BuckeyeTurf

image1 The official date for turf renovation in the Midwest is August 15th to September 15th. These dates offer the best opportunity for timely rains, warm soils, little weed competition and enough time for the new grass to get established before the first frost.
On athletic fields, there are several heavily-worn areas that will need constant over-seeding between now and the end of the playing season. Those areas include soccer goal mouths, sidelines, entry and exits points and between the hash marks on American football fields.
The "quickest" grass is perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), which can germinate in 3 days and provide ground cover in as little as four weeks. Perennial ryegrass should be applied each week to worn areas at a rate of 8-10 lbs per 1,000 sq.ft. (40-50 g/M2). During hot and humid weather, the seed can be coated in a fungicide to prevent diseases like pythium, but with night-time temperatures in the low to mid 60's (16C) right now, seedling disease may not be an issue.
Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) take about 7-10 days to germinate and are much slower at providing ground cover. Their establishment speed can be enhanced somewhat by pre-germinating the seed by soaking it in water for 48-72 hours. A standard seed rate for K. bluegrass is 2-3 lbs. per 1,000 sq.ft (10-15 g/M2), with tall fescue seeded at the same rate as perennial ryegrass.
On heavily-traffiked areas it is best to broadcast seed as slit seeders will cause mechanical damage to the playing surface. All other areas of the field will benefit from slit-seeding, whereby the seed is placed into the soil giving good seed:soil contact.
All newly renovated areas can be encouraged and nursed along by:
* Applications of starter fertilizer applied at seeding and every 2 weeks thereafter at 0.5 lb. nitrogen per 1,000 sq.ft.
* Timely syringing, to keep seed moist until it has germinated and then irrigation to maintain growth.
* The use of growth blankets in high-wear areas. The growth blankets are particularly useful once temperatures start to fall.
* Keeping traffic off the renovating areas, if possible.
If grass cover is completely lost and the goals cannot be relocated,  the bare soil should be rolled prior to games to provide stability. A topdressing of sand can also help to keep quagmire conditions from developing. An ideal solution would be to thick-cut sod those areas so that athletes continue to have ground cover to play on for the remainder of the playing season.
Thanks to Lee Jackson, MCFC, for the picture.

The 2014 Sports Field Short Course topics are set!

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image1 The Ohio Turfgrass Conference & Show is set for December 3-5, 2013 at the Columbus Convention Center.

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image1 The official date for turf renovation in the Midwest is August 15th to September 15th. These dates offer the best opportunity for timely rains, warm soils, little weed competition and enough time for the new grass to get established before the first frost.
On athletic fields, there are several heavily-worn areas that will need constant over-seeding between now and the end of the playing season. Those areas include soccer goal mouths, sidelines, entry and exits points and between the hash marks on American football fields.
The "quickest" grass is perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), which can germinate in 3 days and provide ground cover in as little as four weeks. Perennial ryegrass should be applied each week to worn areas at a rate of 8-10 lbs per 1,000 sq.ft. (40-50 g/M2). During hot and humid weather, the seed can be coated in a fungicide (apron-treated) to prevent diseases like pythium, but with night-time temperatures in the low to mid 60's (16-18C) right now, seedling disease may not be an issue.
Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) take about 7-10 days to germinate and are much slower at providing ground cover. Their establishment speed can be enhanced somewhat by pre-germinating the seed by soaking it in water for 48-72 hours. A standard seed rate for K. bluegrass is 2-3 lbs. per 1,000 sq.ft (10-15 g/M2), with tall fescue seeded at the same rate as perennial ryegrass.
On heavily-traffiked areas it is best to broadcast seed by hand or spreader, as slit-seeders will cause mechanical damage to the playing surface. Seed can be applied prior to each game, with the expectation that the athlete's cleats will press the seed into the soil surface.  All other areas of the field that are not as heavily worn will benefit from slit-seeding, whereby the seed is placed into the soil giving good seed"soil contact.
All newly renovated areas can be encouraged and nursed along by:
* Applications of starter fertilizer applied at seeding and every 2 weeks thereafter at 0.5 lbs nitrogen per 1,000 sq.ft.
* Timely syringing, to keep seed moist until it has germinated, and then irrigation to maintain growth and recovery.
* The use of growth blankets in high-wear areas. The growth blankets are particularly useful once temperatures start to fall.
* Keeping traffic off the renovating areas, if possible.
* Using artificial light racks.
If grass cover is completely lost and the goals cannot be relocated or the field cannot be rotated,  the bare soil in that area should be lightly rolled prior to games to provide stability. A topdressing of sand can also help to keep quagmire conditions from developing. An ideal solution would be to thick-cut sod those areas so that athletes continue to have ground cover to play on for the remainder of the playing season.
The last few days have been a welcome break from the stress period of heat, humidity and rain that past few weeks. Signs of the stress period however are evident on a number of golf course fairways throughout Ohio. As a brief recap the week of July 15th saw high humidity, rainfall, and high soil temperatures (as was the case from the previous week). Late in the week into Monday of this week (July 22nd) several areas received significant rain within a short period of time.

