Turf Talk Autumn 2012 - PGG Wrightson Turf

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came with Princess 77 which was the first commercial seeded cultivar to .... Katana. 210. Perennial ryegrass, broadleaf weeds, sedges, summer grass. POST .
Turf Talk PGG Wrightson Turf technical newsletter

Issue 3, Autumn 2012

Welcome to the Autumn issue of Turf Talk, PGG Wrightson Turf’s regular technical bulletin. This publication from PGG Wrightson Turf will provide you with up to date comments and research from our research team.

Establishment of seeded bermudagrass For many years the only seeded bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) was Arizona common. It is a coarse-type with poor wear and cold tolerance. Much of the wild-type coarse bermudagrass found in New Zealand is this type. In the last decade or so, plant breeders have been releasing improved seeded types that are comparable in quality to the vegetatively propagated hybrid types (Cynodon dactylon x Cynodon transvaalensis). Examples of the hybrid types are Tifway and Santa Ana. Considerable progress is being made with seeded bermudagrass cultivars in their turf quality, cold tolerance and summer wear resistance. Twice the number of seeded cultivars than vegetative cultivars were entered in the 2002 National Turfgrass Evaluation Programme (NTEP) trial in the USA. The breakthrough for seeded bermudagrass came with Princess 77 which was the first commercial seeded cultivar to achieve quality comparable with the vegetative cultivars. Princess 77 is suitable for golf course fairways, sportsfields or general purpose lawns. A cultivar that has attracted a lot of attention is the cultivar Yukon which is bred for cold tolerance. This cultivar is extending the zone of adaptation of bermudagrass into colder regions and also allowing later establishment of bermudagrass longer into summer.

Princess 77 Yukon has excellent turf quality and summer wear resistance. Yukon is suitable for most purposes such as sportsfields, fairways, lawns and especially in cooler locations where bermudagrass adaptation is marginal. Where speed of establishment is important the cultivar La Paloma is in the top ten cultivars for speed of establishment in trials in both the USA and Australia. This may be an important factor on sites with high weed pressure or low maintenance. As these cultivars have only recently become available, the relative adaptation to our climate is unknown, however they should be adapted to locations where bermudagrass is currently used

© PGG Wrightson Seeds Limited 2012. Whilst every care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability in the information contained in this document, no responsibility for the consequences which may arise from the acceptance of the recommendations or suggestions can be accepted, as many other factors come into effect. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or other device without the prior permi ssion in writing of the copyright holder.

such as the Bay of Plenty, Auckland and areas further north. This document summarises published information from the USA on seeded bermudagrass establishment as a starting point for refining practices suited to our own climate. Economics of seeded bermudagrass Seeded bermudagrass establishment is expected to be more economical, flexible, reliable, faster (to full cover) and provide less soil contamination than vegetative establishment since established seed sowing practices can be used. Subsequent maintenance should be more economical for the same reason. Timing of sowing The optimum timing for bermudagrass sowing is early summer when ground coverage is rapid, but allowing enough time to attain full coverage and enough turf maturity before winter. Information from transition zone climates in the USA suggests that December is the optimum month for sowing to achieve most rapid coverage that is mature enough by autumn. Later sowing is not recommended because the immature plants often fail to survive winter. Other researchers suggest that earlier sowing in early or mid-November can achieve full coverage even sooner. While germination and early establishment is slower, establishment is earlier, and is therefore more mature by autumn. A decision on an earlier sowing needs to weigh up the risk of longer exposure to spring germinating weeds and summer annual grasses before herbicide can be applied.

In a prepared seedbed, seed can be broadcast and raked or lightly harrowed into the surface. It is possible to use a good quality seed drill but care needs to be taken that it doesn’t sink in too deeply. Direct drilling is the best choice when sowing into an existing turf surface that has been destroyed with herbicide, possibly in combination with broadcasting and harrowing. Hydroseeding is also possible. Direct drilling into existing turf is unlikely to be successful. A range of sowing rates for bermudagrass are possible due to the fact that rates as low as a quarter of a recommended rate can be used, with all rates achieving full cover after 6 – 8 weeks in optimum conditions. All bermudagrass seed is now coated so seeding rates need to be double the rate for bare seed. For coated seed there is no benefit from using a sowing rate higher than 100 kg/ha. This rate may be chosen where rapid early coverage is needed in a premier situation or to help combat a summer annual grass problem. In many cases seeding rates of half or a quarter of this rate can result in the same coverage after 6 weeks. Seedling competition Bermudagrass seedlings are unable to sustain competition from existing grass or broadleaf weeds due to the severe effect of canopy shading on the seedlings. Bermudagrass is best sown into a prepared seedbed free of all vegetation, or alternatively direct drilled into existing turf where all perennial vegetation has been completely destroyed.

