Establishment Rates and Growth Characteristics of Six Bermudagrass Cultivars for use on Athletic Fields and Golf Course Fairways

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Title: Establishment Rates and Growth Characteristics of Six Bermudagrass Cultivars for use on Athletic Fields and Golf Course Fairways
Author: Reynolds, William Casey
Advisors: Charles H. Peacock, Committee Co-Chair
Richard J. Cooper, Committee Co-Chair
Arthur H. Bruneau, Committee Member
Mitzi Montoya-Weiss, Committee Member
Abstract: Bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.) is the primary choice for athletic fields and golf course fairways in the southeastern United States. Its superior heat and drought tolerance as well as excellent recuperative capacity allow it to withstand many of the stresses often associated with recreational turf. There are several new cultivars on the market with little available information regarding their performance. Six cultivars of bermudagrass, 'TifSport', 'Tifway', 'GN-1', 'Quickstand', 'Navy Blue', and 'Tifton 10' were established by sprigs on a Candor sand (Sandy, siliceous, thermic, Arenic Paleudult) at the rate of 0.1m3/100m2 on 28 June 2001 at the Sandhills Research Station in Jackson Springs, NC. During year one of the study, data were taken on establishment, rooting, disease incidence, fall color, and spring green-up of each of the six bermudagrasses. Tifton 10 demonstrated the ability to establish faster than all other cultivars based on its ranking on all observation dates followed by Quickstand and GN-1, which had five and four top rankings, respectively. No differences in rooting density were found among the six cultivars. Navy Blue exhibited significantly more dollar spot (Sclerotinia homoeocarpa F.T. Bennett) incidence than all other cultivars, while GN-1 had significanctly higher incidence of Large patch (Rhizoctonia solani). During April 2002, 10.8 cm diameter plugs were taken from the field plots for the low temperature study. Sixty stolons per cultivar were excised from the plugs and placed into a Low Temperature Stress Simulator (LTSS) where they were exposed to four different temperatures of 2°C, 0°C, -2°C, and -4 °C for a period of 24 hr. No significant differences were found among cultivars in their ability to tolerate low temperatures, but mortality did increase as temperature decreased. After the field plots had achieved one year of growth, data were taken on growth characteristics such as root and rhizome mass, recuperative potential, surface hardness, seedhead production, and overall quality. No significant differences were found in root or rhizome mass among the six cultivars. Quickstand produced a harder surface than all other cultivars on 24 July, while Tifton 10, GN-1, and TifSport were the softest. TifSport consistently produced the highest turf quality of the six cultivars followed by Tifway, GN-1, and Navy Blue. Quickstand and Tifton 10 had the poorest quality over four observation dates, primarily due to their coarse texture and off-green color. Differences among these six bermudagrass cultivars imply that they may not all be suitable for the same situation. Turfgrass managers can match this data to their intended use and more accurately choose which cultivar will perform best under their specific conditions.
Date: 2002-12-12
Degree: MS
Discipline: Crop Science

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