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Impact and Control of Organic Matter in USGA Ultradwarf Bermudagrass Golf Greens

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022081/00001

Material Information

Title: Impact and Control of Organic Matter in USGA Ultradwarf Bermudagrass Golf Greens
Physical Description: 1 online resource (115 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Rowland, John
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: aerification, bermudagrass, champion, compressibility, cultural, floradwarf, golf, greens, ksat, matter, om, organic, som, surface, tifeagle, ultradwarf, verticutting
Soil and Water Science -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Soil and Water Science thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Ultradwarf bermudagrasses Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. x C. transvaalensis Burt Davy are commonly used for golf course putting greens in Florida due to their ability to tolerate high temperatures and low mowing heights for fast green speeds. Their dense growth habits can cause excessive organic matter build-up above and below the soil line, negatively affecting surface and soil characteristics. This experiment was conducted to evaluate seasonal impacts of commonly used cultural management practices on United States Golf Association ultradwarf bermudagrass putting green properties to determine optimum timing and effectiveness of treatments. Three ultradwarf varieties ('Floradwarf', 'TifEagle', and 'Champion') were subjected to six cultural management treatments: Hollow tine aerification (one, two, or three times yearly), deep verticutting (three times yearly), solid tine aerification (five times yearly), and an untreated control. Treatments were applied over Spring-Summer (SS) and Summer-Fall (SF) studies with organic matter (OM), soil organic matter (SOM), soil physical properties, and turfgrass characteristics being analyzed. Soil organic matter and physical properties were determined from 5.1 cm diameter, by 9.5 cm deep soil cores. Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) was determined on a constant head permeameter with, and without verdure. Using mixed model analysis, we found no reduction of OM or SOM due to treatments. Saturated hydraulic conductivity was increased by three-time yearly hollow tine aerification (HTA 3x) in both studies; removing verdure resulted in an average reduction of 3.2 cm hr??. Average final Ksat of all treatments was 20 cm hr?? slower in the SF study. Bulk density (Db) was not reduced below control levels by treatments. An overall increase in Db of 0.2 g cm?? occurred in the SF study. Champion had lower Db in both studies. Relative density (Dp) was increased by HTA 3x in the SS study. An overall decrease in Dp of 0.4 g cm?? occurred in the SF study. Hollow tine aerification 3x produced more total pore space (TPS), than the control and verticutting in the SS study, but only more than verticutting in the SF study. Champion had the highest TPS in the SS study. Macropore space was increased more by HTA 3x than verticutting in both studies. All pore space fractions reduced substantially in the SF study. Average turf quality ratings were highest for the control in both studies. Champion had lower turf quality than TifEagle in the SS study. Surface compressibility was reduced least by the control, while HTA 3x provided a firmer surface than HTA 2x, which was firmer than HTA 1x. Champion scalped more than FloraDwarf, which scalped more than TifEagle in the SS study. Verticutting and HTA 3x reduced shoot counts in the SS study. Verticutting had higher volumetric water content than HTA 3x in the SS and SF studies. Since verticutting had the firmest surface, least mower scalping and localized dry spot, and eventually had higher quality, water-holding capacity, and fewer clippings it was the most beneficial treatment, particularly since no other treatment significantly reduced OM or SOM. Reduced Ksat, increased Db, and reduced pore space in the SF study showed that this seasonal treatment timing was least effective in managing soil properties. Due to higher overall quality, reduced scalping and LDS, TifEagle stood out as the best overall grass studied.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by John Rowland.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Snyder, George H.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2010-08-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022081:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022081/00001

Material Information

Title: Impact and Control of Organic Matter in USGA Ultradwarf Bermudagrass Golf Greens
Physical Description: 1 online resource (115 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Rowland, John
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: aerification, bermudagrass, champion, compressibility, cultural, floradwarf, golf, greens, ksat, matter, om, organic, som, surface, tifeagle, ultradwarf, verticutting
Soil and Water Science -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Soil and Water Science thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Ultradwarf bermudagrasses Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. x C. transvaalensis Burt Davy are commonly used for golf course putting greens in Florida due to their ability to tolerate high temperatures and low mowing heights for fast green speeds. Their dense growth habits can cause excessive organic matter build-up above and below the soil line, negatively affecting surface and soil characteristics. This experiment was conducted to evaluate seasonal impacts of commonly used cultural management practices on United States Golf Association ultradwarf bermudagrass putting green properties to determine optimum timing and effectiveness of treatments. Three ultradwarf varieties ('Floradwarf', 'TifEagle', and 'Champion') were subjected to six cultural management treatments: Hollow tine aerification (one, two, or three times yearly), deep verticutting (three times yearly), solid tine aerification (five times yearly), and an untreated control. Treatments were applied over Spring-Summer (SS) and Summer-Fall (SF) studies with organic matter (OM), soil organic matter (SOM), soil physical properties, and turfgrass characteristics being analyzed. Soil organic matter and physical properties were determined from 5.1 cm diameter, by 9.5 cm deep soil cores. Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) was determined on a constant head permeameter with, and without verdure. Using mixed model analysis, we found no reduction of OM or SOM due to treatments. Saturated hydraulic conductivity was increased by three-time yearly hollow tine aerification (HTA 3x) in both studies; removing verdure resulted in an average reduction of 3.2 cm hr??. Average final Ksat of all treatments was 20 cm hr?? slower in the SF study. Bulk density (Db) was not reduced below control levels by treatments. An overall increase in Db of 0.2 g cm?? occurred in the SF study. Champion had lower Db in both studies. Relative density (Dp) was increased by HTA 3x in the SS study. An overall decrease in Dp of 0.4 g cm?? occurred in the SF study. Hollow tine aerification 3x produced more total pore space (TPS), than the control and verticutting in the SS study, but only more than verticutting in the SF study. Champion had the highest TPS in the SS study. Macropore space was increased more by HTA 3x than verticutting in both studies. All pore space fractions reduced substantially in the SF study. Average turf quality ratings were highest for the control in both studies. Champion had lower turf quality than TifEagle in the SS study. Surface compressibility was reduced least by the control, while HTA 3x provided a firmer surface than HTA 2x, which was firmer than HTA 1x. Champion scalped more than FloraDwarf, which scalped more than TifEagle in the SS study. Verticutting and HTA 3x reduced shoot counts in the SS study. Verticutting had higher volumetric water content than HTA 3x in the SS and SF studies. Since verticutting had the firmest surface, least mower scalping and localized dry spot, and eventually had higher quality, water-holding capacity, and fewer clippings it was the most beneficial treatment, particularly since no other treatment significantly reduced OM or SOM. Reduced Ksat, increased Db, and reduced pore space in the SF study showed that this seasonal treatment timing was least effective in managing soil properties. Due to higher overall quality, reduced scalping and LDS, TifEagle stood out as the best overall grass studied.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by John Rowland.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Snyder, George H.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2010-08-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022081:00001


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IMPACT AND CONTROL OF ORGANIC MATTER IN USGA ULTRADWARF
BERMUDAGRASS GOLF GREENS




















By

JOHN HUDSON ROWLAND


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2008


































2008 John H. Rowland
































To my parents who always believed in, and supported me.









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank Dr. John Cisar for making it possible to pursue a graduate degree in

turfgrass management, and Dr. George Snyder who agreed to be my committee chair, even

though he was already retired. I would like to thank Pamela Michels for her never-ending

support, and unequaled editing prowess. Also, the moral support provided by Shamus McBooty

was more than welcome. I would also like to thank all at Fort Lauderdale Research and

Education Center (FLREC) and Everglades Research and Education Center (EREC) who helped

my research project come together, as well as Fort Lauderdale Country Club and SISIS

Equipment for their generous donation of equipment.









TABLE OF CONTENTS

A CK N O W LED G M EN T S ...................................................... ..............................................

L IST O F T A B L E S ...................................... ..................................... ................ .. 7

LIST OF FIGURES ................................. .. ..... ..... ................. .8

L IST O F A B B R E V IA T IO N S ........................................................................ .......................... 11

A B S T R A C T ............ ................... ............................................................ 13

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION ............... ..................................................... ..... 15

Ultradwarf Bermudagrass History and Characteristics........................................................15
USGA Putting Green History and Characteristics ............... ..........................................16
O organic M matter ..............................................................................................17
Soil O organic M atter....................................................................................... .. .. .... .17
H history of T u rfgrass D eclin e .................................................................................................. 18

2 L ITE R A TU R E R E V IE W ........................................................................ .. .......................2 1

Composition and Breakdown of Organic Matter......................................... ............... 21
Composition and Breakdown of Soil Organic Matter .........................................................21
Organic Matter Levels ..................................................... .......... 22
T h watch -M at ................................................................2 2
Soil O organic M matter .................................................... ............. .... ..... 22
C control O options for O M and SO M ........................................................................... .... ... 24
Control of Thatch-M at .................. ..................................... .............. ... 24
C control of Soil O rganic M atter........................................................................... .. .... 26

3 EFFECTS OF TURFGRASS CULTIVATION PRACTICES ON ORGANIC
MATTER, SOIL PHYSICAL PROPERTIES, AND TURFGRASS
C H A R A C T E R IST IC S .............................. ................................................... ..................... 2 8

M materials and M methods ................................... ... .. .......... ....... ...... 28
Experim mental B background ........................................ .......... ......................................28
Experim ental Design and Statistical Analysis...................................... ............... 28
Turfgrass Cultivation Treatm ents........................................................ ............... 29
Physical M easurem ents ........................... ..................... ...............32
Q ualitative M easurem ents ............................................................. ............. ............... 34
Results and Discussion ...................................... .. ......... ....... ..... 34
Surface Compressibility ................................. ............. ................ 34
T h watch L ev els ................................................................ 3 5
Soil Organic M matter .............. .................. ........................... .... ..... 37
S c a lp in g ...................................... .................................................... .. 3 8









Physical Turfgrass Characteristics ............................................................................ 39
Qualitative Turfgrass Characteristics ........................................ ......................... 40
Soil Physical Properties .................. ............................. ....... .. ........ .... 42
C o n c lu sio n s ..............................................................................4 5

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S ..................................................................................... ..................109

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ......................................................................... ........................ 115















































6









LIST OF TABLES


Table page

3-1. Specifications and timings of "Spring-Summer" cultural practices used on ultradwarf
bermudagrass research putting green, 2007 .............................................. ...............47

3-2. Specifications and timings of"Summer-Fall" cultural practices used on ultradwarf
bermudagrass research putting green, 2007 .............................................. ...............48

3-3. Thatch measurements for "Spring-Summer" and "Summer-Fall" studies............................53

3-4. Soil organic matter concentration in Ksat cores for "Spring-Summer" and "Summer-
F a ll" stu d ie s ............................................................................ 5 6

3-5. Soil organic matter concentration in dark layer cores for "Spring-Summer" and
Su m m er-F all" stu dies........... .................................................................... ...... ............... 57

3-6. Shoot counts for "Spring-Summer" and "Summer-Fall" studies.....................................68

3-7. Ball Roll (cm) for "Spring-Summer" and "Summer-Fall" studies.....................................72

3-8. Root Weights (g) for "Spring-Summer" and "Summer-Fall" studies.................................73

3-9. Localized Dry Spot for "Spring-Summer" and "Summer-Fall" studies.............................77

3-10. Volumetric Water Content (Theta) Readings for "Spring-Summer" and "Summer-
F a ll" stu d ie s ............................................................................. 8 1

3-11. Quality ratings for "Spring-Summer" and "Summer-Fall" studies................................. 87

3-12. Recovery ratings for "Spring-Summer" and "Summer-Fall" studies...............................90

3-13. Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) for "Spring-Summer" and "Summer-Fall"
stu d ie s ............................................................................................9 3

3-14. Bulk Density (Db) for "Spring-Summer" and "Summer-Fall" studies ............................97

3-15. Relative Density (Dp) for "Spring-Summer" and "Summer-Fall" studies........................99

3-16. Total Pore Space (TPS) for "Spring-Summer" and "Summer-Fall" studies.....................102

3-17. Macropore Space (MPS) for "Spring-Summer" and "Summer-Fall" studies.................105

3-18. Micropore Space [i.e., water holding capacity (volume)] for "Spring-Summer" and
"Sum m er-F all" stu dies........... .................................................................. ....... ............... 106

3-19. Water holding capacity (Weight) for "Spring-Summer" and "Summer-Fall" studies......107










LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

3-1. Comparison of spring-summer applied cultural practices on surface compressibility
(c m ) ................... ............................................................. ................ 4 9

3-2. Comparison of summer-fall applied cultural practices on surface compressibility (cm)......50

3-3. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on surface compressibility (cm)
determined from average volkmeter readings over entire study.......................................51

3-4. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on surface compressibility (cm)
determined from volkmeter readings averaged over entire study................................ 52

3-5. Comparison of spring-summer applied cultural practices on surface compressibility
(cm ) am ong grasses.................................................... .. .. ......... ............... 54

3-6. Comparison of summer-fall applied cultural practices on surface compressibility (cm)
am ong grasses .............................................................................55

3-7. Comparison of spring-summer applied cultural practices on mower scalping (tissue
lo s s ) ................... ............................................................. ................ 5 8

3-8. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on mower scalping (tissue loss)..........59

3-9. Severe mower scalping on all cultural treatment plots except verticutting...........................60

3-10. Comparison of summer-fall applied cultural practices on mower scalping (tissue loss) ....61

3-11. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on mower scalping (tissue loss) ...........62

3-12. Comparison of spring-summer applied cultural practices on scalping (tissue loss)
am ong grasses .............................................................................63

3-13. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on mower scalping (tissue loss)
am ong grasses .............................................................................64

3-14. Comparison of summer-fall applied cultural practices on mower scalping (tissue loss)
am ong grasses .............................................................................65

3-15. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on scalping (tissue loss) among
g ra s s e s ................... ........................................................... ................ 6 6

3-16. Bermudagrass shoots counted from 20 cm-2 cores after spring-summer cultural
practices were applied, and allowed to recover ...........................................................67









3-17. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on bermudagrass clipping oven
d ry w eig h ts ...................................... .................................................... 6 9

3-18. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on bermudagrass clipping oven dry
w e ig h ts ................... ........................................................... ................ 7 0

3-19. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on bermudagrass clipping oven
dry w eights am ong grasses ........................................................................ .................. 7 1

3-20. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on localized dry spot.......................74

3-21. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on localized dry spot ...........................75

3-22. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on localized dry spot among
g ra s s e s ................... ........................................................... ................ 7 6

3-23. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on volumetric water content.............78

3-24. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on volumetric water content..................79

3-25. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on volumetric water content
am ong grasses ............................................................................ 80

3-26. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on quality ........................................82

3-27. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on quality................................... 83

3-28. Verticutting treatment showed increased quality due to a release of nitrogen from soil
organic matter, and a firmer surface that reduced scalping. ............................................84

3-29. Comparison of spring-summer applied cultural practices on quality among grasses .........85

3-30. Comparison of summer-fall applied cultural practices on quality among grasses ..............86

3-31. Comparison of spring-summer applied cultural practices on recovery.............................88

3-32. Comparison of summer-fall applied cultural practices on recovery............................ 89

3-33. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on saturated hydraulic
con du ctiv ity ..............................................................................................9 1

3-34. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on saturated hydraulic conductivity ......92

3-35. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on bulk density ......................................94

3-36. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices effects on bulk density (Db)
am ong grasses .............................................................................95

3-37. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on bulk density (Db) among grasses .....96









3-38. Effects of Spring-Summer applied cultural practices on relative density .........................98

3-39. Effects of Spring-Summer applied cultural practices on total pore space.......................100

3-40. Effects of Summer-Fall applied cultural practices on total pore space.............................101

3-41. Effects of Spring-Summer applied cultural practices effects on macropore space...........03

3-42. Effects of Summer-Fall applied cultural practices on macropore space .........................104









LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

AWHC Available water holding capacity

CEC Cation exchange capacity

CV Cultivar

Db Bulk density

Dp Particle density

EREC Everglades Research and Education Center

FLREC Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center

Ggg Gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis

GMAX Peak deceleration

HTA Hollow tine aerification

KSAT Saturated hydraulic conductivity

LDS Localized dry spot

MAPS Macro pore space

MIPS Micro pore space

ODR Oxygen diffusion rate

OM Organic matter

PS Pore space

PVC Poly vinyl chloride

REC Research and education center

SBD Summer bentgrass decline

SF Summer-fall study

SOM Soil organic matter

SS Spring-summer study

STA Solid tine aerification









TPS Total pore space

UF University of Florida

UG University of Georgia

USGA Unites States Golf Association

VWC Volumetric water content

WAT Weeks after treatment

WHC Water holding capacity









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

IMPACT AND CONTROL OF ORGANIC MATTER IN USGA ULTRADWARF
BERMUDAGRASS GREENS

By

John Hudson Rowland

August 2008

Chair: George H. Snyder
Major: Soil and Water Science

Ultradwarf bermudagrasses [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. x C. transvaalensis Burt Davy]

are commonly used for golf course putting greens in Florida due to their ability to tolerate high

temperatures and low mowing heights for fast green speeds. Their dense growth habits can

cause excessive organic matter build-up above and below the soil line, negatively affecting

surface and soil characteristics. This experiment was conducted to evaluate seasonal impacts of

commonly used cultural management practices on United States Golf Association ultradwarf

bermudagrass putting green properties to determine optimum timing and effectiveness of

treatments. Three ultradwarf varieties ('FloraDwarf, 'TifEagle', and 'Champion') were

subjected to six cultural management treatments: Hollow tine aerification (one, two, or three

times yearly), deep verticutting (three times yearly), solid tine aerification (five times yearly),

and an untreated control. Treatments were applied over Spring-Summer (SS) and Summer-Fall

(SF) studies with organic matter (OM), soil organic matter (SOM), soil physical properties, and

turfgrass characteristics being analyzed. Soil organic matter and physical properties were

determined from 5.1 cm diameter, by 9.5 cm deep soil cores. Saturated hydraulic conductivity

(Ksat) was determined on a constant head permeameter with, and without verdure.









Using mixed model analysis, we found no reduction of OM or SOM due to treatments.

Saturated hydraulic conductivity was increased by three-time yearly hollow tine aerification

(HTA 3x) in both studies; removing verdure resulted in an average reduction of 3.2 cm hr1.

Average final Ksat of all treatments was 20 cm hr' slower in the SF study. Bulk density (Db)

was not reduced below control levels by treatments. An overall increase in Db of 0.2 g cm-

occurred in the SF study. Champion had lower Db in both studies. Relative density (Dp) was

increased by HTA 3x in the SS study. An overall decrease in Dp of 0.4 g cm3 occurred in the

SF study. Hollow tine aerification 3x produced more total pore space (TPS), than the control and

verticutting in the SS study, but only more than verticutting in the SF study. Champion had the

highest TPS in the SS study. Macropore space was increased more by HTA 3x than verticutting

in both studies. All pore space fractions reduced substantially in the SF study. Average turf

quality ratings were highest for the control in both studies. Champion had lower turf quality than

TifEagle in the SS study. Surface compressibility was reduced least by the control, while HTA

3x provided a firmer surface than HTA 2x, which was firmer than HTA Ix. Champion scalped

more than FloraDwarf, which scalped more than TifEagle in the SS study. Verticutting and

HTA 3x reduced shoot counts in the SS study. Verticutting had higher volumetric water content

than HTA 3x in the SS and SF studies. Since verticutting had the firmest surface, least mower

scalping and localized dry spot, and eventually had higher quality, water-holding capacity, and

fewer clippings it was the most beneficial treatment, particularly since no other treatment

significantly reduced OM or SOM. Reduced Ksat, increased Db, and reduced pore space in the

SF study showed that this seasonal treatment timing was least effective in managing soil

properties. Due to higher overall quality, reduced scalping and LDS, TifEagle stood out as the

best overall grass studied.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Ultradwarf Bermudagrass History and Characteristics

Hybrid bermudagrasses for golf course putting greens have been available since 1953,

when 'Tiffine' was released from the United States Department of Agriculture, Coastal Plain

Experiment Station in Tifton, GA (Burton, 1991). 'Tifgreen' was released shortly after in 1956,

and was touted for having finer leaves and the ability to withstand daily mowing at 6.4 mm

(Burton, 1991). Tifgreen sprigs sent to golf courses for early evaluation contained a natural

mutation that was later isolated and increased for evaluation (Burton, 1991). This selection, now

known as 'Tifdwarf due to its smaller, shorter leaves, stems, and internodes, was released in

1965 (Burton, 1991). Tifdwarf tolerated lower mowing heights and provided the faster green

speeds that golfers demanded (Burton, 1991). The United States Golf Association (USGA)

introduced its version of the stimpmeter in 1977 to measure golf ball roll as a means of

estimating a greens 'speed' (Beard, 1982; Gaussoin, 1995; Oatis, 1990). Wide spread use of the

USGA stimpmeter brought about a green speed war and the motto was "the faster, the better"

(Vermeulen, 1995). Golfers and superintendents preference for faster green speeds, and

advances in greens maintenance technology, eventually necessitated improved greens grass

varieties (Vermeulen, 1995). In 1995, A.E. Dudeck of the University of Florida (UF) released

'FloraDwarf, which had a lower vertical growth characteristic, finer texture, and increased shoot

density (Busey and Dudeck, 1999). Soon afterwards, 'TifEagle' and 'Champion', which had

similar characteristics to FloraDwarf, were released from Tifton, GA and Bay City, TX,

respectively (Busey and Dudeck, 1999). These denser, lower growing varieties, named

'Ultradwarfs' by P. Busey ofUF, can easily withstand regular mowing below 3 mm (Foy, 1997;

Foy, 2000, Unruh and Elliott 1999), and produce green speeds (i.e., ball roll distance) in excess









of 3.35 m, as measured with a stimpmeter. These improved qualities rival bentgrass (Hartwiger,

2000), which cannot be grown year-round in south Florida due to an inability to tolerate

persistent heat (Foy, 1988), in quality of putting surface and green speed (McCarty and Miller,

2002; Unruh and Davis, 2001). Unfortunately, organic matter levels within ultradwarfs can

quickly reach detrimental levels if incorrectly managed due to the faster rate of thatch/biomass

accumulation, shoot density, and stoloniferous growth habit (Foy, 2000; McCarty and Miller,

2002; White et al., 2004).

USGA Putting Green History and Characteristics

United States Golf Association green construction methods have been used for more than

40 years due to their successful scientifically-tested guidelines (USGA Green Section Staff,

2004). Their recommendation for particle size distribution in root zone media is a major reason

why these greens are so successful, as these profiles provide physical properties that can

withstand continuous traffic (Carrow, 2003). Particle diameter ranges from fine gravel

(<3.4mm) to clay, which is smaller than 0.002 mm (USGA Green Section Staff, 2004). Limiting

fine gravel and very coarse sand (1.0-2.0 mm) to <10% helps limit saturated hydraulic

conductivity (Ksat), so sufficient water can be held in the root zone (USGA Green Section Staff,

2004). Total fines (i.e., very fine sand, silt, and clay) are also limited to <10% to control

excessive moisture and ensure that Ksat will not be below 15 cm hr-1 in newly constructed

greens (USGA Green Section Staff, 2004). Compaction is also controlled by limiting total fines,

as they can fill micropores that sand size particles cannot fill (Gaussoin et al., 2006). These

USGA guidelines produce a total pore space range of 35-55%, which provides optimum air-filled

and capillary porosity for plant growth and drainage (Brady and Weil, 1999). Some consider

USGA greens a relatively sterile environment, free of microorganisms capable of organic matter

breakdown, since they are composed primarily of sand (Habeck and Christians, 2000). This has









been proven incorrect, as sand-based greens were found to contain microbial populations with

considerable taxonomic diversity similar to native soils, within 24 months after construction

(Bigelow, et al., 2000; Elliott et al., 2007; Gaussoin, 2003).

Organic Matter

Organic matter (OM) and soil organic matter (SOM) impact USGA putting greens in

various ways both positive and negative (Beard, 1973; Carrow, 2004a, b, c; Christians, 1998;

Hartwiger, 2004). One-quarter inch of OM, in the way of thatch-mat, is required to protect

crowns and roots ofturfgrass from foot traffic and mowing (Moore, 2007). Organic matter has

also been shown to hold pesticides until they are broken down by microorganisms (Snyder and

Cisar, 1995). This microbial process can limit environmental contamination in the form of

ground water pollution (Snyder and Cisar, 1995). Excessive thatch can affect putting surface

quality, as mower scalping can become more prevalent when greens are "puffy". (Carrow, 2003;

McCarty and Miller, 2002).

Soil Organic Matter

Without adequate SOM, excessive Ksat and reduced cation-exchange capacity (CEC)

allow water and nutrients to move quickly through the root zone (Beard, 1973; Guertal, 2007).

Inadequate SOM can cause greens to dry out quickly, requiring more frequent irrigation (McCoy

and McCoy, 2005). Increased fertilizer applications may also be necessary in order to maintain

acceptable turf quality due to low CEC and excessive leaching of nutrients (Carrow, 2004b;

McCarty and Miller, 2002). Nutrient and pesticide leaching could become problems in the form

of nonpoint-source pollution, as only limited amounts can remain in the soil while the remainder

enter groundwater or move off site (FDEP Staff, 2007). Soil organic matter provides many other

benefits to the soil environment including providing C for microorganisms, pH buffering

capacity, enhanced chelation of trace elements, increased N, CEC, and porosity (Noer, 1928;









Wolf and Snyder, 2003). In contrast, greens with excessive SOM may have reduced Ksat and

infiltration rates, and decreased pesticide efficacy (Carrow, 2004a, b, c; McCarty et al., 2007).

Reduced Ksat can cause soils to become waterlogged and create anaerobic conditions (Carrow,

2004a, b, c). Prolonged anoxic conditions can rapidly cause turfgrass quality to decline (Carrow,

2004a, b, c; Hartwiger, 2004).

History of Turfgrass Decline

Bentgrass. Most research related to SOM in golf greens has been conducted on bentgrass

[Agrostis stoloniferous L. var. palustris (Huds.)] greens, due to the phenomenon of Summer

Bentgrass Decline (SBD). Initially, SBD was thought to be caused by fungal pressure associated

with extended periods of high temperature (Carrow, 2004a, c; Hartwiger, 2004). Presently,

researchers have focused on SOM content in the root zone in relation to oxygen diffusion rates

(ODR) and Ksat (Carrow, 2004a, c). When SOM accumulates to 3-4% (by weight), macropores

(>0.075 mm), which facilitate oxygen diffusion, can become clogged with SOM, resulting in

reductions of Ksat and ODR (Carrow, 2004a, c). Extended high temperatures (>32.2C), SOM

concentrations greater than 4% (by weight), and ODR below 0.20 tg oxygen cm-2 min-1 in the

surface 1.3 cm, are now believed to trigger the decline of bentgrass greens (Carrow, 2004a, c;

Hartwiger, 2004; Huang, 2002).

Bermudagrass. Ultradwarf bermudagrass is well suited for Florida's subtropical climate,

as optimum bermudagrass shoot growth occurs at air temperatures between 29 and 380 C, and

reduced root growth is not expected to occur until soil temperatures exceed 38 C (McCarty and

Miller, 2002). Due to buffering effects from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean,

Florida's air temperatures rarely exceed 350 C. In addition, Florida's soil pH (>5.5) and average

annual high temperatures (>13 C) are more conducive to microbial degradation of OM and

SOM (Brady and Weil, 1999; Christians, 1998). Even though growing conditions seem ideal









ultradwarf bermudagrass greens still exhibit decline, as golf course superintendents regularly

experience reduced turfgrass quality during summer months (Elliott, 1991; Foy, 2005; White,

2004).