Dormant seeding in September or October has been proposed as feasible to achieve earlier germination and more ground coverage before winter. Whether it would work here needs to be verified from local trials. If so it may be possible to simply broadcast seed on bermudagrass sportsfields towards the end of the winter season and restore coverage that way. Sowing seed Bermudagrass seed, like most warm season grasses, should not be sown more than 5 - 6 mm deep otherwise it will not germinate because light is required for germination.

Princess 77 stolon showing fine, dense leaf structure

© PGG Wrightson Seeds Limited 2012. Whilst every care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability in the information contained in this document, no responsibility for the consequences which may arise from the acceptance of the recommendations or suggestions can be accepted, as many other factors come into effect. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or other device without the prior permi ssion in writing of the copyright holder.

Establishment fertiliser An important part of establishing seeded bermudagrass is a ‘grow-in’ fertiliser programme. Heavy rates of nitrogen fertiliser are applied for 3 - 4 months to speed up establishment. Heavy rates of soluble nitrogen fertiliser may be unacceptable in some situations for environmental reasons, so the programme may have to be altered to use lower rates, greater frequencies, or controlled release nitrogen. This is especially so on sand or without irrigation. Recommended ‘grow-in’ fertiliser programme (USA) A soil analysis should be taken before sowing and the recommended fertiliser and lime applied. Bermudagrass is tolerant of a wide range of pH from pH 5.0 - 6.5. Apply urea at 100 kg/ha at seeding and repeat every two weeks until mid-late March. Andersons 32-1-8 at 130 kg/ha is an alternative option. Use half rates weekly on sand. At the last application apply potassium sulphate at 65 kg/ha or switch to a 4:1:6 ratio soluble N fertiliser for the last few applications. An example would be Andersons 13-1-10 at 400 kg/ha, but applied in two split applications. Don’t use a controlled release nitrogen for the last month. It is very important not to continue applying nitrogen too late into autumn and allow time for bermudagrass to harden off before winter. In PGG Wrightson Turf trials in Canterbury it was found that a late nitrogen application made in mild autumn weather resulted in more autumn

coverage, which failed to survive winter and coverage was actually less by spring. Establishment irrigation Bermudagrass can often be established without irrigation when there is sufficient soil moisture to allow germination and early establishment. Coverage is more likely to be patchy and take longer to achieve full coverage than with irrigation. The slower rate of coverage is more vulnerable to weed invasion. Where irrigation is available, daily or more frequent irrigation should be applied for the first 2 - 3 weeks until seedling emergence. The frequency of irrigation should be reduced to every second day for 2 weeks after emergence, then on an infrequent, as required basis. Mowing management Mow initially at 25 - 30 mm but raise to 40 - 50 mm in late February or early March. Weed control at establishment Spring sown bermudagrass is vulnerable to spring broadleaf and summer annual weed competition, as well as possible Poa annua and cool season grassy weeds. All perennial vegetation must be destroyed using repeated applications of glyphosate. No pre-emergence summer annual grass herbicides should be applied for at least 3 months before sowing. The earliest a pre-emergence herbicide can be applied for summer annual grass weeds is 3 weeks after emergence when pendimethalin can be applied. Atrazine is not safe to use in seedling bermudagrass.

© PGG Wrightson Seeds Limited 2012. Whilst every care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability in the information contained in this document, no responsibility for the consequences which may arise from the acceptance of the recommendations or suggestions can be accepted, as many other factors come into effect. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or other device without the prior permi ssion in writing of the copyright holder.

