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K-State Turfgrass

Category: Cultural Practices

Influence of Tall Fescue Baseball Infield Mowing Height on Ground Ball Speed

Influence of Tall Fescue Baseball Infield Mowing Height on Ground Ball Speed

( By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension and Gage Knudson, KSU Turfgrass Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Summary. Athletic field conditions have shown to influence playability. Results of ball-roll speed studies can be used to predict success of infield hits. Field trials were conducted at Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center to determine the influence of tall fescue baseball infield mowing height on ground ball speed and batter on-base success. Mowing heights of 2.5, 5, and 7.6 cm resulted in 1.77, 2.08 and 1.88 s ground ball times, respectively.

Rationale. Tall fescue [Schedonorus arundinaceus (Schreb.)] is a drought tolerant turfgrass species commonly used as a baseball infield playing surface. Cultural management practice studies on athletic surfaces have shown direct influences on playability. Minimal information exists on the influence of infield mowing height and ball-roll speed. Results of ball-roll speed studies can be used to predict success of infield hits.

Objectives. Determine the influence of tall fescue baseball infield mowing height on ground ball speed and batter on-base success.

Study Description. Research trials were initiated on November 21, 2016 at the Rocky Ford Research Center (RF) in Manhattan, KS to determine the influence of tall fescue baseball infield mowing height on ground ball speed and batter on-base success. Research trials were conducted on 30.5 m long simulated tall fescue infield. Two experimental runs were conducted on three different infield mowing height treatments; 2.5, 5, and 7.6 cm. Six individual replications of a simulated ground ball were applied to each infield condition and experimental run. Ground balls were applied with a pitching machine set to 112.6 kph. Simulated ground balls were timed in seconds (s) from simulated pitched ball and bat contact (insertion into machine) to baseball fielder location (30.5 m distance). Successful infield hits were calculated using constant athletic ability data and infield ball-roll data. Data was subjected to ANOVA in SAS and means were separated according to Fisher’s protected LSD at 0.05 significance level.

Results. Mowing heights of 2.5, 5, and 7.6 cm resulted in 1.77, 2.08 and 1.88 s ground ball times, respectively (Figure 1). Utilizing ground ball speed results, researchers were able to predict that a simulated batter, if a ground ball was hit to the shortstop position (30.5 m distance), would result in an unsuccessful at bat if a tall fescue infield was mown at 2.5 cm and successful if mown at 5 and 7.6 cm, utilizing consistent player athletic ability data (Figure 1 and Table 1).

The Effect of Human Insect Repellents on Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne) Growth and Recovery

The Effect of Human Insect Repellents on Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne) Growth and Recovery

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension and Peyton South, KSU Turfgrass Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Summary. Turfgrass damage has been observed from misapplications of human insect repellents. Minimal research has been conducted to determine the cause of the damage. Greenhouse research trials were conducted to survey various human insect repellents on turfgrass growth and recovery. Insect repellents resulted in a wide range of damage. No common trend was observed although research trial shows possible repellents to be utilized around turfgrass that will minimize turfgrass injury.

Rationale. Human insect repellents containing diethyltoluamide (DEET) commonly damage turfgrass due to non-target application. Common visual damage results in two areas of healthy growing turfgrass in the shape of footprints with necrotic and chlorotic turfgrass surrounding. Damage results in unacceptable turfgrass quality and playability. Minimal research has been conducted to explore the influence of human insect repellents on turfgrass injury and recovery.

Damage from bug spray misapplication to turfgrass.

Objectives. Evaluate the influence of human insect repellants on Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne) growth and recovery.

Study Description. Research trials were initiated in November of 2016 at the Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center Greenhouses in Manhattan, KS to determine the influence of human insect repellents on perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) growth and recovery. Perennial ryegrass was established in 10 by 10 cm pots at 387 kg ha-1, maintained at 4.4 cm and were irrigated to prevent drought stress. Greenhouse environment was a 12 hr photoperiod at 15.5°C/ 22.2°C (night/day). Insect repellent treatments were applied to perennial ryegrass plants arranged in a randomized complete block design with 4 replications. Treatments included 9 insect repellents and a non-treated control for comparison (Table 1). Five treatments contained the active ingredient DEET. Other commonly used insect repellents were also included for comparison. Collected data included visual percent injury on a 0%- 100% scale, where 10% represented maximum acceptable injury. Data was subjected to ANOVA in SAS and means were separated according to Fisher’s protected LSD at 0.05 significance level.