Monica Elliott, of the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center (FLREC),

confirmed that an etiological agent [Gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis (Ggg)], when

associated with host-predisposing abiotic stresses, caused bermudagrass decline (Elliott, 1991).

USGA ultradwarf bermudagrass greens usually experience this decline in summer or early fall,

during prolonged periods of high humidity, cloudiness, rainfall, and excessive soil moisture

(Elliott, 1991; White, 2004). Another hypothesis is that excessive SOM causes primary stresses

such as Ggg and Curvularia spp (Carrow, 2004b). Recent research conducted at the University

of Florida has also associated Bipolaris spp. and Curvularia spp. with bermudagrass decline

syndrome (Cisar and Snyder, 2003; Datnoff, et al., 2005; Unruh and Davis, 2001).

Although significant research has been conducted to define optimum levels of SOM in

bentgrass greens, very little has been conducted for ultradwarf bermudagrass greens, especially

in south Florida (Cisar, et al. 2005). Recommended SOM levels for USGA bentgrass greens

may be irrelevant for USGA ultradwarf bermudagrass greens, particularly in south Florida's

subtropical climate. Growth characteristics of ultradwarf bermudagrass differ from those of

creeping bentgrass and may have varied SOM requirements and tolerances. Year-round growing

conditions, optimal conditions for soil microbes, and annual rainfall exceeding 150 cm

differentiate south Florida from most areas of the United States (Cisar and Snyder, 2003).

Similarities of bermudagrass decline to SBD reinforce the need for research investigating the

affects of OM and SOM on USGA ultradwarf bermudagrass greens in subtropical Florida.

Therefore, we conducted an experiment which incorporated commonly used cultural practices in









an attempt to manage levels of OM and SOM. Cultural practices were applied in two separate

seasonal studies to determine seasonal affects on OM, SOM, qualitative turfgrass characteristics,

soil physical properties and surface characteristics.









CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Composition and Breakdown of Organic Matter

Organic matter (OM) consists of living plant tissue and recently-deposited plant and

animal residues (Wolf and Snyder, 2003), and is represented as thatch and mat layers on the soil

surface (McCarty et al., 2007). Thatch, which is found between the soil surface and verdure (i.e.,

green turfgrass leaves) contains: stolons, rhizomes, sloughed roots, mature leaf sheaths, and

stems (Christians, 1998; McCarty et al., 2007; Turgeon, 1978). Thatch that is not completely

decomposed, and is surrounded by the soil matrix, is considered to be mat (McCarty et al.,

2007). Thatch and mat combine to form the thatch-mat layer.

The rate of OM decomposition by microorganisms is predicated on its age, chemical

makeup, C:N ratio, and environmental factors such as aeration, moisture, pH, and temperature

(Carrow, 2004a, c; Wolf and Snyder, 2003). Organic matter with higher N concentrations will

tend to decompose more rapidly, as it provides a nutrient source for microorganisms (Wolf and

Snyder, 2003). Proper soil aeration and moisture provide an environment where microorganisms

can thrive, and readily decompose OM, SOM, and applied materials such as fertilizers and

pesticides (Carrow, 2003; Cooper, 1996; Waltz and McCarty, 2001). Acidic soil pH (<5.5) can

decrease the breakdown of OM and SOM as it is injurious to actinomycete and bacteria

populations (Cooper, 1996; Waltz and McCarty, 2001). Cool, humid, temperate climates are

known to create extreme cases of OM and SOM accumulation (Carrow, 2003).

Composition and Breakdown of Soil Organic Matter

Soil organic matter (SOM) originated from plant and animal residue deposition from grass

and soil organisms (Wolf and Snyder, 2003). This decomposed material is composed of humic

and nonhumic compounds, lignins, proteins, and polysaccharides, which are deposited from









living tissue and soil microorganisms (Wolf and Snyder, 2003). Humus makes up the largest

fraction of SOM, and soil microbial and fungal biomass make up the remainder (Brady and Weil,

1999; Wolf and Snyder, 2003). Decomposition of SOM is much slower than recently-deposited

OM found in the thatch-mat (Wolf and Snyder, 2003).

Organic Matter Levels

Thatch-Mat

Turfgrass requires a minimum thatch-mat depth of 0.6 cm in order to properly tolerate

wear stress (Moore, 2007), while a depth greater than 2.5 cm is considered excessive (McCarty

et al., 2007). Moderate OM provides a desirable cushioning effect for traffic and incoming shots

(Vermeulen and Hartwiger, 2005), and prevents volatilization of ammonia (Petrovic, 1990),

leaching of pesticides into groundwater (Horst et al., 1996; Snyder and Cisar, 1995) and reduces

summer heat stress (Christians, 1998). Excessive thatch-mat, which can occur even under

excellent management (Carrow, 2000), can cause numerous problems including excessive ball

marks, inconsistent ball roll (Vermeulen and Hartwiger, 2005), increased pathogens and insects

(Christians, 1998; Bevard, 2005; Vermeulen and Hartwiger, 2005), reduced infiltration and

percolation (Bevard, 2005; McCarty, 2007), scalping (McCarty, et al., 2007; Vermeulen and

Hartwiger, 2005) and pesticide efficacy (McCarty et al., 2007).

Soil Organic Matter

Soil organic matter improves turfgrass quality by increasing aeration, structure, water and

nutrient-holding capacity in highly mineral soils (Beard, 1973; Brady and Weil, 1999). Soil

organic matter, which has a particle density range of 0.9 to 1.3 g cm can reduce mineral soils

with an initial particle density of 2.60 to 2.75 g cm- to levels below 2.40 g cm- (Brady and

Weil, 1999). This reduction in particle density will translate into reduced bulk density, which

can improve environmental conditions for turfgrass roots in compacted high density soils (Brady









and Weil, 1999). Excessive SOM can impede water flow, oxygen diffusion rates and negatively

affect turfgrass growth, especially under stressful environmental conditions (Carrow, 2003;

Hartwiger, 2004).

Recommendations for SOM (by weight) in golf greens range from 1.5 to 8% (Vermeulen

and Hartwiger, 2005). This wide range can be due in part to sampling and testing methods used

to measure SOM (Vermeulen and Hartwiger, 2005). Sampling depths used to determine the

SOM range from 0.6 cm to over 15 cm (Vermeulen and Hartwiger, 2005). The shallower

samples (e.g., 2.5-5.0 cm) mostly analyze the thatch-mat layer (Carrow, 2004a, b, c, McCarty et

al., 2007), while the deeper samples can include the thatch-mat, root-zone SOM, and

unadulterated subsoils. Soil testing labs do not have a universally-accepted protocol for testing

SOM, so any of a number of procedures may be used with each giving potentially different

results (Vermeulen and Hartwiger, 2005). Other reasons for the wide range of recommendations

include geographic location and turfgrass variety (Vermeulen and Hartwiger, 2005). Climatic

zones also seem to have an effect on SOM build up (Carrow, 2003), as levels along the Gulf

coast from Florida to Louisiana were found to have less than 2% SOM (Carrow, 2004b) in

comparison to levels found in Griffin GA, which were in excess of 9% in the surface 3 cm

(Carrow, 2003).

University of Georgia (UG) turfgrass stress physiologist Robert N. Carrow conducted a

five-year research project on bentgrass greens, and determined that once SOM rises above 4%

(by weight) in the first 5 cm of the surface soil, bentgrass greens are at high risk of decline

(Carrow, 2004a, c). Others have stated that once OM levels get higher than 5% (by weight),

there is immediate concern for bentgrass greens found in or near the transition zone, even if they

seem healthy at the time (O'Brien and Hartwiger, 2005). In cooler regions of bentgrass









adaptation, 5% SOM (by weight) is usually not as much of a concern, as they have fewer

prolonged periods of excessive heat to contend with (Hartwiger, 2004).

Control Options for OM and SOM

Since conventional tillage cannot be used on turfgrass without destroying performance

characteristics (Beard, 1973; McCarty and Brown, 2004), cultural practices used to control OM

accumulation include: solid and hollow tine aerification, vertical mowing, slicing, topdressing,

and grooming (Beard, 1973; Christians, 1998; Cisar, 1999a; Hanna, 2005; McCarty and Miller,

2002; Vavrek, 2006). These practices are used in an attempt to increase soil aeration, rooting,

water movement, improve soil physical properties, and physically remove OM and SOM (Beard,

1973; Bevard, 2005; Cisar, 1999a; McCarty and Miller, 2002; Unruh and Elliott, 1999). When

multiple cultural practices were combined in accelerated programs, they caused unacceptable

damage to the putting green surface for extended periods of time (Hollingsworth et al., 2005;

Landreth, et al., 2007). Seasonal timing of cultural practices can also be important, as OM and

SOM tend to accumulate more rapidly during times of maximum growth (Carrow, 2000), and

turfgrass recovery is impeded when growth is limited by environmental affects. Cultural

practices may be somewhat effective at reducing organic matter accumulation but results are

variable (McCarty et al., 2007).

Control of Thatch-Mat

Wayne Hanna, who bred, developed and released TifEagle ultradwarf bermudagrass at

UG, conducted a study which analyzed the effectiveness of verticutting on OM removal (Hanna,

2005). Verticutting to a depth of 2.5 cm was effective in removing OM, while 0.6 cm was

insufficient (Hanna, 2005). Blade width also had an impact on OM removal, as increasing the

blade width from 1.6 mm to 3.2 mm increased OM removal (Hanna, 2005; Landreth et al.,

2007). A recent two-year study performed in Arkansas showed verticutting at a 2.5 cm depth









was more effective in removing OM in the surface inch than HTA, although it took 60 days to

recover (Landreth, et al., 2007). Another study found that verticutting and HTA used in

combination were effective in reducing thatch levels when used at least four times annually for

two consecutive years (McCarty et al., 2007). Topdressing alone has also been found to decrease

thatch levels (Callahan et al., 1998). Cultural practices such as verticutting and HTA have also

been found to reduce shoot counts, a component of thatch, which may positively enhance putting

green quality (Hollingsworth et al., 2005).

A two-year study that used grooming, HTA, a biological thatch control agent, topdressing,

and verticutting (alone and in combinations) found that none of the treatments reduced thatch-

mat levels when compared to the control in the first year (McCarty et al., 2007). After the

second year they found topdressing with 9.6 mm sand yr1 increased thatch-mat depth 15%

compared to the control, while HTA combined with grooming and verticutting reduced surface

OM concentration more than the control (McCarty et al., 2007). Another study that used varied

levels of HTA and verticutting showed a lack of differences in thatch levels from treatments

(White and Dickens, 1984).

Slow-release N has been noted to reduce thatch levels when compared to quick-release

sources (Sartain, 1985). Also, fertilizing with N at rates needed to maintain only minimally

desired turf quality has successfully managed thatch accumulation (Hanna, 2005). Others have

noted no affect on thatch depth, regardless of N source (Hollingsworth et al., 2005; White and

Dickens, 1984). Soluble N can be beneficial due to its ability to speed up turf recovery after

cultivation (Hollingsworth et al., 2005).

Differences in thatch levels among bermudagrass cultivars have also been found

(Hollingsworth et al., 2005; White et al., 2004). Tifdwarf (cv.) was found to have less thatch









than ultradwarf (cvs.) in one study (Hollingsworth et al., 2005), while others showed Tifdwarf

had equal or greater thatch depth than ultradwarfs a year after planting (Cisar, 1999b; McCarty

and Canegallo, 2005). The ultradwarfs used in our study had similar thatch depths (National

Turfgrass Evaluation Program, 1998; White, 2004).

Control of Soil Organic Matter

Hollow tine aerification three times yearly, using 1.3 cm or greater tines, is considered

adequate for managing root zone physical characteristics in Florida (Foy, 2000), although four or

more HTA may be needed to improve highly-trafficked greens (Unruh and Elliott 1999). Dr.

Carrow found HTA two times yr-, with 45.6-60.9 m3 USGA sand ha-1 used to fill aerification

holes effectively diluted soil organic matter, and increased macropore space in a creeping

bentgrass green (O'Brien and Hartwiger, 2003). He also found STA, HTA and slicing improved

Ksat for three to eight weeks (Carrow, 2003). When hydraulic conductivity samples were taken

soon after aerification, before turf was completely healed, field readings were found to be similar

to lab readings whether or not verdure was removed (Carrow, 2004a). Once the bentgrass green

had recovered, field readings with verdure intact were slower than lab results, which again had

verdure removed (Carrow, 2004a). Decreased Ksat was also found to occur in cooler months

when leaf tissue growth was limited, and root growth was accelerated, as macropores (>0.12 mm

diameter) became clogged with new root growth (Carrow, 2004a, c). A study conducted in

Arkansas on bentgrass greens showed that, although not as effective in penetrating the entire

thatch-mat layer, verticutting 2.5 cm deep with 3mm wide blades was more effective than HTA

in removing SOM in the first inch of the root zone (Landreth, et al., 2007). Their most

aggressive HTA treatment impacted less than 10% surface area compared to >20% impacted by

verticutting. Since the upper 10 cm of a USGA green changes most over time, particularly from

OM deposition (White, 2006), it is this region that is normally targeted by cultural practices.









Although verticutting and HTA are routinely used in cultural management programs to

control SOM, the pros and cons of these practices may not be entirely understood, as published

results are highly variable. Some researchers note the ability of these practices to reduce SOM,

while others have found little or no reduction. One agronomist claims aerification will help

prolong a greens life span, but SOM can still build up to detrimental levels and require

renovation of the top four inches (White, 2006).

Cultural practices are looked upon negatively by most of the golfing public (Hartwiger and

O'Brien, 2001; Vavrek, 2002), and when golfers hear that greens have been "ripped up" they

will usually shun the course, and play elsewhere until damage has recovered. Since this can

cause an 18-hole facility to lose $100,000 a week in lost revenue, much thought needs to be put

into developing a cultural program that allows greens to remain in optimum playing condition,

while at the same time satisfying the physiological needs of turfgrass. This is especially true in

geographical locations where a single HTA impacts a substantial part of their growing season

(Bevard, 2005). Many superintendents have foregone the 'Big Holes, Big Spacing' program

recommended by USGA for less disruptive solid deep-tine, hydroject, or 6 mm hollow tine

programs (Vavrek, 2007).

The objectives of this experiment were to evaluate seasonal impacts of commonly used

cultural management practices on United States Golf Association ultradwarf bermudagrass

putting green properties to determine optimum timing and effectiveness of treatments.









CHAPTER 3
EFFECTS OF TURFGRASS CULTIVATION PRACTICES ON ORGANIC MATTER, SOIL
PHYSICAL PROPERTIES, AND TURFGRASS CHARACTERISTICS

Materials and Methods

Experimental Background

This study was performed on the FLREC ultradwarf bermudagrass research green from

2007 to 2008. The research green was established in 1999 using a 90:10 (sand:sphagnum peat,

v/v), USGA specified green soil mix (USGA Green Section Staff, 2004). FloraDwarf, TifEagle,

and Champion ultradwarf bermudagrass varieties were planted due to their availability and

popularity at the time (Cisar, et al., 2003; Foy, 2000). After eight years of growth, and a two-

year period of minimal cultural management practices prior to initiation, the ultradwarf research

green had 1.6 cm of thatch-mat, and a 6 cm deep dark organic layer. Below the deep thatch-mat

and dark organic layers was a noticeably lighter layer which appeared to be stained by inorganic

and organic acid leachate. Below this layer was the unadulterated original greens mix. The dark

organic layer averaged 40 g kg-1 SOM with no significant differences among treatments or

grasses, while the lighter layer had approximately 5 g kg-1 SOM.

The green was mowed daily at 3 mm height, and fertilized annually with 100 g N m-2, 26 g

P m-2, and 91 g K m-2. Pesticides (i.e., fungicides, and insecticides) were applied only when

turfgrass decline due to biotic factors became unacceptable. Chlorothalonil, and bifenthrin were

used to control surface algae and sod webworms on an as needed basis at label rates.

Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis

A split-plot, randomized complete block design was used for the ultradwarf

bermudagrasses in order to increase treatment effect precision (Littell et al., 2006). Grasses were

oriented in east-west rows as whole plot units, with six cultural management treatments

randomly assigned to each row as sub-plot units (Littell et al., 2006). Each row received all six









treatments, which included hollow tine aerification (HTA): one, two, and three times yearly,

solid tine aerification (STA) five times yearly, deep verticutting three times yearly, and an

untreated control. To reduce spatial variability the experimental area was further separated into

randomized blocks and each block contained a complete replication (Littell et al., 2006). SAS

PROC MIXED, and SAS PROC GLIMMIX (SAS, 2004), both using Tukey's multiple-

comparison procedure, were used to determine significant differences (P<0.05).

Two completely separate studies were conducted. One started in March 2007, the Spring-

Summer study, and one started in July 2007, the summer-fall study. Spring-Summer treatments

were applied to eighteen rows of FloraDwarf, TifEagle, and Champion, making up six complete

replications. Summer-Fall treatments were applied to a separate area of the green, and consisted

of five rows each of FloraDwarf and TifEagle, and three rows of Champion.

Turfgrass Cultivation Treatments

Hollow tine aerification. Hollow tine aerification was performed with a walking core

aerator (model ProCore 648, The Toro Company, Bloomington, MN) one, two, or three times

yearly. Putting green surface area and volumetric soil impact, to a depth of three inches, was 7.7,

15.4, and 23.1%, respectively, for each level of HTA. Cores were removed with 1.6 cm inner

diameter hollow tines, on 5.1 cm centers (O'Brien and Hartwiger, 2003), and set to a 7.6 cm

depth. Ejected cores were picked up with a scoop shovel and discarded. Each HTA application

required 47.2 m3 (4.7 mm) USGA sand ha1 to fill the aerification holes and smooth the surface

(Hartwiger 2004). In addition, 42.7 m3 (4.3 mm) USGA sand ha1 yr', applied as surface

topdressing (O'Brien and Hartwiger, 2003), was uniformly applied over all HTA treatments.

This combination added 89.9, 137.1, and 184.3 m3 (8.9, 13.7, and 18.4 mm) USGA sand ha' yr'

for the one, two, and three-time HTA treatments, respectively. This methodology provided

suboptimal, optimal, and supraoptimal treatments when compared to USGA guidelines for yearly









surface impact and topdressing. Our optimal HTA treatment (i.e., two-time yearly) mimicked

the USGA's 'Big Holes, Big Spacing' approach (O'Brien and Hartwiger, 2003).

The Spring-Summer study HTA treatments started in March 2007 with the first application

of the three-time a year treatment (Table 3-1). Two months later, in May, all HTA treatments

were performed. In July the last application of the two, and three-time yearly HTA were

performed. The Summer-Fall study treatments started in July 2007 with all HTA treatments

being performed (Table 3-2), since it was the peak of the growing season. Two months later, in

September, the two, and three-time yearly HTA were performed. In November, the last three-

time yearly HTA was performed.

Verticutting. A deep (2.5 cm) vertical mowing treatment (i.e., verticutting) was performed

three times yearly with a commercial scarifier (model 117462, Sisis Equipment (Macclesfield)

Ltd., Cheshire, England). Yearly putting green surface area and volumetric impact, to a depth of

three inches, was 46.8, and 15.6%, respectively. The two mm wide steel blades were set 2.5 cm

deep, and an average of 21.4 m3 (2.2 mm) USGA sand ha1 was used to fill in grooves and

smooth the surface after each treatment. In addition, 42.7 m3 (4.3 mm) USGA sand ha-1 yr' was

applied as surface topdressing for an average total of 106.9 m3 (10.7 mm) ha' yr'. Debris was

swept up with a push broom, collected with a scoop shovel and discarded.

Spring-Summer verticutting treatments were applied in March, May and July 2007 (Table

3-1). Summer-Fall verticutting treatments were applied in July, September and November 2007

(Table 3-2).

Solid tine aerification. Solid tine aerification was performed with the same Toro aerator

used for HTA treatments. This procedure was implemented monthly in an attempt to increase

decomposition of OM, SOM, infiltration, oxygen flow, Ksat and encourage root growth with less









surface disruption than HTA and verticutting (Carrow, 2003; Vavrek, 2002). Initially, 10.2 cm

long tines were used in an attempt to reach below the dark organic layer, but since considerable

turf damage was observed we changed to shorter (7.6 cm) tines for the Summer-Fall treatments.

Since damage was excessive in the Spring-Summer treatments, it required 39.6 m3 (4.0 mm)

USGA sand ha1 yr' to fill in holes and smooth the surface. Summer-Fall treatments required

only 21.4 m3 (2.1 mm) USGA sand ha- yr' to fill in holes and smooth the surface, as turfgrass

damage was less severe with the shorter tines. In addition, 42.7 m3 (4.3 mm) USGA sand ha'

yr' was applied to each study as surface topdressing. Results for the Spring-Summer applied

solid tine treatments will be shown in figures and tables but not discussed in the text, as results

were irregular.

Control. The control treatment and all other treatments, received 42.7 m3 (4.3 mm) USGA

sand ha1 yr' applied as a surface topdressing and light vertical mowing (i.e., grooming).

Topdressing was applied using a calibrated rotary spreader (The Scotts Company, Marysville,

OH) with rates and timings dependent on turfgrass growth (Carrow, 2003; O'Brien and

Hartwiger, 2003), and ranged from 1.52-3.05 m3 (0.15-0.30 mm) USGA sand ha- for each

application. Grooming was performed 32 times annually using a commercial walk mower

(model 522, Jacobsen, A Textron Company, Charlotte, NC) with grooming attachment. The

walk mower was set to a 3.2 mm height, and grooming blades reached 1.6 mm below the

bedknife. This allowed grooming blades to cut lateral growth with only minimal disturbance to

the underlying soil matrix. Each grooming was performed in a direction different from the last

in order to impact directional growth (i.e., grain) from a variety of angles (Foy, 2005), and allow

incorporation of topdressing through the dense turfgrass surface (Carrow, 2004b; Foy, 1999;

Vavrek, 2006).









Physical Measurements

Thatch depth. Thatch depth was determined by direct physical measurement and a

'Volkmeter', which is a weight-based thatch displacement instrument (Volk, 1972). Direct

physical thatch measurements were taken at experiment initiation and after all treatments

recovered. An open sided, 1.9 cm diameter soil probe was used to provide a clear view of the

entire soil profile. Non-destructive, rapidly repeated thatch measurements were taken with the

Volkmeter (Cisar and Snyder, 2003; Volk, 1972). The device had a cylinder with 7.92 cm2 of

surface area which provided a load of 570 g cm-3 (Volk, 1972). A 10 time multiplication of

compression gauge was used to increase ease of measurement (Volk, 1972). Readings showed a

highly significant (p < 0.001) positive regression between surface compressibility and thickness

of thatch (Volk, 1972). The resultant regression line (Y=2.72+2.64X) was used to determine

thatch depth and measure surface compressibility (Volk, 1972). Three readings were taken in

each 2.4 m2 plot and each was used separately in statistical analysis.

Organic matter content. Organic matter content in the thatch layer was determined from

10 cm diameter by approximately 15 cm deep cup cutter cores. Thatch was separated from the

core with a long knife and then oven dried at 1050C for 24 hours before weighing. The "pelts"

were then put into a 550C muffle furnace for four hours to oxidize OM, and re-weighed to

determine OM (by weight) lost on ignition.

Soil organic matter content. SOM levels were established from 5.1 cm wide and 9.5 cm

soil cores. A handheld soil sampler 1.9 cm wide, with an open-side profile, was inserted 15 cm

deep in order to collect only the dark organic layer, which was located below thatch-mat, and

above the unconsolidated lightly stained layer. This sampling method was used to determine the

worse case scenario for SOM, as the other method sometimes included portions of the lightly

stained layer. In less mature greens, an even larger portion of the lightly stained layer would be









included and actual SOM levels may be diluted. Samples were oven-dried at 1050C for 24 hours

to accommodate the removal of contaminants (e.g., stems, and gravel) with a 2 mm (#10) sieve.

Samples were weighed and put into a 550C muffle furnace for four hours to oxidize OM. The

soil samples were then re-weighed to determine SOM loss on ignition. We also compared three

separate sieving methods to determine their affects on SOM levels. A #10 (2 mm) sieve, which

is the one most commonly used in soil testing labs, was compared to a smaller #35 (0.5 mm)

sieve and no sieve at all.

Root weights. Root weights were determined from 10 cm diameter by approximately 15

cm deep cup cutter cores in order to obtain more measureable weights and reach below the root

zone. Thatch was removed from the core with a long knife, while the rest of the core was

washed through a 2 mm screen to remove the mineral fraction. Samples were then oven dried at

105C for 24 hours before weighing.

Soil physical properties. Ksat, bulk density, pore space and water- holding capacity were

established using ASTM F method 1815-97, minus the cylinder loading step. Weight of the

pycnometer [i.e., poly vinyl chloride (PVC) rings] when filled with water for relative density

(i.e., particle density) determination was obtained from saturated Ksat soil cores. Calculations

for ASTM D 854-83[1] methods were used. A 5.1 cm diameter by 7.6 cm deep soil core was

used in all cases except for Ksat with verdure intact. For Ksat with verdure there was an

additional 1.8 cm deep ring on top, making the total sample 9.4 cm deep.

Ksat was determined both with verdure intact and removed. Soil cores were first

inundated in water with verdure intact to remove gas bubbles, then placed onto a constant head

permeameter for four hours before measurements were recorded. Verdure was then removed by









cutting off the 1.8 cm top ring with a long knife. Cores were then re-saturated from underneath

and placed onto the constant head permeameter for an additional hour before sampling.

Qualitative Measurements

Golf course greens are composed of many factors that influence quality and playability.

These include denseness and color of canopy, rate of recovery, ball roll speed, surface

compressibility, extent of scalping, localized dry spot, disease, and rate of recovery. Shoot

counts from 20 cm2 cores were manually counted. Visual denseness, and color of canopy were

rated weekly as quality on a 1-10 scale; 1 = dead, 6 = minimally acceptable, and 10 = best

possible turf quality. Recovery was rated weekly on a 1-10 scale; 10= completely recovered.

Ball roll speed was obtained by averaging the distance of two golf balls, rolled in two opposite

directions, using a 19-cm modified USGA stimpmeter (Gaussoin et al., 1995). Surface

compressibility was measured weekly with the Volkmeter. Mower scalping was rated on a 1-10

scale; 10 = complete loss ofturfgrass cover. Localized dry spot, and fungus were rated on a 1-10

scale; 10 represented complete plot coverage. Recovery from treatments was rated on a 1-10

scale; 10 = completely recovered.

Results and Discussion

Surface Compressibility

Although effects of cultural practice treatments on SOM were the main focus of this

project, many other peripheral factors were analyzed. One of the most interesting results was the

cultural practice treatments' effect on surface compressibility. The Volkmeter, developed by

Gaylord Volk of UF for determination of thatch depth, uncovered notable differences in surface

compressibility among treatments and grasses (Figures 3-1 to 3-6). The control treatment was

consistently "spongier" as indicated by higher Volkmeter readings (Figures 3-1 to 3-4), which

indicated the weight used to measure surface compression sunk further down into the thatch









layer. Verticutting had lower Volkmeter readings, indicative of a firmer surface (Figures 3-1 to

3-4). When analyzed as repeated measures over the entire study, a clear indication of

effectiveness of treatments on surface compressibility became apparent (Figures 3-3, 3-4). One-

time HTA had less surface compressibility than the control, which was spongiest (Figures 3-3, 3-

4). Each additional HTA further reduced surface compressibility, and verticutting was more

effective than all HTA treatments for both studies (Figures 3-3, 3-4). Although verticutting

produced the firmest surface during each 35 week study, HTA 3x had an as firm, and sometimes

firmer surface after this time frame due to its larger volumetric impact. On several occasions,

particularly after September 14, 2007 during the Spring-Summer study, TifEagle had the least

surface compressibility (Figure 3-5). The Summer-Fall study showed Champion was firmer on

most occasions up to week 15 (i.e., November 12, 2007), when TifEagle started to become

firmer (Figure 3-6). The firmness of Champion in the second study was because plots were near

the edge of green. This was unavoidable as there were only three plots of Champion available.

