Kansas State University


K-State Turfgrass

Category: Turfgrass News

Don’t miss the 2017 KSU Turfgrass Field Day – August 3rd

The next Turfgrass Field Day will be held on Thursday, August 3, 2017 at the John C. Pair Horticultural Research Center, Wichita.
The KTF Turf Field Days are a great way to see and learn about the turfgrass research at K-State first hand. The events are held annually in the summer at the turfgrass research locations of Kansas State University.

The Field Day qualifies for recertification credit hr for commercial pesticide applicators.

You can now Register and Pay Online at  https://2017turffieldday.eventbrite.com
or you can register by downloading, printing, and mailing go to the 2017 Field Day brochure.

Exhibitors can get more information from the Exhibitor Registration Form.

Schedule of the 2017 Field Day 
8:00 a.m. Registration (coffee, tea, donuts)
Visit Exhibitors
8:45         Welcome
9:00        Tour Highlights:

*Turfgrass Weed Control Update
*Turf & Ornamental Diseases
*Bermudagrass & Zoysiagrass Cultivar Selection
*Using Kansas Mesonet to Imrpove Accuracy in Landscape Irrigation
*Right Plant, FROM the Right Place
* Prairie Star Flowers
*Tall Fescue NTEP
*Turf & Ornamental Insect Control
11:30       Lunch

After Lunch

  • Equipment Demonstrations

If you have any questions, please contact,
    Christy Dipman 
    1712 Claflin, 2021 Throckmorton Hall
Manhattan, Kansas 66506
Phone: (785) 532-6173
Fax: (785) 532-6949



#ksuturf Undergraduate Students Compete in Research Symposium

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Last Friday, three undergraduate turfgrass science students completed in the Gamma Sigma Delta Undergraduate Research Poster Competition; Dani McFadden, Peyton South and Gage Knudson.  Peyton South received 1st place and a 100 dollar monetary prize.  Congrats to Peyton and a job well done to Dani and Gage!

Below you can read about the research that they conducted over the past two semesters.

Titles included;

  1. Effect of Dormant ‘MidIron’ Bermduagrass Colorant Applications on Clothing Blemishing
  2. Influence of Tall Fescue Baseball Infield Mowing Height on Ground Ball Speed
  3. The Effect of Human Insect Repellents on Perennial Ryegrass Growth and Recovery

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

L. McFadden* and J. A. Hoyle*

*Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources, Kansas State University, 2021 Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center, Manhattan, KS; Corresponding author’s email; dmcfadden@ksu.edu

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. The objective of this research was to determine if turfgrass pigments and paints blemish athletic clothing after the recommended dry time. Researcher’s hypothesis paints would result in greater blemishing and pigments would have no effect due to coloring occurring from inside the plant. 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. Envy (turfgrass pigment) resulted in the highest blemished clothing percentage (60%). All other treatments were no different than the non-treated. Results demonstrate that the tested turfgrass paints safely adhere to the turfgrass canopy and do not blemish athletic clothing.

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

Gage M. Knudson* and Jared A. Hoyle*

*Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources, Kansas State University, 2021 Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center, Manhattan, KS; Corresponding author’s email; knudson.gage@gmail.com

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. 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. Mowing heights of 2.5, 5, and 7.6 cm resulted in 1.77, 2.08 and 1.88 s ground ball times, respectively. 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 a 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.

The Effect of Human Insect Repellents on Perennial Ryegrass Growth and Recovery

 Peyton E. South* and Jared A. Hoyle*

*Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources, Kansas State University, 2021 Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center, Manhattan, KS; Corresponding author’s email; southpeyton@ksu.edu

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. 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. 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. 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. Results demonstrate that permanent non-target turfgrass injury will occur if Off Active and Repel Max are applied as a human insect repellent.

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

Congrats to Ross Braun for KSU student award

The KSU Turf Team is always proud of our students.

Horticulture Graduate Student Awarded First Place at K-State Graduate Research Forum

K-State HNR graduate student, Ross Braun competed in the poster competition against other K-State graduate students at the 2017 Kansas State Graduate Research, Arts, and Discovery Forum in Manhattan, KS. Ross placed 1st in the Agricultural Sciences poster session and was awarded a $500 scholarship prize, the title of his poster was “Nitrous Oxide Emissions in a Turfgrass Environment.” Congrats Ross!

For a photo of Ross, check out the HNR Facebook page:


Finding your passion

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

My wife and I are both educators but we are both very different educators.  She teaches 8th grade language arts and I am an extension educator that teaches continuing education to turfgrass professionals.  As educators we strive to help people find their passion but believe it or not every once in awhile we find someone that helps us find our passion or rekindle our passion that may have been overwhelmed for many different reasons.

Most of my educational presentations are not to students but every once in awhile I do get in the classroom and get to talk with undergraduate students.  Most of my interaction with students is when I see them at their internship, summer job or out working at the Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Farm.

One of those students is Slade Loewen.  Slade is an undergraduate turfgrass student here at Kansas State University.  Slade has worked out at Rocky Ford as well as many other golf courses in Kansas.  So it is safe to say Slade has a passion for turfgrass, like many of us.  But what you don’t know is Slade has a passion for something else.  He enjoys working on cars, trucks, tractors, equipment, etc.  Problem solving a piece of equipment that hasn’t ran in a couple years to rebuilding an engine in his wife’s car is something Slade has accomplished just in the past couple weeks.

When I moved here in April 2013 I noticed an old John Deere tractor out at the research farm. I always wondered why we haven’t used it and apparently the story goes…  It was rebuilt, the battery got hooked up backwards and fried the electrical system. So it just sat there.  Well a couple weeks ago Slade got to working on the tractor and took it on as a project.  Long story short after some hard work, Slade was driving the tractor around Rocky Ford.  Although it is an older tractor it will be put to great use.