Standing water and saturated soils was the result of excessive rainfall. If excessive rain or flooding occurs in the spring turfgrasses are relatively tolerant due to the water and soil temperatures are low (see Impact of Flooding on Turf. However, in the summer high soil temperatures combined with excessive rainfall can result in turf death (photograph). Actually the combination of anaerobic soil conditions (lack of soil oxygen) resulting from soil saturation and high soil temperatures can kill turfgrass roots within hours and the entire plant within days.

To reduce the potential from turf loss from what is basically a soil problem caused by a lack of drainage requires the installation of a subsurface and/or surface drainage. If you have suffered turf loss on your fairways or any turf area the signs are there to show you where drainage should be installed. For now, try to dry the turf out and when possible break any surface sealing (crusting) that may have occurred through coring. And seed if the temperatures remain moderate.

For a more in depth explanation of what happens to turfgrasses under anaerobic soil conditions watch the the video Anaerobic Soils: Impact on Root Respiration

Interactive electronic books will be the future of how we educate students and for the turf and golf industry how we communicate and sell to perspective customers. Recently we have posted some of the electronic books that we have made available on golf course management that integrate text, photographs, and video in an interactive learning experience.

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We have developed two helpful tools for identifying turfgrass species

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Gardner’s Landscape Plants for the Midwest introduces the student and garden enthusiast to 400 of the most commonly observed annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs found in Midwestern landscapes. Over 1200 images are included that highlight each plants best ornamental features. Information is presented about the habitat, culture, form, and function in the landscape as well as chief insect and disease problems and potential liabilities, followed by specific cultivar recommendations and alternative plant choices.

Dave Gardner is an associate professor in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science at The Ohio State University. He began his career at Ohio State in 2000 and has taught plant materials classes since 2006.

 

Gardner’s Landscape Plants for the Midwest may be purchased at:

 

Landscape.BiblioPublishing.com

 

It is also available on Amazon.com

 

Freeze tolerance of plants is not constitutive but induced in response to low, nonfreezing temperatures (< 50 F (10C). This process is known as cold acclimation, which occurs during the fall or early winter, explains why a plant species growing at a warm temperature then exposed to freezing is killed, while that same plant exposed to a cold acclimation period prior to sub-freezing temperatures survives.

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The English Premiership is about half-way through the season and as is expected in January, environmental conditions are not conducive to turfgrass growth or recovery from damage. Day lengths in the UK are short (less than 8 hours) and the quality of light is poor.

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image1 Ohio State's annual sports field maintenance short course and OTF's golf turf tee-off are scheduled for February 18th and 19th, 2013 at the 4-H building on OSU's campus.
The agenda for both courses and registration details are available HERE
A flyer the sports field course can be downloaded HERE as a PDF

image1 The 2012 OTF Conference & Show is December 4-6 in Columbus, OH. This annual event brings in hundreds of green industry professionals from all sectors of the turf and landscape arena.

