Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Cultural Management of Velvet Bentgrass.

James A. Murphy, John C. Inguagiato, T.J. Lawson, and Hiranthi Samaranayake. Rutgers Univ., Dept. of Plant Biology & Pathology, 59 Dudley Rd., New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Velvet bentgrass (Agrostis canina L.) is a prostrate, stoloniferous grass that produces a turf with fine-leaf texture and very high shoot density. Recent trials in New Jersey indicated that velvet bentgrass has a broader adaptation than previously reported. Research is needed to better understand management techniques required to produce acceptable playing surface quality on putting greens. The objective of this field trial was to evaluate the management techniques of N fertilization, light-weight rolling, grooming, and growth regulation for effects on the quality of velvet bentgrass putting green surface. Treatments were initiated June 2005 on a 20-month old turf mowed daily at 3.2-mm. A 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of N fertilization (4.9 g m-2 per week or per month, rolling (0 or 3 times per week), grooming (0 or 2 times per week), and growth regulation (trinexapac-ethyl at 0 or 0.4 L ha-1 every 14-d) was used. Data from 2005 indicated that all management factors, except rolling, affected visual quality. Visual quality, within the factors of N rate and grooming, generally had an inverse relationship with ball roll distance (a primary measure of putting green quality for superintendents). Ball roll distance ranged from 2.8- to 3.4-m at a 3.2-mm mowing height. Ball roll was increased by the lower N rate, twice a week grooming and 3 times a week rolling. Growth regulation did not affect ball roll distance. Rolling had no negative effects on visual turf quality.