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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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D.S. Glinski, H.A. Mills, K.J. Karnok, and R.N. Carrow

Root growth of `Penncross' creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds.) plugs sodded into a sandy loam soil and fertilized with five 1:1, 1:3, and 0:1) were evaluated. Root growth and root: shoot ratios were higher with as the predominant N form. Results from this study indicate should be the predominant N form when rapid and extensive root development is desired for the establishment of sodded bentgrass.

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John E. Kaminski, Peter H. Dernoeden, and Cale A. Bigelow

Natural organic fertilizers require microbial degradation for nitrogen (N) release, but their ability to promote rapid turfgrass establishment has not been well documented in newly constructed sand-based rootzones. This 2-year field study evaluated the influence of two general fertilizer and soil amendment programs for their effect on establishment and quality of three creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) cultivars—`Crenshaw', `Penn G-2', and `Providence'. Turf was grown on a 4 sand: 1 sphagnum peat (by volume) rootzone mixture. Four treatments consisting of surface-applied synthetic fertilizer (SF; mostly water-soluble N in 1999 and methylene urea thereafter); surface-applied hydrolyzed poultry meal (PM); preplant-incorporated granular humate (GH) with surface-applied SF; and preplant-incorporated PM with surface-applied PM. Turf cover data collected 42 days after seeding (DAS) showed that the rate of establishment was SF+GH incorporated = SF surface-applied >PM surface-applied + PM incorporated >PM surface-applied. Turf cover was ≥96% among all treatments 90 DAS. Rootmass density was greater (18% to 29%) at 103 DAS in GH incorporated plots combined with SF, when compared to all other treatments, but no rootmass differences subsequently were observed. Soil microbial activity generally was highest in PM-treated plots during the first 14 months following seeding, but not thereafter. Turf treated with SF had less microdochium patch (Microdochium nivale (Fr.) Samuels and I.C. Hallett) and more bentgrass dead spot (Ophiosphaerella agrostis Dernoeden, M.P.S. Camara, N.R. O'Neill, van Berkum et M.E. Palm), when compared to PM-treated plots. Slightly less thatch developed in PM-treated turf when compared to plots receiving SF alone by the end of the second year. Penn G-2 and SF generally provided the best overall turf quality. This study demonstrated the beneficial effects of readily available N from SF for rapid establishment and that preplant incorporation of GH initially aided root development.

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Eric M. Lyons, Peter J. Landschoot, and David R. Huff

bluegrass has fewer total roots and fewer roots deeper in the soil than creeping bentgrass when grown under golf green management conditions. Both species experienced a decline in rooting at all depths throughout the summer months as a result of high

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Charles L. Murdoch and David L. Hensley

Physical properties (particle size distribution, bulk density, capillary pore space, non-capillary pore space, hydraulic conductivity, and water retention) of three imported silica sands (Perth, Malaysian, and Newcastle), a man-made sand product (Mansand), and coral sand alone and in peatmoss mixtures were determined to evaluate their suitability as golf-green substrates. Based on laboratory evaluation of physical properties, the silica sands amended with peatmoss (15%) were superior to coral sand or crushed basalt (Mansand) amended with 15% peatmoss for use in high-traffic turfgrass areas.

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Andree-Anne Couillard, A.J. Turgeon, J.S. Shenk, and M.O. Westerhaus

The ability to predict thatch composition with the use of near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) was investigated. This study compared a new quick test for evaluating different thatch components using NIRS with the Van Soest wet chemical analysis. Creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds.) thatch samples were taken from an experimental golf green at the Valentine Turfgrass Research Center at Penn State Univ. Fresh and dried ground samples were scanned from 400 to 2500 nm with a near-infrared monochromator. Dried ground samples were analyzed in four replicates using the Van Soest procedures for the acid detergent fiber, cellulose, and lignin. Moisture and organic matter contents were also evaluated in the laboratory. Preliminary comparisons between predicted NIRS values and laboratory results were encouraging. NIRS analysis of thatch could become a convenient, rapid, and inexpensive alternative to wet chemical analysis for thatch assessment.

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Keith J. Karnok and Kevin A. Tucker

Localized dry spot (LDS) caused by water repellent soil is a common problem on golf course putting greens having a predominately sand root zone. Fairy ring often causes LDS by developing hydrophobic soil. Although the fungicide flutolanil is labeled for the control of fairy ring, golf course superintendents often apply flutolanil to all LDS caused by hydrophobic soil and other conditions. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of flutolanil on an existing hydrophobic soil. The study was conducted on a creeping bentgrass [Agrostis palustris (synonym A. stolonifera)] experimental golf green in which the top 4 inches (10.2 cm) of the root zone was a moderately hydrophobic sand. Six treatments were used: uncored, cored, flutolanil (two applications.), flutolanil + Primer wetting agent (two applications.), Primer (two applications.) and Primer (three applications.). Plots receiving the fungicide and wetting agent treatments were cored before application. Each treatment containing the wetting agent significantly reduced soil water repellency. Flutolanil without wetting agent had no effect on soil hydrophobicity.

