Effects of bermudagrass cultivar and plant growth regulator use on turf sustainability and aesthetics
The average 18-hole golf course is predominantly comprised of rough areas. If the mowing frequency of these turfgrass areas were reduced without compromising aesthetic value by using cultivars with inherently slow vertical growth combined with plant growth regulators, the labor hours, fuel and budget allocated to turf maintenance could be vastly decreased. The objective of this research was to determine if bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.) cultivar selection and trinexapac-ethyl (TE) use can significantly reduce the mowing events required to maintain bermudagrass at a one-inch height with mowing frequency based on the one-third rule without compromising turfgrass aesthetics. ʻDiscoveryʼ bermudagrass treated with TE required the lowest number of August mowing events to maintain the turf at a one-inch height, followed by ʻDiscoveryʼ without TE, as well as ʻCelebrationʼ, ʻTifGrandʼ, and ʻTifwayʼ treated with TE. ʻCelebrationʼ, ʻTifGrandʼ and ʻTifwayʼ without TE, as well as ʻPatriotʼ and DT-1 with or without TE required the greatest number of mowing events. Turf quality of ʻDiscoveryʼ, ʻCelebrationʼ, and ʻPatriotʼ bermudagrass was not affected by TE. ʻTifGrandʼ treated with TE produced the lowest turf quality, while DT-1 without TE produced the highest turf quality. ʻDiscoveryʼ bermudagrass produced the darkest green genetic color, followed by ʻTifGrandʼ and ʻTifwayʼ, then ʻPatriotʼ and ʻCelebrationʼ, and finally DT-1. If turf managers began utilizing slow growing bermudagrass cultivars, coupled with TE use to decrease mowing frequency requirements, substantial reductions in labor hours, fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions would be observed.