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Sports fields that were renovated and seeded this past spring and summer may have not performed very well this fall playing season. There have been several instances where field managers tried to establish seed and had the irrigation and other resources available but still the seed did not grown in very well.

There are a number of reasons that seed may not have done well this past summer:

  • Pre-emergent herbicides were used during the spring to prevent crabgrass and other weeds. If a weed control product was applied to the field, there is typically a period where any seed that is applied will also not germinate (i.e. seed is killed by the herbicide). Some seeding re-entry periods may be up to 12 weeks long. Two chemicals that can be used at the same time as seeding that will not negatively affect seed germination are Tenacity (mesotrione) and Siduron (Tupersan)

  • There were very high temperatures, both day and night, starting much earlier in the spring than usual. The late spring and summer of 2012 brought a record amount of daytime temperatures above 90F (and several above 100F) and equally important, many night-time temperatures over 70F, especially in June and July. Cool season grasses have optimal temperatures at which they will germinate (see below). Outside of those optimum ranges, seed germination can be delayed.

The optimum temperatures for seed germination* of turfgrasses as established by the association of official seed analysis

Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis):  59-86F

Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne ): 68-86F

Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea): 68-86F

*Temperatures separated by a dash indicate an alternation of temperature; the first numeral is for approx. 16 hr. and the second for approx 8 hr.

Ref: Turfgrass Science and Culture. James B Beard. 1973.

 

  • If the grass seed had germinated the young seedlings would have also been affected by the high temperatures. During heat stress periods, cool-season grasses are subject to a process called "photorespiration", whereby the grass plant actually uses more energy than it manufactures. This results in poor shoot and root growth. Young turf plants with immature root systems going into the summer stress period will typically not be able to recover quickly enough by mid-August to host fall sports.

  • Lack of an adequate syringing program during the grow-in, followed by insufficient irrigation to replenish at least 80-90% of water lost through ET. For more details on syringing, click here. 2012 brought record drought to Ohio, with many areas of the state carrying as much as 11-inches rainfall deficit by the end of the summer. Water conservation by watering very early in the morning and using covers or topdressing materials to conserve moisture during seeding helps. In addition there are cultural practices to minimize plant stress during drought, like raising mowing heights and avoiding stressful practices like verticutting and scheduling games on drought-stricken fields.

 

Moving forward, there are a couple of options:

(1) Use sod to repair high traffic areas like soccer or lacrosse goal mouths, sidelines and field centers between hash marks. Sod can be put down anytime as long as the soil is not frozen and it will be play-ready by spring 2013. Sod also offers an opportunity to get 100% Kentucky bluegrass on the field. There are many sod growers in Ohio that can be found on The Ohio Sod Producers Website.

(2) Put seed out as "dormant seed" in winter (December-March) to get germination as quickly as possible in 2013. The seed will not germinate until conditions are favorable next spring but it will be "in place" and ready to germinate. Seed mortality rate is typically higher than a conventional spring seeding so seed rates should be around 30% higher than normal.

(3) Do a conventional spring seeding as soon as conditions are favorable, coupled with an application of Tenacity or Siduron to keep competition from weeds to a minimum. Perform sound cultural practices (regular mowing, soil cultivation,  adequate irrigation and fertilizer) to promote plant maturity before the summer stress period. Also, a growth blanket offers great benefits when trying to establish turf quickly. A growth blanket conserves heat and moisture, as well as keeping people off during the renovation process.

Andrew Prechtel from Wadsworth, Ohio was named the 2012 recipient of The Toro Company/Jack Nicklaus Turfgrass Scholarship. Andy a turfgrass science major spent two summers working at Medina Country Club in Medina, Ohio and at The Kirkland Country Club in Willoughby, Ohio. Andy is an excellent student who hopes someday to be a golf course superintendent.

Photograph : Andrew Prechtel receives congratulations from Dr. Karl Danneberger on being awarded the 2012 Toro Company/Jack Nicklaus Turfgrass Legacy Scholarship

In Latin America golf is considered a sport for the elite. That view perpetuates and results in many negative views of golf. First, the negative view of golf limits the game’s development in South America. Second, many people miss the chance of learning golf and enjoying the life benefits one receives from the game.