What I noticed that day I pulled into Rocky Ford wasn’t the running tractor that I have never seen move but a young man “doing what he loves best”.  We walked around that thing and he went through the entire process of what he did to get it running.  That day I saw someone not only finding their passion but sharing it with someone else.

I try and share my passion for turfgrass through research and extension by many different outlets.  I get overwhelmed, busy, anxious and sometimes just flat out burned out.  That day at Rocky Ford, Slade helped me rekindle my passion. So when you find yourself overwhelmed, which is easy to do as a turfgrass manager, stop and remember your passion and look around at your employees, students, interns, etc.  Look at the passion and motivation they have and use that as fuel to rekindle your own passion for the green industry.

As we enter Spring and Summer keep up the great work and always remember why we do what we do!

What have you been up to? – Undergraduate Research Projects

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

As the temperatures start getting warmer, friends and neighbors start getting out more.  So when I run into them, the first question I get is “What have you been up to?”.  Many times people think winter is slow because the grass is not growing but actually during the winter is when we try and get a lot of things done that we don’t have time to get to in the warmer parts of the year.  But one thing that we have been up to is undergraduate research projects.

In the fall of 2016 I had three students come to my office interested in conducting an undergraduate research project.  I told them that the purposes of an undergraduate research projects are; 1. Answer a question for an issue that turfgrass managers face, 2. Learn the process to conduct research and, 3. Relate your research to more than just the turfgrass manager but have a social impact.  All three of them agreed then we started brainstorming and came up with three projects.

Undergraduate Research Project #1 – Student – Peyton South

The Effect of Human Insect Repellents on Turfgrass Growth and Recovery

Ever seen this before? https://www.extension.iastate.edu/turfgrass/blog/dr-nick-christians/mosquito-spray-can-kill-grass

That is what bug spray can do to your turf.  Peyton wanted to look into it more and see if there are differences in not only the bug sprays but if there is recovery. He is currently taking data and we will get that information out there once the project is complete.  Here are some pictures of the project.


Undergraduate Research Project #2 – Student – Dani McFadden

Will Turfgrass Colorants Blemish Clothing?

Dani’s research project was inspired by a question I got from in education event this past year. There has been lots of research on turfgrass colorants and how long they last but what will it do to the clothing of the athletes if they fall.  So Dani went out and applied a variety of different turfgrass colorants, pulled clothing across the colorants (after the recommended drying time) and then analyzed how much colorant blemish the clothing. Once her project is complete then we will be able to determine which products to recommend to athletic field managers so they can rest assure they won’t have any phone calls about stained clothing.


Undergraduate Research Project #3 – Student – Gage Knudson

Prediction of baseball on-base percentage due to infield mowing height

Sometimes there is only a spit second at first base between a baseball batter and the throw at shortstop to determine if the runner is out or safe.  One component of that split second is how fast the baseball moves through the infield.  Holding all other factors constant, Gage manipulated mowing height of a simulated baseball infield to determine the speed of a ground ball hit to the shortstop.  Then he can predict the out percentage at first base.  Gage’s interest in this project not only helps field managers with maintenance of the field but shows how important it is for the coach of baseball team to communicate with the grounds manager.  To simulate a constant speed he used a pitching machine that was aimed at the infield.  Believe it or not that one slit second can be influenced just by the mowing height of the infield.

New Weed Control Publication For Turfgrass Professionals

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

In 2016 Dr. Aaron Patton and Daniel Weisenberger reached out to surrounding universities to collaborate on producing a multi-state Turfgrass Weed Control for Professionals Publication.  There are 11 states, including Kansas, that worked together to help produce the 2017 edition.


Guide provides weed identification and control information that turfgrass professionals can use to develop effective weed control programs for golf courses, athletic fields, sod farms, lawns, and other turfgrass systems. Recommendations apply to most states, with input from experts in IL, IN, IA, Kansas, KY, MI, MN, MO, NE, NY, OH, and WI.

It contains images and information for identifying 105 different weed species.



Covers herbicide selection in:

  • Nonselective herbicide/fumigants for renovation
  • Nonselective herbicides for border maintenance
  • Preemergence herbicides
  • Postemergence broadleaf herbicides
  • Postemergence grass herbicides
  • Postemergence sedge herbicides
  • PGRs for general turf
  • PGRs for putting greens
  • Herbicides labeled for putting greens (PRE and POST)

The publicationl also covers many other weed control aspects like;

  • Which herbicide works best for each weed.
  • Includes notes and comments on each herbicide.
  • Control of tough weeds.
  • Provides handy comparisons of broadleaf herbicide ingredients.
  • Covers fundamentals of how herbicides work
  • frequently asked questions.


For an electronic download copy for 12.00 click here – https://mdc.itap.purdue.edu/item.asp?item_number=Turf-100-W#.WMFVKGVuD8s

For a hard copy delivered to your door (20.00) click here – https://mdc.itap.purdue.edu/item.asp?item_number=TURF-100#.WMFVDWVuD8u

Congrats to KSU alum for prestigious environmental award

(Megan Kennelly)

We are proud that our K-State alum Josh Heptig is the winner of the President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America! Way to go!


You can read all about Josh and his innovations on the golf course here:


He currently works in California.

Low Water Use Turfgrass Event – Hays, KS

Tuesday evening, Sept. 20 is set for the annual Horticulture Night at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center in Hays. This year the emphasis is on low water use turfgrass demonstration plots, tomato and pepper varietal trials, and the Prairie Star flower performance trials.  The event is scheduled later in the summer this year than usual so attendees can better view the results of the complete season.

Dr. Jared Hoyle will be there to answer any turfgrass questions you might have!