Thatch Levels

The Volkmeter assessed physical thatch depth rather accurately at the initiation of both

studies, as initial readings were 1.65 and 1.69 cm, versus direct physical thatch measurements of

1.67 and 1.66 cm for the Spring-Summer, and Summer-Fall studies, respectively (Table 3-3).

Volkmeter readings quickly became varied among treatments after the first application of

cultural practices, although physical thatch depth had not necessarily changed and ashed organic

matter weights were statistically similar. A final physical thatch depth of 1.62 cm in the Spring-

Summer study was only 0.05 cm less than the initial measurement (Table 3-3). Volkmeter

readings for the control and verticutting treatments taken at the same time (i.e., week 21, Figure

3-1) were 1.79, and 1.42 cm, respectively. Increased Volkmeter readings above direct physical

measurements for the control could be due to aggressive summer top growth, and lack of









appreciable impact on the thatch layer, while reduced Volkmeter readings for the verticutting are

probably due to a substantial impact on the thatch layer, and the incorporation of sand into

treatment openings.

Since direct physical measurement of thatch was not necessarily being represented after the

initiation of treatments, Volkmeter readings were considered to represent the "effective thatch

depth". For example, although actual thatch depth may still be in excess of 1.6 cm, changes

brought about by verticutting reduced its impact to 1.4 cm. Another interesting note was that

HTA and verticutting firmed up our soft 'spongy' green, while other research has shown that

HTA actually softened up firm greens (McCarty et al., 2007). This demonstrates the potential of

cultural practices to adjust surface compressibility to a moderate level depending on whether

preexisting surface conditions are either too firm, or too soft. The surface firming observed in

this experiment could be tied to reduced organic matter concentration in the thatch layer, as

verticutting had lower levels than the control in both studies and HTA 3x was lower in the

Summer-Fall study. TifEagle had least among grasses in the Spring-Summer study and

exhibited the least mower scalping.

An overall surface firming trend occurred from September to November in both studies

(Figures 3-1, 3-2, 3-5, 3-6). This could be due to either a firming effect from grooming and

topdressing, or a physiological turfgrass response to declining temperatures and resultant

changes in soil and surface characteristics. The grooming and topdressing hypothesis is less

likely because although they were both applied to the Summer-Fall study for four months prior

to initiation, compressibility was still very close to initial Spring-Summer readings (Table 3-3).

A noticeable increase in surface firmness started in September for both studies as air and soil

temperatures declined. This transition period from maximum to moderated growth brings about









distinct changes in surface characteristics that are known to provide optimum putting conditions

in southern regions where bermudagrass is grown (O'Brien and Hartwiger, 2007). Although

ultradwarf bermudagrasses can tolerate appreciably lower cutting heights during this period,

superintendents will actually increase their height of cut to slow down excessive green speeds

that can occur (O'Brien and Hartwiger, 2007). These increased green speeds are due to a

combination of decreased turfgrass top growth that reduces friction from leaf surface and surface

firming brought about by increased production of roots (O'Brien and Hartwiger, 2007).

Soil Organic Matter

USGA agronomists recommend impacting 15-20% of the putting green surface each year

with hollow tine aerification, and topdressing with 121.9-152.4 m3 (12.2-15.2 mm) USGA sand

ha-1 yr- to dilute SOM (Obrien and Hartwiger, 2003). Even though our treatments exceeded the

USGA's recommendations, there was no significant reduction of SOM concentration among

grasses or treatments in either study (Table 3-4, 3-5). There was a notable increase in SOM

between initial and final levels in the Summer-Fall study (Table 3-4, 3-5). Soil organic matter in

the Ksat core samples increased 22.3% (i.e., 0.6 g cm3), while it increased 19.6% (i.e., 0.8 g

cm3) in the dark layer. This seasonal increase in SOM could have caused a reduction in pore

space, Ksat, and Dp, and increased Db (Tables 3-11 to 3-16). Since Summer-Fall study root

weights were 167% greater than those in the Summer-Fall study (Table 3-8), it would be

reasonable to assume that there was substantial root production between November and

February. These new roots would have filled in previously open pores, reducing pore space. If

that was the case, Ksat would be expected to decrease as naturally occurring drainage channels

became filled with new growth. Relative density could also decrease with increased SOM

concentration because SOM has lower density than mineral particles. Bulk density could

increase as previously empty pores fill with roots, increasing the overall mass of a sample.









Scalping

Scalping, which is the excessive removal of leaf tissue from mowing (Christians, 1998),

had occurred frequently on the research green due to excessive sponginess of the thatch layer

(McCarty and Canegallo, 2005). Scalping was most severe in the heat of the summer when top

growth was accelerated. Scalping was especially severe when mowing was performed from

south to north, against the grain (Foy, 2006). When ratings were taken after a notable incidence

of scalping, verticutting treatments showed significantly less (P<0.01) overall scalping than all

other treatments in the Spring-Summer study (Figures 3-7 to 3-9). This is due to the removal of

'spongy' thatch matter, and surface firming brought about by incorporation of topdressing into

grooves. Results were similar in the Summer-Fall study when verticutting again scalped least,

but it was only significantly less than HTA 2x, HTA 3x, and solid tine aerification (Figures 3-10,

3-11). A shallower (i.e., one cm deep) verticutting performed over the Summer-Fall study area

prior to initiation may have reduced scalping for the other treatments, making them more similar

to verticutting (Figures 3-7 to 3-11). Note also that although shorter solid tines were used for the

Summer-Fall study scalping was still appreciable (Figure 3-10). Solid and HTA treatments

caused mower scalping due to surface disruption, while the control plots scalped due to increased

sponginess of the thatch layer.

TifEagle exhibited least overall scalping during the Spring-Summer study, while

FloraDwarf scalped less than Champion (Figures 3-12, 3-13). Overall scalping results in the

Summer-Fall study were similar, although not as significant (P=0.09, Figures 3-14, 3-15).

Again, this was probably due to the prior shallow verticutting that alleviated scalping symptoms.

Results obtained among treatments and grasses for mower scalping shows a relationship between

scalping and surface firmness, as verticutting and TifEagle were usually firmer, and scalped the

least.









Physical Turfgrass Characteristics

Shoot counts. Shoot counts were reduced more by verticutting than one-time HTA, two-

time HTA, and the control in the Spring-Summer study (Figure 3-16, Table 3-6). Reduction in

shoot counts may actually reduce sponginess and scalping as verticutting scalped the least over

the Spring-Summer study (Figures 3-7 to 3-9). Although Champion had most shoots after both

studies, there were no statistical differences among grasses during either study (Table 3-6). This

shows a possible correlation between shoots and scalping as Champion scalped most severely

over the Spring-Summer study (Figures 3-12, 3-13).

Grass clippings. Verticutting had fewer clippings after Spring-Summer treatments were

applied, and allowed to recover (Figure 3-17). After the Summer-Fall study verticutting, and

HTA 3x had fewer clippings than solid tine aerification (Figure 3-18). Clippings among grasses

were only significantly affected in the Spring-Summer study when Champion had fewest (Figure

3-19). This could be due to the damage Champion incurred from mower scalping, which could

have affected tissue production or reduced the number of shoots.

Ball roll. Although verticutting was slightly faster than other treatments in the Spring-

Summer study, and equal to the fastest treatment in the Summer-Fall study, no significant

differences among grasses or treatments were found for ball roll when treatments were allowed

to recover (Table 3-7). A notable 22.4% overall average increase in ball roll was realized in the

Summer-Fall study due to previously mentioned changes in surface characteristics brought about

by cooler temperatures (Table 3-7).

Root weights. No significant differences among grasses or treatments were found for oven

dry root weights in either study, though average Summer-Fall study root weights were over twice

that, 19.2 versus 7.2 g, of the Spring-Summer study (Table 3-8). This increase in root zone









biomass can possibly be correlated to the decreased Ksat, pore space and relative density, and

increased bulk density that occurred in the Summer-Fall study.

Localized dry spot. A dry-down of the research green produced substantial localized dry

spot (LDS) symptoms and verticutting exhibited less LDS than HTA 3x in both studies (Figures

3-20, 3-21, Table 3-9). TifEagle exhibited the lowest (P<0.10) LDS symptoms among grasses

in the Spring-Summer study (Figure 3-22, Table 3-9). Verticutting also had higher volumetric

water content (VWC) than HTA 3x in both studies (Figures 3-23, 3-24, Table 3-10), while

TifEagle had highest VWC among grasses in the Spring-Summer study (Figure 3-25, Table 3-

10). This would help explain why LDS symptoms were reduced for TifEagle over the Spring-

Summer study (Figure 3-22, Table 3-9). This reduction in VWC and subsequent increase in

LDS for HTA 3x was due to removal of cores that contain appreciable SOM and water-holding

capacity. Hollow tine aerification can also create fast draining channels, especially when side

walls become sealed due to mechanical friction. These channels do not allow water to move

sideways into the root zone so water can quickly percolate below the root zone and become

unavailable to the turfgrass. TifEagle exhibited fewest (P<0.10) LDS symptoms (Figure 3-22,

Table 3-9) and highest VWC among grasses (Figure 3-25, Table 3-10), most probably due to

inherent growth characteristics.

Qualitative Turfgrass Characteristics

Quality. All cultural practices negatively affected turfgrass quality due to a disruption of

the putting surface. Hollow tine aerification and verticutting negatively impacted 7.7, and 15.6%

of a greens surface with each application caused the greens surface to become uneven, increased

mower scalping and caused ball roll to slow for two weeks (McCarty et al., 2007). When

analyzed as repeated measures, the control had the highest average quality in both studies

(Figures 3-26, 3-27; Table 3-11). Although the control had higher overall quality ratings,









verticutting had higher ratings on eight occasions during the Spring-Summer study (Figure 3-26).

This was a result of reduced scalping due to a firmer surface and a greening effect possibly

brought about by the release of N from disturbed organic matter (Figure 3-28). Verticutting and

HTA 3x had statistically similar quality in the Spring-Summer study (Figure 3-26), but HTA 3x

had higher overall quality in the Summer-Fall study (Figure 3-27; Table 3-11). The reduction of

quality in verticutting plots over the Summer-Fall study occurred due to the shallow verticutting

that was performed prior to initiation of study. Since turf had not completely recovered, damage

was worse than expected and ratings suffered throughout the study. Hollow tine aerification lx,

HTA 2x and solid tine aerification exhibited statistically similar overall quality, which was lower

than the control but higher than HTA 3x and verticutting in the Summer-Fall study (Figure 3-27;

Table 3-11).

Champion had lower quality than TifEagle over the Spring-Summer study (Figure 3-29;

Table 3-11). Champion seemed to have aggressive top growth that increased mower scalping

during hot summer months (Figure 3-12), as that is when its quality was lowest (Figure 3-29;

Table 3-11). Grasses had statistically similar quality ratings in the Summer-Fall study (Figure 3-

30; Table 3-11). This was probably due to the location of Champion plots near edge of treatment

area, which was firmer and subsequently scalped less.

Recovery. Hollow tine aerification and verticutting took a similar amount of time to

recover in both studies although verticutting was at times more damaging (Figures 3-31, 3-32;

Table 3-12). They both took five weeks longer to recover after final treatments were applied in

the Summer-Fall study compared to the Spring-Summer study (Figure 3-31, 3-32; Table 3-12).

This was due to cooler air and soil temperatures, which slowed bermudagrass growth. Overall

recovery ratings for HTA lx, and the control were statistically similar in both studies. Solid tine









aerification joined them in the Summer-Fall study, as it also had highest average recovery ratings

after tine length was reduced 2.5 cm (Figure 3-32; Table 3-12). Hollow tine aerification 2x,

HTA 3x, and verticutting had lower recovery ratings in both studies (Figure 3-31, 3-32; Table 3-

12). This meant that damage was more extensive over the course of both studies from these

treatments compared to the control. Champion was slightly slower (P<0.15) to recover in the

Spring-Summer study due to regularly observed mower scalping (Figure 3-12).

Soil Physical Properties

Saturated hydraulic conductivity. Hollow tine aerification 3x had the fastest Ksat (41.7

cm hr') after the Spring-Summer study (P<0.01), while verticutting and control were slowest

(18.9, and 20.2 cm hr'); all treatments averaged 31.5 cm hr' (Figure 3-33; Table 3-13).

Although 30% slower than Spring-Summer Ksat, HTA 3x had fastest (29.2 cm hr') Ksat of the

Summer-Fall study (Figure 3-34; Table 3-13). Hollow tine aerification 2x, which was

approximately 50% slower than HTA 3x, was second fastest in the Summer-Fall study. All

treatments in the Summer-Fall study averaged 11.4 cm hr', which was 64% slower than the

Spring-Summer study Ksat (Figures 3-33, 3-34; Table 3-13). Champion had slower (P=0.13,

and P=0.13) Ksat in Spring-Summer, and Summer-Fall studies, respectively (Table 3-13).

Verdure did not seem to affect Ksat negatively. Saturated hydraulic conductivity was actually

15% slower after verdure was removed in both studies. This may have been due to sealing of

naturally occurring flow channels after verdure was removed from the moist soil core with a long

knife. Overall Spring-Summer Ksat increased 10.44 cm hr', while overall Summer-Fall Ksat

decreased 2.46 cm hr' after all treatments were applied and allowed to recover (Table 3-13).

This notable decrease in Summer-Fall Ksat can be associated with the dramatically increased

root weights observed (Table 3-8).









Bulk density. Bulk density (Db) was not reduced (P=0.29) by any treatment in the

Spring-Summer study (Table 3-14). Hollow tine aerification 2x (1.37 g cm3) had lower Db than

verticutting (1.43 g cm3) in the Summer-Fall study (Figure 3-35; Table 3-14). Champion had

the lowest Db among grasses in both studies (Figures 3-36, 3-37; Table 3-14). This could be due

to Champions' growth characteristics, which may also produce more total pore space. Bulk

density decreased only marginally from an initial 1.31 g cm-3 to a final 1.24 g cm-3 in the Spring-

Summer study, while the Summer-Fall study increased substantially from an initial 1.20 g cm3

to a final 1.40 g cm3 (Table 3-14). This increase of Db in the Summer-Fall study seemed to be

linked to the same seasonal changes that increased surface firmness and ball roll in the fall.

When air and soil temperatures started falling in September, Volkmeter readings showed a

surface firming trend that may have been indicative of similar changes in root-zone

characteristics.

Reduced Ksat is one indicator of increased Db (McCarty and Brown, 2004). Bulk density

decreased 0.07 g cm-3 in the Spring-Summer study and overall Ksat increased 10.4 cm hr'

(Tables 3-13, 3-14). Bulk density in the Summer-Fall study increased 0.2 g cm-3, and overall

Ksat was reduced by 3.2 cm hr1 (Tables 3-13, 3-14). The reason for this seasonal phenomenon

is not completely understood, although it may be due to seasonal changes in soil characteristics,

microbial activity, and plant physiology. Naturally occurring fluctuations in organic matter may

also be a factor, as relative density and root weights were affected in the Summer-Fall study.

Also, compaction (i.e., increased bulk density) caused by HTA could be a factor, as Petrovic

(1979) found zones of compaction along side walls, and bottoms of aerification holes. This

compaction found at the bottom of aerification holes is similar to the plow pan that can occur









during farming (Vavrek, 2002). The impact of this compaction is debatable as varied results

have been obtained (Vavrek, 2002).

Relative density. Relative density (Dp), which is the ratio of the weight of the soil to the

weight of an equal volume of water (Liu and Evett, 1990), increased only slightly (2.68 to 2.70 g

cm3) in the Spring-Summer study, while it decreased from 2.56 to 2.17 g cm3 in the Summer-

Fall study (Table 3-15). Verticutting had lowest Dp in the Spring-Summer study, while HTA 2x

and 3x had higher Dp due to incorporation of sand into the root-zone (Figure 3-38). There were

no Dp treatment differences in the Summer-Fall study (Table 3-15), although overall Dp

decreased substantially (0.39 g cm-3) from initial levels. The Summer-Fall study decrease in Dp

is probably because of the aforementioned seasonal changes, which in this case overrode any

effects of HTA because underground turfgrass production increased substantially. There were

no differences in Dp among grasses in the Spring-Summer study, although Champion had lowest

and FloraDwarf had highest after the Summer-Fall study (Table 3-15). The decrease in Dp for

grasses in the Summer-Fall study may be due to physiological changes that increased SOM in

the form of roots and underground plant parts.

Total pore space. Overall total pore space (TPS) increased slightly from 51.2 to 54.1 % in

the Spring-Summer study after treatments were applied and allowed to recover, while it

decreased substantially from 53.1 to 35.3 % in the Summer-Fall study (Figure 3-39, 3-40; Table

3-16). All treatments, including the control had more TPS at the end of the Spring-Summer

study, while Summer-Fall TPS decreased substantially from initial levels, regardless of treatment

(Table 3-16). Hollow tine aerification 3x had most TPS, while HTA lx, verticutting and the

control had least TPS in the Spring-Summer study (Figure 3-39). After the Summer-Fall study

HTA 2x and HTA 3x had most TPS, while verticutting had the least (Figure 3-40). All HTA









treatments were statistically similar to each other in both studies. Champion had more TPS than

both FloraDwarf and TifEagle in the Spring-Summer study (Table 3-16), which could be

indicative of an aggressive summer top-growth habit that limits root production. No grass TPS

differences were found in the Summer-Fall study (Table 3-16).

Macropore space. Overall macropore space (MAPS) increased from 12.4 to 17.7 % in the

Spring-Summer study (Figure 3-41; Table 3-17), while it decreased from 18.0 to 9.8 % in the

Summer-Fall study (Figure 3-42; Table 3-17). Verticutting had least MAPS after Spring-

Summer treatments were applied and allowed to recover (Figure 3-41; Table 3-17). Hollow tine

aerification 3x had most MAPS, while HTA Ix, verticutting and the control had least in the

Summer-Fall study (Figure 3-42; Table 3-17).

Micropore space. Micropore space (MIPS) decreased slightly from 38.8 to 36.4 % after

Spring-Summer treatments were applied and allowed to recover (Table 3-18), while it decreased

substantially from 35.1 to 25.5 % in the Summer-Fall study (Table 3-18). There were no

treatment differences in the Spring-Summer, or Summer-Fall studies (Table 3-18).

Water holding capacity. Overall water holding capacity by weight (WHC) decreased

very slightly from 29.8 to 29.7 % in the Spring-Summer study (Table 3-19), while it decreased

substantially from 29.5 to 18.3 % in the Summer-Fall study (Table 3-19). There were no

treatment differences in the Spring-Summer, or Summer-Fall studies (Table 3-19). Champion

had most WHC among grasses in the Spring-Summer study, while TifEagle had least (Table 3-

19). No grass differences were found in either study (Table 3-19).

Conclusions

Treatments used in this experiment, even though meeting and exceeding USGA

recommendations for surface impact and topdressing, did not impact enough of the root-zone to

significantly reduce SOM. If HTA treatments were performed more frequently (e.g., four or five









times) or repeated for another year, there may have been an appreciable reduction of SOM.

McCarty et al. (2007) used similar treatments in a two-year study and found no reduction of

organic matter in the top 5.1 cm the first year, while a reduction was noted in the second year for

the HTA 4x combined with verticutting 2x treatment. Another thing to consider is that their

green was only three years old with 1.4% (wt) SOM and ours was eight years old and had an

average of 4% (wt) SOM. It may be more difficult to dilute SOM in a more mature green.

Since verticutting eventually had higher quality, fewer clippings, firmest surface, least

mower scalping, and localized dry spot it seemed to be the most beneficial treatment in our

experiment, especially since no other treatment significantly reduced OM or SOM. Due to its

higher overall quality and reduced scalping, TifEagle stood out as the best overall grass studied.

Naturally-occurring seasonal changes in turfgrass growth appeared to supplant the impact

of cultural practices on most USGA green soil properties, particularly when applied later in the

year. Bulk density increased, while pore space and Ksat decreased substantially in the Summer-

Fall study, regardless of treatment. Since cultural practices are much less effective when applied

later in the year, it is best to start them in the spring. This timing would also allow extra

aerification or verticutting applications to be made in the summer when golfer play is at a

minimum. When play is at its peak in the winter, all treatments would be fully recovered and the

greens will be at their best.










Table 3-1. Specifications and timings of"spring-summer" cultural practices used on ultradwarf
bermudagrass research putting green, 2007.
Treatment Timing Tine Tine Tine Surface Volumetric Sand
Spacing Depth Width Area Area Applied
(cm) (cm) (cm) Impacted Impacted* (m3)
(%) (%)
Control
Hollow tine One time: 5.1 7.6 1.6 7.7 7.7 47.3
May
Hollow tine Two times: 5.1 7.6 1.6 15.4 15.4 94.6
May, July
Hollow tine Three times: 5.1 7.6 1.6 23.1 23.1 141.9
March, May,
July
Verticut Three times: 1.3 2.5 0.2 46.8 15.6 48.8
March, May,
July
Solid tine Five times: 5.1 10.2 1.0 15.7 15.7 39.6
March-July
All treatments received grooming 32 times yearly, and an additional 42.7 m3 (4.3 mm) USGA sand
ha-1 year-. *Volumetric area impacted is based on a 7.6 cm depth.










Table 3-2. Specifications and timings of "summer-fall" cultural practices used on ultradwarf
bermudagrass research putting green, 2007.
Treatment Timing Tine Tine Tine Surface Volumetric Sand
Spacing Depth Width Area Area Applied
(cm) (cm) (cm) Impacted Impacted* (m3)
(%) (%)
Control
Hollow tine One time: 5.1 7.6 1.6 7.7 7.7 47.3
May
Hollow tine Two times: 5.1 7.6 1.6 15.4 15.4 94.6
May, July
Hollow tine Three times: 5.1 7.6 1.6 23.1 23.1 141.9
March, May,
July
Verticut Three times: 1.3 2.5 0.2 46.8 15.6 79.3
March, May,
July
Solid tine Five times: 5.1 7.6 1.0 15.7 15.7 21.4
March-July
All treatments received grooming 32 times yearly, and an additional 42.7 m3 (4.3 mm) USGA sand
ha-1 year-. *Volumetric area impacted is based on a 7.6 cm depth.

































0 4 8 10 13 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35
week
week
Levels of Treatment
--e-- Ctrl .....+.... HTA1x ------- HTA2x --...-- HTA3x
---- Solid -- -- Vertt


Figure 3-1. Comparison of spring-summer applied cultural practices on surface compressibility
(cm). Readings were taken from March 10 to November 16, 2007. Verticutting and
hollow tine aerification (HTA) 3x yr-1 became statistically similar (P>0.05) at week
26 (=); all treatments became statistically similar (P>0.05) at week 33 (-). Note
firming trend from weeks 26-35 (September 14-November 16). Arrows (T) indicate
HTA and verticutting, while (*) indicate solid tine applications. Table 3-1 shows
complete breakdown of treatments.























w 1.4-

o



1.2-


.. *'' *


0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 _6 28 30 32 34
Week
Levels of Treatment_
--e Cntrl .....+.... HTA1x ---x--- HTA2x --*-*-- HTA3x
---- Solid Vertct


Figure 3-2. Comparison of summer-fall applied cultural practices on surface compressibility
(cm). Readings were taken from July 30 to March 31, 2008. Verticutting and hollow
tine aerification (HTA) 3x yr-' became statistically similar (P>0.05) at week 22 (=);
all treatments became statistically similar (P>0.05) at week 33 (-). Note overall
firming trend from weeks 6-16 (September 10-November 19). Arrows (1) indicate
HTA and verticutting, while (*) indicate solid tine applications. Table 3-2 shows
complete breakdown of treatments.














0 638
0 587

2.25-
0

_-- 0
0
E o o
o 2- o o
SA
,L 0
a. o
S B

r 1.75- C CD
'D
I-






1.25- o 0
0 0
o p
o --

1-
I I I I I I
Cntrl HTA 1x HTA 2x HTA 3x Solid Vertct
Treatment



Figure 3-3. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on surface compressibility (cm)
determined from average Volkmeter readings over entire study (P<0.05).













0
2- o

8 0o


E 1.75- A
o AB
B
CC


S1.5-

I-


u
W 1.25- -- --

o o


1-


I I I I I I
Cntrl HTA 1x HTA 2x HTA 3x Solid Vertct
Treatment



Figure 3-4. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on surface compressibility (cm)
determined from Volkmeter readings averaged over entire study (P<0.05).










Table 3-3. Thatch measurements for "spring-summer" and "summer-fall" studies.
Method Spring-summer Summer-fall
Thatch Depth (cm)
Initial Final Initial Final
Volkmeter 1.65 1.61 1.69 1.58
Direct 1.67 1.62 1.66 1.37
Thatch was measured prior to cultural practice treatments and after all treatments were applied and
allowed to recover. A weight-based thatch displacement instrument (i.e., Volkmeter) was used along with
direct physical measurement.























A A


*
1.2- T T

0 4 8 10 13 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35
Week
Levels of Grass
e-- Champion ..... +..- FloraDwalf ---x--- TifEagle


Figure 3-5. Comparison of spring-summer applied cultural practices on surface compressibility
(cm) among grasses. Readings were taken from March 10 to November 16, 2007.
TifEagle was notably firmer (P<0.05) on six occasions (A) after September 14 (week
26), and several times thereafter (data not shown). Note overall firming trend from
weeks 26-35 (September 14-November 16). Arrows (1) indicate hollow tine
aerification and verticutting, while (*) indicate solid tine applications. Table 3-1
shows complete breakdown of treatments.


















1.6 --
E





01.4- A A

>AA

1.35
01.4 A A +A I /2







0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Week
Levels of Grass
e--_ Champion ..... +.-.- FloraDwalf ---x--- TifEagle


Figure 3-6. Comparison of summer-fall applied cultural practices on surface compressibility
(cm) among grasses. Readings were taken from July 30 to March 31, 2008.
Champion was notably firmer (P<0.05) on 10 occasions (A) prior to November 12
(week 15) due to plot locations near end of research area. Afterwards TifEagle
started to become firmer, as was the case in the Spring-Summer study. Note overall
firming trend from weeks 6-16 (September 10-November 19). Arrows (1) indicate
hollow tine aerification and verticutting, while (*) indicate solid tine applications.
Table 3-2 shows complete breakdown of treatments.
Table 3-2 shows complete breakdown of treatments.










Table 3-4. Soil organic matter concentration in Ksat cores for "spring-summer" and "summer-
fall" studies.
Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall
g cm-3
Initial Final Initial Final
Hollow Tine Aerification (lx yr-) 3.49 a 3.19 a 2.52 a 3.40 a
Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr-) 3.32 a 3.15 a 2.75 a 3.40 a
Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr-) 3.45 a 3.38 a 2.72 a 3.34 a
Control 3.29 a 3.31 a 2.79 a 3.35 a
Verticutting (3x yr-) 3.39 a 3.56 a 2.89 a 3.32 a
Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr-) 3.36 a 3.03 a 2.80 a 3.30 a
P=0.67 P=0.31 P=0.87 P=0.89
Grass
Champion 3.58 a 3.52 a 2.89 a 3.36 a
FloraDwarf 3.24 b 3.10 a 2.70 a 3.32 a
TifEagle 3.33 b 3.19 a 2.65 a 3.37 a
P=0.001 P=0.11 P=0.60 P=0.88
Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different, at 0.05 significance level,
using Tukey-Kramer method.










