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J. Dionne, M. Laganière, and Y. Desjardins

Extensive winterkill of golf greens is a major problem in northern climates. In this study, the efficiency of several protective covering materials used to shelter Poa annua golf greens from winter damages was evaluated over 2 years. The bioclimatological environment under these protective covers was studied at crown level and at 5, 10, and 20 cm under the ground Treatments (permeable and impermeable covers, curled wood Excelsior mat, straw mulch protected by an impermeable cover, geotextile material with an impermeable cover, and air space under an impermeable cover) were compared to a control treatment without protection. Results indicate that temperature profile was strongly influenced by both winter protection covers and snow depth Temperatures at crown level were stable and just below 0C under plots covered with a significant amount of snow. However, temperatures varied considerably, when snow cover was <15 cm. Snow thermal conductivity was increased by periods of rain during the winter. Impermeable covers minimized the negative effect of this change in the insulation properties of the snow cover by limiting temperature fluctuations at the crown level. Temperature profiles under permeable covers were similar to profiles observed on control plots. Temperature profiles were comparable for 5 and 10 cm air space treatments and were not significantly different when compared to impermeable covers spread directly on the turf. Straw with an impermeable cover and Excelsior mats maintained crown level temperatures at >0C and the incidence of disease was higher under these highly insulative materials.

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J. Scott Ebdon and Michelle DaCosta

Golf greens and fairways planted to creeping bentgrass ( Agrostis stolonifera ), colonial bentgrass ( A. capillaris ), and velvet bentgrass ( A. canina ) require overseeding to reestablishment areas damaged from winter injuries. Cold soil

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Robert L. Green, Laosheng Wu, and Grant J. Klein

Summer decline of annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.) putting greens is a major concern of golf course superintendents. Low soil water infiltration rates and high concentrations of salts in the root zone are contributing factors. This study was conducted to determine the effects of summer cultivation treatments on field infiltration rates of water, soil salinity, oxygen diffusion rates (ODR), bulk density, total and air-filled porosity, and root weight density. This research was conducted during two summer seasons (1996 and 1997) on a practice putting green located at Industry Hills Golf Courses, City of Industry, Calif. The green was constructed to U.S. Golf Association (USGA) specifications in 1978. Cultivation treatments consisted of: 1-3) water injection cultivation (WIC) applied with a Toro HydroJect every 21 d (raised position), and every 14 or 21 d (lowered position); 4) solid tine cultivation (STC) applied every 14 d; and 5) no cultivation (check). Results showed WIC and STC significantly increased field infiltration rates of water and lowered overall soil electrical conductivity of the extract (ECe) at depths of 2.5 to 7.5 cm and 7.5 to 15.0 cm in the root zone. The effects of WIC, raised position, did not differ significantly from those of STC, but infiltration rates of water were greater on all rating dates. Cultivation treatments had no significant effects on overall soil ODR, bulk density, and porosity or on overall root weight density.

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

that tolerate long-term mowing heights of 3.2 mm or less and create fine textured golf greens comparable to creeping bentgrass (Hanna and Elsner, 1999; McCarty and Miller, 2002 ). Finer leaf textures and lower growth habits of dwarf-type cultivars are

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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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B. Todd Bunnell, Lambert B. McCarty, Roy B. Dodd, Hoke S. Hill, and James J. Camberato

Increased soil moisture and temperature along with increased soil microbial and root activity during summer months elevate soil CO2 levels. Although previous research has demonstrated negative effects of high soil CO2 on growth of some plants, little is known concerning the impact high CO2 levels on creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds.). The objective of this study was to investigate effects of varying levels of CO2 on the growth of creeping bentgrass. Growth cells were constructed to U.S. Golf Association (USGA) greens specification and creeping bentgrass was grown in the greenhouse. Three different levels of CO2 (2.5%, 5.0%, and 10.0%) were injected (for 1 minute every 2 hours) into the growth cells at a rate of 550 cm3·min-1. An untreated check, which did not have a gas mixture injected, maintained a CO2 concentration <1%. Gas injection occurred for 20 days to represent a run. Two runs were performed during the summer of 1999 on different growth cells. Visual turf quality ratings, encompassing turf color, health, density, and uniformity, were evaluated every 4 days on a 1-9 scale, with 9 = best turf and <7 being unacceptable. Soil cores were taken at the end of each run. Roots were separated from soil to measure root depth and mass. Turf quality was reduced to unacceptable levels with 10% CO2, but was unaffected at lower levels over the 20-day treatment period. Soil CO2 ≥2.5% reduced root mass and depth by 40% and 10%, respectively.

