB) sod was harvested from the field, established in greenhouse pots, and sprayed with 0.27 kg·ha-1 a.i. TE. Leaf blade samples were collected 4 weeks after treatment (WAT), fixed in glutaraldehyde, and embedded in Spurr resin. Photomicrographs of longitudinal leaf blade sections were used to determine cell density, cell length, and cell width. Chlorophyll and structural carbohydrate contents were determined at 2 and 4 WAT. Treatment with TE increased cell density and chlorophyll-b concentration, while reducing cell length, but structural carbohydrate content was unaffected. Chemical name used: 4-cyclopropyl-α-hydroxy-methylene-3,5-dioxo-cyclohexanecarboxylic acid ethyl ester (trinexapac-ethyl).

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M.L Parker, J. Hull and R.L. Perry

The root distribution of peach trees [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch cv. Redhaven/Halford] as affected by six orchard floor management treatments was evaluated after 3 years of growth. Two treatments were maintained vegetation-free and four had vegetative covers in the alleyway with a 1.2-m-wide herbicide strip in the tree row. The profile wall method was used to determine root distribution. Trees maintained vegetation-free with herbicide had the most roots. Trees in the vegetation-free plots, maintained with herbicide or cultivation, produced more roots 1.2 m from the tree than trees in the vegetative covers. The number of roots, 1.2 m from the tree, was lowest in the tall fescue treatment. The number of roots were higher in the Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) or alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) than with tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea, Schreb.).

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R.J. Cooper, P.C. Bhowmik and L.A. Spokas

Field experiments were conducted to determine the response of five widely used Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) cultivars (Adelphi, Baron, Bensun, Merion, and Touchdown) to preemergence applications of the herbicide pendimethalin. Pendimethalin applied during 2 years at 1.7 or 3.4 kg·ha-1 (a.i.) controlled smooth crabgrass [Digitaria ischaemum (Schreb. ex Schweig.) Schreb. ex Muhl.] effectively without injury to turf. Pendimethalin at 3.4 kg·ha-1 resulted in a short-term suppression of root growth immediately following application in the first year of the study. The reduction was transitory and subsequent rooting and rhizome growth were unaffected by pendimethalin. Cultivar × pendimethalin level interactions were not significant during the study. Thus, the herbicide appears to be a safe, effective preemergence material for crabgrass control in Kentucky bluegrass turf. Chemical name used: N-(1-ethylpropyl)-3,4-dimethyl-2,6-dinitrobenzenamine (pendimethalin).

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Erik H. Ervin, Xunzhong Zhang and John H. Fike

High ultraviolet-B (UV-B; 290-320 nm wavelength) radiation may significantly contribute to the quality decline and death of kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) sod during summer transplanting. Antioxidants and protective pigments may be involved in plant defense against oxidative stress caused by UV-B. Selected exogenous hormones may alleviate UV-B damage by upregulating plant defense systems. The objectives of this study were to determine if exogenous hormone or hormone-like substances could alleviate UV-B damage to `Georgetown' kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) under greenhouse conditions. The hormone salicylic acid at 150 mg·m-2 and the hormone-containing substances, humic acid (HA) at 150 mg·m-2 and seaweed extract (SWE) at 50 mg·m-2, were applied to plugs of kentucky bluegrass and then subjected to UV-B radiation (70 μmol·m-2·s-1). The UV-B irradiation stress reduced turf quality by 51% to 66% and photochemical efficiency by 63% to 68% when measured 10 or 12 days after initiation of UV-B. Endogenous alpha-tocopherol (AT) and antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase) were reduced by UV-B stress. Anthocyanin content was increased from day 1 to 5 and then decreased from day 5 to 10 of continuous UV-B irradiation. Application of SA and HA + SWE enhanced photochemical efficiency by 86% and 82%, respectively, when measured 10 or 12 days after UV-B initiation. In addition, application of the hormonal supplements increased AT concentration, SOD, catalase activity, and anthocyanin content when compared to the control at 10 days after UV-B initiation. Bluegrass with greater AT concentration and SOD and catalase activity exhibited better visual quality under UV-B stress. The results of this study suggest that foliar application of SA and HA + SWE may alleviate decline of photochemical efficiency and turf quality associated with increased UV-B light levels during summer.

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Stefano Fiorio, Stefano Macolino and Bernd Leinauer

Turfgrass water conservation has become important in many parts of the world, including the transition zones of Mediterranean Europe. Species selection is considered one of the most important factors influencing turfgrass water use, and drought-tolerant cool-season species are encouraged to be used in areas where long dormancy periods of warm-season grasses is unacceptable. A field study was conducted from Mar. 2007 to Sept. 2009 at Padova University, Italy, to evaluate establishment and performance of nine turfgrass cultivars under reduced-input maintenance. The study included hybrid bluegrass (Poa pratensis × P. arachnifera) cultivars Solar Green, Thermal Blue, and Thermal Blue Blaze; kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) cultivars Cocktail, Cynthia, and Geronimo; and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) cultivars Apache, Murray, and Regiment. Establishment rate was assessed after two seeding dates (20 Mar. and 20 Sept.), and grasses were subsequently fertilized with 15 g·m−2 nitrogen per year and irrigated once every 2 weeks at 40% of reference evapotranspiration from June to August. Turfgrass and weed cover were estimated 60 days after seeding (DAS), and turf quality was evaluated weekly on a scale of 1 (worst) to 9 (best). Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) was measured weekly during 2009. Tall fescue cultivars exhibited greater quality than hybrid bluegrass or kentucky bluegrass, under both spring and autumn seeding. Hybrid bluegrass had similar quality to kentucky bluegrass cultivars, although they performed well only when sown in autumn. Our results suggest that among the tested grasses, tall fescue performed better under the reduced irrigation in a Mediterranean transition zone climate than kentucky bluegrass or hybrid bluegrass.

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Catherine M. Grieve, Stacy A. Bonos and James A. Poss

Six selections of Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) cultivars, selected based on their drought tolerance under field and growth chamber conditions in New Brunswick, N.J., were evaluated for salt tolerance based on yield and growth rates at eight soil water salinities [2 (control), 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 18, and 22 dSm-1] from Apr. to Sept. 2005 in Riverside, Calif. Cultivars Baron and Brilliant were selected as drought sensitive and `Cabernet', `Eagleton', and `Midnight' were selected as drought tolerant. A Texas × Kentucky bluegrass (Poa arachnifera × Poa pratensis) hybrid selection (identified as A01-856) developed for improved drought and heat tolerance was also included. Vegetative clones were established in a randomized complete-block design with three replications, each containing 11 clones. Cumulative biomass and clone diameters were measured over time to evaluate relative yields and growth rates for the six cultivar selections. Based upon maximum absolute biomass production as a function of increasing EC, the order of production was `Baron' > `Brilliant' > `Eagleton' > `Cabernet' ≥ `Midnight' > A01-856. Yield relative to the non-saline control (2 dSm-1) for each cultivar was similar, except that the differences between cultivars were less pronounced, and `Baron' slightly outperformed `Brilliant'. Clone area expansion rates were analyzed with a phasic growth model and beta, the intrinsic growth rate of the exponential phase parameter, significantly varied with salinity. Ranking of cultivars, based on expansion rates, was similar to that based on cumulative biomass. Salinity tolerance in this experiment did not appear to be related to the observed ranking for drought tolerance.