Table 3-5. Soil organic matter concentration in dark layer cores for "spring-summer" and
"summer-fall" studies.
Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall
g cm-3
Initial Final Initial Final
Hollow Tine Aerification (lx yr-) 5.11 a 3.75 a 4.22 a 4.95 a
Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr-) 4.69 a 3.95 a 4.28 a 5.03 a
Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr-) 4.29 a 3.42 a 4.51 a 4.75 a
Control 4.69 a 4.10 a 4.56 a 5.13 a
Verticutting (3x yr-) 4.29 a 3.86 a 3.98 a 5.12 a
Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr-) 5.11 a 4.00 a 4.21 a 5.75 a
P=0.38 P=0.53 P=0.10 P=0.23
Grass
Champion 4.71 a 3.83 a 4.74 a 5.39 a
FloraDwarf 4.42 a 3.85 a 3.97 a 4.98 a
TifEagle 4.96 a 3.86 a 4.17 a 5.00 a
P=0.11 P=0.99 P=0.08 P=0.50
Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different, at 0.05 significance level,
using Tukey-Kramer method.
















4-

\-I- .... 4-....
3 \
\ t ./ *f \ "X ,',


S 2-

i ^. *, .' ....
,X

01


o .

5 8 11 16 17 21 24 27 28 30 32 37 39
Week
Levels ofTreatment
-- Cntrl .....+.... HTA1x --->--- HTA2x ----E-- HTA3x
----- Solid Vertct


Figure 3-7. Comparison of spring-summer applied cultural practices on mower scalping (tissue
loss). Ratings 0-9 (0 = no scalping, and 9 = completely scalped) were taken from
April 15 to December 14, 2007. Arrows (T) indicate hollow tine aerification and
verticutting, while (*) indicate solid tine applications. Table 3-1 shows complete
breakdown of treatments.













8-
0 0 0
O O O
0 0 O 1392
O -I- O

O O
In

J 0 0
0
I 0 0 1398
In
0 0

7m A A

u A


--







I I I I I I
0.










Cntrl HTA 1x HTA 2x HTA 3x Solid Vertct
Treatment



Figure 3-8. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on mower scalping (tissue loss).
Ratings 0-9 (0 = no scalping, and 9 = completely scalped) indicate average mower
scalping from April 15 to December 14, 2007. Verticutting scalped least (P<0.01).






































Figure 3-9. Severe mower scalping on all cultural treatment plots except verticutting.




















C4
X"















Week
SCnt--l ....-- HTA1x --- -- HTA2x HTA3x
3Solid ---Vect















Figure 3-10. Comparison of summer-fall applied cultural practices on mower scalping (tissue
.." '..



8 9 11 14
Week
Levels ofTreatment
-- Cntrl .....+.... HTAlx ---x--- HTA2x *-*-e-- HTA3x
----- Solid --- Vertct


Figure 3-10. Comparison of summer-fall applied cultural practices on mower scalping (tissue
loss). Ratings 0-9 (0 = no scalping, and 9 = completely scalped) were taken from
September 24 to November 5, 2007. Arrows (") indicate hollow tine aerification and
verticutting, while (*) indicate solid tine applications. Table 3-2 shows complete
breakdown of treatments.
















0145

0 0 0


41
0 6- 0148 0

011
U1
S 0 153 0

0 4 --

S4- 0 A A A -
u

SAB BAB
ST B







I I I I I I
Cntrl HTA 1x HTA 2x HTA 3x Solid Vertct
Treatment



Figure 3-11. Effects (P<0.05) of summer-fall applied cultural practices on mower scalping
(tissue loss). Ratings 0-9 (0 = no scalping, and 9 = completely scalped) indicate
average mower scalping from September 24 to November 5, 2007.




















5 2.5- 1



S\ A A
N f

t. + AA X .:
\ AI

o or







Champion +-- FloraDwaf --- -- TifEagle





from April 15 to December 14, 2007. Champion and TifEagle were significantly
different (P<0.05) on eight occasions as indicated by ( Arrows () indicate hollow
1 5 -r

1 -
>t *


5 8 11 16 17 21 24 27 28 30 32 37 39
Week
Levels of Grass
-e----- Champion .....+**** FloraDwaif ---x--- TifEagle


Figure 3-12. Comparison of spring-summer applied cultural practices on scalping (tissue loss)
among grasses. Ratings 0-9 (0 = no scalping, and 9 = completely scalped) were taken
from April 15 to December 14, 2007. Champion and TifEagle were significantly
different (P<0.05) on eight occasions as indicated by (A). Arrows (5) indicate hollow
tine aerification and verticutting, while (*) indicate solid tine applications. Table 3-1
shows complete breakdown of treatments.














8-
0 0 374
0 0 5992


n 6- 0 O l
0
S0 0 1282
S0 0
In
A 0







0 I I
m 4- 0


u









0-


Champion FloraDwarf TifEagle
Grass



Figure 3-13. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on mower scalping (tissue loss)
among grasses. Ratings 0-9 (0 = no scalping, and 9 = completely scalped) indicate
average mower scalping from April 15 to December 14, 2007. TifEagle had less
(P<0.05) mower scalping than FloraDwarf, which had less (P<0.05) than Champion.

























I I
ur



2.5 +,.

U'x

+
.,-




8 9 11 14
Week
Levels of Grass
-.e-- Champion ..... +..- FloraDwarf ---x-- TifEagle


Figure 3-14. Comparison of summer-fall applied cultural practices on mower scalping (tissue
loss) among grasses. Ratings 0-9 (0 = no scalping, and 9 = completely scalped) were
taken from September 24 to November 5, 2007. TifEagle scalped least (P<0.10) on
weeks 8, and 14. Arrows (T) indicate hollow tine aerification and verticutting, while
(*) indicate solid tine applications. Table 3-2 shows complete breakdown of
treatments.





















"O O0 271
in
,I
S6- o o o

0 0
U)
I o
01 0
ED
r.
4-














Grass




Figure 3-15. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on scalping (tissue loss) among
grasses. Ratings 0-9 (0 = no scalping, and 9 = completely scalped) indicate mower
scalping averaged from September 24 to December 5, 2007 (P=0.09).













450-




400- A

AB
AB
S350- 0 BC
ur
0 --


0 C C

300-




250-




200-
I I I I I I
Cntrl HTA 1x HTA 2x HTA 3x Solid Vertct
Treatment



Figure 3-16. Bermudagrass shoots counted from 20 cm-2 cores after spring-summer cultural
practices were applied, and allowed to recover (P<0.01).










Table 3-6. Shoot counts for "spring-summer" and "summer-fall" studies.
Treatment Spring-Summer Summer-Fall
Hollow Tine Aerification (Ix yr') 321 ab 312 a
Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr1) 324 ab 347 a
Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr-) 307 bc 342 a
Control 350 a 325 a
Verticutting (3x yr-) 275 c 342 a
Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr-) 273 c 317 a
P<0.0001 P=0.55
Grass
Champion 321 a 341 a
FloraDwarf 300 a 320 a
TifEagle 304 a 331 a
P=0.24 P=0.35
Bermudagrass shoot counts taken from 20 cm-2 cores. Mean estimates with same letter within column are
not statistically different at 0.05 significance level using Tukey-Kramer method.















20- 0




15- A
r A
-- AB
S- AB AB

____ B
e 10-





5- T 7



I I I I I I
Cntrl HTA 1x HTA 2x HTA 3x Solid Vertct
Treatment


Figure 3-17. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on bermudagrass clipping oven
dry weights (P<0.05).

























69












0 54


12.5
051
0 0


m 10-

1 oA
SAB

rc 7.5- AB
SAB 00
B --





2.5 o o -T
I I I I I I
Cntrl HTA 1x HTA 2x HTA 3x Solid Vertct
Treatment


Figure 3-18. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on bermudagrass clipping oven
dry weights (P<0.05).






















en
15- A A




m
0- 10
c 10-
E-
----



5




Champion FloiaDwali TifEagle
Grass



Figure 3-19. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on bermudagrass clipping oven
dry weights among grasses (P<0.05).











Table 3-7. Ball roll (cm) for "spring-summer" and "summer-fall" studies.
Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall
cm
Hollow Tine Aerification (lx yr') 53 a 69 a
Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr') 56 a 67 a
Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr') 55 a 68 a
Control 56 a 68 a
Verticutting (3x yr') 57 a 69 a
Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr') 54 a 67 a
P=0.20 P=0.90
Grass
Champion 54 a 68 a
FloraDwarf 57 a 68 a
TifEagle 55 a 67 a
P=0.29 P=0.89
Ball roll distances (cm) taken with a 19-cm modified USGA stimpmeter. Mean estimates with same letter
within column are not statistically different at 0.05 significance level using Tukey-Kramer method.











Table 3-8. Root weights (g) for "spring-summer" and "summer-fall" studies.
Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall
gHollow Tine Ae
Hollow Tine Aerification (Ix yr') 6.7 a 18.8 a
Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr') 6.8 a 18.0 a
Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr-') 7.0 a 19.2 a
Control 7.7 a 19.2 a
Verticutting (3x yr') 8.3 a 21.2 a
Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr') 6.2 a 18.7 a
P=0.05 P=0.18
Grass
Champion 8.0 a 26.3 a
FloraDwarf 6.9 a 14.7 a
TifEagle 6.6 a 16.5 a
P=0.30 P=0.15
Oven dry root weights (g) taken from cup cutter cores. Mean estimates with same letter within column
are not statistically different at 0.05 significance level using Tukey-Kramer method.
















A A
8- A
A A


0
6-




Pd

S4

0




2--- B



I I I I I I
Cntrl HTA 1x HTA 2x HTA 3x Solid Vertct
Treatment



Figure 3-20. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on localized dry spot (P<0.01).
Ratings: 1-10 (1 = least symptoms, and 10 = most symptoms).















8-
o A
AB
ABC

I ABC


(A



4- BC

0
2







I I I I I I
Cntrl HTA 1x HTA 2x HTA 3x Solid Vertct
Treatment



Figure 3-21. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on localized dry spot (P<0.01).
Ratings: 1-10 (1 = least symptoms, and 10 = most symptoms).
























a
6-
0
a.


V1







2-




Champion FloraDwarf TifEagle
Grass



Figure 3-22. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on localized dry spot among
grasses (P<0.10). Ratings: 1-10 (1 = least symptoms, and 10 = most symptoms).










Table 3-9. Localized dry spot for "spring-summer" and "summer-fall" studies.
Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall
Hlgw Tine Aerif
Hollow Tine Aerification (Ix yr') 5.8 a 4.0 ab
Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr') 5.4 a 4.2 ab
Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr1) 6.3 a 5.4 a
Control 4.4 a 3.0 ab
Verticutting (3x yr') 1.6 b 2.2 b
Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr') 4.6 a 4.3 ab
P<0.0001 P=0.008
Grass
Champion 5.0 a 3.6 a
FloraDwarf 4.9 a 4.2 a
TifEagle 4.0 a 3.8 a
P=0.09 P=0.66
Localized dry spot ratings: 1-10 (10 = Complete Plot Coverage). Mean estimates with same letter within
column are not statistically different at 0.05 significance level using Tukey-Kramer method.

















40- o
SA
A

SABAB
C AB
2 35
," AB
o B
O







0
a-




S300






Cntrl HTA 1x HTA 2x HTA 3x Solid Vertct
Treatment


Figure 3-23. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on volumetric water content
(P<0.01). Ratings: 1-10 (1 = least symptoms, and 10 = most symptoms). Readings
taken on November 9, 2007.
















A

"O A
40
A

I-r
E rB
S1



I 30

'6
01
.l
E

0


20-

0 17

Cntrl HTA 1x HTA 2x HTA 3x Solid Vertct
Treatment



Figure 3-24. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on volumetric water content
(P<0.01). Readings taken on February 4, 2008.




















S35- A
SAB
1-

o B

U
cu
.30-
o0











I I I
Grass
E
: 25




0
20

Champion FloiaDwai TifEagle
Grass



Figure 3-25. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on volumetric water content
among grasses (P<0.05). Readings taken on November 21, 2007.










Table 3-10. Volumetric water content (Theta) readings for "spring-summer" and "summer-fall"
studies.
Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall
gHollow Tine Ae
Hollow Tine Aerification (Ix yr') 32.2 ab 36.8 a
Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr-1) 32.4 ab 35.5 a
Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr-) 30.7 b 29.1 b
Control 35.1 a 39.3 a
Verticutting (3x yr-) 35.3 a 39.6 a
Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr') 31.8 ab 35.4 a
P=0.002 P=0.0002
Grass
Champion 29.9 ab 36.3 a
FloraDwarf 28.7 b 36.3 a
TifEagle 31.1 a 35.2 a
P=0.03 P=0.72
Volumetric water content (Theta) readings: % soil saturation. Mean estimates with same letter within
column are not statistically different at 0.05 significance level using Tukey-Kramer method.
















9-
A


8- A/ A


S7 'II I -




S/
a 06





4-

0 5 8 10 12 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35
Week
Levels of Treatment
--e- Cntrl ..... +.... HTA1x ---x--- HTA2x *---E*- HTA3x
---*-- Solid Verict


Figure 3-26. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on quality. Ratings 1-10 (1 =
Dead, 6 = Minimum Acceptable, and 10 = Best) were taken from March 10 to
November 16, 2007. Arrows (1) indicate hollow tine aerification and verticutting,
while (*) indicate solid tine applications. Verticutting had highest (P<0.05) quality
on eight occasions as indicated by (A). Table 3-1 shows complete breakdown of
treatments.
















8-



S7.5 -

/ T 4 ?T V
7i )A V 'J t+V S
.7 i I I






Week
Levels of Treatment
--e Cntrl ..... +-.... HTA1x ---x--- HTA2x --a-.-- HTA3x
--+-- Solid ------ Vertct


Figure 3-27. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on quality. Ratings 1-10 (1 =
Dead, 6 = Minimum Acceptable, and 10 = Best) were taken from 30 July 2007 to
March 31, 2008. Arrows (1) indicate hollow tine aerification and verticutting, while
(*) indicate solid tine applications. Table 3-2 shows complete breakdown of
treatments.
treatments.

























...:...












'. .. .- .... "'
L



-, ...-. ,, ,, -.': ... 4* ;
-- .. .. .
,', .-- 4.. :,- ,
,* ... :. *. L* .. I.'^ ^. ,,
.' ,y ". '. ": :- .7[ :, .- ,












Figure 3-28. Verticutting treatment showed increased quality due to a release of nitrogen from
soil organic matter, and a firmer surface that reduced scalping.





























84
.. ,. .. ,; ,, ._ ., .. .. ,. ,, ., ". .. ." ,. :' .


... ,..-, T ,,,.-:.. :.,. ,.... ;.. .. .L -. e ,'.' .. -. ',:, ,. _r 76; o = % ,. ,.,.
:... ..".,. .;" ,. ". i.',' ,-i,'o' '. ,:.-- .. ., N~ j,... .: .,, .,, ": .. <-




































84




















r8 r
8-
,t ,-x .



E ;W'\/








I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I

0 5 8 10 12 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35
Week
Levels of Grass
---- Champion ..... +.** FloraDwarf ---x--- TifEagle


Figure 3-29. Comparison of spring-summer applied cultural practices on quality among grasses.
Ratings 1-10 (1 = Dead, 6 = Minimum Acceptable, and 10 = Best) were taken from
March 10 to November 16, 2007. Arrows (1) indicate hollow tine aerification and
verticutting, while (*) indicate solid tine applications. Table 3-1 shows complete
breakdown of treatments.
























E +
++







6.5 -

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34
Week
Levels of Grass
e-- Champion ..... +..- FloraDwalf ---x--- TifEagle


Figure 3-30. Comparison of summer-fall applied cultural practices on quality among grasses.
Ratings 1-10 (1 = Dead, 6 = Minimum Acceptable, and 10 = Best) were taken from
30 July 2007 to March 31, 2008. Arrows (1) indicate hollow tine aerification and
verticutting, while (*) indicate solid tine applications. Table 3-2 shows complete
breakdown of treatments.










Table 3-11. Quality ratings for "spring-summer" and "summer-fall" studies.
Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall
Hollow Tine Aerification (Ix yr-) 7.63 b 7.30 b
Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr-) 7.57 bc 7.26 b
Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr-) 7.43 c 7.11 c
Control 7.83 a 7.41 a
Verticutting (3x yr-) 7.46 bc 7.00 d
Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr-) 7.13 d 7.23 b
P<0.0001 P<0.0001
Grass
Champion 7.43 b 7.20 a
FloraDwarf 7.54 ab 7.21 a
TifEagle 7.56 a 7.25 a
P=0.02 P=0.30
Quality ratings: 1-10 (1 = Dead, 6 = Minimum Acceptable, and 10 = Best). Mean estimates with same
letter within column are not statistically different, at 0.05 significance level, using Kenward-Roger
method for repeated measures.




















4-~
4 1 11t 1. / 4

I t L' l /
C'ii +/ A H -
4 I



-u S





gr '3 m *s
2-

2 6 9 11 13 16 18 20 22 24 2 2 6 28 30 32 34
Week
Levels of Treatment
--e- Cntrl ..... +.... HTA1x ---x--- HTA2x *----*- HTA3x
---*-- Solid VerIct


Figure 3-31. Comparison of spring-summer applied cultural practices on recovery. Ratings: 1-
10 (10 = Recovered) were taken from March 26 to November 16, 2007. Treatments
became statistically similar (P>0.05) at week 26. Arrows (1) indicate hollow tine
aerification and verticutting, while (*) indicate solid tine applications. All treatments
became statistically similar (P>0.05) at week 26 as indicated by (-). Table 3-1 shows
complete breakdown of treatments.















L evels f t n n
8 j : j


Ir r ,./'
-- i6- i V tt
s0 / /A


h, il ,
4-'





I I I I I I I I I I I






Figure 3-32. Comparison of summer-fall applied cultural practices on recovery. Ratings: 1-10
(10 = Recovered) were taken from 30 July, 2007 to March 31, 2008. All treatments
became statistically similar (P>0.05) at week 31 (-). Arrows (T) indicate hollow tine
aerification and verticutting, while (*) indicate solid tine applications. Table 3-2
shows complete breakdown of treatments.


A e


Kr'T I










Table 3-12. Recovery ratings for "spring-summer" and "summer-fall" studies.
Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall
Hollow Tine Aerification (lx yr-) 9.52 ab 9.58 a
Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr-) 9.21 bc 8.97 ab
Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr-) 9.01 cd 8.12 bc
Control 9.93 a 9.81 a
Verticutting (3x yr-) 8.73 de 7.50 c
Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr-) 8.29 e 9.25 a
P<0.0001 P<0.0001
Grass
Champion 8.99 a 8.77 a
FloraDwarf 9.18 a 8.93 a
TifEagle 9.18 a 8.92 a
P=0.15 P=0.76
Recovery ratings: 1-10 (1 = no recovery, and 10 = completely recovered). Mean estimates with same
letter within column are not statistically different, at 0.05 significance level, using Kenward-Roger
method for repeated measures.
















r 80
I-
S071
E o 50so
AB -A A
SAB A
A
> 60-


u
0 0 AB

40- 0

UB

UB
a 20 --0



I I I I I I
0-



Cntrl HTA 1x HTA 2x HTA 3x Solid Vertct
Treatment


Figure 3-33. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on saturated hydraulic
conductivity (P<0.01).



















E
S60-

4 A



S 40
C 03

i AB 0- o


I-
20- B

3B B



I I I I I I
0070



Cntrl HTA 1x HTA 2x HTA 3x Solid Vertct
Treatment



Figure 3-34. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on saturated hydraulic
conductivity (P<0.01). There was an overall reduction of 20 cm hr-' compared to the
spring-summer study.










Table 3-13. Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) for "spring-summer" and "summer-fall"
studies.
Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall
cm hr'
Initial Final Initial Final
Hollow Tine Aerification (Ix yr-) 18.8 a 32.8 ab 18.4 a 4.6 b
Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr-) 20.9 a 32.4 ab 10.2 a 15.4 ab
Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr-) 24.9 a 41.7 a 18.5 a 29.3 a
Control 22.6 a 20.3 b 12.6 a 2.2 b
Verticutting (3x yr-) 16.8 a 18.9 b 16.7 a 7.7 b
Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr-) 22.4 a 43.1 a 11.3 a 9.2 b
P Value P=0.60 P=0.0005 P=0.81 P<0.0001
Grass
Champion 25.1 a 26.7 a 10.7 a 6.9 a
FloraDwarf 22.1 a 33.4 a 21.3 a 14.6 a
TifEagle 16.1 a 34.5 a 11.8 a 12.7 a
P Value P=0.13 P=0.35 P=0.13 P=0.19
Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different, at 0.05 significance level,
using Tukey-Kramer method.

















0





1.5 A
Eo
AB AB
E AB
AB AB
B AB


1.4 -





0-- O
0


1.3


I I I I I I
Cntrl HTA 1x HTA 2x HTA 3x Solid Vertct
Treatment



Figure 3-35. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on bulk density (P<0.05). There
was an overall increase in Db of 0.2 g cm3 compared to the spring-summer study.

















1.4


SA
E AB


B
a

"3 1.2 -


1.1



0

Champion FloiaDwaif TifEagle
Grass


Figure 3-36. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices effects on bulk density (Db)
among grasses (P<0.05).













1.6
O




0
o

E A

B
4r B


o 1.4






1.3-

o

Champion FloiaDwalf TifEagle
Grass


Figure 3-37. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on bulk density (Db) among
grasses (P<0.05). There was an overall increase in Db of 0.2 g cm3 compared to the
spring-summer study.










Table 3-14. Bulk density (Db) for "spring-summer" and "summer-fall" studies.
Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall
g cm3
Initial Final Initial Final
Hollow Tine Aerification (Ix yr-) 1.30 a 1.24 a 1.21 a 1.40 ab
Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr') 1.31 a 1.25 a 1.20 a 1.37 b
Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr-) 1.30 a 1.22 a 1.19 a 1.37 ab
Control 1.31 a 1.23 a 1.19 a 1.39 ab
Verticutting (3x yr-) 1.29 a 1.22 a 1.21 a 1.43 a
Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr-) 1.33 a 1.27 a 1.17 a 1.41 ab
P=0.59 P=0.29 P=0.72 P=0.04
Grass
Champion 1.27 b 1.20 b 1.17 a 1.35 b
FloraDwarf 1.32 a 1.26 ab 1.21 a 1.42 a
TifEagle 1.32 a 1.26 a 1.21 a 1.41 a
P<0.0001 P=0.03 P=0.19 P=0.02
Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different, at 0.05 significance level,
using Tukey-Kramer method.
















3- A



E ABC
SAB

S2.8- BCD D
CD D












I I I I I I
> 0

2.6 0






2.4

Cntrl HTA 1x HTA 2x HTA 3x Solid Vertct
Treatment


Figure 3-38. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on relative density (P<0.01).










Table 3-15. Relative density (Dp) for "spring-summer" and "summer-fall" studies.
Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall
g cm-3
Initial Final Initial Final
Hollow Tine Aerification (lx yr') 2.61 b 2.67 bcd 2.57 a 2.17 a
Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr-) 2.69 ab 2.74 abc 2.53 a 2.17 a
Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr-) 2.69 ab 2.77 ab 2.58 a 2.18 a
Control 2.70 ab 2.63 cd 2.55 a 2.14 a
Verticutting (3x yr') 2.64 ab 2.61 d 2.60 a 2.13 a
Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr-) 2.73 a 2.80 a 2.50 a 2.17 a
P=0.03 P<0.0001 P=0.52 P=0.56
Grass
Champion 2.73 a 2.70 a 2.50 a 2.11 b
FloraDwarf 2.64 a 2.70 a 2.60 a 2.21 a
TifEagle 2.66 a 2.70 a 2.56 a 2.15 ab
P=0.11 P=0.99 P=0.46 P=0.04
Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different, at 0.05 significance level,
using Tukey-Kramer method.

















60
AB
A
8 AB

AB
a B B
S55-
-0
L,
o


1-
50-






45
I I I I I I
Cntrl HTA 1x HTA 2x HTA 3x Solid Vertct
Treatment



Figure 3-39. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on total pore space (P<0.05).















A
40- A



AB
A AB
37.5-

oh

w 35
01 B
L

-a
S32.5 -




30



I I I I I I
Cntrl HTA 1x HTA 2x HTA 3x Solid Vertct
Treatment



Figure 3-40. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on total pore space (P<0.01).










Table 3-16. Total pore space (TPS) for "spring-summer" and "summer-fall" studies.
Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall
Percent (%)
Initial Final Initial Final
Hollow Tine Aerification (lx yr') 50.3 a 53.5 ab 52.7 a 35.1 ab
Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr') 51.1 a 54.6 ab 52.6 a 37.1 a
Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr') 51.6 a 55.9 a 53.7 a 37.2 a
Control 51.5 a 53.2 b 53.3 a 35.3 a
Verticutting (3x yr-) 51.1 a 53.1 b 53.4 a 32.7 b
Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr-) 51.4 a 54.4 ab 53.0 a 34.9 ab
P=0.49 P=0.02 P=0.72 P<0.0001
Grass
Champion 53.3 a 55.6 a 53.2 a 36.1 a
FloraDwarf 49.9 b 53.4 b 53.6 a 35.9 a
TifEagle 50.2 b 53.3 b 52.5 a 34.2 a
P=0.002 P=0.04 P=0.55 P=0.21
Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different, at 0.05 significance level,
using Tukey-Kramer method.














0 0
0

22.5-
-- A

S 20AB A A o
a 20



o 17.5-
2. B
L |


15-



12.5- -

0
I I I I I I
Cntrl HTA 1x HTA 2x HTA 3x Solid Vertct
Treatment



Figure 3-41. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices effects on macropore space
(P<0.01).















15- A




B AB

SB T AB
SAB

S10
a-

I-

L.
M 0










Cntrl HTA 1x HTA 2x HTA 3x Solid Vertct
Treatment



Figure 3-42. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on macropore space (P<0.01).










Table 3-17. Macropore space (MPS) for "spring-summer" and "summer-fall" studies.
Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall
Percent (%)
Initial Final Initial Final
Hollow Tine Aerification (lx yr-) 12.2 a 17.9 ab 18.8 a 9.7 b
Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr-) 11.7 a 18.6 a 17.6 a 10.0 ab
Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr-) 12.4 a 18.8 a 19.7 a 11.9 a
Control 12.9 a 16.8 ab 18.6 a 9.0 b
Verticutting (3x yr-) 12.0 a 15.5 b 19.2 a 8.2 b
Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr-) 13.1 a 18.4 a 18.7 a 9.9 ab
P=0.31 P=0.002 P=0.78 P=0.0003
Grass
Champion 13.8 a 18.2 a 18.0 a 9.5 a
FloraDwarf 10.7 a 17.2 a 20.2 a 9.9 a
TifEagle 12.7 a 17.5 a 18.0 a 9.8 a
P=0.06 P=0.15 P=0.18 P=0.94
Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different, at 0.05 significance
level, using Tukey-Kramer method.










Table 3-18. Micropore space [i.e., water holding capacity (volume)] for "spring-summer" and
"summer-fall" studies.


Treatment


Spring-summer


Hollow Tine Aerification (lx yr')
Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr')
Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr')
Control
Verticutting (3x yr')
Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr')


Initial
38.0 a
39.4 a
39.2 a
38.6 a
39.1 a
38.3 a
P=0.51


Final
35.6 a
36.0 a
37.0 a
36.4 a
37.6 a
36.0 a
P=0.6


Summer-fall
Percent (%)
Initial
35.2 a
34.9 a
34.9 a
34.7 a
35.5 a
35.2 a
0 P=0.99


Final
25.4 a
27.2 a
25.6 a
26.4 a
24.5 a
25.2 a
P=0.21


Grass
Champion 39.5 a 37.4 a 35.2 a 26.8 a
FloraDwarf 39.3 a 36.2 a 35.3 a 25.9 a
TifEagle 37.5 a 35.8 a 34.7 a 24.4 a
P=0.34 P=0.19 P=0.95 P=0.41
Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different, at 0.05 significance
level, using Tukey-Kramer method.










