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2012 UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA TURFGRASS RESEARCH EDITION

MTGF Clippings OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE MINNESOTA TURF AND GROUNDS FOUNDATION

FALL / WINTER 2012

Serving Minnesota’s Turf and Grounds Professionals

GOLF COURSES

ARBORISTS

PARKS

SPORTS FIELDS

SOD PRODUCERS

CEMETERIES

SCHOOLS

TURF SEED

The mission of the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation is to promote the green industries in Minnesota through support of research, education and outreach at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere.


PRESIDENT’S CORNER

“The Business of Your Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation” By David J. Oberle MTGF President MTGF PRESIDENT DAVID J. OBERLE

Again this fall, the weather is a big topic of conversation. No matter which part of the green industry you are a part of, the weather plays a role in your day to day game plan. There is no doubt the 2012 growing season has been a long one. The early start and tough summer conditions have most in the industry looking forward to an early white season. The MTGF Board of Directors is always looking for new ways to bring greater awareness to our mission and foundation. This fall’s issue of MTGF Clippings is being sent out to all of our MNLA partner members, as well as the MTGF’s seven allied associations. As a reminder, our Mission is to promote the Green Industries in greater Minnesota through support of research, education and outreach at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere. MTGF will continue to encourage the exchange of knowledge among members of the turf and grounds industry through educational conferences, workshops, seminars, and trade shows. As you page through this issue of the clippings you will notice a number of educational opportunities. Please plan to join us for one that is sure to enlighten and further educate you. By now many of you have heard Bob Fitch has resigned as MNLA Executive Director. Bob has been a very important part of the partnership between MNLA and MTGF. Bob’s vision as Executive Director has given rise to one of the best regional trade show in the industry. The Northern Green Expo is just one of many great accomplishments Bob can take credit for. All of us at MTGF wish to congratulate Bob and wish him the best of luck in his new venture. The following is a list of MTGF research projects and the Funding Grants awarded for 2012. If you have a problem or project, MTGF would like to hear from you. $2,000.00 -Testing Annual Bedding Plants for Resistance to White Mold. $15,000.00 -University of Minnesota Program for Selecting American Elms for Resistance to Dutch Elm Disease. $3,000.00 - What’s Wrong With My Plant? An Online Diagnostic Tool for Insect, Disease and Abiotic Problems. $50,000.00 - Turfgrass Program Support. $15,000.00 - University of Minnesota Fellowship Endowment Fund. The MTGF Board of Directors approved a new direction for the 2012 Field Day. The Field has gone “viral.” Dr. Brian Horgan and his team have posted a series of video clips at www.turf.umn.edu. It is worth your time to view some if not all of these quick to the point well presented videos. Please let MTGF know how you like the videos or if you miss the traditional field day format. Until next time, please take time to enjoy working in one of the greatest industries our country has to offer, “The Green Industry.” Sincerely,

David J. Oberle David J. Oberle President Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation

MINNESOTA TURF AND GROUNDS FOUNDATION Executive Committee President DavidOberle ExcelTurf&Ornamental VicePresident SusieJohnson GertensWholesale Treasurer SteveBalfany BalfanyFarms Secretary BrianHorgan,Ph.D. UniversityofMinnesota PresidentEx-Officio ShawnBernick RainbowTreeCare ScientificAdvancements DIRECTORS MTSC BrentBenike NorthernExcellenceSeed MASMS TracyClosson NorthfieldPublicSchoolsISD#659 MPSTMA PaulGriffin CityofWoodbury UMRepresentative JeffreyHahn UniversityofMinnesota MGCSA JeffIsche GoldenValleyGolf& CC MAC DavidKemp TheCatholicCemeteries MTA BryanLawrence RocketTurf&Nursery MTSC RichardMagnusson MagnussonFarms MPSTMA KevinManley JRK Seed&TurfSupply MAC RalphPierre UnionCemetery MASMS TomRedmann AnokaHennepinISD#11 MSA MarkStennes S& STreeSpecialists MGCSA RogerStewart,CGCS TPCTwinCities MTGFBUSINESSOFFICE JeffTurtinen ExecutiveDirector P.O.Box617 Wayzata,MN 55391 952-473-3722 jeff.turtinen@mtgf.org