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Question from Northwest Ohio to Dr. Shetlar: Over the past couple of weeks, we have had an issue with what appeared to be "ant mounds" all over our #3 green. Initially, I assumed that it was associated with the return of the mating female turfgrass ants that we normally see in the early fall/late summer. However, these mounds have persisted for a couple of weeks now.

The "ant mounds" are very widespread and once dew whipped return almost instantly. Each superintendent or chemical rep I have shown this to was blown away by how quickly they returned and the fact that we couldn't find any ants.

Today, totally puzzled and with finally enough time to do some digging, I caught the offending creature. I have Googled and consulted my turfgrass texts to no avail and was hoping you would have time to look at the attached picture (albeit a poor one) and give me an idea of what it is. It's not doing any remarkable damage, and I'm sure a little insecticide will do the trick, but I was extremely curious.

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Autumn cultivation season has started for some with much of the coring targeted around Labor Day (September 3rd). Of the golf course management practices, core cultivation (aerification) is probably the most noticeable to golfers, and the least appreciated. The disruption to play is quite obvious but the benefits, although not as visual are just as important. Aggressive coring practices are normally done during periods of active turfgrass growth in the spring and fall. Factors involved in the type of coring to be done (hollow versus solid, tine diameter and depth, degree of disruption to the turf) are dependent on the desired long-term outcomes. Listed below are some of the outcomes from coring (and various types of cultivation practices).

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image1 If you are noticing a weed with bright yellow flowers in lawns now, it may very well not be dandelion (which is generally not in bloom right now) or black medic.  In fact, there is a good chance that it is Birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculata).  Birdsfoot trefoil has long been used as a pasture crop and is known to be able to escape from its intended site.  But it is only in the last decade that it has become increasingly visible in managed turfgrass - first in waste areas and abandoned fields, then parks and roadsides, and now residential lawns.
Birdsfoot trefoil is a long lived perennial in the legume family.  It has bright yellow pea-like flowers, primarily in June and July.  The pod-like fruit resembles a birds foot, hence the common name.  The leaves have 3 leaflets similar to black medic.  While capable of reaching heights of 2 feet, it adapts very well to mowing and forms dense mats in mowed turf.
Birdsfoot trefoil is a very important crop plant for hay and pasture production.  Use of birdsfoot trefoil in pastures results in a 10 fold increase in forage yield thus higher production of beef cattle.  In fact, there is research underway to produce glyphosate tolerant birdsfoot trefoil for use in production agriculture.  Since it is not widely considered a weed, it does not appear on very many herbicide labels.  Research at OSU has concluded that combination herbicide products that contain clopyralid or fluroxypyr are effective for control (see report HERE).
Author: Dr. David Gardner
Sometimes we like to post questions or concerns that come from the field. Dr. David Shetlar, Professor of Turfgrass Entomology at The Ohio State University shared the following pictures and question that he received from a golf course superintendent in Portugal.

Question: Dr. Shetlar on our greens it looks like we are getting some cutworm damage (Photograph 1), but when we sampled we found the following (Photograph 2), are these different larvae stages?

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image1 Whether its Poa annua, creeping bentgrass, or bermudagrass greens, invariably they become "puffy" sometime during the growing season. At this moment many of you are experiencing puffy greens. Puffy is a rather interesting term used to describe the feel of the turf as one walks across it and visually for the reason for the sudden scalping that occurs. Dr. Ralph Engel while at Rutgers University described puffiness and the problems with it in a USGA Green Section Record article as:

"On occasions, bentgrass and Poa annua greens develop soft, puffy qualities that tend to ridge or buckle into a slightly higher position than established by the mower. The loose, dense, poorly rooted growth makes a poor putting surface. This slight unevenness occasionally enables the mower to grab chunks of the soft, puffy turf and its scalps or gouges the surface. This produces a poor green."

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