Results. All treatments except the control resulted in at least 6% turfgrass injury 1 day after application (DAA). Repel Max (40% DEET) and Off Active (15% DEET) resulted in 68% and 30% injury, respectively 21 DAA. At 21 DAA all other treatments resulted in turfgrass injury similar to the non-treated. Insect repellants with the same active ingredient percentage resulted in various perennial ryegrass injury and recovery. Although no different in % DEET, Off Active and Off Family resulted in 30% and 0% injury, 21 DAA, respectively. Results also demonstrate that permanent non-target turfgrass injury could occur if Off Active and Repel Max are applied as a human insect repellent. Further greenhouse and field trials are needed to confirm results as well as determine if other non-labeled ingredients influence turfgrass injury.

Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application!!!

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @KSUTurf.

Also, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/KSUTurf

Effect of Dormant ‘MidIron’ Bermudagrass Colorant Applications on Clothing Blemishing

Effect of Dormant ‘MidIron’ Bermudagrass Colorant Applications on Clothing Blemishing

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension and Daniele McFadden, KSU Turfgrass Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Summary. Minimal research exists on potential clothing blemishing when athletes contact turfgrass applied with colorants. Field trials were conducted to test the effect of turfgrass colorant applications on clothing blemishing if a athlete is to come in contact with the playing surface. Turfgrass colorants will adhere to turfgrass leaf blades and do not blemish clothing. Although, tested turfgrass pigments did result in significant blemishing of clothing.

Rationale. Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) is a warm-season turfgrass used on athletic fields in the Midwest. Although a desirable turfgrass species for athletic fields it fails to maintain acceptable green color during winter. Turfgrass colorants have been utilized to maintain acceptable green turf color through dormancy periods. Athletes of all ages play on sports fields where colorants have been applied. Extensive research has explored turfgrass colorants on turfgrass quality but minimal research exists on potential clothing blemishing when athletes contact turfgrass applied with colorants.

Objectives. The objective of this research was to determine if turfgrass pigments and paints blemish athletic clothing after the recommended dry time.

Study Description. Field research trials were initiated Feb. 16, 2017 at Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center in Manhattan, KS on dormant ‘MidIron’ bermudagrass maintained at 3.8 cm. Treatments were applied to 1.5 by 1.5 m plots arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replications. Treatments consisted of three paints (Wintergreen Plus, Green Lawnger, Endurant Premium), one pigment (Envy) and a non-treated control for comparison. All colorant treatments were applied at 1:6 (v:v) dilution in 1,234 L ha-1 spray volume. After recommended drying time (4 hrs), a white cotton t-shirt was pulled 1.5 m across the plot weighted down with 11.4 kg. Digital image analysis was used to determine percent blemishing of t-shirt area. Data was subjected to ANOVA in SAS and means were separated according to Fisher’s Protected LSD at 0.05 significance level.

Results. Envy (turfgrass pigment) resulted in the highest blemished clothing percentage (60%). All other treatments were no different than the non-treated (Figure 2). Results demonstrate that the tested turfgrass paints safely adhere to the turfgrass canopy and do not blemish athletic clothing.

Figure 1. Dormant colorant field trial plots located at Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center in Manhattan, KS.

Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application!!!

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @KSUTurf.

Also, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/KSUTurf

New Turfgrass Publications

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

The KSU Turfgrass Team has been busy updating turfgrass extension publications.  Some of the most recent publications include benefits of a healthy turf, lawn fertilization guide and turfgrass mowing.

Enjoy the updated publications!

Benefits of Heathy Turfgrass

Environmental, economic, health, and safety benefits of turfgrass found in lawns, athletic fields, parks, and roadsides.

https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=12800

Lawn Fertilizing Guide

This guide helps homeowners determine how much fertilizer to apply to keep lawn vigorous and healthy.

https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=10639

Turfgrass Mowing: Professional Series

Mowing basics for professional turfgrass managers. Information on mowing height and frequency, clippings, mowing pattern, mower operation, blade sharpening, mower selection, maintenance, and safety

https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=712

Mowing Your Lawn

Mowing basics for homeowners. Includes information on mowing height and frequency, pattern, mower operation, maintenance, and safety.

https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=615

Recycling Grass Clippings

Information for homeowners on why and how to recycle grass clippings.

https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=701

 

For more turfgrass publications visit the KSRE Bookstore.

https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Category.aspx?id=528&catId=545&Page=1

Take Advantage of Breaks in Summer Heat for Putting Green Management

By Jack Fry

Looks like we’ve got a short-term period of cooler temperatures over the next several days.  Midsummer heat relief is good for us, and it’s also a great time to do some of the cultural practices we often avoid during midsummer heat.

Creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass don’t like the heat, and really don’t appreciate it when we implement certain cultural practices during hot weather.  On greens that have shallow roots and experience indirect heat stress, any kind of stress brought about with cultural practices can sometimes be the “straw that breaks the camel’s back.”  Consider implementing some of the following during short stretches of cool weather:

1) Solid tine aerification.  Opening up the surface of the green can help get oxygen to roots and prevent a “sealing off” of the surface that can arise when organic matter accumulates.

2) Verticutting.  Using vertical knives to cut leaves and stolons is certainly a stress to the plant, and now is a good time to do it if your greens are grainy (a la Johnny Miller!), or are accumulating more organic matter at the surface than desired.

3) Sand topdressing.  Topdressing during midsummer can be stressful to the plant especially if it the sand is dragged into the surface.

4) Product applications.  Some products can potentially cause more injury to creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass when applied during hot weather, including liquid fertilizers, plant growth regulators, wetting agents, and even some fungicides.   Labels on some products specify temperatures in which they should be applied.  Use the break in the temperatures to apply products that may be needed.

5) Mowing and rolling.  If you haven’t done it yet, raise the mowing height if you can, and roll a few days each week instead of mowing.  Having more leaf area is always a good thing for the plant.

Homeowner Do-It-Yourself Lawn Calendar Reminders!

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Earlier this year I wrote two blog posts that listed out both a cool- and warm-season lawn calendar for homeowners.  If you are anything like me then I have already forgot what I was suppose to do so sometimes it is good to have a reminder.

Cool-season Lawn Calendar Reminder 

June through Mid-July
Apply second round of crabgrass preventer by June 15 – unless you have used Dimension (dithiopyr) or Barricade (prodiamine) for the April application. These two products normally provide season-long control with a single application. Remember to water it in. If grubs have been a problem in the past, apply a product containing imidacloprid during the first half of July. This works to prevent grub damage. It must be watered in before it becomes active.

Warm-season Lawn Calendar Reminder

May – August 15
Fertilize with 1 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per application. Follow the recommendations on the bag. More applications will give a deeper green color, but will increase mowing and may lead to thatch buildup with zoysiagrass. Bermudagrass can also have problems with thatch buildup but thatch is less likely with Bermuda than zoysia. Bermudagrass – Use two to four applications. Zoysiagrass – Use one to two applications. Too much nitrogen leads to thatch buildup.

One Application: Apply in June.
Two Applications: Apply May and July.
Three Applications: Apply May, June, and early August.
Four Applications: Apply May, June, July, and early August.

Remember to look and see if you are using a quick release nitrogen source or a slow release nitrogen source.  If you use a quick release source then it is immediately available but only lasts a couple weeks.  Thats why you would have to make a couple of applications like it is listed above.  If you are going to use a slow release source it will tell you on the bag how long the product will last.  Therefore, you might not have to make as many applications.

So generally you want to use a total of 2 to 4lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year for bermudagrass and 1 to 2 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year for zoysiagrass.

Buffalograss – Fertilize with 1 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet during June. More applications will give a deeper green color. If it is felt that a second application is needed, apply in July. Do not exceed more than 2 lbs of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per YEAR for a home lawn.

June
If grubs have been a problem in the past, apply a product containing imidacloprid by mid July. Imidacloprid can be applied as early as mid May if there are problems with billbugs or May beetle grubs. These products kill the grubs before they cause damage. They are effective and safe but must be watered in before they become active.

June is also a good time to core aerate a warm-season lawn. Core aeration will help alleviate compaction, increase the rate of water infiltration, improve soil air exchange and help control thatch.

For the full Do-It-yourself Lawn Calendars click the links below

Warm-Season – http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/homeowner-do-it-yourself-lawn-calendar-for-warm-season-grass/ 

Cool-Season – http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/homeowner-do-it-yourself-lawn-calendar-for-cool-season-grasses/

Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application!!!

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @KSUTurf.

Also, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/KSUTurf

Stinkgrass

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Many people like the smell of freshly cut grass but there is a weed out there that is common in many lawns in KS called stinkgrass and it stinks.  It stinks cause it is a weed and it also literally stinks.