Table 3-19. Water holding capacity (weight) for "spring-summer" and "summer-fall" studies.
Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall
Percent (%)
Initial Final Initial Final
Hollow Tine Aerification (Ix yr-) 29.4 a 29.1 a 29.2 a 18.1 a
Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr-) 30.0 a 29.1 a 29.4 a 19.9 a
Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr-) 30.3 a 30.5 a 29.6 a 18.9 a
Control 29.7 a 29.9 a 29.6 a 19.1 a
Verticutting (3x yr') 30.4 a 31.0 a 29.6 a 17.1 a
Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr-) 28.8 a 28.5 a 30.2 a 17.9 a
P=0.69 P=0.50 P=0.99 P=0.06
Grass
Champion 31.1 a 31.4 a 30.5 a 19.8 a
FloraDwarf 29.7 a 29.0 a 29.6 a 18.3 a
TifEagle 28.4 a 28.6 a 28.7 a 17.4 a
P=0.14 P=0.05 P=0.73 P=0.27
Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different, at 0.05 significance
level, using Tukey-Kramer method.


































































108









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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

John Rowland was born in Neptune City, NJ, on July 15, 1966. He attended elementary

school in Neptune City, NJ and high school in Neptune, NJ. After taking some turfgrass

management courses at Rutgers University, he obtained a B.S. degree in turfgrass science at the

University of Florida. He then began work on his Master of Science degree at the University of

Florida in soil and water science with a focus on turfgrass. After graduation he plans to stay at

the University of Florida to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy degree.





PAGE 1

IMPACT AND CONTROL OF ORGANI C MATTER IN USGA ULTRADWARF BERMUDAGRASS GOLF GREENS By JOHN HUDSON ROWLAND A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008 1

PAGE 2

2008 John H. Rowland 2

PAGE 3

To my parents who always believed in, and supported me. 3

PAGE 4

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank Dr. John Cisar for making it possible to pursue a graduate degree in turfgrass management, and Dr. George Snyder w ho agreed to be my committee chair, even though he was already retired. I would like to thank Pamela Michels for her never-ending support, and unequaled editing prowess. Also, the moral support provided by Shamus McBooty was more than welcome. I would also like to thank all at Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center (FLREC) and Everglades Resear ch and Education Center (EREC) who helped my research project come together, as we ll as Fort Lauderdale Country Club and SISIS Equipment for their generous donation of equipment. 4

PAGE 5

TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........7 LIST OF FIGURES.........................................................................................................................8 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS........................................................................................................11 ABSTRACT...................................................................................................................................13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................. .15 Ultradwarf Bermudagrass History and Characteristics...........................................................15 USGA Putting Green History and Characteristics..................................................................16 Organic Matter........................................................................................................................17 Soil Organic Matter.................................................................................................................17 History of Turfgrass Decline............................................................................................ ......18 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................21 Composition and Breakdown of Organic Matter....................................................................21 Composition and Breakdown of Soil Organic Matter............................................................21 Organic Matter Levels............................................................................................................22 Thatch-Mat......................................................................................................................22 Soil Organic Matter.........................................................................................................22 Control Options for OM and SOM.........................................................................................24 Control of Thatch-Mat.....................................................................................................24 Control of Soil Organic Matter........................................................................................26 3 EFFECTS OF TURFGRASS CULT IVATION PRACTI CES ON ORGANIC MATTER, SOIL PHYSICAL PR OPERTIES, AND TURFGRASS CHARACTERISTICS............................................................................................................28 Materials and Methods...........................................................................................................28 Experimental Background...............................................................................................28 Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis.................................................................28 Turfgrass Cultivation Treatments....................................................................................29 Physical Measurements...................................................................................................32 Qualitative Measurements...............................................................................................34 Results and Discussion......................................................................................................... ..34 Surface Compressibility..................................................................................................34 Thatch Levels..................................................................................................................35 Soil Organic Matter.........................................................................................................37 Scalping...........................................................................................................................38 5

PAGE 6

Physical Turfgrass Characteristics..................................................................................39 Qualitative Turfgrass Characteristics..............................................................................40 Soil Physical Properties...................................................................................................42 Conclusions.....................................................................................................................45 LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................109 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................115 6

PAGE 7

LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1. Specifications and timings of Spring-Su mmer cultural practices used on ultradwarf bermudagrass research putting green, 2007.......................................................................47 3-2. Specifications and timings of Summer-F all cultural practices used on ultradwarf bermudagrass research putting green, 2007.......................................................................48 3-3. Thatch measurements for Sprin g-Summer and Summer-Fall studies............................53 3-4. Soil organic matter concentration in Ksat cores for Spring-Summer and SummerFall studies.......................................................................................................................56 3-5. Soil organic matter concentration in dark layer cores for Spring-Summer and Summer-Fall studies.......................................................................................................57 3-6. Shoot counts for Spring-Summer and Summer-Fall studies..........................................68 3-7. Ball Roll (cm) for Spring-Su mmer and Summer-Fall studies........................................72 3-8. Root Weights (g) for SpringSummer and Summer-Fall studies...................................73 3-9. Localized Dry Spot for Spri ng-Summer and Summer-Fall studies................................77 3-10. Volumetric Water Content (Theta) R eadings for Spring-Summer and SummerFall studies.......................................................................................................................81 3-11. Quality ratings for SpringSummer and Summer-Fall studies.....................................87 3-12. Recovery ratings for SpringSummer and Summer-Fall studies..................................90 3-13. Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) for Spring-Summer and Summer-Fall studies........................................................................................................................ ........93 3-14. Bulk Density (Db) for Spring-Summer and Summer-Fall studies...............................97 3-15. Relative Density (Dp) for Spring-Summer and Summer-Fall studies..........................99 3-16. Total Pore Space (TPS) for Spri ng-Summer and Summer-Fall studies.....................102 3-17. Macropore Space (MPS) for Spring-Summer and Summer-Fall studies...................105 3-18. Micropore Space [i.e., water holding capacity (volume)] for Spring-Summer and Summer-Fall studies.....................................................................................................106 3-19. Water holding capacity (Weight) for S pring-Summer and Summer-Fall studies......107 7

PAGE 8

LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3-1. Comparison of spring-summer applied cultural practices on su rface compressibility (cm)....................................................................................................................................49 3-2. Comparison of summer-fall applied cultu ral practices on surface compressibility (cm)......50 3-3. Effects of spring-summer applied cultura l practices on surface compressibility (cm) determined from average volkmeter readings over entire study........................................51 3-4. Effects of summer-fall applied cultura l practices on surface compressibility (cm) determined from volkmeter readings averaged over entire study......................................52 3-5. Comparison of spring-summer applied cultural practices on su rface compressibility (cm) among grasses............................................................................................................5 4 3-6. Comparison of summer-fall applied cultu ral practices on surface compressibility (cm) among grasses.................................................................................................................. ..55 3-7. Comparison of spring-summer applied cultural practices on mower scalping (tissue loss)....................................................................................................................................58 3-8. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on mower scalping (tissue loss)..........59 3-9. Severe mower scalping on all cultura l treatment plots except verticutting...........................60 3-10. Comparison of summer-fall applied cultural practices on mower scalping (tissue loss)....61 3-11. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on mo wer scalping (tissue loss)............62 3-12. Comparison of spring-summer applied cu ltural practices on scalping (tissue loss) among grasses.................................................................................................................. ..63 3-13. Effects of spring-summer applied cultu ral practices on mower scalping (tissue loss) among grasses.................................................................................................................. ..64 3-14. Comparison of summer-fall applied cultural practices on mower scalping (tissue loss) among grasses.................................................................................................................. ..65 3-15. Effects of summer-fa ll applied cultural practices on scalping (tissue loss) among grasses................................................................................................................................66 3-16. Bermudagrass shoots counted from 20 cm cores after spring-summer cultural practices were applied, and allowed to recover.................................................................67 8

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3-17. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on bermudagrass clipping oven dry weights.........................................................................................................................69 3-18. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on be rmudagrass clipping oven dry weights...............................................................................................................................70 3-19. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on bermudagrass clipping oven dry weights among grasses................................................................................................71 3-20. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on localized dry spot.........................74 3-21. Effects of summer-f all applied cultura l practices on localized dry spot.............................75 3-22. Effects of spring-summer applied cultu ral practices on localized dry spot among grasses................................................................................................................................76 3-23. Effects of spring-summer applied cultu ral practices on volumetric water content.............78 3-24. Effects of summer-fa ll applied cultural practices on volumetric water content..................79 3-25. Effects of spring-summer applied cultu ral practices on volumetric water content among grasses.................................................................................................................. ..80 3-26. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on quality..........................................82 3-27. Effects of summer-fall app lied cultural practices on quality...............................................83 3-28. Verticutting treatment showed increased quality due to a release of nitrogen from soil organic matter, and a firmer surface that reduced scalping...............................................84 3-29. Comparison of spring-summer applied cu ltural practices on quality among grasses.........85 3-30. Comparison of summer-fall applied cu ltural practices on qua lity among grasses..............86 3-31. Comparison of spring-summer app lied cultural practices on recovery...............................88 3-32. Comparison of summer-fall app lied cultural practi ces on recovery....................................89 3-33. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on saturated hydraulic conductivity........................................................................................................................91 3-34. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on sa turated hydraulic conductivity......92 3-35. Effects of summer-fall applie d cultural practices on bulk density......................................94 3-36. Effects of spring-summer applied cultu ral practices effects on bulk density (Db) among grasses.................................................................................................................. ..95 3-37. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on bul k density (Db) among grasses.....96 9

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3-38. Effects of Spring-Summer applied cultural practices on relative density...........................98 3-39. Effects of Spring-Summer applied cultural practices on total pore space.........................100 3-40. Effects of Summer-Fall applied cu ltural practices on total pore space.............................101 3-41. Effects of Spring-Summer applied cu ltural practices effect s on macropore space...........103 3-42. Effects of Summer-F all applied cultural prac tices on macropore space...........................104 10

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LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AWHC Available water holding capacity CEC Cation exchange capacity CV Cultivar Db Bulk density Dp Particle density EREC Everglades Research and Education Center FLREC Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center Ggg Gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis GMAX Peak deceleration HTA Hollow tine aerification KSAT Saturated hydr aulic conductivity LDS Localized dry spot MAPS Macro pore space MIPS Micro pore space ODR Oxygen diffusion rate OM Organic matter PS Pore space PVC Poly vinyl chloride REC Research and education center SBD Summer bentgrass decline SF Summer-fall study SOM Soil organic matter SS Spring-summer study STA Solid tine aerification 11

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TPS Total pore space UF University of Florida UG University of Georgia USGA Unites States Golf Association VWC Volumetric water content WAT Weeks after treatment WHC Water holding capacity 12

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Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science IMPACT AND CONTROL OF ORGANI C MATTER IN USGA ULTRADWARF BERMUDAGRASS GREENS By John Hudson Rowland August 2008 Chair: George H. Snyder Major: Soil and Water Science Ultradwarf bermudagrasses [ Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. x C. transvaalensis Burt Davy] are commonly used for golf course putting greens in Florida due to their ability to tolerate high temperatures and low mowing heights for fast gr een speeds. Their dense growth habits can cause excessive organic matter build-up above and below the soil line, negatively affecting surface and soil characteri stics. This experiment was conducted to evaluate seasonal impacts of commonly used cultural management practices on United States Golf Association ultradwarf bermudagrass putting green properties to dete rmine optimum timing and effectiveness of treatments. Three ultradwarf varieties (Flo raDwarf, TifEagle, and Champion) were subjected to six cultural mana gement treatments: Hollow tine aerification (one, two, or three times yearly), deep verticutting (three times year ly), solid tine aerification (five times yearly), and an untreated control. Treatments were applied over Spring-Summer (SS) and Summer-Fall (SF) studies with organic matte r (OM), soil organic matter (SOM), soil physical properties, and turfgrass characteristics bei ng analyzed. Soil organic matte r and physical properties were determined from 5.1 cm diameter, by 9.5 cm deep soil cores. Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) was determined on a constant head permeameter with, and without verdure. 13

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14 Using mixed model analysis, we found no reduc tion of OM or SOM due to treatments. Saturated hydraulic conductivity was increased by three-time yearly hollow tine aerification (HTA 3x) in both studies; removing verdure re sulted in an average reduction of 3.2 cm hr Average final Ksat of all treatments was 20 cm hr slower in the SF study. Bulk density (Db) was not reduced below control le vels by treatments. An overall increase in Db of 0.2 g cm occurred in the SF study. Champion had lower Db in both studies. Relative density (Dp) was increased by HTA 3x in the SS study. An overall d ecrease in Dp of 0.4 g cm occurred in the SF study. Hollow tine aerification 3x produced more total pore space (TPS), than the control and verticutting in the SS study, but only more than verticutting in the SF study. Champion had the highest TPS in the SS study. M acropore space was increased mo re by HTA 3x than verticutting in both studies. All pore space fractions reduced substantially in the SF study. Average turf quality ratings were highest for the control in both studies. Cham pion had lower turf quality than TifEagle in the SS study. Surface compressibility was reduced least by the control, while HTA 3x provided a firmer surface than HTA 2x, which was firmer than HTA 1x. Champion scalped more than FloraDwarf, which scalped more than TifEagle in the SS study. Verticutting and HTA 3x reduced shoot counts in the SS study. Vert icutting had higher volumetric water content than HTA 3x in the SS and SF studies. Since vert icutting had the firmest surface, least mower scalping and localized dry spot, and eventually had higher quality, water-holding capacity, and fewer clippings it was the most beneficial trea tment, particularly since no other treatment significantly reduced OM or SOM. Reduced Ksat increased Db, and reduc ed pore space in the SF study showed that this seasonal treatment timing was least effective in managing soil properties. Due to higher overa ll quality, reduced scalping and LD S, TifEagle stood out as the best overall grass studied.

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Ultradwarf Bermudagrass History and Characteristics Hybrid bermudagrasses for golf course putting greens have been available since 1953, when Tiffine was released from the United St ates Department of Agriculture, Coastal Plain Experiment Station in Tifton, GA (Burton, 1991). Tifgreen was released shortly after in 1956, and was touted for having finer leaves and the ability to withstand daily mowing at 6.4 mm (Burton, 1991). Tifgreen sprigs sent to golf courses for early evaluation contained a natural mutation that was later isolated and increased for evaluation (B urton, 1991). This selection, now known as Tifdwarf due to its smaller, shorter leaves, stems, and internodes, was released in 1965 (Burton, 1991). Tifdwarf tole rated lower mowing heights and provided the faster green speeds that golfers demanded (Burton, 1991). Th e United States Golf Association (USGA) introduced its version of the stimpmeter in 1977 to measure golf ball roll as a means of estimating a greens speed (Beard, 1982; Gaussoi n, 1995; Oatis, 1990). Wide spread use of the USGA stimpmeter brought about a green speed war and the motto was the faster, the better (Vermeulen, 1995). Golfers and superintendent s preference for faster green speeds, and advances in greens maintenance technology, even tually necessitated improved greens grass varieties (Vermeulen, 1995). In 1995, A.E. Dudeck of the University of Florida (UF) released FloraDwarf, which had a lower vertical growth ch aracteristic, finer textur e, and increased shoot density (Busey and Dudeck, 1999). Soon afterw ards, TifEagle and Champion, which had similar characteristics to Flor aDwarf, were released from Tifton, GA and Bay City, TX, respectively (Busey and Dudeck, 1999). Thes e denser, lower growing varieties, named Ultradwarfs by P. Busey of UF, can easily withstand regular mowing below 3 mm (Foy, 1997; Foy, 2000, Unruh and Elliott 1999), and produce green speeds (i.e., ball roll distance) in excess 15

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of 3.35 m, as measured with a stimpmeter. Th ese improved qualities rival bentgrass (Hartwiger, 2000), which cannot be grown year-round in south Florida due to an in ability to tolerate persistent heat (Foy, 1988), in quality of putti ng surface and green speed (McCarty and Miller, 2002; Unruh and Davis, 2001). Un fortunately, organic matter leve ls within ultradwarfs can quickly reach detrimental levels if incorrectly managed due to the faster rate of thatch/biomass accumulation, shoot density, and stoloniferous growth habit (Foy, 2000; McCarty and Miller, 2002; White et al., 2004). USGA Putting Green History and Characteristics United States Golf Association green construc tion methods have been used for more than 40 years due to their successful scientifically-tested guideline s (USGA Green Section Staff, 2004). Their recommendation for particle size dist ribution in root zone media is a major reason why these greens are so successful, as these pr ofiles provide physical properties that can withstand continuous traffic (Carrow, 2003). Pa rticle diameter ranges from fine gravel ( 3.4mm) to clay, which is smaller than 0.002 mm (USGA Green Section Staff, 2004). Limiting fine gravel and very coarse sand (1.0-2.0 mm) to 10% helps limit saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat), so sufficient water can be held in the root zone (US GA Green Section Staff, 2004). Total fines (i.e., very fine sa nd, silt, and clay) are also limited to 10% to control excessive moisture and ensure that Ksat will not be below 15 cm hr in newly constructed greens (USGA Green Section Staff, 2004). Compaction is also controlled by limiting total fines, as they can fill micropores that sand size partic les cannot fill (Gaussoin et al., 2006). These USGA guidelines produce a total pore space range of 35-55%, which provides optimum air-filled and capillary porosity for plant growth and drainage (Brady and Weil, 1999). Some consider USGA greens a relatively sterile environment, free of microorganisms capable of organic matter breakdown, since they are composed primarily of sand (Habeck and Christians, 2000). This has 16

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been proven incorrect, as sand-based greens were found to contain microbial populations with considerable taxonomic diversity similar to nati ve soils, within 24 months after construction (Bigelow, et al., 2000; Elliott et al., 2007; Gaussoin, 2003). Organic Matter Organic matter (OM) and soil organic matter (SOM) impact USGA putting greens in various ways both positive and negative (Bea rd, 1973; Carrow, 2004a, b, c; Christians, 1998; Hartwiger, 2004). One-quarter inch of OM, in the way of thatch-mat, is required to protect crowns and roots of turfgrass from foot traffic and mowing (Moore, 2007). Organic matter has also been shown to hold pesticides until they are broken down by microorganisms (Snyder and Cisar, 1995). This microbial process can limit environmental contaminat ion in the form of ground water pollution (Snyder and Cisar, 1995). Excessive thatch can affect putting surface quality, as mower scalping can become more prev alent when greens are puffy. (Carrow, 2003; McCarty and Miller, 2002). Soil Organic Matter Without adequate SOM, excessive Ksat and reduced cation-exch ange capacity (CEC) allow water and nutrients to move quickly through the root zone (Beard, 1973; Guertal, 2007). Inadequate SOM can cause greens to dry out qu ickly, requiring more fre quent irrigation (McCoy and McCoy, 2005). Increased fertilizer applications may also be necessary in order to maintain acceptable turf quality due to low CEC and exce ssive leaching of nutrients (Carrow, 2004b; McCarty and Miller, 2002). Nutrient and pesticide le aching could become problems in the form of nonpoint-source pollution, as only limited amounts can remain in the soil while the remainder enter groundwater or move off site (FDEP Staff, 2007). Soil organic matter provides many other benefits to the soil environment including providing C for microorganisms, pH buffering capacity, enhanced chelation of trace elements, increased N, CE C, and porosity (Noer, 1928; 17

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Wolf and Snyder, 2003). In c ontrast, greens with excessive SO M may have reduced Ksat and infiltration rates, and decreased pesticide efficacy (Carrow, 2 004a, b, c; McCart y et al., 2007). Reduced Ksat can cause soils to become waterlogged and create anaer obic conditions (Carrow, 2004a, b, c). Prolonged anoxic conditions can rapidly cause turfgra ss quality to decline (Carrow, 2004a, b, c; Hartwiger, 2004). History of Turfgrass Decline Bentgrass. Most research related to SOM in golf greens has been conducted on bentgrass [ Agrostis stoloniferous L. var. palustris (Huds.)] greens, due to the phenomenon of Summer Bentgrass Decline (SBD). Ini tially, SBD was thought to be cause d by fungal pressure associated with extended periods of high temperature (C arrow, 2004a, c; Hartwi ger, 2004). Presently, researchers have focused on SOM content in the root zone in relation to oxygen diffusion rates (ODR) and Ksat (Carrow, 2004a, c). When SOM accumulates to 3-4% (by weight), macropores (>0.075 mm), which facilitate oxygen diffusion, can become clogged with SOM, resulting in reductions of Ksat and ODR (Carrow, 2004a, c). Extended high temperatures (>32.2C), SOM concentrations greater than 4% (by weight), and ODR below 0.20 g oxygen cm min in the surface 1.3 cm, are now believed to trigger the de cline of bentgrass greens (Carrow, 2004a, c; Hartwiger, 2004; Huang, 2002). Bermudagrass. Ultradwarf bermudagrass is well suited for Floridas subtropical climate, as optimum bermudagrass shoot growth occurs at air temperatures between 29 and 38 C, and reduced root growth is not expected to occur until soil temperatures exceed 38 C (McCarty and Miller, 2002). Due to buffering effects from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, Floridas air temperatures rarely exceed 35 C. In addition, Floridas soil pH ( 5.5) and average annual high temperatures ( 13 C) are more conducive to microbial degradation of OM and SOM (Brady and Weil, 1999; Christians, 1998). Even though growing conditions seem ideal 18

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ultradwarf bermudagrass greens st ill exhibit decline, as golf c ourse superintendents regularly experience reduced turfgrass qua lity during summer months (E lliott, 1991; Foy, 2005; White, 2004). Monica Elliott, of the Fort Lauderdale Re search and Education Center (FLREC), confirmed that an etiological agent [ Gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis (Ggg)], when associated with host-predisposing abiotic stresses, caused bermudagrass d ecline (Elliott, 1991). USGA ultradwarf bermudagrass greens usually e xperience this decline in summer or early fall, during prolonged periods of high humidity, cloudi ness, rainfall, and excessive soil moisture (Elliott, 1991; White, 2004). Anot her hypothesis is that excessive SOM causes primary stresses such as Ggg and Curvularia spp (Carrow, 2004b). Recent research conducted at the University of Florida has also associated Bipolaris spp. and Curvularia spp. with bermudagrass decline syndrome (Cisar and Snyder, 2003; Datnoff, et al., 2005; Unruh and Davis, 2001). Although significant research ha s been conducted to define optimum levels of SOM in bentgrass greens, very little ha s been conducted for ultradwarf bermudagrass greens, especially in south Florida (Cisar, et al. 2005). Recommended SOM le vels for USGA bentgrass greens may be irrelevant for USGA ultradwarf bermudagr ass greens, particularly in south Floridas subtropical climate. Growth characteristics of ultradwarf bermudagrass differ from those of creeping bentgrass and may have varied SOM re quirements and tolerances. Year-round growing conditions, optimal conditions for soil microbe s, and annual rainfall exceeding 150 cm differentiate south Florida from most areas of the United States (Cisar and Snyder, 2003). Similarities of bermudagrass dec line to SBD reinforce the need for research investigating the affects of OM and SOM on USGA ultradwarf be rmudagrass greens in subtropical Florida. Therefore, we conducted an experiment which incorporated commonly used cultural practices in 19

PAGE 20

20 an attempt to manage levels of OM and SOM. Cultural practices were applied in two separate seasonal studies to determine seasonal affects on OM, SOM, qualitative turfgrass characteristics, soil physical properties a nd surface characteristics.