2MTGFCLIPPINGS ~FALL/WINTER2012

www.MTGF.org


JANUARY 8, 2013 SUPERTUESDAYAGENDA

The Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation’s (MTGF) Super Tuesday is set for Tuesday, January 8, 2013. The theme of the day will be based around the ‘Best Management Practices for Minnesota Invasive Insects and Diseases’. This is a great opportunity to spend the day with a few of Minnesota and Wisconsin’s top entomologists as they discuss Japanese beetle, Emerald Ash Borer, Gypsy Moth and other current and emerging pests in the Upper Midwest. Speakers on hand will be: Chris Williamson, University of Wisconsin; Jeff Hahn, Michelle Grabowski and Chad Giblin, University of Minnesota; Mark Abrahamson and Lucy Hunt, Minnesota Department of Agriculture; Shawn Bernick, Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancement, and Eric Nordlie, Bailey Nurseries. Who’s attending? Arborists; Cemetery Managers; Facility Managers; Garden Center Managers; Golf Course Superintendents; Landscape Architects; Designers and Maintenance Supervisors; Lawncare Operators; Municipalities, and Park Supervisors should attend. Education credits have been submitted for approval for GCSAA CEUs, ISA CEUs, and MNLA CP. Sponsors include Gertens Wholesale, JRK Seed and Turf Supply and McCarthy Well Co. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. The event takes place from 8:00 am – 3 pm at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Cost is $65.00. Lunch is included. For the best information and its solutions…look no further than the annual Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation Super Tuesday event. To register and more information, go to www.mtgf.org.

Inside this Issue of MTGF CLIPPINGS 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 14 16 18 19 20 22

President’s Corner - Oberle Super Tuesday Set for January 8 New Funding Awarded for Fine Fescue Research - Watkins MTGF / UM Field Day is Now Available Online - Bauer, Horgan Progress in Native Elm Research - Gillman, Blanchette, Held, Giblin A Time and a Place for Tall Fescue - Bauer Roadside Vegetation - Friell The Easy Approach - Bauer What’s Wrong With My Plants? - Grabowski, Hahn Greens Rolling - Krueger Fine Fescues for Golf Course Fairways - Reiter Five Tough Native Grasses - Reiter Testing Annual Bedding Plants for Resistance to White Mold - Grabowski Glyphosate for Control of Undesirable Grasses in Fine Fescue Mixture - Hollman MASMS Boot Camp What is the MTGF? Association Spotlight: Minnesota Sod Producers

www.MTGF.org

8:00–8:40(40min.) CurrentandEmergingInsects JeffreyHahn,UM 8:40–9:10(30min) GypsyMoth LucyHunt,MDA 9:10–9:40(30min.) OrientalBittersweet MonikaChandler,MDA 9:40–10:10(30min.) DutchElmDiseaseResistantTrees ChadGiblin,UM 10:10–10:20-BREAK 10:20–10:50(30min.) LandscapePlantDiseases MichelleGrabowski,UM 10:50–11:20(30min.) EmeraldAshBorer MarkAbrahamson,MDA 11:20–12:00(40min.) JapaneseBeetle ChrisWilliamson,UW 12:00–1:00-LUNCH 1:00–1:40(40min.) JapaneseBeetle ChrisWilliamson,UW 1:40–2:10(30min.) PestManagementatBaileyNurseries EricNordlie,BaileyNurseries 2:10–2:40(30min.) LandscapePestManagement RecommendationsforProfessionals ShawnBernick, RainbowTreecareScientificAdvancement

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New Funding Awarded For Fine Fescue Research By ERIC WATKINS Associate Professor Department of Horticultural Science University of Minnesota

The Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation, along with the allied organizations, have been tremendous partners in the funding of turfgrass breeding research at the University of Minnesota. In past years, we have emphasized how the contributions from professional organizations such as MTGF lay the groundwork for larger grant opportunities. We have been very fortunate in recent years to received significant support from state and federal funding organizations. We recently received the excellent news that we, along with turfgrass scientists from Rutgers University and the University of Wisconsin, have been awarded a USDA Specialty Crops Research Initiative grant in the amount $2,136,489. The project (Germplasm Improvement of Low-Input Fine Fescues in Response to Consumer Attitudes and Behaviors) will aim to develop high-quality fine fescue cultivars that meet the needs of both professional turfgrass managers and homeowners. Our recent research efforts have shown the great potential of these species and also the shortcomings that they have in certain environments. The team of turfgrass breeders associated with this project will work to overcome some of the most significant barriers such as lack of heat stress tolerance, inability to withstand high levels of wear and traffic, and susceptibility to snow molds disease. In addition, colleagues at the University of Minnesota will investigate consumer attitudes and preferences that drive turfgrass purchasing decisions. Finally, turfgrass extension educators will investigate new ways to inform consumers about the use of fine fescue species. This particular grant program requires a 1:1 match on all dollars received. In order to satisfy this match requirement, both the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendent’s Association (MGCSA) and the Minnesota Park and Sports Turf Managers Association (MPSTMA) committed to annual funding support during the five-year grant period. This is one of the largest competitive federal grant awards ever given to a group of turfgrass scientists and it would not have been possible without the excellent history of funding provided by the MTGF and several of the allied organizations. 4MTGFCLIPPINGS ~FALL/WINTER2012

www.MTGF.org


MTGF / UM Turf and Grounds Field Day Available Online By SAM BAUER, Extension Turfgrass Educator, University of Minnesota Extension DR. BRIAN HORGAN, Associate Professor and Extension Turfgrass Specialists, University of Minnesota