Herbicides safe to apply more than 1 week after seedling emergence Product equivalent NZ (concentration may be different)

Rate (USA product) g/ha

Target weeds

PRE or POST

Carfentrazone (Quicksilver)

Smackdown, Hammer

70 – 147

Clover, broadleafs

POST

Clopyralid (Lontrel)

Versatil

1,120

Clover, broadleafs

POST

2,4-D (Weedar 64)

Baton

1,120

Clover, broadleafs

POST

Dicamba (Banvel)

Banvel

1,120

Clover, broadleafs

POST

2,4-D + dicamba + mecoprop (Trimec classic)

Trimec

1,960 – 3,920

Clover, broadleafs

POST

2,4-D + dicamba + clopyralid (Millenium Ultra)

_

1,400 – 2,800

Clover, broadleafs

POST

Active ingredient (product USA)

Herbicides safe to apply more than 3 weeks after seedling emergence Active ingredient (product USA)

Product equivalent NZ (concentration may be different)

Rate (USA product) g/ha

Chlorsulfuron (Corsair)

Glean

140

Perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, broadleafs

POST

Halosulfuron (Sedgehammer)

Sempra

93

Sedges

POST

Pendimethalin (Pendulum 60DF)

Stomp, Ruck

2,800 – 5,600

Summer grass, crowfoot grass, some broadleafs

PRE

Sulfentrazone (Dismiss)

Authority

840

Sedges, crowfoot grass

POST

Target weeds

PRE or POST

Herbicides safe to apply more than 1 week after seedling emergence but will cause a moderate but short lived phytotoxicity (discolouration) Active ingredient (product USA)

Product equivalent NZ (concentration may be different)

Rate (USA product) g/ha

Target weeds

PRE or POST

Metsulfuron (Manor)

Escort

35

Perennial ryegrass, broadleafs

POST

© PGG Wrightson Seeds Limited 2012. Whilst every care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability in the information contained in this document, no responsibility for the consequences which may arise from the acceptance of the recommendations or suggestions can be accepted, as many other factors come into effect. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or other device without the prior permi ssion in writing of the copyright holder.

Herbicides safe to apply more than 4 weeks after seedling emergence but will cause a moderate but short lived phytotoxicity (discolouration) Active ingredient (product USA) Flazasulfuron (Katana)

Product equivalent NZ (concentration may be different)

Rate (USA product) g/ha

Katana

210

PRE or POST

Target weeds

Perennial ryegrass, broadleaf weeds, sedges, summer grass

POST

Note 1: Katana and Authority are Etec Crop Solutions products and exclusive to PGG Wrightson Turf. Note 2: Hammer, Baton, Banvel, Glean, Sempra, Stomp, Ruck, Authority and Escort are commonly used on turf in New Zealand but are not registered for this use. Use at your own risk. Please read the label carefully before use or talk to your PGG Wrightson Turf Representative for further details on product use.

Cultivar selection

cultivar in the USA. The data is compiled from National Turfgrass Evaluation Programme (NTEP) 2002 bermudagrass tests at ten states across the transition zone of USA. Data is averaged over four years and two management regimes where available.

The following table gives the relative ranking of three cultivars available in New Zealand in comparison to Arizona Common tested in the USA. A top 10 ranking (out of 29 cultivars) indicates above average performance for that

Ranking (out of 29 cultivars) Cultivar

Turf quality

Winter hardiness

Spring dead spot

Establishment vigour

Divot recovery

Yukon

3

2

2

25

4

La Paloma

15

19

17

10

3

Princess 77

16

24

16

12

14

Arizona Common

29

29

14

28

11

Conclusion Seeded bermudagrass cultivars are producing on-going improvements in turf quality and potential adaptation into marginal areas. The more economical establishment and maintenance using existing seed technology makes a compelling case for their widespread use.

The above tables were adapted from: Patton, A.J., Richardson, D.M., Karcher, D.E., Reicher, Z.J., Fry, J.D., McElroy, J.S., and Munshaw. G.C. 2008. A guide to establishing bermudagrass in the transition zone. Online. Applied Turfgrass Science doi:10.1094/ATS-2008-0122-01MD.

© PGG Wrightson Seeds Limited 2012. Whilst every care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability in the information contained in this document, no responsibility for the consequences which may arise from the acceptance of the recommendations or suggestions can be accepted, as many other factors come into effect. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or other device without the prior permi ssion in writing of the copyright holder.

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