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CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Composition and Breakdown of Organic Matter Organic matter (OM) consists of living plan t tissue and recently-deposited plant and animal residues (Wolf and Snyder, 2003), and is re presented as thatch and mat layers on the soil surface (McCarty et al., 2007). Thatch, which is found between the soil surface and verdure (i.e., green turfgrass leaves) contains: stolons, rhizomes, sloughed r oots, mature leaf sheaths, and stems (Christians, 1998; McCarty et al., 2007; Turgeon, 1978). That ch that is not completely decomposed, and is surrounded by the soil matrix, is considered to be mat (McCarty et al., 2007). Thatch and mat combine to form the thatch-mat layer. The rate of OM decomposition by microorgani sms is predicated on its age, chemical makeup, C:N ratio, and environmental factors such as aeration, moisture, pH, and temperature (Carrow, 2004a, c; Wolf and Snyder, 2003). Orga nic matter with higher N concentrations will tend to decompose more rapidly, as it provides a nutrient sour ce for microorganisms (Wolf and Snyder, 2003). Proper soil aeration and moisture provide an environment where microorganisms can thrive, and readily decompose OM, SOM, and applied materials such as fertilizers and pesticides (Carrow, 2003; Cooper, 1996; Waltz a nd McCarty, 2001). Acidic soil pH (<5.5) can decrease the breakdown of OM and SOM as it is injurious to actinomycete and bacteria populations (Cooper, 1996; Waltz and McCarty, 2001). Cool, humid, temperate climates are known to create extreme cases of OM and SOM accumulation (Carrow, 2003). Composition and Breakdow n of Soil Organic Matter Soil organic matter (SOM) originated from plan t and animal residue deposition from grass and soil organisms (Wolf and Snyder, 2003). This decomposed material is composed of humic and nonhumic compounds, lignins, proteins, and polysaccharides, which are deposited from 21

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living tissue and soil microorganisms (Wolf a nd Snyder, 2003). Humus makes up the largest fraction of SOM, and soil microbial and fungal biomass make up the remainder (Brady and Weil, 1999; Wolf and Snyder, 2003). D ecomposition of SOM is much slower than recently-deposited OM found in the thatch-mat (Wolf and Snyder, 2003). Organic Matter Levels Thatch-Mat Turfgrass requires a minimum thatch-mat depth of 0.6 cm in order to properly tolerate wear stress (Moore, 2007), while a depth greater than 2.5 cm is considered excessive (McCarty et al., 2007). Moderate OM provi des a desirable cushioning effect for traffic and incoming shots (Vermeulen and Hartwiger, 2005), and prevents volatilization of amm onia (Petrovic, 1990), leaching of pesticides into groundwater (Horst et al., 1996; Snyder and Cisar, 1995) and reduces summer heat stress (Christians, 1998). Excessi ve thatch-mat, which can occur even under excellent management (Carrow, 2000), can cau se numerous problems including excessive ball marks, inconsistent ball roll (Vermeulen and Ha rtwiger, 2005), increased pathogens and insects (Christians, 1998; Bevard, 2005; Vermeulen and Hartwiger, 2005), reduced infiltration and percolation (Bevard, 2005; McCa rty, 2007), scalping (McCarty, et al., 2007; Vermeulen and Hartwiger, 2005) and pesticide e fficacy (McCarty et al., 2007). Soil Organic Matter Soil organic matter improves turfgrass quality by increasing aeration, structure, water and nutrient-holding capacity in hi ghly mineral soils (Beard, 1973; Brady and Weil, 1999). Soil organic matter, which has a particle density ra nge of 0.9 to 1.3 g cm, can reduce mineral soils with an initial particle density of 2.60 to 2.75 g cm to levels below 2.40 g cm (Brady and Weil, 1999). This reduction in particle density wi ll translate into reduced bulk density, which can improve environmental conditions for turfgr ass roots in compacted high density soils (Brady 22

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and Weil, 1999). Excessive SOM can impede wa ter flow, oxygen diffusi on rates and negatively affect turfgrass growth, especi ally under stressful environmen tal conditions (Carrow, 2003; Hartwiger, 2004). Recommendations for SOM (by weight) in golf greens range from 1.5 to 8% (Vermeulen and Hartwiger, 2005). This wide range can be due in part to sampling and testing methods used to measure SOM (Vermeulen and Hartwiger, 2005). Sampling depths used to determine the SOM range from 0.6 cm to over 15 cm (Verme ulen and Hartwiger, 2005). The shallower samples (e.g., 2.5-5.0 cm) mostly analyze the thatch -mat layer (Carrow, 2004a, b, c, McCarty et al., 2007), while the deeper samples can incl ude the thatch-mat, root-zone SOM, and unadulterated subsoils. Soil testing labs do not ha ve a universally-accepted protocol for testing SOM, so any of a number of procedures may be used with each giving potentially different results (Vermeulen and Hartwiger, 2005). Other reasons for the wide range of recommendations include geographic location and tu rfgrass variety (Vermeulen a nd Hartwiger, 2005). Climatic zones also seem to have an effect on SOM build up (Carrow, 2003), as levels along the Gulf coast from Florida to Louisian a were found to have less than 2% SOM (Carrow, 2004b) in comparison to levels found in Griffin GA, which were in excess of 9% in the surface 3 cm (Carrow, 2003). University of Georgia (UG) turfgrass stre ss physiologist Robert N. Carrow conducted a five-year research project on be ntgrass greens, and determined that once SOM rises above 4% (by weight) in the first 5 cm of the surface soil bentgrass greens are at high risk of decline (Carrow, 2004a, c). Others have stated that once OM levels get higher than 5% (by weight), there is immediate concern for bentgrass greens found in or near the transition zone, even if they seem healthy at the time (OBrien and Hartwi ger, 2005). In cooler regions of bentgrass 23

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adaptation, 5% SOM (by weight) is usually not as much of a concern, as they have fewer prolonged periods of excessive heat to contend with (Hartwiger, 2004). Control Options for OM and SOM Since conventional tillage ca nnot be used on turfgrass w ithout destroying performance characteristics (Beard, 1973; McCarty and Brown, 2004), cultural practices used to control OM accumulation include: solid and hollow tine aerification, vertical mowing, slicing, topdressing, and grooming (Beard, 1973; Christians, 1998; Ci sar, 1999a; Hanna, 2005; McCarty and Miller, 2002; Vavrek, 2006). These practices are used in an attempt to increase soil aeration, rooting, water movement, improve soil physical properti es, and physically remove OM and SOM (Beard, 1973; Bevard, 2005; Cisar, 1999a; McCarty and Mill er, 2002; Unruh and Elliott, 1999). When multiple cultural practices were combined in accelerated programs, they caused unacceptable damage to the putting green surface for extended periods of time (Hollingsworth et al., 2005; Landreth, et al., 2007). Seasonal timing of cultural practices can also be important, as OM and SOM tend to accumulate more rapidly during ti mes of maximum growth (Carrow, 2000), and turfgrass recovery is impeded when growth is limited by environmental affects. Cultural practices may be somewhat effective at redu cing organic matter accumulation but results are variable (McCarty et al., 2007). Control of Thatch-Mat Wayne Hanna, who bred, developed and releas ed TifEagle ultradwarf bermudagrass at UG, conducted a study which analyzed the effectiv eness of verticutting on OM removal (Hanna, 2005). Verticutting to a depth of 2.5 cm was effective in removing OM, while 0.6 cm was insufficient (Hanna, 2005). Blade width also had an impact on OM removal, as increasing the blade width from 1.6 mm to 3.2 mm increased OM removal (Hanna, 2005; Landreth et al., 2007). A recent two-year study performed in Arka nsas showed verticutting at a 2.5 cm depth 24

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was more effective in removing OM in the surf ace inch than HTA, although it took 60 days to recover (Landreth, et al., 2007). Another st udy found that verticutting and HTA used in combination were effective in re ducing thatch levels when used at least four times annually for two consecutive years (McCarty et al., 2007). Topdressing alone ha s also been found to decrease thatch levels (Callahan et al., 1998). Cultural practices such as verticutting and HTA have also been found to reduce shoot counts, a component of thatch, which may positively enhance putting green quality (Hollingsworth et al., 2005). A two-year study that used grooming, HTA, a bi ological thatch contro l agent, topdressing, and verticutting (alone and in combinations) found that none of the treatments reduced thatchmat levels when compared to the control in th e first year (McCarty et al., 2007). After the second year they found topdr essing with 9.6 mm sand yr increased thatch-mat depth 15% compared to the control, while HTA combined with grooming and vert icutting reduced surface OM concentration more than the control (McCarty et al., 2007). Another study that used varied levels of HTA and verticutting showed a lack of differences in thatch levels from treatments (White and Dickens, 1984). Slow-release N has been noted to reduce thatch levels when compared to quick-release sources (Sartain, 1985). Also, fe rtilizing with N at rates needed to maintain only minimally desired turf quality has successfully managed thatch accumulation (Hanna, 2005). Others have noted no affect on thatch depth, regardless of N source (Hollingsworth et al., 2005; White and Dickens, 1984). Soluble N can be beneficial due to its ability to speed up turf recovery after cultivation (Hollingsworth et al., 2005). Differences in thatch levels among berm udagrass cultivars have also been found (Hollingsworth et al., 2005; White et al., 2004). Tifdwarf (cv.) was found to have less thatch 25

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than ultradwarf (cvs.) in one study (Hollingswort h et al., 2005), while others showed Tifdwarf had equal or greater thatch de pth than ultradwarfs a year af ter planting (Cisar, 1999b; McCarty and Canegallo, 2005). The ultradwarfs used in our study had similar thatch depths (National Turfgrass Evaluation Program, 1998; White, 2004). Control of Soil Organic Matter Hollow tine aerification three times yearly, us ing 1.3 cm or greater tines, is considered adequate for managing root zone physical char acteristics in Florida (Foy, 2000), although four or more HTA may be needed to improve highly-tr afficked greens (Unruh and Elliott 1999). Dr. Carrow found HTA two times yr with 45.6-60.9 m USGA sand ha used to fill aerification holes effectively diluted soil organic matter, and increased macropore space in a creeping bentgrass green (OBrien and Hartwiger, 2003). He also found STA, HTA and slicing improved Ksat for three to eight weeks (Carrow, 2003). When hydraulic conductivity samples were taken soon after aerification, before turf was completely healed, field readings were found to be similar to lab readings whether or not verdure was re moved (Carrow, 2004a). Once the bentgrass green had recovered, field readings with verdure intact were slower th an lab results, which again had verdure removed (Carrow, 2004a). Decreased Ksat was also found to occur in cooler months when leaf tissue growth was limited, and root growth was accelerated, as macropores (>0.12 mm diameter) became clogged with new root growth (Carrow, 2004a, c). A study conducted in Arkansas on bentgrass greens show ed that, although not as effec tive in penetrating the entire thatch-mat layer, verticutting 2.5 cm deep with 3mm wide blades was more effective than HTA in removing SOM in the first inch of the root zone (Landreth, et al., 2007). Their most aggressive HTA treatment impacted less than 10% surface area compared to >20% impacted by verticutting. Since the upper 10 cm of a USGA green changes most over time, particularly from OM deposition (White, 2006), it is this region that is normally targeted by cultural practices. 26

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27 Although verticutting and HTA are routinely us ed in cultural management programs to control SOM, the pros and cons of these practices may not be entirely understood, as published results are highly variable. Some researchers note the ability of these practices to reduce SOM, while others have found little or no reduction. One agronomist claims aerification will help prolong a greens life span, but SOM can still build up to detrimental levels and require renovation of the top four inches (White, 2006). Cultural practices are looked upon negatively by most of the golfing public (Hartwiger and OBrien, 2001; Vavrek, 2002) and when golfers hear that gr eens have been ripped up they will usually shun the course, and play elsewher e until damage has recovered. Since this can cause an 18-hole facility to lo se $100,000 a week in lost revenue, much thought needs to be put into developing a cultural program that allows greens to remain in optimum playing condition, while at the same time satisfying the physiological n eeds of turfgrass. This is especially true in geographical locations where a single HTA impact s a substantial part of their growing season (Bevard, 2005). Many superintendents have fore gone the Big Holes, Big Spacing program recommended by USGA for less disruptive solid deep-tine, hydroject, or 6 mm hollow tine programs (Vavrek, 2007). The objectives of this experiment were to evaluate seasonal impacts of commonly used cultural management practices on United States Golf Association ultradwarf bermudagrass putting green properties to determine optimum timing and effectiveness of treatments.

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CHAPTER 3 EFFECTS OF TURFGRASS CULTIVATION PRACTICES ON ORGANIC MATTER, SOIL PHYSICAL PROPERTIES, AND TURFGRASS CHARACTERISTICS Materials and Methods Experimental Background This study was performed on the FLREC ultr adwarf bermudagrass research green from 2007 to 2008. The research green was establishe d in 1999 using a 90:10 (sand:sphagnum peat, v/v), USGA specified green soil mix (USGA Green Section Staff, 2004). FloraDwarf, TifEagle, and Champion ultradwarf bermudagrass varieties we re planted due to th eir availability and popularity at the time (Cisar, et al., 2003; Foy, 2000). After eight years of growth, and a twoyear period of minimal cultural management practic es prior to initiation, the ultradwarf research green had 1.6 cm of thatch-mat, and a 6 cm deep dark organic layer. Below the deep thatch-mat and dark organic layers was a no ticeably lighter layer which appear ed to be stained by inorganic and organic acid leachate. Below this layer was the unadulterated original greens mix. The dark organic layer averaged 40 g kg SOM with no significant differences among treatments or grasses, while the lighter layer had approximately 5 g kg SOM. The green was mowed daily at 3 mm height, and fertilized annually with 100 g N m 26 g P m and 91 g K m Pesticides (i.e., fungicides, and insecticides) were applied only when turfgrass decline due to biotic factors became unacceptable. Chlorothalonil, and bifenthrin were used to control surface algae and sod webworms on an as needed basis at labe l rates. Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis A split-plot, randomized complete block design was used for the ultradwarf bermudagrasses in order to increase treatment effect precision (Littell et al., 2006). Grasses were oriented in east-west rows as whole plot units, with six cultural management treatments randomly assigned to each row as su b-plot units (Littell et al., 2006). Each row received all six 28

PAGE 29

treatments, which included hollow tine aerifi cation (HTA): one, two, a nd three times yearly, solid tine aerification (STA) five times yearl y, deep verticutting thr ee times yearly, and an untreated control. To reduce sp atial variability the experimental area was further separated into randomized blocks and each block contained a comp lete replication (Litte ll et al., 2006). SAS PROC MIXED, and SAS PROC GLIMMIX (SAS, 2004), both using Tukeys multiplecomparison procedure, were used to de termine significant differences (P<0.05). Two completely separate studies were conduc ted. One started in March 2007, the SpringSummer study, and one started in July 2007, the summer-fall study. Spring-Summer treatments were applied to eighteen rows of FloraDwarf TifEagle, and Champion, making up six complete replications. Summer-Fall treatmen ts were applied to a separate area of the green, and consisted of five rows each of FloraDwarf and Ti fEagle, and three rows of Champion. Turfgrass Cultivation Treatments Hollow tine aerification. Hollow tine aerification was pe rformed with a walking core aerator (model ProCore 648, The Toro Compa ny, Bloomington, MN) one, two, or three times yearly. Putting green surface area and volumetric soil impact, to a depth of three inches, was 7.7, 15.4, and 23.1%, respectively, for each level of HT A. Cores were removed with 1.6 cm inner diameter hollow tines, on 5.1 cm centers (OBri en and Hartwiger, 2003), and set to a 7.6 cm depth. Ejected cores were picked up with a sc oop shovel and discarded. Each HTA application required 47.2 m (4.7 mm) USGA sand ha to fill the aerification holes and smooth the surface (Hartwiger 2004). In addition, 42.7 m (4.3 mm) USGA sand ha yr applied as surface topdressing (OBrien and Hartwi ger, 2003), was uniformly applie d over all HTA treatments. This combination added 89.9, 137.1, and 184.3 m (8.9, 13.7, and 18.4 mm) USGA sand ha yr for the one, two, and three-time HTA treatmen ts, respectively. This methodology provided suboptimal, optimal, and supraoptimal treatments when compared to USGA guidelines for yearly 29

PAGE 30

surface impact and topdressing. Our optimal HT A treatment (i.e., two-time yearly) mimicked the USGAs Big Holes, Big Spacing appr oach (OBrien and Hartwiger, 2003). The Spring-Summer study HTA treatments started in March 2007 with th e first application of the three-time a year treatment (Table 3-1). Two months later, in May, all HTA treatments were performed. In July the last application of the two, a nd three-time yearly HTA were performed. The Summer-Fall study treatments st arted in July 2007 with all HTA treatments being performed (Table 3-2), since it was the peak of the growing season. Two months later, in September, the two, and three-time yearly HTA were performed. In November, the last threetime yearly HTA was performed. Verticutting. A deep (2.5 cm) vertical mowing treatment (i.e., verticutting) was performed three times yearly with a commercial scar ifier (model 117462, Sisis Equipment (Macclesfield) Ltd., Cheshire, England). Yearly putting green surf ace area and volumetric impact, to a depth of three inches, was 46.8, and 15.6%, respectively. The two mm wide steel blades were set 2.5 cm deep, and an average of 21.4 m (2.2 mm) USGA sand ha was used to fill in grooves and smooth the surface after each treatment. In addition, 42.7 m (4.3 mm) USGA sand ha yr was applied as surface topdressing for an average total of 106.9 m (10.7 mm) ha yr Debris was swept up with a push broom, collected with a scoop shovel and discarded. Spring-Summer verticutting treatments were applied in March, May and July 2007 (Table 3-1). Summer-Fall verticutting treatments were applied in July, September and November 2007 (Table 3-2). Solid tine aerification. Solid tine aerification was perfor med with the same Toro aerator used for HTA treatments. This procedure was implemented monthly in an attempt to increase decomposition of OM, SOM, infiltration, oxygen flow Ksat and encourage root growth with less 30

PAGE 31

surface disruption than HTA and verticutting (C arrow, 2003; Vavrek, 2002). Initially, 10.2 cm long tines were used in an attempt to reach belo w the dark organic layer, but since considerable turf damage was observed we changed to shorte r (7.6 cm) tines for the Summer-Fall treatments. Since damage was excessive in the Spring-Su mmer treatments, it required 39.6 m (4.0 mm) USGA sand ha yr to fill in holes and smooth the surf ace. Summer-Fall treatments required only 21.4 m (2.1 mm) USGA sand ha yr to fill in holes and smooth the surface, as turfgrass damage was less severe with the shorter tines In addition, 42.7 m (4.3 mm) USGA sand ha yr was applied to each study as surface topdress ing. Results for the Spring-Summer applied solid tine treatments will be shown in figures a nd tables but not discussed in the text, as results were irregular. Control. The control treatment and all other tr eatments, received 42.7 m (4.3 mm) USGA sand ha yr applied as a surface topdressing and li ght vertical mowing (i.e., grooming). Topdressing was applied using a calibrated rotary spreader (The Sco tts Company, Marysville, OH) with rates and timings dependent on turfgrass growth (Carrow, 2003; OBrien and Hartwiger, 2003), and ranged from 1.52-3.05 m (0.150.30 mm) USGA sand ha for each application. Grooming was performed 32 times annually using a commercial walk mower (model 522, Jacobsen, A Textron Company, Charlo tte, NC) with grooming attachment. The walk mower was set to a 3.2 mm height, and grooming blades reached 1.6 mm below the bedknife. This allowed grooming blades to cut la teral growth with only minimal disturbance to the underlying soil matrix. Each grooming was performed in a direction different from the last in order to impact directional gr owth (i.e., grain) from a variet y of angles (Foy, 2005), and allow incorporation of topdressing th rough the dense turfgrass su rface (Carrow, 2004b; Foy, 1999; Vavrek, 2006). 31

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Physical Measurements Thatch depth. Thatch depth was determined by direct physical measurement and a Volkmeter, which is a weight-based thatch displacement instrument (Volk, 1972). Direct physical thatch measurements were taken at experiment initiation a nd after all treatments recovered. An open sided, 1.9 cm diameter soil pr obe was used to provide a clear view of the entire soil profile. Non-destruc tive, rapidly repeated thatch m easurements were taken with the Volkmeter (Cisar and Snyder, 2003; Volk, 1972). The device had a cylinder with 7.92 cm of surface area which provided a load of 570 g cm (Volk, 1972). A 10 time multiplication of compression gauge was used to increase ease of measurement (Volk, 1972). Readings showed a highly significant (p < 0.001) positive regressi on between surface compre ssibility and thickness of thatch (Volk, 1972). The resultant regre ssion line (Y=2.72+2.64X) was used to determine thatch depth and measure surface compressibility (Volk, 1972). Three readings were taken in each 2.4 m plot and each was used se parately in statistical analysis. Organic matter content. Organic matter content in the thatch layer was determined from 10 cm diameter by approximately 15 cm deep cup cutter cores. Thatch was separated from the core with a long knife and then oven dried at 105C for 24 hours before weighing. The pelts were then put into a 550C muffle furnace for four hours to oxidize OM, and re-weighed to determine OM (by weight) lost on ignition. Soil organic matter content. SOM levels were established from 5.1 cm wide and 9.5 cm soil cores. A handheld soil sampler 1.9 cm wide, w ith an open-side profile, was inserted 15 cm deep in order to collect only the dark organi c layer, which was located below thatch-mat, and above the unconsolidated lightly stained layer. This sampling method was used to determine the worse case scenario for SOM, as the other met hod sometimes included por tions of the lightly stained layer. In less mature greens, an even la rger portion of the lightly stained layer would be 32

PAGE 33

included and actual SOM le vels may be diluted. Samples were oven-dried at 105C for 24 hours to accommodate the removal of contaminants (e.g., stems, and gravel) with a 2 mm (#10) sieve. Samples were weighed and put into a 550C muffle furnace for four hours to oxidize OM. The soil samples were then re-weighed to determine SOM loss on ignition. We also compared three separate sieving methods to determine their affects on SOM levels. A #10 (2 mm) sieve, which is the one most commonly used in soil testi ng labs, was compared to a smaller #35 (0.5 mm) sieve and no sieve at all. Root weights. Root weights were determined from 10 cm diameter by approximately 15 cm deep cup cutter cores in order to obtain more measureable weights and reach below the root zone. Thatch was removed from the core with a long knife, while the rest of the core was washed through a 2 mm screen to remove the minera l fraction. Samples were then oven dried at 105C for 24 hours before weighing. Soil physical properties. Ksat, bulk density, pore space and waterholding capacity were established using ASTM F method 1815-97, minus th e cylinder loading step. Weight of the pycnometer [i.e., poly vinyl chloride (PVC) rings] when filled with water for relative density (i.e., particle density) determina tion was obtained from saturated Ks at soil cores. Calculations for ASTM D 854-83[1] methods were used. A 5 .1 cm diameter by 7.6 cm deep soil core was used in all cases except for Ksat with verdur e intact. For Ksat with verdure there was an additional 1.8 cm deep ring on top, making the total sample 9.4 cm deep. Ksat was determined both with verdure in tact and removed. Soil cores were first inundated in water with verdure intact to remove gas bubbles, then placed onto a constant head permeameter for four hours before measurements were recorded. Verdure was then removed by 33

PAGE 34

cutting off the 1.8 cm top ring with a long knife. Cores were then re-saturated from underneath and placed onto the constant head permeameter for an additional hour before sampling. Qualitative Measurements Golf course greens are composed of many fact ors that influence quality and playability. These include denseness and color of canopy, ra te of recovery, ball roll speed, surface compressibility, extent of scalping, localized dry spot, disease, and rate of recovery. Shoot counts from 20 cm cores were manually counted. Visual denseness, and color of canopy were rated weekly as quality on a 1-10 scale; 1 = dead, 6 = minimally acceptable, and 10 = best possible turf quality. Recovery was rated week ly on a 1-10 scale; 10= completely recovered. Ball roll speed was obtained by averaging the dist ance of two golf balls, rolled in two opposite directions, using a 19-cm modified USGA stimpmeter (Gaussoin et al., 1995). Surface compressibility was measured weekly with the Volkmeter. Mower scalping was rated on a 1-10 scale; 10 = complete loss of turfgrass cover. Localized dry spot, and fungus were rated on a 1-10 scale; 10 represented complete plot coverage. Recovery from treatments was rated on a 1-10 scale; 10 = completely recovered. Results and Discussion Surface Compressibility Although effects of cultural practice treatments on SOM were the main focus of this project, many other peripheral fa ctors were analyzed. One of the most interesting results was the cultural practice treatments effect on surface compressibility. The Volkmeter, developed by Gaylord Volk of UF for determination of that ch depth, uncovered notable differences in surface compressibility among treatments and grasses (Figur es 3-1 to 3-6). The control treatment was consistently spongier as indica ted by higher Volkmeter readings (Figures 3-1 to 3-4), which indicated the weight used to measure surface co mpression sunk further down into the thatch 34

PAGE 35

layer. Verticutting had lower Volkmeter readings indicative of a firmer surface (Figures 3-1 to 3-4). When analyzed as repeated measures over the entire study, a clear indication of effectiveness of treatments on surface compressib ility became apparent (Figures 3-3, 3-4). Onetime HTA had less surface compressibility than th e control, which was spongiest (Figures 3-3, 34). Each additional HTA further reduced surface compressibility, and verticutting was more effective than all HTA treatments for both studies (Figures 3-3, 3-4). Although verticutting produced the firmest surface during each 35 week study, HTA 3x had an as firm, and sometimes firmer surface after this time fram e due to its larger volumetric impact. On several occasions, particularly after September 14, 2007 during th e Spring-Summer study, TifEagle had the least surface compressibility (Figure 3-5). The Su mmer-Fall study showed Champion was firmer on most occasions up to week 15 (i.e., November 12, 2007), when TifEagle started to become firmer (Figure 3-6). The firmness of Champion in the second study was because plots were near the edge of green. This was una voidable as there were only thr ee plots of Champion available. Thatch Levels The Volkmeter assessed physical thatch depth rather accurately at the initiation of both studies, as initial readings were 1.65 and 1.69 cm, versus direct phys ical thatch measurements of 1.67 and 1.66 cm for the Spring-Summer, and Summer-Fall studies, respectively (Table 3-3). Volkmeter readings quickly became varied amon g treatments after the first application of cultural practices, although physical thatch depth had not necessarily changed and ashed organic matter weights were statistically similar. A fi nal physical thatch depth of 1.62 cm in the SpringSummer study was only 0.05 cm less than the initi al measurement (Table 3-3). Volkmeter readings for the control and vert icutting treatments taken at the same time (i.e., week 21, Figure 3-1) were 1.79, and 1.42 cm, respectively. Increa sed Volkmeter readings above direct physical measurements for the control could be due to aggressive summer top growth, and lack of 35

PAGE 36

appreciable impact on the thatch layer, while reduced Volkmeter readings for the verticutting are probably due to a substantial impact on the thatch layer, and the incorporation of sand into treatment openings. Since direct physical measurement of thatch wa s not necessarily being represented after the initiation of treatments, Volkmeter readings were considered to represent the effective thatch depth. For example, although actual thatch de pth may still be in excess of 1.6 cm, changes brought about by verticutting reduced its impact to 1.4 cm. Another interesting note was that HTA and verticutting firmed up our soft spongy green, while ot her research has shown that HTA actually softened up firm greens (McCarty et al., 2007). This demonstr ates the potential of cultural practices to adjust surface compressibi lity to a moderate level depending on whether preexisting surface conditions are eith er too firm, or too soft. The surface firming observed in this experiment could be tied to reduced organi c matter concentration in the thatch layer, as verticutting had lower levels th an the control in both studies and HTA 3x was lower in the Summer-Fall study. TifEagle had least am ong grasses in the Spring-Summer study and exhibited the least mower scalping. An overall surface firming trend occurred from September to November in both studies (Figures 3-1, 3-2, 3-5, 3-6). This could be due to either a firming effect from grooming and topdressing, or a physiological tu rfgrass response to declining temperatures and resultant changes in soil and surface characteristics. The grooming and topdressing hypothesis is less likely because although they were both applied to the Summer-Fall study for four months prior to initiation, compressibility was still very close to initial Spring-Summer readings (Table 3-3). A noticeable increase in surface firmness started in September for both studies as air and soil temperatures declined. This transition period from maximum to moderate d growth brings about 36

PAGE 37

distinct changes in surface ch aracteristics that are known to provide optimum putting conditions in southern regions where bermudagrass is grown (OBrien and Ha rtwiger, 2007). Although ultradwarf bermudagrasses can to lerate appreciably lower cutt ing heights during this period, superintendents will actually increase their heig ht of cut to slow down excessive green speeds that can occur (OBrien and Hartwiger, 2007). These increased green speeds are due to a combination of decreased turfgrass top growth th at reduces friction from leaf surface and surface firming brought about by increased production of roots (OBrien and Hartwiger, 2007). Soil Organic Matter USGA agronomists recommend impacting 15-2 0% of the putting green surface each year with hollow tine aerification, and topdre ssing with 121.9-152.4 m (12.2-15.2 mm) USGA sand ha yr to dilute SOM (Obrien and Hartwiger, 2 003). Even though our treatments exceeded the USGAs recommendations, there was no signifi cant reduction of SOM concentration among grasses or treatments in either study (Table 3-4, 3-5). There was a notable increase in SOM between initial and final levels in the Summer-Fall study (Table 34, 3-5). Soil organic matter in the Ksat core samples increased 22.3% (i.e., 0.6 g cm), while it increased 19.6% (i.e., 0.8 g cm) in the dark layer. This seasonal incr ease in SOM could have caused a reduction in pore space, Ksat, and Dp, and increased Db (Tables 3-11 to 3-16). Since Summer-Fall study root weights were 167% greater than those in the Summer-Fall stu dy (Table 3-8), it would be reasonable to assume that there was substa ntial root production be tween November and February. These new roots would have filled in previously open pores, reducing pore space. If that was the case, Ksat would be expected to d ecrease as naturally occu rring drainage channels became filled with new growth. Relative density could also decrease with increased SOM concentration because SOM has lower density th an mineral particles. Bulk density could increase as previously empty pores fill with roots, increasing the overall mass of a sample. 37

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Scalping Scalping, which is the excessive removal of leaf tissue from mowing (Christians, 1998), had occurred frequently on the research green due to excessive sponginess of the thatch layer (McCarty and Canegallo, 2005). Scalping was most severe in the heat of the summer when top growth was accelerated. Scalping was especial ly severe when mowing was performed from south to north, against the grai n (Foy, 2006). When ratings were taken after a notable incidence of scalping, verticutting treatmen ts showed significantly less (P< 0.01) overall scalping than all other treatments in the Spring-Su mmer study (Figures 3-7 to 3-9). This is due to the removal of spongy thatch matter, and surface firming brought about by incorporation of topdressing into grooves. Results were similar in the Summer-F all study when verticutti ng again scalped least, but it was only significantly less than HTA 2x, HT A 3x, and solid tine aerif ication (Figures 3-10, 3-11). A shallower (i.e., one cm deep) vertic utting performed over the Summer-Fall study area prior to initiation may have reduc ed scalping for the other treatm ents, making them more similar to verticutting (Figures 3-7 to 3-11 ). Note also that although shor ter solid tines were used for the Summer-Fall study scalping was st ill appreciable (Figure 3-10). Solid and HTA treatments caused mower scalping due to surface disruption, wh ile the control plots s calped due to increased sponginess of the thatch layer. TifEagle exhibited least overall scalping during the Spring-Summer study, while FloraDwarf scalped less than Champion (Figures 3-12, 3-13). Overall s calping results in the Summer-Fall study were similar, although not as significant (P=0.09, Figures 3-14, 3-15). Again, this was probably due to the prior shallow verticutting that alleviated scalping symptoms. Results obtained among treatments and grasses for mower scalping shows a relationship between scalping and surface firmness, as verticutting and TifEagle were usually firmer, and scalped the least. 38

