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K-State Turf and Landscape Blog

Tag: colorant

Dormant Buffalograss Research Update

(By Jared Hoyle and Evan Alderman, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

As I was driving down the road the other day (as I do all the time) I was thinking (that can be trouble), “How can we conserve water in our managed turfgrass systems?”  What is going to happen if regulations are passed and they cut water off for turfgrass applications?  But, in all honestly it is not “if the water gets cut off” it is “when is the water getting cut off”?

This is one of the many reasons we have been researching the use of buffalograss.  Buffalograss is a low (NOT NO) input turfgrass, including water.  There is a lot that is unknown about buffalograss and how it can be used. Not to mention many new cultivars of buffalgorass are being developed for darker green color and longer color retention but much of the past research has been conducted on older cultivars.  Also, many of the recommendations for buffalograss management were all based on the older cultivars of buffalograss.

Some might think the research season for buffalograss is winding down but it is not.  There is still plenty of research to be done and many questions to be answered. This fall, KSU Turfgrass Graduate Student, Evan Alderman, is going to conduct research on dormant buffalograss. Objectives of his research are to investigate the longevity of turf colorants when subjected to simulated golf cart traffic, explore the effects of turf colorants on buffalograss at fairway height, and to evaluate the effects of simulated golf cart traffic on dormant buffalograss.

Ryegrass overseeding in buffalograss fairway prior to trial initiation

Treatments will involve three different turf colorants, as well as a more traditional Perennial Ryegrass overseeded treatment. Turf colorants will be applied when there is approximately 15-20% canopy color left in the buffalograss. Treatments will be replicated four times and will be subjected to simulated golf cart traffic. Traffic treatments will be applied once a week with plots receiving 0, 2, 4, or 8 passes per week. The study will run throughout the late fall, winter, and spring months.

We should get some interesting results.  Ultimately, we hope to find out if we are able to maintain an aesthetically pleasing healthy turfgrass all while maintaining a quality-playing surface for golfers.

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Do you want green zoysiagrass, buffalograss, or bermudagrass in the winter?

(By Jared Hoyle and Ross Braun, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

With the cooler temperatures and the college football kick off the past couple of weeks, I am getting the feeling winter will be here before you know it.  One thing that I do not like about the winter is warm-season grasses go dormant and brown.  Growing up in the South East United States we would remedy this by over-seeding ryegrass into bermudagrass to keep a green lawn year round.

This cultural practice was nice but also required that you have to chemically or physically remove the ryegrass from the bermudagrass in the spring.  Not to mention the plant competition that is occurring trying to grow both a warm- and cool-season grass.

Now people are painting grass green!!!  I just saw an article about painting home lawns in CA and how revenue has increased for lawn care businesses in this area. This was even in the summer when homeowners turned off the water to their lawn.

Check it out, here is the news clip.


KSU Turfgrass Graduate Student, Ross Braun, has been testing all different types of paints for warm-season grasses and the best application volumes, timings, and application methods. .  His Master’s Thesis was just recognized in The First Cut by GCSAA.


After working with Ross over the past year and a half I do remember Ross emphasizing how important it is when you are painting turf to make sure you get an application of paint down before the turfgrass goes 100% dormant.  This would be when there is about 15-30% green color remaining in the turfgrass, which is soon approaching.

With the cooler temperatures and college football just reminded me that it is getting close to the time to paint if you are going to try it out this year.

Some other points that Ross suggests when painting warm-season turf are:

  • Calibrate with paint and not just water.
  • Check the label or ask the company to which nozzles are the best to use.
  • Normal tank agitation is required.
  • Keep a high-density turf (paint works better on denser turf).
  • Stay off the paint for 1 hr after painting.
  • Keep equipment off for at least 24 hrs.

Until next time, hope everyone has a great weekend!



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 and Ross Braun @Ross_Braun

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