Date of Award

5-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Plant and Environmental Science

Advisor

Liu, Haibo

Committee Member

Park , Dara M

Committee Member

Toler , Joe E

Abstract

Seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum O. Swartz) is a turfgrass that has become increasingly popular in southern coastal regions of the US because of its ability to tolerate salt stress. Another reason that this turfgrass is increasing in popularity is its aesthetically appealing striping ability. Seashore paspalum could also be beneficial in areas where potable water cannot be used for irrigation. Information on this turfgrass is limited in literature, particularly on the topics of establishment, scalping, and growing this turfgrass on inland sites in the transition zone. A field experiment was conducted in Clemson, SC from May 2007 and 2008 to investigate sprigging rates, nitrogen rates, nitrogen sources, and mowing height on turfgrass quality, turfgrass coverage, clipping yield, root mass, and ball rolling distances. Treatments included ,,SeaDwarf‟ seashore paspalum sprigged either at 91 or 182 m3 ha-1 on May 17, 2007 and May 12, 2008, and urea, ammonium nitrate, or ammonium sulfate applied at 22 or 44 kg N ha-1 week. The initial mowing height was 32 mm in late July and gradually lowered to 25 mm in early August with a daily mowing frequency. Weekly measurements included percent coverage and visual quality and color ratings. Samples to determine root mass were collected eight weeks after sprigging. The high sprig rate reached 100% coverage and acceptable turf quality within five weeks in comparison with the lower rate which did not occur until seven weeks. High rates of fertility associated with high rates of sprigs produced the best quality and color ratings (greater than seven consistently for both ratings). Ball roll distances greater than 3.1 meters were found with the lower mowing height (2.5 mm) by using a standard stimpmeter.
Another two-year field study was conducted in Clemson, SC in 2008 and 2009 to observe the effects of treatments of trinexapac-ethyl growth regulator at 0 or 0.03 kg ai ha-1 and nitrogen as urea at two rates of 22 kg ha-1 and 44 kg ha-1 applied weekly on turf quality, clipping yield, root mass, and ball rolling distances after a heavy scalping event. After scalping occurred at the lower mowing heights (2.3 mm), mowing heights were raised to 3.2 mm and 2.5 mm to observe the effect of mowing height on recovery. Raising N rates and a lower mowing height were the most significant curative factors to help the scalped seashore paspalum recover. A third two-year field study was also conducted in 2008 and 2009 where preventative practice treatments were used to observe scalping occurrence and severity measuring turf quality, clipping yield, root mass, and ball rolling distance. The study treatments included aerification frequencies of once or three times per growing season, paired with either grooming once weekly or no grooming and two mowing heights of 2.5 or 2.3 mm. A mowing height of 2.5 mm and one aerification per growing season benefit turf quality for prevention of scalping occurrence and severity. Lower mowing heights (<2.3 mm) may be able to be maintained for a short period of time (one to two weeks) without falling below minimally accepted TQ, but prolonged periods of low mowing heights cause less desirable putting green turf due to scalping. A fourth two-year study was conducted to determine factors affecting establishment time for ,,Diamond‟ zoysiagrass (Zoysia matrella (L.) Merr.) as a putting green in the southern transition zone of the United States. Zoysiagrasses are not traditionally used as putting greens, but, the desire to maintain greens in shady areas has led to the development of zoysiagrasses that can tolerate lower mowing heights. Literature is limited on zoysiagrasses used as putting greens, rates of establishment, and management practices to hasten establishment. Two sprigging rates, three N sources, two N rates, and two mowing heights (2.5 and 3.2 mm) were compared at Clemson University, Clemson, SC. Sprigs of ,,Diamond‟ zoysiagrass were planted at rates of 91 or 182 m3 ha-1 in 2007 and repeated in 2008. Urea, ammonium nitrate, and ammonium sulfate were applied at 1.7 or 3.4 g N m-2 wk-1 from WAS (weeks after sprigging) 3 to 10. Turf color and cover results indicate high rates of fertility associated with high rates of sprigs produced 100% turf cover at WAS 11in 2007 and 13 in 2008. At the 2.5 mm mowing height, ball rolling reached to 2.6 m in August and was significantly faster than the 3.2 mm mowing height. Results show ,,Diamond‟ zoysiagrass can be established within the same growing season to meet a playable putting green quality but the establishment speed may vary depending on summer monthly temperature fluctuations.

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