PAGE 39

Physical Turfgrass Characteristics Shoot counts. Shoot counts were reduced more by verticutting than one-time HTA, twotime HTA, and the control in the Spring-Summer study (Figure 3-16, Table 3-6). Reduction in shoot counts may actually reduce sponginess and s calping as verticutting scalped the least over the Spring-Summer study (Figures 3-7 to 3-9) Although Champion had most shoots after both studies, there were no statistical differences amo ng grasses during either study (Table 3-6). This shows a possible correlation be tween shoots and scalping as Ch ampion scalped most severely over the Spring-Summer study (Figures 3-12, 3-13). Grass clippings. Verticutting had fewer clippings after Spring-Summer treatments were applied, and allowed to recover (Figure 3-17). After the Summer-Fall study verticutting, and HTA 3x had fewer clippings than solid tine aerifi cation (Figure 3-18). C lippings among grasses were only significantly affected in the Spring-Summer study when Champion had fewest (Figure 3-19). This could be due to the damage Cham pion incurred from mower scalping, which could have affected tissue production or reduced the number of shoots. Ball roll. Although verticutting was sli ghtly faster than other treatments in the SpringSummer study, and equal to the fastest treatme nt in the Summer-Fall study, no significant differences among grasses or treatments were fo und for ball roll when treatments were allowed to recover (Table 3-7). A notable 22.4% overall average increase in ball roll was realized in the Summer-Fall study due to previously mentioned changes in surface characteristics brought about by cooler temperatures (Table 3-7). Root weights. No significant differences among gra sses or treatments were found for oven dry root weights in either study, though average Summer-Fall study root we ights were over twice that, 19.2 versus 7.2 g, of the Spring-Summer study (T able 3-8). This increase in root zone 39

PAGE 40

biomass can possibly be correlated to the decr eased Ksat, pore space and relative density, and increased bulk density that occu rred in the Summer-Fall study. Localized dry spot. A dry-down of the research green produced substantial localized dry spot (LDS) symptoms and verticutting exhibited less LDS than HTA 3x in both studies (Figures 3-20, 3-21, Table 3-9). TifEagle exhibited the lowest (P<0. 10) LDS symptoms among grasses in the Spring-Summer study (Figure 3-22, Table 39). Verticutting also had higher volumetric water content (VWC) than HTA 3x in both stud ies (Figures 3-23, 3-24, Table 3-10), while TifEagle had highest VWC among grasses in the Spring-Summer study (Figure 3-25, Table 310). This would help explain why LDS sympto ms were reduced for TifEagle over the SpringSummer study (Figure 3-22, Table 3-9). This reduction in VWC and subsequent increase in LDS for HTA 3x was due to removal of cores that contain appreciable SOM and water-holding capacity. Hollow tine aerification can also create fast draining channels, especially when side walls become sealed due to mechanical fricti on. These channels do not allow water to move sideways into the root zone so water can quick ly percolate below the root zone and become unavailable to the turfgrass. TifEagle exhibi ted fewest (P<0.10) LDS symptoms (Figure 3-22, Table 3-9) and highest VWC among grasses (Fig ure 3-25, Table 3-10), most probably due to inherent growth characteristics. Qualitative Turfgrass Characteristics Quality. All cultural practices negatively affected turfgrass quality due to a disruption of the putting surface. Hollow tine aerification a nd verticutting negatively impacted 7.7, and 15.6% of a greens surface with each a pplication caused the greens surface to become uneven, increased mower scalping and caused ball roll to slow for two weeks (McCarty et al., 2007). When analyzed as repeated measures, the control ha d the highest average quality in both studies (Figures 3-26, 3-27; Table 3-11). Although the control had higher ove rall quality ratings, 40

PAGE 41

verticutting had higher ratings on eight occasions during the SpringSummer study (Figure 3-26). This was a result of reduced scalping due to a firmer surface and a greening effect possibly brought about by the release of N from disturbed organic matter (Figure 3-28). Verticutting and HTA 3x had statistically similar quality in th e Spring-Summer study (Figure 3-26), but HTA 3x had higher overall quality in the Summer-Fall st udy (Figure 3-27; Table 3-11). The reduction of quality in verticutting plots ove r the Summer-Fall study occurred due to the shallow verticutting that was performed prior to initiation of study. Since turf had not completely recovered, damage was worse than expected and ratings suffered throughout the study. Hollow tine aerification 1x, HTA 2x and solid tine aerification exhibited statistically similar overall quality, which was lower than the control but higher than HTA 3x and ve rticutting in the Summer-Fall study (Figure 3-27; Table 3-11). Champion had lower quality than TifEagle over the Spring-Summe r study (Figure 3-29; Table 3-11). Champion seemed to have aggre ssive top growth that increased mower scalping during hot summer months (Figure 3-12), as that is when its qu ality was lowest (Figure 3-29; Table 3-11). Grasses had statis tically similar quality ratings in the Summer-Fall study (Figure 330; Table 3-11). This was probably due to the location of Champion plots near edge of treatment area, which was firmer and subsequently scalped less. Recovery. Hollow tine aerification and verticu tting took a similar amount of time to recover in both studies although verticutting was at times more damaging (Figures 3-31, 3-32; Table 3-12). They both took five weeks longer to recover after fi nal treatments were applied in the Summer-Fall study compared to the Spring-Summer study (Figure 3-31, 3-32; Table 3-12). This was due to cooler air and soil temperatur es, which slowed bermuda grass growth. Overall recovery ratings for HTA 1x, and the control were statistica lly similar in both studies. Solid tine 41

PAGE 42

aerification joined them in the Summer-Fall study, as it also had highest average recovery ratings after tine length was reduced 2.5 cm (Figure 3-32; Table 3-12). Hollow tine aerification 2x, HTA 3x, and verticutting had lower recovery ratings in both studi es (Figure 3-31, 3-32; Table 312). This meant that damage was more extensive over the cour se of both studies from these treatments compared to the control. Champion was slightly slower (P<0 .15) to recover in the Spring-Summer study due to regularly observed mower scalping (Figure 3-12). Soil Physical Properties Saturated hydraulic conductivity. Hollow tine aerification 3x had the fastest Ksat (41.7 cm hr ) after the Spring-Summer study (P<0.01), while verticutting and control were slowest (18.9, and 20.2 cm hr ); all treatments averaged 31.5 cm hr (Figure 3-33; Table 3-13). Although 30% slower than Spring-Summer Ksat, HTA 3x had fastest (29.2 cm hr ) Ksat of the Summer-Fall study (Figure 3-34; Table 3-13). Hollow tine aerifi cation 2x, which was approximately 50% slower than HTA 3x, was se cond fastest in the Su mmer-Fall study. All treatments in the Summer-Fall study averaged 11.4 cm hr which was 64% slower than the Spring-Summer study Ksat (Figur es 3-33, 3-34; Table 3-13). Champion had slower (P=0.13, and P=0.13) Ksat in Spring-Summer, and Summe r-Fall studies, respec tively (Table 3-13). Verdure did not seem to affect Ksat negatively. Saturated hydraulic c onductivity was actually 15% slower after verdure was removed in both studi es. This may have been due to sealing of naturally occurring flow channels after verdure wa s removed from the mois t soil core with a long knife. Overall Spring-Summer Ksat increased 10.44 cm hr while overall Summer-Fall Ksat decreased 2.46 cm hr after all treatments were applied a nd allowed to recover (Table 3-13). This notable decrease in Summer-Fall Ksat can be associated with the dramatically increased root weights observed (Table 3-8). 42

PAGE 43

Bulk density. Bulk density (Db) was not reduced (P=0.29) by any treatment in the Spring-Summer study (Table 3-14). Hollow tine aerification 2x (1.37 g cm ) had lower Db than verticutting (1.43 g cm ) in the Summer-Fall study (Figur e 3-35; Table 3-14). Champion had the lowest Db among grasses in both studies (Fig ures 3-36, 3-37; Table 3-14). This could be due to Champions growth characteristics, which may also produce more to tal pore space. Bulk density decreased only marginally from an initial 1.31 g cm to a final 1.24 g cm in the SpringSummer study, while the Summer-Fall study increas ed substantially from an initial 1.20 g cm to a final 1.40 g cm (Table 3-14). This increase of Db in the Summer-Fall study seemed to be linked to the same seasonal changes that increa sed surface firmness and ba ll roll in the fall. When air and soil temperatures started falling in September, Volkmeter readings showed a surface firming trend that may have been i ndicative of similar changes in root-zone characteristics. Reduced Ksat is one indicator of increased Db (McCarty and Brown, 2004). Bulk density decreased 0.07 g cm in the Spring-Summer study and overall Ksat increased 10.4 cm hr (Tables 3-13, 3-14). Bulk density in the Summer-Fall study increased 0.2 g cm and overall Ksat was reduced by 3.2 cm hr (Tables 3-13, 3-14). The reason for this seasonal phenomenon is not completely understood, although it may be due to seasonal changes in soil characteristics, microbial activity, and plant physiology. Naturally occurring fluctuations in organic matter may also be a factor, as relative density and root weights were a ffected in the Summer-Fall study. Also, compaction (i.e., increased bulk density) caused by HTA coul d be a factor, as Petrovic (1979) found zones of compaction along side walls, and bottoms of aerific ation holes. This compaction found at the bottom of aerification holes is similar to the plow pan that can occur 43

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during farming (Vavrek, 2002). The impact of this compaction is debatable as varied results have been obtained (Vavrek, 2002). Relative density. Relative density (Dp), which is the ra tio of the weight of the soil to the weight of an equal volume of water (Liu and Ev ett, 1990), increased only slightly (2.68 to 2.70 g cm ) in the Spring-Summer study, while it decreased from 2.56 to 2.17 g cm in the SummerFall study (Table 3-15). Verticutting had lo west Dp in the Spring-Summer study, while HTA 2x and 3x had higher Dp due to incorporation of sand into the root-zone (Fi gure 3-38). There were no Dp treatment differences in the Summer-F all study (Table 3-15), although overall Dp decreased substantially (0.39 g cm ) from initial levels. The Su mmer-Fall study decrease in Dp is probably because of the aforementioned season al changes, which in this case overrode any effects of HTA because underground turfgrass pr oduction increased substantially. There were no differences in Dp among grasses in the Sp ring-Summer study, although Champion had lowest and FloraDwarf had highest after the Summer-Fall study (Table 3-15). The decrease in Dp for grasses in the Summer-Fall study may be due to physiological changes that increased SOM in the form of roots and underground plant parts. Total pore space. Overall total pore space (TPS) increa sed slightly from 51.2 to 54.1 % in the Spring-Summer study after treatments were applied and allowed to recover, while it decreased substantially from 53.1 to 35.3 % in th e Summer-Fall study (Figure 3-39, 3-40; Table 3-16). All treatments, including the control had more TPS at the end of the Spring-Summer study, while Summer-Fall TPS decreased substantially from initial levels, regardless of treatment (Table 3-16). Hollow tine aerification 3x had most TPS, while HTA 1x, verticutting and the control had least TPS in the Spring-Summer st udy (Figure 3-39). After the Summer-Fall study HTA 2x and HTA 3x had most TPS, while vertic utting had the least (Figure 3-40). All HTA 44

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treatments were statistically similar to each othe r in both studies. Champion had more TPS than both FloraDwarf and TifEagle in the SpringSummer study (Table 3-16), which could be indicative of an aggressive summer top-growth habit that limits root pr oduction. No grass TPS differences were found in the Su mmer-Fall study (Table 3-16). Macropore space. Overall macropore space (MAPS) in creased from 12.4 to 17.7 % in the Spring-Summer study (Figure 3-41 ; Table 3-17), while it decreased from 18.0 to 9.8 % in the Summer-Fall study (Figure 3-42; Table 3-17). Verticutting had least MAPS after SpringSummer treatments were applied and allowed to recover (Figure 3-41; Table 3-17). Hollow tine aerification 3x had most MAPS, while HTA 1x, ve rticutting and the cont rol had least in the Summer-Fall study (Figure 3-42; Table 3-17). Micropore space. Micropore space (MIPS) decreased slightly from 38.8 to 36.4 % after Spring-Summer treatments were applied and allowe d to recover (Table 3-18), while it decreased substantially from 35.1 to 25.5 % in the Summer -Fall study (Table 3-18). There were no treatment differences in the Spring-Summer, or Summer-Fall studi es (Table 3-18). Water holding capacity. Overall water holding capacity by weight (WHC) decreased very slightly from 29.8 to 29.7 % in the Spring -Summer study (Table 3-19), while it decreased substantially from 29.5 to 18.3 % in the Summer-Fall study (Table 3-19). There were no treatment differences in the Spring-Summer, or Summer-Fall studies (T able 3-19). Champion had most WHC among grasses in the Spring-Summ er study, while TifEagle had least (Table 319). No grass differences were found in either study (Table 3-19). Conclusions Treatments used in this experiment, even though meeting and exceeding USGA recommendations for surface impact and topdressi ng, did not impact enough of the root-zone to significantly reduce SOM. If HTA treatments were performed more frequently (e.g., four or five 45

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times) or repeated for another year, there may have been an appreciable reduction of SOM. McCarty et al. (2007) used si milar treatments in a two-year study and found no reduction of organic matter in the top 5.1 cm the first year, wh ile a reduction was noted in the second year for the HTA 4x combined with verticutting 2x treatment. Another thing to co nsider is that their green was only three years old with 1.4% (wt) SOM and ours was eight years old and had an average of 4% (wt) SOM. It may be more diffi cult to dilute SOM in a more mature green. Since verticutting eventually had higher qual ity, fewer clippings, firmest surface, least mower scalping, and localized dry spot it seemed to be the most beneficial treatment in our experiment, especially since no other treatment significantly reduced OM or SOM. Due to its higher overall quality and reduced scalping, TifEagle stood out as the best overall grass studied. Naturally-occurring seasonal cha nges in turfgrass growth app eared to supplant the impact of cultural practices on most USGA green soil prope rties, particularly when applied later in the year. Bulk density increased, wh ile pore space and Ksat decreased substantially in the SummerFall study, regardless of treatment. Since cultura l practices are much less effective when applied later in the year, it is best to start them in the spring. Th is timing would also allow extra aerification or verticutting applic ations to be made in the su mmer when golfer play is at a minimum. When play is at its peak in the wint er, all treatments would be fully recovered and the greens will be at their best. 46

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Table 3-1. Specifications and timi ngs of spring-summer cultural practices used on ultradwarf bermudagrass research putting green, 2007. Treatment Timing Tine Spacing (cm) Tine Depth (cm) Tine Width (cm) Surface Area Impacted (%) Volumetric Area Impacted* (%) Sand Applied (m) Control Hollow tine One time: May 5.1 7.6 1.6 7.7 7.7 47.3 Hollow tine Two times: May, July 5.1 7.6 1.6 15.4 15.4 94.6 Hollow tine Three times: March, May, July 5.1 7.6 1.6 23.1 23.1 141.9 Verticut Three times: March, May, July 1.3 2.5 0.2 46.8 15.6 48.8 Solid tine Five times: March-July 5.1 10.2 1.0 15.7 15.7 39.6 All treatments received grooming 32 ti mes yearly, and an additional 42.7 m (4.3 mm) USGA sand ha year *Volumetric area impacted is based on a 7.6 cm depth. 47

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Table 3-2. Specifications and tim ings of summer-fall cultural practices used on ultradwarf bermudagrass research putting green, 2007. Treatment Timing Tine Spacing (cm) Tine Depth (cm) Tine Width (cm) Surface Area Impacted (%) Volumetric Area Impacted* (%) Sand Applied (m) Control Hollow tine One time: May 5.1 7.6 1.6 7.7 7.7 47.3 Hollow tine Two times: May, July 5.1 7.6 1.6 15.4 15.4 94.6 Hollow tine Three times: March, May, July 5.1 7.6 1.6 23.1 23.1 141.9 Verticut Three times: March, May, July 1.3 2.5 0.2 46.8 15.6 79.3 Solid tine Five times: March-July 5.1 7.6 1.0 15.7 15.7 21.4 All treatments received grooming 32 ti mes yearly, and an additional 42.7 m (4.3 mm) USGA sand ha year *Volumetric area impacted is based on a 7.6 cm depth. 48

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= * Figure 3-1. Comparison of spring-summer applie d cultural practices on surface compressibility (cm). Readings were taken from Marc h 10 to November 16, 2007. Verticutting and hollow tine aerification (HTA) 3x yr became statistically similar (P>0.05) at week 26 (=); all treatments became statisti cally similar (P>0.05) at week 33 ( ). Note firming trend from weeks 26-35 (September 14-November 16). Arrows ( ) indicate HTA and verticutting, while (*) indicate so lid tine applications Table 3-1 shows complete breakdown of treatments. 49

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= ** Figure 3-2. Comparison of summ er-fall applied cultural practic es on surface compressibility (cm). Readings were taken from July 30 to March 31, 2008. Verticutting and hollow tine aerification (HTA) 3x yr became statis tically similar (P>0.05) at week 22 (=); all treatments became statistically similar (P>0.05) at week 33 ( ). Note overall firming trend from weeks 6-16 (September 10-November 19). Arrows ( ) indicate HTA and verticutting, while (*) indicate so lid tine applications Table 3-2 shows complete breakdown of treatments. 50

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A B C CD D E Figure 3-3. Effects of sp ring-summer applied cultural practic es on surface compressibility (cm) determined from average Volkmeter readi ngs over entire study (P<0.05). 51

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52 A AB B C D E Figure 3-4. Effects of summer-fa ll applied cultural practices on surface compressibility (cm) determined from Volkmeter readings averaged over entire study (P<0.05).

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Table 3-3. Thatch measurements for spr ing-summer and summer-fall studies. Method Spring-summer Summer-fall Thatch Depth (cm) Initial Final Initial Final Volkmeter 1.65 1.61 1.69 1.58 Direct 1.67 1.62 1.66 1.37 Thatch was measured prior to cultural practice treatments and after all treatments were applied and allowed to recover. A weight-based thatch displace ment instrument (i.e., Volkmeter) was used along with direct physical measurement. 53

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^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ * Figure 3-5. Comparison of spring-summer applie d cultural practices on surface compressibility (cm) among grasses. Readings were taken from March 10 to November 16, 2007. TifEagle was notably firmer (P<0.05) on six occasions (^) after September 14 (week 26), and several times thereafter (data not shown). Note overall firming trend from weeks 26-35 (September 14-November 16). Arrows ( ) indicate hollow tine aerification and verticutting, while (*) indicate solid tine applications. Table 3-1 shows complete breakdown of treatments. 54

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^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ * ^ ^ ^ Figure 3-6. Comparison of summ er-fall applied cultural practic es on surface compressibility (cm) among grasses. Readings were taken from July 30 to March 31, 2008. Champion was notably firmer (P<0.05) on 10 occasions (^) prior to November 12 (week 15) due to plot locations near end of research area. Afterwards TifEagle started to become firmer, as was the case in the Spring-Summer study. Note overall firming trend from weeks 6-16 (September 10-November 19). Arrows ( ) indicate hollow tine aerification and ve rticutting, while (*) indicate solid tine applications. Table 3-2 shows complete breakdown of treatments. 55

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Table 3-4. Soil organic matter concentration in Ksat cores for spring-summer and summerfall studies. Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall g cm Initial Final Initial Final Hollow Tine Aerification (1x yr ) 3.49 a 3.19 a 2.52 a 3.40 a Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr ) 3.32 a 3.15 a 2.75 a 3.40 a Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr ) 3.45 a 3.38 a 2.72 a 3.34 a Control 3.29 a 3.31 a 2.79 a 3.35 a Verticutting (3x yr ) 3.39 a 3.56 a 2.89 a 3.32 a Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr ) 3.36 a 3.03 a 2.80 a 3.30 a P=0.67 P=0.31 P=0.87 P=0.89 Grass Champion 3.58 a 3.52 a 2.89 a 3.36 a FloraDwarf 3.24 b 3.10 a 2.70 a 3.32 a TifEagle 3.33 b 3.19 a 2.65 a 3.37 a P=0.001 P=0.11 P=0.60 P=0.88 Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different, at 0.05 significance level, using Tukey-Kramer method. 56

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Table 3-5. Soil organic matter concentration in dark layer cores for spring-summer and summer-fall studies. Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall g cm Initial Final Initial Final Hollow Tine Aerification (1x yr ) 5.11 a 3.75 a 4.22 a 4.95 a Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr ) 4.69 a 3.95 a 4.28 a 5.03 a Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr ) 4.29 a 3.42 a 4.51 a 4.75 a Control 4.69 a 4.10 a 4.56 a 5.13 a Verticutting (3x yr ) 4.29 a 3.86 a 3.98 a 5.12 a Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr ) 5.11 a 4.00 a 4.21 a 5.75 a P=0.38 P=0.53 P=0.10 P=0.23 Grass Champion 4.71 a 3.83 a 4.74 a 5.39 a FloraDwarf 4.42 a 3.85 a 3.97 a 4.98 a TifEagle 4.96 a 3.86 a 4.17 a 5.00 a P=0.11 P=0.99 P=0.08 P=0.50 Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different, at 0.05 significance level, using Tukey-Kramer method. 57

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* Figure 3-7. Comparison of spri ng-summer applied cultural practi ces on mower scalping (tissue loss). Ratings 0-9 (0 = no scalping, and 9 = completely scalped) were taken from April 15 to December 14, 2007. Arrows () indicate hollow tine aerification and verticutting, while (*) indicat e solid tine applications. Table 3-1 shows complete breakdown of treatments. 58

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A A A A A B Figure 3-8. Effects of sp ring-summer applied cultural practices on mower scalping (tissue loss). Ratings 0-9 (0 = no scalping, and 9 = comple tely scalped) indicate average mower scalping from April 15 to December 14, 2007. Verticutting scalped least (P<0.01). 59

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Figure 3-9. Severe mower scalping on all cultural treatment plot s except verticutting. 60

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* Figure 3-10. Comparison of summer-fall applie d cultural practices on mower scalping (tissue loss). Ratings 0-9 (0 = no scalping, and 9 = completely scalped) were taken from September 24 to November 5, 2007. Arrows ( ) indicate hollow tine aerification and verticutting, while (*) indicat e solid tine applications. Table 3-2 shows complete breakdown of treatments. 61

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A A A AB AB B Figure 3-11. Effects (P<0.05) of summer-fa ll applied cultural pract ices on mower scalping (tissue loss). Ratings 0-9 (0 = no scalpi ng, and 9 = completely scalped) indicate average mower scalping from September 24 to November 5, 2007. 62

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^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ * Figure 3-12. Comparison of spring-summer applied cultural pract ices on scalping (tissue loss) among grasses. Ratings 0-9 (0 = no scalping, and 9 = completely scalped) were taken from April 15 to December 14, 2007. Champion and TifEagle were significantly different (P<0.05) on eight occasions as indicated by (^). Arrows ( ) indicate hollow tine aerification and verticutting, while (*) in dicate solid tine app lications. Table 3-1 shows complete breakdown of treatments. 63

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A B C Figure 3-13. Effects of spring-summer applied cu ltural practices on mower scalping (tissue loss) among grasses. Ratings 0-9 (0 = no scalpi ng, and 9 = completely scalped) indicate average mower scalping from April 15 to December 14, 2007. TifEagle had less (P<0.05) mower scalping than FloraDwarf which had less (P<0.05) than Champion. 64

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* Figure 3-14. Comparison of summer-fall applie d cultural practices on mower scalping (tissue loss) among grasses. Ratings 0-9 (0 = no s calping, and 9 = completely scalped) were taken from September 24 to November 5, 2007. TifEagle scalped least (P<0.10) on weeks 8, and 14. Arrows ( ) indicate hollow tine aerification and verticutting, while (*) indicate solid tine applications. Table 3-2 shows complete breakdown of treatments. 65

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Figure 3-15. Effects of summe r-fall applied cultural practices on scalping (tissue loss) among grasses. Ratings 0-9 (0 = no scalping, a nd 9 = completely scal ped) indicate mower scalping averaged from September 24 to December 5, 2007 (P=0.09). 66

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A AB AB BC C C Figure 3-16. Bermudagrass shoots counted from 20 cm cores after spring-summer cultural practices were applied, and allowed to recover (P<0.01). 67

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Table 3-6. Shoot counts for springsummer and summer-fall studies. Treatment Spring-Summer Summer-Fall Hollow Tine Aerification (1x yr ) 321 ab 312 a Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr ) 324 ab 347 a Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr ) 307 bc 342 a Control 350 a 325 a Verticutting (3x yr ) 275 c 342 a Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr ) 273 c 317 a P<0.0001 P=0.55 Grass Champion 321 a 341 a FloraDwarf 300 a 320 a TifEagle 304 a 331 a P=0.24 P=0.35 Bermudagrass shoot counts taken from 20 cm cores. Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different at 0.05 signif icance level using Tukey-Kramer method. 68

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A A AB AB AB B Figure 3-17. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on bermudagrass clipping oven dry weights (P<0.05). 69

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A AB AB B AB B Figure 3-18. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on bermudagrass clipping oven dry weights (P<0.05). 70

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A A B Figure 3-19. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on bermudagrass clipping oven dry weights among grasses (P<0.05). 71

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Table 3-7. Ball roll (cm) for sprin g-su m s. reatment Spring-summer Summer-fall mmer and sum er-fall studieT cm Hollow Tine Aerification (1x yr ) 53 a 69 a Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr ) 56 a 67 a Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr ) Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr ) =0.20 =0.90 rf TifEagle 55 a 68 a Control 56 a 68 a Verticutting (3x yr ) 57 a 69 a 54 a 67 a P P Grass Champion 54 a 68 a FloraDwa 57 a 68 a 55 a 67 a P=0.29 P=0.89 Ball roll distances (cm) taken with a 19-cm modified USGA stimpmeter. Mean estimates with same letter ithin column are not statistically different at 0.05 significance level using Tukey-Kramer method. w 72

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Table 3-8. Root weights (g) for spri ng sum dies. reatment Spring-summer Summer-fall -summer and mer-fall stuT g Hollow Tine Aerification (1x yr ) 6.7 a 18.8 a Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr ) 6.8 a 18.0 a Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr ) Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr ) =0.05 =0.18 rf TifEagle 7.0 a 19.2 a Control 7.7 a 19.2 a Verticutting (3x yr ) 8.3 a 21.2 a 6.2 a 18.7 a P P Grass Champion 8.0 a 26.3 a FloraDwa 6.9 a 14.7 a 6.6 a 16.5 a P=0.30 P=0.15 Oven dry root weights (g) taken from cup cutter cores. Mean estimates with same letter within column re not statistically different at 0.05 si gnificance level using Tukey-Kramer method. a 73

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A A A A A B Figure 3-20. Effects of spring-summer applied cu ltural practices on localized dry spot (P<0.01). Ratings: 1-10 (1 = least symptoms, and 10 = most symptoms). 74

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A AB ABC ABC BC C Figure 3-21. Effects of summer-f all applied cultural practices on localized dry spot (P<0.01). Ratings: 1-10 (1 = least symptoms, and 10 = most symptoms). 75

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Figure 3-22. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on localized dry spot among grasses (P<0.10). Ratings: 1-10 (1 = leas t symptoms, and 10 = most symptoms). 76

