Kansas State University

search

K-State Turfgrass

Category: Research

The rain didn’t stop us….Turfgrass Field Day 2019!

A huge thank you to everyone who attended the 2019 Turfgrass Field Day in Olathe, KS. Our morning was filled with rain, but most attendees waited it out to learn more about the Turfgrass research + insect/disease updates from K-State   specialists. The BBQ lunch was a big incentive for waiting it out too… 🙂

We wanted to share a few pictures from the event. There were 8 different stops at the field day. Here are the highlights:

  • Tree Pruning: Principles and Practices— Tim McDonnell taught about the different types, methods and reasons for tree pruning. Specifically, he demonstrated structural, raising and thinning practices, as well as making proper pruning cuts.

  • Ornamental Potpourri — Cheryl Boyer gave updates for ornamentals in Kansas, including the status of the John C. Pair Horticulture Research Center, popular new cultivars from local growers, an Earth-Kind Ninebark trial, and new Facebook marketing research results. She had a beautiful booth, full of luscious plants from KAT Wholesale Nurseries and Loma Vista Nursery.

  • New Tall Fescue Cultivars — Steve Keeley shared insights on a new tall fescue cultivar trial with over 130 entries that were established at Olathe in 2018. He showed the top performers and gave recommedations for tall fescue cultivars in Midwest lawns and sports turf.

  • Turf & Ornamental Insect Update —Raymond Cloyd shared an update on insect and mite pests of ornamentals and turfgrass, including new insecticides and miticidies, common insect and mite pests of 2019, and lots of “bug” samples.

  • Turf and Ornamental Disease Update—Megan Kennelly talked about diseases and stresses and how to identify and manage them. She also showed some tall fescue/zoysia blend plots and demonstrataed how the two species can complement each other.
  • Managing Shaded Turf —Dale Bremer talked about shade stress and how it affects turf performance, along with options to maintain turf quality in shade.

  • Turfgrass Weed Control Update — Jared Hoyle & Dani McFadden covered many aspects of turfrgass weed control advancements, including information about new herbicides, and how they influence your weed control program.

  • Advancements in Zoysiagrasss — Jack Fry showed of his “Innovation’ and ‘Chisholm’ turf plots – the new zoysias K-State has released. There are over 1,000 genetically different zoysias that are being evaluated at the Olathe Center.

 

New Turfgrass Research Reports

Research Reports

Bermudagrass Control Options for Reseeding

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Last week Ward Upham wrote an article on bermudagrass control in the KSU Horticulture Newsletter.  In the article below he explains the difficulty of controlling bermudgrass, the process and the multiple applications of a non-selective herbicide.

Bermudagrass Control by Ward Upham

Bermudagrass can make a nice lawn if you don’t mind its
invasiveness and short growing season. But many people dislike both
these characteristics. Warm-season grasses, such as bermudagrass,
zoysiagrass and buffalograss, green up later than cool-season grasses
such as tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass. They also go dormant earlier
in the fall, which can make a lawn unattractive. Bermuda that invades a cool-season lawn will be brown during much of the spring and fall while the tall fescue portion of the lawn is green. Bermuda is much more drought and heat resistant than cool-season grasses, so it will take over a cool-season lawn during the summer months if it is in full sun.

So, how do you control bermudagrass that has invaded a cool-season
lawn? Research conducted in 1996 showed that glyphosate is the best herbicide for the job. Glyphosate is a nonselective herbicide and will kill everything—
including tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass. Therefore, you will need to
reseed treated areas. In our study, we applied a 2% solution of
glyphosate on July 15 and again on August 15 on a bermudagrass plot that
was more than 15 years old. More than one year later, we saw no
regrowth. Glyphosate works best if bermuda is growing well. The better
the bermudagrass is growing, the more chemical is taken up and pushed
into the roots. Water and fertilize if needed to get it going.
Spray about the middle of July (or when the bermuda is growing
well). Use glyphosate (2% solution). Wait two weeks and scalp the lawn
(mow as low as possible and remove clippings.) This will prevent dead
grass from covering any bermuda that starts to recover. Wait another two
weeks and spray again with glyphosate if there is any green. Wait two
more weeks and reseed. (Ward Upham)

(For the KSU Horticulture Newsletter click here – https://hnr.k-state.edu/extension/info-center/newsletters/index.html)

But during this time areas are dead, may not be acceptable and re-seeding must be done in the fall.  What if you are wanting to seed in the spring (Especially if you ware wanting to convert to buffalograss)? This process might not work due to the timeline. Therefore, a couple years ago we looked into some other options and combinations for bermudagrass control. Here is a brief overview of the project.

