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Overseeding Study Poster Confex

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					Mowing and overseeding practices affect the traffic tolerance of ‘Tifway’
     hybrid bermudagrass athletic fields in the transition zone.
                                                          A. W. Thoms*, J. C. Sorochan, J. T. Brosnan, T. J. Samples, and B. J. Horvath
                                                                       Dept. of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee
 Abstract:                                                                                                                            Results Continued:
 Bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.) athletic fields are often overseeded with perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) to
 improve aesthetic and functional quality during late fall and early winter. Data outlining the effects of mowing and                                            100
 overseeding on the traffic tolerance of ‘Tifway’ hybrid bermudagrass is limited. A study was conducted at the University                                        90
 of Tennessee (Knoxville, TN) in 2007 and 2008 to investigate the effects of mowing and overseeding on the traffic
                                                                                                                                                                 80
 tolerance of ‘Tifway’ hybrid bermudagrass. The experiment was arranged as a split-plot design with three replications.




                                                                                                                                         Percent green cover
 Mowing practice (reel mower equipped with groomers set to a depth of 1.9 cm, reel mower without groomers, and a                                                 70
 rotary mower) served as the whole plot treatment. All mowers were set to a height of 2.2 cm, and mowing treatments                                              60
 were applied three times per week. Overseeding rate served as the sub-plot treatment. Five different rates of perennial
                                                                                                                                                                 50
 ryegrass were evaluated: 0 kg ha-1, 224 kg ha-1, 448 kg ha-1, 672 kg ha-1 and 897 kg ha-1. Plots were subjected to a
 minimum of 17 games of simulated traffic applied with a Cady traffic simulator in both years. Digital image analysis                                            40    LSD (0.05) = ns     LSD (0.05) = 6.5       LSD (0.05) = 5.8     LSD (0.05) = 3.6      LSD (0.05) = 3.6
 was used to quantify percent cover, turfgrass color, and turfgrass quality. Trend analysis was used to separate                                                 30
 overseeding treatment means. Overseeding rate had a significant linear effect on turfgrass cover under simulated
                                                                                                                                                                 20
 traffic After 17 games of simulated traffic in 2007, percent cover for plots overseeded at 0 kg ha-1 measured 72%
 compared 93% for plots overseeded at 897 kg ha-1. A similar response was observed in 2008. A significant mower                                                  10
 treatment by year interaction was reported for percent cover data on 15 out of 17 rating dates. These data suggest that                                          0
 increases in overseeding rate can improve the cover of Tifway hybrid bermudagrass athletic fields under simulated                                                     8/21/2007 (0)        9/21/2007 (5)         10/26/2007 (10)      11/12/2007 (15)       11/29/2007 (20)
 traffic.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Rating date (Simulated athletic event)

Introduction:                                                                                                                                                           0 kg perennial ryegrass ha-1        224 kg perennial ryegrass ha-1    448 kg perennial ryegrass ha-1
Bermudagrass (Cynodon Spp.) is the most common species used for athletic fields in the transition zone because of its
                                                                                                                                                                        672 kg perennial ryegrass ha-1      897 kg perennial ryegrass ha-1
aggressive rhizomatous and stoloniferous growth habit, and ability to tolerate close mowing (Puhalla et al., 1999).
Unfortunately, portions of football and baseball seasons take place when bermudagrass is dormant where recuperation                   Figure 2. Main effects for perennial ryegrass overseeding on trafficked ‘Tifway’ bermudagrass, Knoxville, TN 2007.
from wear is limited. To overcome this, perennial ryegrass overseeding is done to improve turfgrass color and playing
surface uniformity (Puhalla et al., 1999). Currently, suggested rates of overseeding with perennial ryegrass range from
250 kg of perennial ryegrass ha-1 to as high as 1250 kg of perennial ryegrass ha-1 (Miller and Cisar, 1990; Powell and
Bergstrom, 2005; Bruneau et al., 2004). These seeding rates can have a significant affect on athletic field manager’s                                            100
budgets, which are often very small. Finding an optimal overseeding rate that tolerates traffic on athletic fields while                                                LSD (0.05) = ns
                                                                                                                                                                  90
not wasting seed could be a real savings to many athletic field managers’ budgets.                                                                                                          LSD (0.05) = 5.4
                                                                                                                                                                  80




                                                                                                                                           Percent green cover
Bermudagrass athletic fields are typically mown with a reel or rotary type mower. Grooming is a cultural practice often                                           70                                               LSD (0.05) = 6.4
done in conjunction with reel mowing to increase turf vigor. The evaluation of mower types including grooming
                                                                                                                                                                  60
practices, and how they facilitate overseeding establishment on athletic fields warrants investigation.                                                                                                                                 LSD (0.05) = 8.1
                                                                                                                                                                  50
Objectives:                                                                                                                                                       40
1. Determine if mowing practices have an affect on overseeding.                                                                                                   30                                                                                        LSD (0.05) = 11.0
2. Determine what rate of overseeding will provide the most percent green cover under simulated traffic.
                                                                                                                                                                  20
                                                                                                                                                                  10
                                                                                                                                                                   0
                                                                                                                                                                       8/26/2008 (0)        9/26/2008 (10)        10/31/2008 (15)       11/6/2008 (20)      11/11/2008 (25)
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Rating date (Simulated athletic event)

                                                                                                                                                                       0 kg perennial ryegrass ha-1         224 kg perennial ryegrass ha-1     448 kg perennial ryegrass ha-1
                                                                                                                                                                       672 kg perennial ryegrass ha-1       897 kg perennial ryegrass ha-1

                                                                                                                                      Figure 3. Main effects for perennial ryegrass overseeding on trafficked ‘Tifway’ bermudagrass, Knoxville, TN 2008.
   Figure 1. Mowing and overseeding study under simulated athletic traffic. Knoxville, TN. 2008.