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Table 3-9. Localized dry spot for spr ing-summer and summer-fall studies. Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall g Hollow Tine Aerification (1x yr ) 5.8 a 4.0 ab Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr ) 5.4 a 4.2 ab Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr ) 6.3 a 5.4 a Control 4.4 a 3.0 ab Verticutting (3x yr ) 1.6 b 2.2 b Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr ) 4.6 a 4.3 ab P<0.0001 P=0.008 Grass Champion 5.0 a 3.6 a FloraDwarf 4.9 a 4.2 a TifEagle 4.0 a 3.8 a P=0.09 P=0.66 Localized dry spot ratings: 1-10 (10 = Complete Plot Coverage). Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different at 0. 05 significance level using Tukey-Kramer method. 77

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A A AB AB AB B Figure 3-23. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on volumetric water content (P<0.01). Ratings: 1-10 (1 = least symptoms, and 10 = most symptoms). Readings taken on November 9, 2007. 78

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A A A A A B Figure 3-24. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on vol umetric water content (P<0.01). Readings taken on February 4, 2008. 79

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A AB B Figure 3-25. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on volumetric water content among grasses (P<0.05). Readings taken on November 21, 2007. 80

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Table 3-10. Volumetric water co ntent (Theta) readings for spr ing-summer and summer-fall studies. Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall g Hollow Tine Aerification (1x yr ) 32.2 ab 36.8 a Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr ) 32.4 ab 35.5 a Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr ) 30.7 b 29.1 b Control 35.1 a 39.3 a Verticutting (3x yr ) 35.3 a 39.6 a Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr ) 31.8 ab 35.4 a P=0.002 P=0.0002 Grass Champion 29.9 ab 36.3 a FloraDwarf 28.7 b 36.3 a TifEagle 31.1 a 35.2 a P=0.03 P=0.72 Volumetric water content (Theta) readings: % soil satur ation. Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different at 0. 05 significance level using Tukey-Kramer method. 81

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^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ * Figure 3-26. Effects of spring-summer applied cu ltural practices on quality. Ratings 1-10 (1 = Dead, 6 = Minimum Acceptable, and 10 = Best) were taken from March 10 to November 16, 2007. Arrows ( ) indicate hollow tine aerification and verticutting, while (*) indicate solid tine applications. Verticutting had highest (P<0.05) quality on eight occasions as indicated by (^). Table 3-1 shows complete breakdown of treatments. 82

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* ** Figure 3-27. Effects of summe r-fall applied cultural practices on quality. Ratings 1-10 (1 = Dead, 6 = Minimum Acceptable, and 10 = Best) were taken from 30 July 2007 to March 31, 2008. Arrows ( ) indicate hollow tine aerific ation and verticutting, while (*) indicate solid tine applications. Table 3-2 shows complete breakdown of treatments. 83

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Figure 3-28. Verticutting treatment showed incr eased quality due to a re lease of nitrogen from soil organic matter, and a firmer surface that reduced scalping. 84

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* * Figure 3-29. Comparison of spring-summer applied cultural practi ces on quality among grasses. Ratings 1-10 (1 = Dead, 6 = Minimum Accep table, and 10 = Best) were taken from March 10 to November 16, 2007. Arrows ( ) indicate hollow tine aerification and verticutting, while (*) indicat e solid tine applications. Table 3-1 shows complete breakdown of treatments. 85

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* ** Figure 3-30. Comparison of summer-fall applie d cultural practices on quality among grasses. Ratings 1-10 (1 = Dead, 6 = Minimum Accep table, and 10 = Best) were taken from 30 July 2007 to March 31, 2008. Arrows ( ) indicate hollow tine aerification and verticutting, while (*) indicat e solid tine applications. Table 3-2 shows complete breakdown of treatments. 86

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Table 3-11. Quality ratings for sprin g-summer and summer-fall studies. Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall Hollow Tine Aerification (1x yr ) 7.63 b 7.30 b Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr ) 7.57 bc 7.26 b Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr ) 7.43 c 7.11 c Control 7.83 a 7.41 a Verticutting (3x yr ) 7.46 bc 7.00 d Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr ) 7.13 d 7.23 b P<0.0001 P<0.0001 Grass Champion 7.43 b 7.20 a FloraDwarf 7.54 ab 7.21 a TifEagle 7.56 a 7.25 a P=0.02 P=0.30 Quality ratings: 1-10 (1 = Dead, 6 = Minimum Acceptabl e, and 10 = Best). Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically differe nt, at 0.05 significance level, using Kenward-Roger method for repeated measures. 87

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* * Figure 3-31. Comparison of spring-summer applied cultural pract ices on recovery. Ratings: 110 (10 = Recovered) were taken from March 26 to November 16, 2007. Treatments became statistically similar (P >0.05) at week 26. Arrows ( ) indicate hollow tine aerification and verticutting, wh ile (*) indicate solid tine applications. All treatments became statistically similar (P>0.05) at week 26 as indicated by ( ). Table 3-1 shows complete breakdown of treatments. 88

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* ** Figure 3-32. Comparison of summer-fall applie d cultural practices on r ecovery. Ratings: 1-10 (10 = Recovered) were taken from 30 Ju ly, 2007 to March 31, 2008. All treatments became statistically similar (P>0.05) at week 31 ( ). Arrows ( ) indicate hollow tine aerification and verticutting, while (*) indicate solid tine applications. Table 3-2 shows complete breakdown of treatments. 89

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Table 3-12. Recovery ratings for spri ng-summer and summer-fall studies. Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall Hollow Tine Aerification (1x yr ) 9.52 ab 9.58 a Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr ) 9.21 bc 8.97 ab Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr ) 9.01 cd 8.12 bc Control 9.93 a 9.81 a Verticutting (3x yr ) 8.73 de 7.50 c Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr ) 8.29 e 9.25 a P<0.0001 P<0.0001 Grass Champion 8.99 a 8.77 a FloraDwarf 9.18 a 8.93 a TifEagle 9.18 a 8.92 a P=0.15 P=0.76 Recovery ratings: 1-10 (1 = no recovery, and 10 = completely recovered). Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically differe nt, at 0.05 significance level, using Kenward-Roger method for repeated measures. 90

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AB A A AB B B Figure 3-33. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on saturated hydraulic conductivity (P<0.01). 91

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A AB B B B B Figure 3-34. Effects of summer-fall applie d cultural practices on saturated hydraulic conductivity (P<0.01). There was an overall re duction of 20 cm hr compared to the spring-summer study. 92

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Table 3-13. Saturated hydrauli c conductivity (Ksat) for spr ing-summer and summer-fall studies. Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall cm hr Initial Final Initial Final Hollow Tine Aerification (1x yr ) 18.8 a 32.8 ab 18.4 a 4.6 b Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr ) 20.9 a 32.4 ab 10.2 a 15.4 ab Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr ) 24.9 a 41.7 a 18.5 a 29.3 a Control 22.6 a 20.3 b 12.6 a 2.2 b Verticutting (3x yr ) 16.8 a 18.9 b 16.7 a 7.7 b Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr ) 22.4 a 43.1 a 11.3 a 9.2 b P Value P=0.60 P=0.0005 P=0.81 P<0.0001 Grass Champion 25.1 a 26.7 a 10.7 a 6.9 a FloraDwarf 22.1 a 33.4 a 21.3 a 14.6 a TifEagle 16.1 a 34.5 a 11.8 a 12.7 a P Value P=0.13 P=0.35 P=0.13 P=0.19 Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different, at 0.05 significance level, using Tukey-Kramer method. 93

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A AB AB AB AB B Figure 3-35. Effects of summer-f all applied cultural practices on bulk density (P<0.05). There was an overall increase in Db of 0.2 g cm compared to the spring-summer study. 94

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A AB B Figure 3-36. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices effect s on bulk density (Db) among grasses (P<0.05). 95

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A B B Figure 3-37. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on bulk density (Db) among grasses (P<0.05). There was an overall increa se in Db of 0.2 g cm compared to the spring-summer study. 96

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Table 3-14. Bulk density (Db) for spr ing-summer and summer-fall studies. Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall g cm Initial Final Initial Final Hollow Tine Aerification (1x yr ) 1.30 a 1.24 a 1.21 a 1.40 ab Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr ) 1.31 a 1.25 a 1.20 a 1.37 b Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr ) 1.30 a 1.22 a 1.19 a 1.37 ab Control 1.31 a 1.23 a 1.19 a 1.39 ab Verticutting (3x yr ) 1.29 a 1.22 a 1.21 a 1.43 a Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr ) 1.33 a 1.27 a 1.17 a 1.41 ab P=0.59 P=0.29 P=0.72 P=0.04 Grass Champion 1.27 b 1.20 b 1.17 a 1.35 b FloraDwarf 1.32 a 1.26 ab 1.21 a 1.42 a TifEagle 1.32 a 1.26 a 1.21 a 1.41 a P<0.0001 P=0.03 P=0.19 P=0.02 Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different, at 0.05 significance level, using Tukey-Kramer method. 97

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A ABC AB BCD CD D Figure 3-38. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on relative density (P<0.01). 98

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Table 3-15. Relative density (Dp) for spr ing-summer and summer-fall studies. Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall g cm Initial Final Initial Final Hollow Tine Aerification (1x yr ) 2.61 b 2.67 bcd 2.57 a 2.17 a Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr ) 2.69 ab 2.74 abc 2.53 a 2.17 a Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr ) 2.69 ab 2.77 ab 2.58 a 2.18 a Control 2.70 ab 2.63 cd 2.55 a 2.14 a Verticutting (3x yr ) 2.64 ab 2.61 d 2.60 a 2.13 a Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr ) 2.73 a 2.80 a 2.50 a 2.17 a P=0.03 P<0.0001 P=0.52 P=0.56 Grass Champion 2.73 a 2.70 a 2.50 a 2.11 b FloraDwarf 2.64 a 2.70 a 2.60 a 2.21 a TifEagle 2.66 a 2.70 a 2.56 a 2.15 ab P=0.11 P=0.99 P=0.46 P=0.04 Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different, at 0.05 significance level, using Tukey-Kramer method. 99

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AB A AB AB B B Figure 3-39. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices on to tal pore space (P<0.05). 100

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A A AB A AB B Figure 3-40. Effects of summe r-fall applied cultural practices on total pore space (P<0.01). 101

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Table 3-16. Total pore space (TPS) for spr ing-summer and summer-fall studies. Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall Percent (%) Initial Final Initial Final Hollow Tine Aerification (1x yr ) 50.3 a 53.5 ab 52.7 a 35.1 ab Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr ) 51.1 a 54.6 ab 52.6 a 37.1 a Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr ) 51.6 a 55.9 a 53.7 a 37.2 a Control 51.5 a 53.2 b 53.3 a 35.3 a Verticutting (3x yr ) 51.1 a 53.1 b 53.4 a 32.7 b Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr ) 51.4 a 54.4 ab 53.0 a 34.9 ab P=0.49 P=0.02 P=0.72 P<0.0001 Grass Champion 53.3 a 55.6 a 53.2 a 36.1 a FloraDwarf 49.9 b 53.4 b 53.6 a 35.9 a TifEagle 50.2 b 53.3 b 52.5 a 34.2 a P=0.002 P=0.04 P=0.55 P=0.21 Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different, at 0.05 significance level, using Tukey-Kramer method. 102

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A AB A A AB B Figure 3-41. Effects of spring-summer applied cultural practices effects on macropore space (P<0.01). 103

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A B AB B AB B Figure 3-42. Effects of summer-fall applied cultural practices on macropore space (P<0.01). 104

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Table 3-17. Macropore space (MPS) for spr ing-summer and summer-fall studies. Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall Percent (%) Initial Final Initial Final Hollow Tine Aerification (1x yr ) 12.2 a 17.9 ab 18.8 a 9.7 b Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr ) 11.7 a 18.6 a 17.6 a 10.0 ab Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr ) 12.4 a 18.8 a 19.7 a 11.9 a Control 12.9 a 16.8 ab 18.6 a 9.0 b Verticutting (3x yr ) 12.0 a 15.5 b 19.2 a 8.2 b Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr ) 13.1 a 18.4 a 18.7 a 9.9 ab P=0.31 P=0.002 P=0.78 P=0.0003 Grass Champion 13.8 a 18.2 a 18.0 a 9.5 a FloraDwarf 10.7 a 17.2 a 20.2 a 9.9 a TifEagle 12.7 a 17.5 a 18.0 a 9.8 a P=0.06 P=0.15 P=0.18 P=0.94 Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different, at 0.05 significance level, using Tukey-Kramer method. 105

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106 Table 3-18. Micropore space [i.e., water holdi ng capacity (volume)] for spring-summer and summer-fall studies. Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall Percent (%) Initial Final Initial Final Hollow Tine Aerification (1x yr ) 38.0 a 35.6 a 35.2 a 25.4 a Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr ) 39.4 a 36.0 a 34.9 a 27.2 a Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr ) 39.2 a 37.0 a 34.9 a 25.6 a Control 38.6 a 36.4 a 34.7 a 26.4 a Verticutting (3x yr ) 39.1 a 37.6 a 35.5 a 24.5 a Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr ) 38.3 a 36.0 a 35.2 a 25.2 a P=0.51 P=0.60 P=0.99 P=0.21 Grass Champion 39.5 a 37.4 a 35.2 a 26.8 a FloraDwarf 39.3 a 36.2 a 35.3 a 25.9 a TifEagle 37.5 a 35.8 a 34.7 a 24.4 a P=0.34 P=0.19 P=0.95 P=0.41 Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different, at 0.05 significance level, using Tukey-Kramer method.

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Table 3-19. Water holding capacity (weight) for spring-summer and summer-fall studies. Treatment Spring-summer Summer-fall Percent (%) Initial Final Initial Final Hollow Tine Aerification (1x yr ) 29.4 a 29.1 a 29.2 a 18.1 a Hollow Tine Aerification (2x yr ) 30.0 a 29.1 a 29.4 a 19.9 a Hollow Tine Aerification (3x yr ) 30.3 a 30.5 a 29.6 a 18.9 a Control 29.7 a 29.9 a 29.6 a 19.1 a Verticutting (3x yr ) 30.4 a 31.0 a 29.6 a 17.1 a Solid Tine Aerification (5x yr ) 28.8 a 28.5 a 30.2 a 17.9 a P=0.69 P=0.50 P=0.99 P=0.06 Grass Champion 31.1 a 31.4 a 30.5 a 19.8 a FloraDwarf 29.7 a 29.0 a 29.6 a 18.3 a TifEagle 28.4 a 28.6 a 28.7 a 17.4 a P=0.14 P=0.05 P=0.73 P=0.27 Mean estimates with same letter within column are not statistically different, at 0.05 significance level, using Tukey-Kramer method. 107

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108

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LIST OF REFERENCES Beard, J.B. 1973. Turfgrass: Science and Cultu re. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Beard, J.B. 1982. Turf Management for Go lf Courses. Burgess Publishing Co., Minneapolis, MN. Bevard, D.S. 2005. Basic Training. USGA Green Section Record 43(2):1-6. Bigelow, C.A., A.G. Wollum, and D.C. Bowman. 2000. Soil Microbial Populations in Sand-Based Root Zones. Golf Course Management 68(10):65-69. TGIF Record: 68879. Brady N.C., and R.R. Weil. 1999. The Nature and Properties of Soils. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ. Burton, G.W. 1991. A History Of Turf Research At Tifton. USGA Green Section Record 29(3):12-14. Busey, P., and S.E. Boyer. 1997. Golf Ba ll Roll Friction of Cynodon Genotypes. Int. Turfgrass Soc. Research J. 8:59-63. Busey, P., and A.E. Dudeck. 1999. Bermudagrass Varieties. P. 97-99. In Unruh, J.B., and M.L. Elliott (ed.) Best Management Pr actices for Florida Golf Courses. 2nd ed. University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Callahan, L.L., W.L. Sanders, J.M. Parham C.A. Harper, L.D. Lester, and E.R. McDonald. 1998. Cultural and Chemical Controls of Thatch and Their Influence on Rootzone Nutrients in a Bentgrass Green. Crop Sci. 38:181-187. Carrow, R.N. 2003. Surface Organic Matter in Bentgrass Greens. USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online. 2(17):1-12. TGIF Record: 91781. Carrow, R.N. 2004a. Surface Organic Matter in Bentgrass Greens. USGA Green Section Record 42(1):11-15. Carrow, R.N. 2004b. Surface Organic Matter in Bermudagrass Greens: A Primary Stress? Golf Course Management 72(5):102-105. Carrow, R.N. 2004c. Surface Organic Matter in Creeping Bentgrass Greens. Golf Course Manage. 72(5):96-101. Christians, N.E. 1998. Fundamentals of Tu rfgrass Management. Ann Arbor Press, Chelsea, MI. Cisar, J. 1999a. Processing Cores After Aeration. Grounds Main tenance. 34(11):1-8. Cisar, J. 1999b. Ultradwarf Evaluation H its the One Year Mark. NTEP Evaluation Report. 109

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Cisar, J. L., J. E. Erickson, G. H. Snyder, J. J. Haydu, and J. C. Volin. 2004. Documenting nitrogen leaching and runoff losses from urban landscapes. p. 266269 In Environmental impact of fertilizer on soil and water. ed. W. L. Hall and W.P. Robarge. Oxford University Press. Cary, N.C. Cisar, J., and G. Snyder. 2003. Evaluati on of Ultradwarf Be rmudagrass Cultural Management Practices. TPI Turf News Jan./Feb. 2003. Cisar, J., G. Snyder, and D. Park. 2005. Th e Effect of Nitrogen Rates on Ultradwarf Bermudagrass Quality. USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online 4(17):1-6. TGIF Record: 107580. Cooper, R.J. 1996. Its Dark Down There: Soils Teem with Tiny Organisms. Golf Course Management 27(6):7-9. Datnoff L., C. Stiles, J. Cisar, and S. Kammerer. 2005. Influence of Mowing Heights and Fungicides on the Decline of Ultradwarf Bermudagrass. Florida Turf Digest March/April 2005. Elliott, M.L. 1991. Determination of an Etio logical Agent of Bermudagrass Decline. Phytopathology 81:1380-1384. Elliott, M.L., J.A. McInroy, K. Xiong, J.H. Kim, H.D. Skipper, and E.A. Guertal. 2007. Diversity of Rhizosphere Bacteria in USGA Putting Greens. USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Onlin e 6(20):1-8. TGIF Record: 128929. Engel, R.E. 1998. The Six Seasonal Stages of Bentgrass Nitrogen Fertilization. USGA Green Section Record 26(4):10-12. Florida Department of Environmental Prot ection. 2007. Best Management Practices for the Enhancement of Environmental Quality on Florida Golf Courses. FDEP Publications. dep.state.fl.us/water/no npoint/pubs.htm Foy, J.H. 1988. Bentgrass or Bermudagrass Gr eens-What is Right for Florida? USGA Green Section Record 26(1):1-5. Foy, J.H. 1997. The Hybrid Bermudagrass Scene. USGA Green Section Record 35(6):14. Foy, J.H. 1999. May the Force be with Y ou. USGA Green Section Record 37(3):27. Foy, J.H. 2000. Going for the Gold with Be rmudagrass Greens: Part II. USGA Green Section Record 38(6):1-5. Foy, J.H. 2005. Bermudagrass Decline: Diseas e or Simply Declining Bermudagrass. USGA Green Section Record Regional Update http://www.usga.org/turf/regional_update s/regional_reports/florida/08-052005.html 110

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Foy, J.H. 2006. Grain on the Brain. US GA Green Section Record 43(6):36. Gaussoin, R., J. Nus, and L. Leuthold. 1995. A modified stimpmeter for small-plot turfgrass research. HortScience 30(3):547-548. Gaussoin, R., R. Shearman, L. Wit, T. Mc Clellan, J. Lewis. 2006. Soil Physical and Chemical Characteristics of Aging Golf Greens. USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online 5(14):1-11. TGIF Record: 113214. Gaussoin, R.E. 2003. Soil Microbial Character istics of Aging Golf Greens. USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online 2(3):1-6. TGIF Record: 85613. Guertal, B. 2007. Phosphorous Leaching from Sand-Based Putting Greens. USGA Green Section Record 45(6):14-18. Habeck, J., and N. Christians. 2000. Time A lters Greens Key Characteristics. Golf Course Management 68(5):54-60. TGIF Record: 64765. Hanna, W. 2005. USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online. 4(5):1-6. TGIF Record: 102599. Hartwiger, C. 2000. Give Me Your Poor, Your Tired, Your dead Bentgrass Greens. USGA Green Section Record 38(3):7. Hartwiger, C. 2001. Opportunity Knocks with the Ultradwa rfs. USGA Green Section Record 39(5):1-5. Hartwiger, C. 2004. The Importance of Organi c Matter Dynamics. USGA Green Section Record 42(3):9-11. Hartwiger, C., and P. OBrien. 2001. Co re Aeration by the Numbers. USGA Green Section Record 39(4):8-9. Holl, B.F. 2004. Rhizospheric Pressure: Are Soil Microbial Prac tices Taking Root? Green Master. 39(2):24-27. Hollingsworth, B.S., E.A., Guertal, and R. H. Walker. 2005. Cultural Management and Nitrogen Source Effects on Ultradwarf Bermudagrass Cultivars. Crop Sci. 45:486-493. Horst, G.L., P.J. Shea, N. Christians, D.R. Miller, C. Stuefer-Powell and S.K. Starrett. 1996. Pesticide Dissipation under Golf C ourse Fairway Conditions. Crop Sci. 36:362-370 Huang, B. 2002. Getting to the Root of Summe r Bentgrass Decline. USGA Green Section Record 40(4):21-23. 111

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Landreth, J., D. Karcher, and M. Richardson. 2007. Cultivating to Manage Organic Matter in Sand-Based Putting Greens. USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online 6(19):1-7. TGIF Record Number: 128563. Littell, R.C., G.A. Miliken, W.W. Stroup, R. D. Wolfinger, and O. Schabenberger. 2006. SAS for Mixed Models 2nd Ed. Cary, NC: SAS Institute Inc. Liu, C, and J. Evett. 1990. Soil Properti es: Testing, Measurement, and Evaluation. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. McCarty, B., and P. Brown. 2004. Curing Soil Compaction Means Knowing the Causes. Turfgrass Trends. April 1, 2004. McCarty, B., and A. Canegallo. 2005. Tips for Managing Ultradwarf Bermudagrass Greens. Golf Course Management. June 2005:90-95. McCarty, L.B., M.F. Gregg, and J.E. Toler. 2007. Thatch and Mat Management in an Established Creeping Bentgrass Golf Green. Agron. J. 99:1530-1537 McCarty, L.B., and G. Miller. 2002. Managi ng Bermudagrass Turf. Ann Arbor Press, Chelsea, MI. McCoy, E., K. McCoy. 2005. Geography Affects How Rootzone Amendments Conserve Irrigation Water. USGA Green Section Record 43(5):11-15. Moore, J.F. 2007. A Troubleshooting Check list for New USGA Greens. USGA Green Section: Greens Articles http://www.usga.org/turf/articles/con struction/greens/troubleshooting.html National Turfgrass Evaluation Program. 1998. On-Site Testing of Bentgrass and Bermudagrass Cultivars for Golf Course Putting Greens. 1998-2001 Data. NTEP, Beltsville, MD. http://www.ntep.org/data/bg98o/bg98o_02-8/bg98o_02-8.pdf Noer, O.J. 1928. Physical Soil Factors Affecti ng Turf Growth. The Bulletin of the United States Golf Association Green Section. 8(1):6-10. Oatis, D.A. 1990. Its time to put the green back in green spee d. USGA Green Section Record 28(6)1-6. OBrien, P., and C. Hartwiger. 2003. Aeration and Topdressing for the 21st Century. USGA Green Section Record. 41(2):1-7. OBrien, P., and C. Hartwiger. 2005. Worst Summer Bentgrass Putting Green Turf Loss in 10 Years Occurs in SE Region. US GA Green Section Record. 41(2):1-7. OBrien, P., and C. Hartwiger. 2007. Ultradwarfs in the Off-SeasonA Winter Wonderland. USGA Green Section Record 45(6)1-7. 112

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Petrovic, A.M. 1979. The effects of vertical operating hollow tine cu ltivation on turfgrass soil structure. Ph.D. dissertation Michigan State University Petrovic, A.M. 1990. The Fate of Nitrogenous Fert ilizers Applied to Tu rfgrass. Journal of Environmental Quality 19(1):1-14. Sartain, J.B. 1985. Effect of Acidity a nd N Source on the Growth and Thatch Accumulation of Tifgreen Bermudagrass a nd on Soil Nutrient Retention. Agron. J. 77:33-36. SAS Institute. 2004. SAS/STAT Users Guide. Version 9.0. SAS Institute, Cary, NC. Snyder, G. H., and J. L. Cisar. 1995. Pestic ide Mobility and Persis tence in a High-SandContent Green. USGA Green Sec tion Record. 33(1):15-18. Turgeon, A.J. 1978. Influence of Thatch on Soil is both Positive and Negative. Weeds, Trees, and Turf 18(4):48-50 Unruh, J.B., and S. Davis. 2001. Diseases and Heat Besiege Ultradwarf Bermudagrasses. Golf Course Management 69(4):49-54. Unruh, J.B., and M. Elliott. 1999. Best Manage ment Practices for Florida Golf Courses: Putting Green Construction, Water Manageme nt, Fertilization, Cultural Practices and Pest Management. UF/IFAS Publications, Gainesville, FL. USGA Greens Section Staff. 2004. USGA Recommendations for a method of putting green construction. USGA Green Section Record. 31(2):1-3. Vavrek, B. 2002. Quit Fooling Yourself. USGA Green Section Record. 45(1):28. Vavrek, B. 2006. Customized Cultivation. USGA Green Section Record. 44(5):9-13. Vavrek, B. 2007. TrafficHow Much Can You Bear? USGA Green Section Record. 40(4):1-6. Vermeulen, P. 1995. S.P.E.E.D. Consider Wh ats Right for Your Course. USGA Green Section Record 43(3):18-19. Vermeulen, P., and C. Hartwiger. 2005. Stra tegies for Organic Matter Control. USGA Green Section Record 33(6):1-5. Volk, G.M. 1972. Compressibility of Turf as a Measure of Grass Growth and Thatch Development on Bermudagrass Greens. Agron. J. July-August 1972. Waltz, S.H., and B. McCarty. 2001. The Livi ng Earth. Grounds Maintenance: Golf Edition. 36(5)1-2,6. White, B. 2006. Rebuild or Resurface. US GA Green Section Record 44(1):1-6. 113

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114 White, R.H. 2004. Environment and Culture Affect Bermudagrass Growth and Decline. USGA Green Section Record 42(6):2 1-24. NTEP No. 02-10. TGIF Record: 84150. White, R.H., and R. Dickens. 1984. Thatch Accumulation in Bentgrass as Influenced by Cultural Practices. Agron. J. 76:19-22. White, R.H., T.C. Hale, D.R. Chalmers, M. H. Hall, J.C. Thomas, and W.G. Menn. 2004. Cultural Management of Selected Ultradwarf Bermudagrass Cultivars. Online Crop Management. DOI: 10.1094/CM-2004-0514-01-RS. TGIF Record: 104646. Wolf, B., and G.H. Snyder. 2003. Sustainabl e Soils. Food Products Press, Binghamton, NY.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH John Rowland was born in Neptune City, NJ, on July 15, 1966. He attended elementary school in Neptune City, NJ and high school in Neptune, NJ. After taking some turfgrass management courses at Rutgers University, he obta ined a B.S. degree in turfgrass science at the University of Florida. He then began work on hi s Master of Science degree at the University of Florida in soil and water science with a focus on turf grass. After graduation he plans to stay at the University of Florida to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy degree.