Multiple summer applications of glyphosate are commonly recommended for bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.) control. However, this regime results in an extended period of displeasing and nonfunctional turfgrass, and is not ideal for spring establishment. An autumn glyphosate application prior to winter dormancy can control bermudagrass and may benefit spring  establishment projects. However, research is needed to more precisely define the parameters of efficacious late-season herbicide applications for bermudagrass control as it transitions into dormancy. Therefore, our objective was to examine late-season bermudagrass removal using combinations of glyphosate, fluazifop, and mesotrione. Experiments were initiated in October 2013 at the Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center in Manhattan, KS, on mature ‘Midlawn’ hybrid bermudagrass, and at Stagg Hill Golf Course in Manhattan, KS, on mature common bermudagrass. Seven herbicide treatments containing combinations of glyphosate, fluazifop, and mesotrione were evaluated. Green bermudagrass cover (0–100%) was visually estimated when treatments were applied and every 14 d after application. Only treatments containing glyphosate reduced the green cover of bermudagrass at each site the following year. Across all ratings dates and locations, adding mesotrione, fluazifop, or both to glyphosate did not further reduce green bermudagrass cover. Overall, results indicate that a single autumn application of glyphosate prior to bermudagrass dormancy reduces bermudagrass cover the following spring. The significant reduction at spring green-up may allow turf managers to make additional applications in the spring for increased control before spring establishment.

For the full article;

Hoyle, J.A.,C. Braun, C.S. Thompson and J.A. Reeves. 2018. Late-Season Bermudagrass Control with Glyphosate, Fluazifop, and Mesotrione Combinations. Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environ. 1:180014 (2018) doi:10.2134/age2018.06.0014

https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/age/pdfs/1/1/180014

***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

Rethinking Zoysiagrass for Home Lawns

Kansas State University teamed with Texas A&M to develop a new cultivar of zoysiagrass called Innovation, that’s suitable for lawns and golf courses. Pictured is Ted Wilbur (left), owner of Sod Shop in Wichita, Kansas and Jack Fry, horticulture professor at Kansas State University. Wilbur was the first to grow Innovation commercially in Kansas.

K-State, Texas A&M develop new cold-hardy variety for home landscapes and golf courses

OLATHE, Kan. – Who doesn’t love the look and feel of a soft, green carpet of grass underfoot? Even better if it’s resistant to pests and requires less fertilizer than other grasses. A Kansas State University professor believes that zoysiagrass can fit the bill for home landscapes – even in Kansas and surrounding states.

Zoysiagrass is well known as a warm-season grass commonly grown across southern tier states for its dense, weed-resistant and slow-growing nature (think less mowing), plus it requires about half the water needed for cool-season grasses typically grown in the nation’s midsection.

Those who choose to grow zoysia should be aware, however, that as a warm-season grass, it goes dormant and turns brown in mid-October and may not green up again until late April.

“The determining factor for whether any warm-season grass that can be used here is winter survival,” said Kansas State University horticulture professor Jack Fry.

Kansas and other states across the middle of the country are in what’s called a transition zone, where both warm- and cool-season grasses can grow but weather extremes can prove challenging and sometimes injure or kill the grass. In order to improve on a longtime favorite zoysia called Meyer, Fry and his K-State colleagues teamed with Texas A&M Agrilife researchers to develop a new zoysia cultivar.

Their aim was to develop a cultivar that is as cold-tolerant as Meyer for areas in the transition zone, but also to offer improved characteristics, such as finer leaf blades and even better density which blocks out weeds.

The K-State team worked with Ambika Chandra, associate professor at Texas A&M, to develop a new hybrid that was ultimately named Innovation. The new hybrid can withstand the cold that can sometimes blanket the central U.S. as well as Meyer does, but also exhibits better quality, meaning it has a darker green color, finer leaf blades, better density and good uniformity.

Zoysiagrass is already widely used on golf course tees and fairways in Kansas and across the transition zone, but less so on home lawns, Fry said. When drought water restrictions come about, however, it’s a good choice for home lawns.

Zoysia, and especially newer cultivars like Innovation, also require less fertilizer or pest treatments to stay healthy than typical cool-season grasses such as tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass.

To develop the new cultivar, the researchers used traditional plant breeding, crossing cold-hardy types with other southern-adapted types that offered high density and finer-textured leaf blades.

That density results in almost no herbicides being needed during the growing season, Fry said.

To get from initial crosses – about 1,500 in all – to the final product took about 13 years, Fry said. Along the way from those initial crosses, 35 looked promising, so were planted in 5-foot by 5-foot plots in Kansas and Texas and evaluated by the researchers, who then narrowed the list to seven.

Those top seven hybrids were tested at additional sites across the transition zone in Missouri, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. The result is Innovation, which was released for commercial growth and sales in 2015. It is currently available via licensed distributors through a company called Sod Solutions, which has sub-licensed production to 15 sod producers in eight states.