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Brian J. Tucker, Lambert B. McCarty, Haibo Liu, Christina E. Wells, and James R. Rieck

As golfers demand higher quality golf green putting surfaces, researchers continue to seek improved turfgrass cultivars. One such improved cultivar is `TifEagle' bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy], which is an improvement over traditional bermudagrass cultivars such as `Tifgreen' and `Tifdwarf' due to its ability to tolerate mowing heights of ≤3.2 mm for extended periods. One observed disadvantage of `TifEagle' is its lack of a deep, dense root system compared to previous bermudagrass cultivars. This field study measured mowing height, N rate, and biostimulant product effects on `TifEagle' rooting. Three mowing heights (3.2, 4.0, and 4.8 mm), three N rates (12, 24, and 48 kg N/ha/week), and two cytokinin-containing commercial biostimulant products (BIO1 and BIO2) were examined. Plant responses measured were root length density (RLD), root surface area (RSA), thatch layer depth (TLD), and turf quality (TQ). Increasing mowing height from 3.2 to 4.0 mm increased RLD by >11%, RSA by >11%, and TQ by >17%. Increasing N rates from 12 to 24 kg N ha-1 week-1 increased RLD by >17%, RSA by >26% and TQ by >16%. No effect on RLD was observed after the first year of biostimulant use, however, after the second year, BIO1 increased RLD by >11% when applied with the lowest rate of N (12 kg N/ha/week). Higher mowing heights (4.8 and 4.0 mm) increased TLD >6% compared to the lowest mowing height (3.2 mm), and higher N rates (48 and 24 kg N/ha/week) increased TLD >3% compared to the lowest N rate (12 kg N/ha/week). Overall, a mowing heights ≥4.0 mm, N rates ≥24 kg N/ha/week, and long-term use of a cytokinins-containing biostimulant had a positive effect on `TifEagle' rooting.

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Patrick E. McCullough, Haibo Liu, Lambert B. McCarty, Ted Whitwell, and Joe E. Toler

Dwarf-type bermudagrasses [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davey] tolerate long-term golf green mowing heights but require heavy nitrogen (N) fertilizations. Inhibiting leaf growth with trinexapac-ethyl (TE) could reduce shoot growth competition for root reserves and improve nutrient use efficiency. Two greenhouse experiments evaluated four N levels, 6 (N6), 12 (N12), 18 (N18), and 24 (N24) kg N/ha/week, with TE at 0 and 0.05 kg·ha–1 a.i. every 3 weeks to assess rooting, nutrient allocation, clipping yield, and chlorophyll concentration of `TifEagle' bermudagrass grown in PVC containers built to U.S. Golf Association specification. Trinexapac-ethyl enhanced turf quality on every date after initial application. After 8 weeks, high N rates caused turf quality decline; however, TE treated turf averaged about 25% higher visual quality from nontreated turf, masking quality decline of high N fertility. `TifEagle' bermudagrass treated with TE had clippings reduced 52% to 61% from non-TE treated. After 16 weeks, bermudagrass treated with TE over all N levels had 43% greater root mass and 23% enhanced root length. Compared to non-TE treated turf, leaf N, P, and K concentrations were consistently lower in TE treated turf while Ca and Mg concentrations were increased. Root N concentrations in TE treated turf were 8% to 11% higher for N12, N18, and N24 fertilized turf than respective N rates without TE. Compared to non-TE treated turf, clipping nutrient recoveries were reduced 69% to 79% by TE with 25% to 105% greater nutrients recovered in roots. Bermudagrass treated with TE had higher total chlorophyll concentrations after 8 and 12 weeks. Overall, inhibiting `TifEagle' bermudagrass leaf growth appears to reallocate nutrients to belowground tissues, thus improving nutrient use efficiency and root growth. Chemical name used: trinexapac-ethyl, [4-(cyclopropyl-[α]-hydroxymethylene)-3,5-dioxo-cyclohexane carboxylic acid ethylester].

Open access

Lisa L. Baxter and Brian M. Schwartz

(ecotype: Tifton, GA); 2 n = 4 x = 36]. The resulting progeny were subjected to standard golf green management practices before the best F 1 hybrid was selected for greater density, less weed presence, and greater disease resistance than the common