Golf Course Management

MAY 2014

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80 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 05.14 • Cultivar selection significantly affected water re- quirements and visual quality. • Seasonal water applications differed as much as 8.5 inches among cultivars; days to wilt differed as much as 6.7 days. • Half of the 30 cultivars in the study both re - ceived the least water and had the highest visual quality. • Compact America and Mid-Atlantic Kentucky bluegrass cultivars required less water while maintaining visual quality. RESEARCH SAYS below the mean water applied to all 30 blue- grasses (13 inches [32.8 centimeters]). Simi- larly, visual quality in 12 of the 15 bluegrasses that received the least water was greater than the mean of all 30 bluegrasses (5.78), al - though all 15 were statistically similar. In contrast to the 15 top performers, six cultivars were ranked within the group that received the most water and had the lowest visual quality (Figure 5). Those six cultivars — Kenblue, Wellington, Midnight II, Baron, Diva and Shamrock — had neither the high visual quality nor low water requirement traits we were screening for in this study. Conclusions Cultivar selection in Kentucky bluegrass had signifcant impacts on water require - ments and visual quality ratings. Among cultivars, differences in seasonal water appli - cations were as great as 8.5 inches (21.6 cen- timeters), and differences in days to 50% wilt between irrigations were as great as 6.7 days (that is, nearly one week). Based on statistical range tests, only 15 of the 30 cultivars were in the group that both received the least water and had the greatest visual quality. Results indicated that, under conditions similar to those in our study, Kentucky bluegrass in the Compact America and Mid-Atlantic pheno - typic groups can be selected for their lower irrigation requirements without sacrifcing visual quality, and types from those two groups may represent the best selections for breeding efforts to achieve such goals. More detailed results from this study can be found elsewhere (2,3). Funding This research was funded by United States Golf Association (USGA), Turfgrass Producers International (TPI) and the Kan - sas Turfgrass Foundation. Acknowledgments The technical assistance of Tony Goldsby was greatly appreciated. This article was published in the Spring 2013 (Vol. 26, No. 1) issue of Sports Turf Manager. Literature cited 1. Bonos, S.A., W.A. Meyer and J.A. Murphy. 2000. Classifcation of Kentucky bluegrass genotypes grown as spaced-plants. HortScience 35:910-913. 2. Bremer, D., J. Lewis, S. Keeley and J. Fry. 2012. Effects of wilt-based irrigation on visual quality and seasonal water applications on 30 bluegrasses in the transition zone. USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online (TERO) 11(6):1-12. 3. Lewis, J.D., D.J. Bremer, S.J. Keeley and J.D. Fry. 2012. Wilt-based irrigation in Kentucky bluegrass: Effects on visual quality and irrigation amounts among cultivars. Crop Science 52:1881-1890. Dale Bremer (, Steve Keeley and Jack Fry are professors in the department of horticulture, for - estry and recreation resources, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.; and Jason D. Lewis was an assistant professor in the department of horticulture and crop sci - ence, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Calif. JobBoard2011_8_75X10_8125.indd Average water applied, 2007 and 2009 (inches) Average visual quality ratings, 2007 and 2009 Kenblue Park Wellington Diva Midnight 2 Baron Shamrock Eagleton Apollo Longhorn Cabernet Moonlight Langara Abbey Blue Knight Thermal Blue Blaze Unique Kingfisher Bedazzled Skye Julia Award Touchdown Midnight Envicta Limousine NuDestiny Preakness Bartitia Blue Velvet 8 10 12 14 16 1 8 20 4.8 5 5.2 5.4 5.6 5.8 6 6.2 6.4 Mean water = 12.9 inches Mean quality = 5.78 Figure 5. Water applied to Kentucky bluegrass cultivars and hybrid bluegrasses versus average visual quality ratings on a 1-9 scale, where 9 = optimal turf and 1 = brown turf. Data were averaged over the periods June 19-Oct. 1, 2007 (105 days), and June 22-Oct. 7, 2009 (108 days). Water applied vs. visual turf quality 076-087_May14_TechwellCuttingEdge.indd 80 4/16/14 2:53 PM

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