Stinkgrass sometimes referred to as stinking lovegrass or candy grass is a summer annual grassy weed that was introduced from Europe. This weed is most noticeable when the grayish-green triangular shaped panicle type seedhead is present. The seedhead closely resembles that of the bluegrass family and may cause confusion in identification. Individual spikelets, however, possess a grayish-silver, sometimes purple color and at times may appear waxy.

The leaves are smooth, glossy below and rough on top typically ranging from ¼ to ½ inch wide. The stem of the plant is jointed with slightly swollen nodes, occasionally with a 45 degree bend near the stem base.To vegetatively identify stinkgrass, look at the ligule, the sheath and back of the leaf blade where it attaches to the collar. The ligule is a short fringe of hairs, with several long hairs at the outer edge.

Another distinctive characteristic of stinkgrass is that it produces a bitter pungent odor, most noticeable when the tissue is crushed or mowed, hence the name stinkgrass. It is said to be poisonous to livestock, particularly horses, but most animals avoid grazing it because of the odor. Stinkgrass normally spreads by seed dispersal which emerges in late spring a few weeks after crabgrass or at a similar time to goosegrass. Maximum germination occurs when soil temperatures remain above 65°F for several weeks. Mature this plant will grow from 1 to 2 feet tall and it can temporarily survive mowing heights typical for home-lawns.

Occurrence

In general, stinkgrass is not a persistent problem in lawns but commonly occurs in newly established or poorly maintained lawns and low maintenance areas like roadsides that were once cultivated as agricultural land. It can also be a problem in newly planted sod fields. It has a shallow fibrous root system and is normally not a problem in properly maintained turf the second year after planting.

Non-Chemical Control

Stinkgrass can be very easily removed by hand. In newly established lawns, however, practices to promote maximum density of the desirable turf species like adequate fertility, proper mowing and irrigation will eventually crowd out this weed. Stinkgrass will die after the first killing autumn frost allowing a vigorous desirable turf species to fill the voids.

Chemical Control

No specific pre-emergence herbicides are labeled for turf use, though most common pre-emergent herbicides suitable for crabgrass and goosegrass should also be effective on stinkgrass without injury to the desired turf species. The only compounds labeled for post-emergent control are glufosinate (Finale) or glyphosate (Round-up). Both of these herbicides are non-selective herbicides which kill all green plants and should not be applied to desirable turfgrasses. Once the stinkgrass has been controlled, however, these areas can then be reseeded or sodded.

Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application!!!

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @KSUTurf.

Also, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/KSUTurf

Roundup for Lawns – UPDATE – K-State Radio Network

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

This past weekend I was at a lawn and garden store and saw the Roundup for Lawns display.  Customers were walking by and picking up a bottle.  Some would get Roundup MAXX, Roundup for Lawns and some bought just straight Roundup. I thought to myself, “I hope they know the different between those products.”

Here is some information on the products and a link to Agriculture Today, daily radio program, with Eric Atkinson and Dr. Jared Hoyle.  He explains the difference between the products and even what the bottles look like and why it is important to make sure you pick up the correct product.

Article – http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/every-homeowner-needs-to-know-the-difference-between-roundup-roundup-for-lawns/

Radio Program – https://www.ksre.k-state.edu/news/radio-network/agtoday-mp3/042017-hoyle.mp3 

Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application!!!

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @KSUTurf.

Also, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/KSUTurf

To bag… or not to bag? Whether ’tis nobler to recycle clippings.

(By Jared Hoyle, Turfgrass Research and Extension)


A week or two ago I posted on mowing and introduced two new publications for homeowners and professionals about correct mowing practices.  Well since we are all out mowing I tend to get the question about bagging lawn clippings.  Do I bag clippings?  Doses it cause thatch? Can I use it as mulch in my garden? Etc…

Well I just updated the Recycling Grass Clipping Extension Publication at the KSRE Bookstore.

http://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=701

Check it out for more information and to answer the question….

To bag… or not to bag? Whether ’tis nobler to recycle clippings.

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @KSUTurf.

Also, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/KSUTurf

Turfgrass Care for Homeowners (K-State Radio Network) – April Broadcast

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

About a week ago I was invited back again to speak with Eric Atkinson, host of Agriculture Today a daily program distributed to radio stations throughout the state. It features K-State agricultural specialists and other experts examining agricultural issues facing Kansas and the nation.

This week we covered the following;

  • fertilization of cool-season lawns
  • fertilization of warm-season lawns
  • weed control
  • preemergent herbicide control
  • spring mowing heights

Check out the radio program below!

Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application!!!

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @KSUTurf.

Also, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/KSUTurf