Monday, 7 November 2005 - 8:15 AM

Differences in Establishment Rate among Zoysiagrass Cultivars.

Aaron Patton and Zac Reicher. Purdue University, Lilly Hall of Life Sciences, 915 W. State Street, West Lafayatte, IN 47907-2054

A main roadblock to widespread zoysiagrass (Zoysia spp.) use is its slow growth and establishment rate. This study quantifies differences in growth and establishment rate of commercially available and experimental zoysiagrass cultivars. Plant material of 39 commercially available or experimental cultivars of zoysiagrass was collected and propagated in a greenhouse and then 64 cm2 plugs of each cultivar were transplanted into field plots in June. Coverage was measured digitally once per week and stolon growth rate determined twice per growing season. Zoysia japonica Steud. coverage among the 30 cultivars ranged from 0.11 to 0.49 m2 91 days after planting (DAP) with a mean coverage of 0.25 m2. Zoysia matrella (L.) Merr. coverage among the nine cultivars ranged from 0.04 to 0.23 m2 91 DAP with a mean coverage of 0.14 m2. As expected, ‘El Toro' zoysiagrass was among the Z. japonica cultivars that established fastest and ‘Meyer' was among the slowest. ‘Zorro' was among the fastest establishing Z. matrella cultivars and ‘Diamond' was the slowest. Zoysiagrass coverage 91 DAP was 0.49, 0.19, 0.12, and 0.04 m2 for El Toro, Zorro, Meyer and Diamond, respectively. Stolon growth rate ranged from 15.5 to 1.7 mm day-1 among the 39 cultivars and was 13.8, 8.2, 4.9, and 1.7 mm day-1 for El Toro, Zorro, Meyer and Diamond, respectively. These early results will immediately improve our ability to recommend zoysiagrass cultivars and as a result, could dramatically shorten the establishment period of golf course fairways resulting in reduced inputs, inconvenience and cost.


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