What’s next? A new phase of the K-State-Texas A&M research is under way which aims to identify grasses that have superior resistance to a disease called Large Patch, and there may even be types that are promising for use on golf greens, too, Fry said.

Post featured by: https://www.ksre.k-state.edu/news/stories/2019/05/zoysia-for-home-lawns.html

——-

More information about zoysiagrass is available at

https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/mf683.pdf

or in a Clemson University fact sheet, https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/zoysiagrass/

Why is that Redbud tree blooming along the trunk?

Cauliflory on Redbuds

by: Judy O’Mara

It was a beautiful year for flowering redbud trees this spring. The pink flowers seemed to go on and on. As in past years, the question arises as to why redbud trees flower on the trunk or on large branches. The question just popped into my email inbox this morning: Is it a disease? Like everyone else, I’ve always meant to look up this interesting phenomena.

 

According to Michael Dirr (Manual of Woody Landscape Plants) and the Virginia Native Plant Society (https://vnps.org/wildflowers-of-the-year/2013-woty-redbud/), it turns out that flowering on the trunk or limbs aka ‘cauliflory’ is a normal growth characteristic for redbud trees. Flowers are produced in pink nodal clusters that can develop on any part of the tree, from twigs to branches, as well as the main trunk (particularly on old trees).

So now we know.

Spring Zoysia News

By: Dr. Jack Fry

Meyer Winter Injury

Significant winter injury has occurred on Meyer zoysia throughout the Kansas City area on golf courses – some have suffered more than others. The injury is most pronounced in the following areas:

  • Turf exposed to tree shade (even moderate levels from trees casting shadows from the rough)
  • High traffic areas
  • Areas that don’t drain well

We often try to compare differences among courses and determine why one course had better winter zoysia survival than other.  Ultimately, it seems that cultural practices have less of an impact on the freezing injury observed than the environment in which the zoysia is growing.   The above stresses can be matched directly with plant metabolism:

1) Shade – more light allows higher levels of photosynthesis and carbohydrate production, which is critical to winter survival;

2) Traffic – less compaction allows more oxygen in the soil and more root respiration and growth – high traffic reduces soil oxygen;

3) Drainage – areas that collect water also have lower soil oxygen levels and poor root growth.  In addition, plants growing in saturated areas are subject to crown hydration freezing injury – crowns fully hydrated don’t tolerate low temperatures well. Methods for correcting the above are straight forward, but implementing the changes can be difficult – politically and financially:  removing or thinning trees, redirecting traffic, correcting drainage issues.  If nothing else, the zoysia injury is indicating to turf managers where the problem areas are on the golf course.

 

Pictured above: Zoysia grown in high traffic areas in more prone to winter injury, such as this area surrounding a putting green where golfers enter and exit.

 

Innovation Zoysia is on the Market

Innovation zoysia, the new cultivar developed cooperatively by K-State and Texas A&M is on the market. Ted Wilbur, owner of Sod Shop in Wichita, recently cut and sold the first Innovation sod in the U.S..  He currently has about 25 acres in production – some is available now, some will be available later this summer.

Compared to Meyer zoysia, Innovation has:

  • Darker green color
  • Higher density
  • Finer texture
  • Fewer and smaller seedheads
  • Better billbug resistance
  • Freezing tolerance that is equivalent

Find more about Innovation here: https://sodsolutions.com/industry/innovation-zoysia/

Interested in ‘Innovation’?  Reach out to Sod Shop in Wichita: (316) 838-5888

 

Pictured above on left: Ted Wilbur (left) and Travis Achilles (right) with Sod Shops in Wichita, KS have cooperated with K-State in the production of  ‘Innovation’ zoysiagrass. Pictured above on right: The first ‘Innovation’ sod was cut and delivered to Hesston, KS for use at a local water park.

Weed Control Update

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

As I look back through blog posts from Spring time in previous years, I notice a repeated theme – Crabgrass, Knotweed and Wild Garlic.

So instead of “reinventing the wheel this year” and writing a new blog post I am going to post previous years posts for these weeds.  There is lots of great information about these weeds and how to control them. (Links to information below the photograph.)

This way I can focus on adding a weed to this list that is become more and more persistent in Kansas. (Stay tuned!)

Crabgrass

https://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/more-than-you-ever-want-to-know-about-preemergent-herbicides/

Photo credit – Auburn University Turfgrass – http://cses.auburn.edu/turfgrass-management/weed-identification/wild-garlic/

Wild Garlic

https://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/stinks-dont-it-wild-garlic-control-in-turfgrass/

Knotweed

https://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/not-your-fathers-knotweed/ 

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

Large patch in research plots

Before the snow hit I was able to view some large patch symptoms in our breeding plots with our PhD student Manoj Chhetri.

