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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.***

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Winter Golf Cart Traffic and Turfgrass Paints

(by Evan Alderman and Jared Hoyle; KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

IMG_2679As some of you may know there is currently a lot of research right now at Kansas State University focusing on the use of buffalograss, and how it can be better utilized to lower water usage. We are looking at many different aspects of buffalograss in homelawns, golf courses, roadsides, parks, athletic fields and more. But one question that repeateadly comes across KSU Turfgrass Extension desk is how does buffalograss hold up against golf cart traffic on a golf course.   Research is currently being conducted to see how buffalograss handles simulated golf cart traffic during the summer months, but how does it handle golf cart traffic in the winter? And how can we conserve water going into the winter months?

One way is turfgrass colorants! There is a lot of research conducted on the dormant application of turfgrass colorants instead of overseeding the dormant warm-season turf. But how do these colorants stand the time when subjected to normal golf cart traffic?

The objectives of this research were to;

  1. Investigate the longevity of turf colorants when subjected to simulated golf cart traffic
  2. Explore the effects of turf colorants on buffalograss at fairway height
  3. Evaluate the effects of simulated golf cart traffic on dormant buffalograss.

As summer is approaching and a blistery winter has passed us, the first year of this research has come to an end.

Three turfgrass colorants (Endurant, Endurant Premium, and Green Lawnger) and a overseeded treatment (Perennial Ryegrass @ 10lb./1000ft2) were investigated over a period of 24 weeks beginning in late October of 2014. The colorants were applied at 43 gal/ Acre at a 1:6 dilution (colorant to water). Traffic was applied weekly at 0, 2, 4, or 8 passes with a golf cart traffic simulator. Traffic was not applied if day temperatures did not reach 40°F or the turfgrass plots were covered with snow.

wintertrafficThe data in Table 1 represents evaluations for percent green cover. As the weeks progressed percent green color decreased for all treatments presented. At 12 weeks after treatment it should be noted that with 0 and 2 passes of traffic weekly, Endurant Premium had more green cover than the overseeded treatment at those traffic levels.

Turfgrass colorants could be a viable option to help with water conservation efforts. Turfgrass colorants performed best when traffic was not applied. If traffic is applied to an area with turfgrass colorants, repeat applications of the colorant may be needed.

IMG_2686At 24 weeks after treatment it can be seen that all treatments are starting to green up after the long winter, with treatments receiving no traffic having the highest percent green cover.

To all the golf course superintendents that allow traffic on your buffalograss in the winter, be aware that in the spring you are going to have to increase your management practice to get that buffalograss to recover before the summer. The buffalograss eventually will recover but…why do you want to start from behind in the spring?

***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

Is ‘brown’ really the new green?

(By Jared Hoyle; KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Last spring I moved into a new home.  There was a lot to be done and turfgrass got put on the back burner as other things around the house needed to be done: like pruning trees, painting walls, fixing plumbing leaks, you know the typical homeowner headaches.

Well, around Thanksgiving I was not pleased with my yard, the Kansas Extension Turfgrass Specialist’s, yard.  It was bad.  It was really thin, I haven’t watered it and the tall fescue was about 50% brown. The only thing I had going for me was I didn’t have any weeds.  I am pretty good at killing some weeds.

My Neglected Tall Fescue Lawn - Nov. 28, 2014
My Neglected Tall Fescue Lawn – Nov. 28, 2014

So I got to thinking… A quick fix to what I have been doing around the house is painting. Why can’t I paint my cool-season turfgrass like you would a warm-season turfgrass for winter color too.  So I did…

I used a 3 gal backpack sprayer calibrated to deliver 0.5 gal/1,000 sq feet.  I used a mixture of two different colorant products.  I used this combination because this is what I had on hand and I didn’t have enough for a full application of one or the other.  I mixed 10.5 fl oz of Sarge 2.0 (by Numerator Techinologies) and 10.5 fl oz of Wintergreen Plus (by Presision Labratories) in 1 gal of water.  I applied in two directions for a total of 1 gal/1,000 sq feet colorant and water combination.

IMG_2765
Front lawn 3 hours after colorant application – November 28, 2014

In the picture above you can see what it looked like right after colorant application.  It was a huge contrast compared to my neighbor’s zoysiagrass lawn.  I will have to admit that it looked “Really Fake” immediately after application.  But I did receive a lot of attention: People walking their dogs would stop and stare, neighbors asked what kind of fertilizer I applied, and the best one was “It didn’t look like that this morning, What did you do?”

About two weeks after application it rained and the colorant faded a little bit.  Now the dirt, rocks, and acorns that were present when I painted where not green anymore and it looked more natural.

Dec. 20, 2014 - Front lawn still showing attractive winter color.
Dec. 20, 2014 – Front lawn still showing attractive winter color.

The picture above was taken on Dec. 20, 2014 a couple days after a snow fall.  Not only is the color still there and looks great but my lawn melted snow faster than all of my neighbors.

Jan. 19, 2014 - Winter color still holding on.
Jan. 19, 2015 – Winter color still holding on.

Still after a couple of snow falls, rain, random warm days and cold temperatures the color is still holding on into January of 2015.

Jan. 23, 2015
Jan. 23, 2015

And the most recent picture was taken yesterday, January 23, 2015.  Other than needing to clean the leaves up one more time I would say the colorant application looked great throughout the winter. I think this might not only be an option for winter color on warm-season grasses but also cool-season grasses as well.

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