 Materials and Methods:                                                                                                               Conclusions:
 A two year field study was conducted from 2007 to 2008 at the East Tennessee Research and Education Center at the                    • Treatments mown with a reel mower and a reel mower plus grooming yielded the highest percent cover in 2007
 University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN. Research was conducted on established ‘Tifway’ bermudagrass overseeded                        (Table1).
 with Ph.D. brand perennial ryegrass (32.28% ‘All Star 2’ perennial ryegrass, 32.84% ‘Derby Xtreme’ perennial ryegrass,
 32.82% ‘Top Hat’ perennial ryegrass). The statistical design was a split-plot design with three replications with the whole          • In 2008, reel mowing alone yielded the highest percent green cover (Table 1).
 plot treatment consisting of a 2.2 cm height of cut using a reel mower, a reel mower plus groomer (set at a 1.9 cm
 height), and a rotary mower. Mowing treatments were done three times a week during the growing season using a                        • In 2007, unseasonably high late fall temperatures maintained active bermudagrass growth throughout the study
 Jacobsen walk behind reel mower with 7 blades and a grooming attachment, and a Toro Sidewinder rotary mower.                             preventing dormancy (Figure 2). Whereas in 2008 bermudagrass dormancy began in late October (Figure 3).
 Subplot treatments were perennial ryegrass overseeding rates of 0, 224, 448, 672, and 897 kg ha-1, respectively. Plots
 were fertilized with 292 kg of N ha-1 yr-1, 49 kg of P ha-1 yr-1, 146 kg of K ha-1 yr-1, respectively. Irrigation was applied as     • Overseeding with perennial ryegrass provided greater percent green cover compared to non-overseeded plots
 needed throughout the study. Plots were trafficked using the Cady Traffic Simulator beginning 26 Aug 2007 and 2008                      regardless of the overseeding rate (Figure 2 and 3).
 through 21 Nov 2007 and 2008. Data was collected using digital image analysis. Turfgrass percent green cover was
 rated on 0 to 100% scale.                                                                                                            • As traffic events increased differences between perennial ryegrass overseeding rates decreased in 2008 (Figure
                                                                                                                                         3).
 Results:
                                                                                                                                      • No differences occurred, throughout the study, for percent green cover when perennial ryegrass was overseeded
Table 1. Percent green cover† for mowing treatments on trafficked ‘Tifway’ bermudagrass overseeding study, Knoxville, TN.                at 672 and 897 kg ha-1 (Figures 2 and 3). This suggests that the 897 kg ha-1 overseeding seeding rate is not
                                                                                                                                         necessary.
         Year                                 2007                                                      2008
Date (Simulated         21-Aug    21-Sep    26-Oct    12-Nov     29-Nov    26-Aug    26-Sep    31-Oct     6-Nov    11-Nov    18-Nov   References:
Traffic Event)            (0)       (5)      (10)      (15)       (20)       (0)       (5)      (10)       (15)     (20)      (26)    • Bruneau, A. H., C. H. Peacock, R. J. Cooper, and E. J. Erickson. 2004. Cynodon Spp. management programs for
                                                                                                                                         the upper transition zone in the southeastern United States. Acta Horticulturae. 661:p. 551-557.
Mower Treatment          Means    Means     Means      Means     Means     Means     Means     Means      Means    Means     Means
Reel mowing plus                                                                                                                      • Miller, G.L., and J.L. Cisar. 1995. Maintaining Athletic Fields. Bul. 262. Rev. ed. Univ. of Flordia IFAS Ext. Serv.,
grooming                 97.1 a    80.4 b    72.1 a     85 a      87.8 a    93.1 a   80.0 a    67.1 b     54.2 b    33.7 b   33.1 b      Gainsville.

Rotary mowing            97.0 a    86.0 a    59.0 b    78.6 b     83.4 b    90.1 a   75.1 b    70.3 b     51.2 b    33.6 b   33.9 b   • Powell, A.J., and D. Bergstrom. 2005. Overseeding Bermudagrass Sports Fields. Univ. of Kentucky Coop. Ext.
                                                                                                                                         Serv., Lexington.
Reel mowing              96.5 a    74.5 c    72.1 a    84.7 a     88.6 a    92.0 a   76.1 b    79.8 a     60.7 a    45.3 a   41.6 a
† Percent green cover based on Digital Image Analysis (1 to 100%)                                                                     • Puhalla, J., J. Krans, and M. Goatley. 1999. Sports Fields: A Manual for Construction and Maintenance. John
*Plots were overseeded with perennial ryegrass on 1 Oct 2007 and 22 Sep 2008                                                             Wiley and Sons, New Jersey.

				
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