Strong large patch symptoms:

Not much symptoms here:

Definitely some differences in % green after the recent cold snaps, but before the snow and this weeks extreme cold temps:

2018 K-State Turfgrass Research Reports Online!

 

(by Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension )

Every year the Kansas Agriculture Experiment Station publishes research reports on projects that are being conducted around the state.  The 2018 Turfgrass Research Reports are now online!  These reports contain everything from turfgrass variety testing, weed control, disease and insect management and more.

Below are a list of the 2018 reports.  Click the title to read more.

Extent of Larval Populations of Turfgrass Insect Pests at Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Center at Manhattan, KS
Raymond A. Cloyd

Herbicide and Application Timing Effects on Windmillgrass Control
Nicholas Mitchell and Jared Hoyle

Evaluating Small Unmanned Aerial Systems for Detecting Drought Stress on Turfgrass
Mu Hong, Dale Bremer, and Deon van der Merwe

Urban Lawn Microclimates Affect Reference Evapotranspiration
Kenton W. Peterson, Dale J. Bremer, and Jack D. Fry

Evaluating Zoysiagrass-Tall Fescue Mixtures in Kansas
Mingying Xiang, Jack D. Fry, and Megan M. Kennelly

Brown Patch Occurrence in a Zoysiagrass-Tall Fescue Polystand Compared to a Tall Fescue Monostand
Mingying Xiang, Jack D. Fry, and Megan M. Kennelly

Evaluating Large Patch-Tolerant and Cold Hardy Zoysiagrass Germplasm in the Transition Zone
Mingying Xiang, Jack D. Fry, and Megan M. Kennelly

2013 National Turfgrass Evaluation Program Bermudagrass Test: 2013–2017 Summary Report
Linda R. Parsons, Michael J. Shelton, Jason J. Griffin, and Jared A. Hoyle

2012 National Turfgrass Evaluation Program Tall Fescue Test: 2012–2017 Summary Report
Linda R. Parsons, Michael J. Shelton, Megan M. Kennelly, Jason J. Griffin, and Jared A. Hoyle

2013 National Turfgrass Evaluation Program Bermudagrass Test: 2017 Data
Linda R. Parsons, Michael J. Shelton, Jason J. Griffin, and Jared A. Hoyle

2012 National Turfgrass Evaluation Program Tall Fescue Test: 2017 Data
Linda R. Parsons, Michael J. Shelton, Megan M. Kennelly, Jason J. Griffin, and Jared A. Hoyle

 

More than you ever want to know about preemergent herbicides

(by Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Ever year I write a blog, a newsletter article, send out a tweet and post on Facebook about applying preemergent herbicides for summer annual grass control. We are typically most concerned with crabgrass so I went back and searched through the blog posts and articles and believe it or not it is all still relevant information! Not much has changed, so for this article I am going to spotlight information across these articles and compare from when I originally wrote it.

Crabgrass emerging in bare ground earlier than turf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up first, Methods of Predicting Crabgrass Emergence! In this article I go over the different methods to predict when crabgrass emerges; calendar date, soil temperatures, forsythia blooms, growing degree days. Like last year we have had a fluctuating Spring. In the article from March 14, 2017 I stated that it was 80 deg F on the 12th and was snowing just a couple days before. Sound familiar? Refresh yourself on the different methods and know its not too late to get preemergence herbicides out.

https://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/methods-of-predicting-crabgrass-emergence/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next article is for all you golf course turfgrass managers. Preemergence Weed Control in Bentgrass Putting Greens. This article was also from March 2017 and I went through what preemergent herbicides are available to use on bentgrass putting greens. The list of herbicides was from the Turfgrass Weed Control for Professionals 2017 Manual (https://mdc.itap.purdue.edu/item.asp?Item_Number=TURF-100). Going through the 2018 edition…. Guess what again? Not much has changed for use on putting greens but I would encourage you to check out the manual and read the “Tips for Herbicide Use on Golf Course Putting Greens” section on page 108.

https://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/preemergence-weed-control-in-bentgrass-putting-greens/


And now one of my favorite quotes from Benjamin Franklin “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. This was the lead in for talking about why preemergent herbicides are worth it! This article talks about what weeds preemergent herbicides work on, how they work, and the growth stages of crabgrass. To “round-up” the article I put a list of options out there, the weeds these preemergent herbicides control and some concerns/comments. One thing that I did not list is the combination products. I only listed the single active ingredients.   There are many combination products as well. (Maybe that will be the next blog post – Combination Preemergent Herbicides.)

https://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/an-ounce-of-prevention-is-worth-a-pound-of-cure-by-benjamin-franklin-that-goes-for-preemergence-herbicides-too/

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.***