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Ian R. Rodriguez, Grady L. Miller, and L.B. McCarty

For drainage, turfgrass is often established on sand-based soils, which are typically nutrient-deficient and require supplemental fertilization. The objective of this study was to determine the optimum N-P-K fertilizer ratio for establishing bermudagrass from sprigs in sand. `FloraDwarf' and `Tifdwarf' bermudagrasses [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burt-Davy] were sprigged on a United States Golf Association (USGA) green [85 sand: 15 peat (v/v)] in Aug. 1996 at the Univ. of Florida's Envirogreen in Gainesville, Fla. `TifEagle' bermudagrass was sprigged on a USGA green [85 sand: 15 peat (v/v)] and `Tifway' bermudagrass [C. dactylon (L.) Pers.] was sprigged on native soil at Clemson Univ. in Clemson, S.C. in May 1999. Treatments consisted of fertilizer ratios of 1N-0P-0.8K, 1N-0P-1.7K, 1N-0.4P-0.8K, 1N-0.9P-0.8K, and 1N-1.3P-0.8K applied based on a N rate of 49 kg·ha-1/week for 7 weeks. Growth differences were apparent among cultivars. A 1N-0P-0.8K or 1N-0P-1.7K ratio is insufficient for optimum growth of bermudagrass during establishment, even when planted on a soil high in P. Increased coverage rate with additional P was optimized at a ratio of 1N-0.4P at all four sites. Increased coverage with P was greatest on the sand-based greens, probably due to the very low initial P levels of the soils. On two of the sand-based greens, P in excess of a 1N-0.4P ratio decreased coverage rate.

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M.J. McGuan, T.K. Danneberger, and D.S. Gardner

Annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.) and creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds. syn. A. stolonifera L.) coexist on golf greens as a dynamic ecosystem in the temperate regions of the United States. In a two year field study, the competitive ability of different populations of annual bluegrass was investigated both in and out of their native environment. In April 2000, at both The Country Club in Cleveland, Ohio, a temperate environment, and Camargo Club in Cincinnati, Ohio, a transition zone environment, 72 plugs of annual bluegrass were removed from golf greens and inserted into polyvinyl chloride pipe measuring 10.2 cm in diameter and 15 cm in length to eliminate root competition between species. Thirty-six plugs then were reestablished into one of three greens at the same golf course, and the remaining 36 plugs were transported to the opposite location and also established into one of three preselected greens. Each plug was centered in a 20.3-cm-diameter sward of `L-93' creeping bentgrass to provide an initial point of reference. Competitive ability was measured as the rate of increase or decrease in average diameter of each plug. Measurements initially were taken on a bimonthly basis and then on a monthly basis for the remainder of the study. Significant (P < 0.05) differences in the location × population interaction were seen in the first 2 months of the study and then not seen again until the last 2 months. The most frequent occurrence of significant (P < 0.05) differences was in the variability between greens within a particular location. At each location the native population of annual bluegrass outperformed the imported population. Differences at the beginning of the study are attributed to an additional acclimation period required by the exported population following transportation to the opposite location. From our study, annual bluegrass performance was similar across populations, suggesting that management recommendations can be made on a regional basis.

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A.R. Mazur and J.S. Rice

Research was conducted to determine the influence of the rate of seeding perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) over bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy] on both the establishment of the ryegrass and the quality of bermudagrass golf greens. Increasing seeding rate from 90 to 180 g·m–2 resulted in more rapid establishment and a linear increase in turf quality. Turf density, as measured by leaf number, displayed linear and quadratic responses to seeding rates, with higher rates producing the greatest leaf numbers. Leaf width declined linearly with seeding rate, suggesting higher putting quality, as did tillers per plant. Spring transition to bermudagrass was slowed at high (150–180 g·m–2) seeding rates, with significantly more ryegrass present in late May. Emergence and growth of bermudagrass were suppressed longer at the higher overseeding rates. We conclude that the choice of seeding rate for ryegrass is a compromise between rapid development of, and maintenance of, quality turf vs. early smooth transition to bermudagrass in the spring.