In previous years we've offered the MTGF and University of Minnesota Turfgrass Field Day on the UM- St. Paul campus at the Turfgrass Research, Outreach, and Education Center. This year, we are trying something different by offering the Field Day virtually. Through the efforts of our team here in the Turfgrass Science Program, and with the help of the University of Minnesota Extension, we have put together a great lineup of short (3-5 min) videos from our educators and students. These videos are available at www.turf.umn.edu. and www.mtgf.org. Please take the time to view the videos of Virtual Field Day produced

“Short summaries of research being done at the University are in this issue of MTGF Clippings.” and edited by Karl Foord, with presenters from the Turfgrass Science Proigram and the University of Minnesota Extension. As this is our first attempt at offering the Field Day in a virtual format, your feedback is encouraged and appreciated to help direct Field Days in the future. At www.turf.umn.edu you will be able to see the field day material as it is posted on the main page. We've also created a 2012 Virtual Field Day tab where all of the field day presentations will be grouped, as to not get caught up in the blogs that we write.

Karl Foord, University of Minnesota, along with presenters from the Turfgrass Science Program and the University of Minnesota Extension, produced and edited the new Field Day videos. The videos are available at www.turf.umn.edu and www.mtgf.org.The Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation helped support Virtual Field Day financially.

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Progress in Native Elm Research By JEFF GILLMAN, ROBERT BLANCHETTE, BEN HELD and CHAD GIBLIN University of Minnesota Extension

This was a productive year for us as we investigated native elms. In total we are looking at about thirty elms varieties, including, primarily, American elms along with a few red and rock elms. All of the trees we are investigating came originally from Minnesota and are old enough to have survived through the days when Dutch elm disease killed everything in its path. This year we field inoculated a group of these elms with Dutch elm disease and found that there were two elms including MNT0345 (tested with very low replication), and MNT0356 that showed tolerance statistically equal to that of one of the most popular Dutch elm disease resistant American elms on the market today, ‘Valley Forge, and the soon to be released Saint Croix. This is encouraging and will hopefully result in new releases sometime in the next few years. American elms have a tendency to grow in a leggy fashion making them difficult to manage in a nursery setting. After observing these elms for 14 years we have identified two selections, MNT0356 and MNT0345, which grow in a more orderly fashion when young than any other American elm we have seen.

6MTGFCLIPPINGS ~FALL/WINTER2012

All of the trees being investigated came originally from Minnesota and are old enough to have survived through the days when Dutch elm disease killed everything in its path.

We also had the opportunity to run some preliminary trials investigating how effective grafting a resistant scion onto a susceptible root stock is at controlling Dutch elm disease in the grafted plant. We inoculated 20 trees with Dutch elm disease, the tops of which were either St. Croix, Valley Forge, Princeton, MNT0345 or MNT0356 and the roots of which were wild type American elm (and

therefore presumably not tolerant to Dutch elm disease). Two of each of the four grafted trees from each cultivar were inoculated below the graft union, and two were inoculated above the graft union. Valley Forge and MNT0356 survived inoculation both above and below the graft while Princeton, MNT0345, and St. Croix all showed inconsistent results. The vigor of grafted trees is clearly superior to that of rooted cuttings. Ultimately, if the results of these preliminary studies can be replicated in larger experiments this could be extremely significant as grafting DED tolerant scions onto seedling rootstock would be a preferred method of propagation. Finally, due in large part to support that we have received from the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation, this year we were able to secure some additional funding from Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) which should help us get even further in our research over the next few years. www.MTGF.org


A Time and Place for Tall Fescue By SAM BAUER Extension Turfgrass Educator University of Minnesota

Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) is a cool-season turffor high quality turfgrass use in Minnesota. Advantages grass species that can be grown throughout many areas of that tall fescue can offer over other common species used the country. Transition zone states, such as Kansas, in Minnesota, include: heat and drought tolerance, adaptaMissouri, and Tennessee, utilize tall fescue in many settion to sun or shade, deep root system, good traffic tolertings because of the species improved tolerance to heat. ance, low input potential, and an ability to grow on a wide However, tall fescue range of soil types. use in Minnesota has Winter hardiness “We recommend spring seeding of tall fescue, issues with tall fescue been limited due relate to two particular issues with winter while avoiding establishment in low laying situations: hardiness and a lack areas that are prone to winter ice cover.” of public acceptance 1) Extended periods of the landmark variof ice cover, and eties ‘Alta’ and ‘Kentucky-31’. 2) Immature establishment prior to winter. For these Genetic improvement of tall fescue as a turfgrass species reasons, we recommend spring seeding of tall fescue, while began with the release of ‘Rebel’ turf-type tall fescue from avoiding establishment in low laying areas that are prone to winter ice cover. Rutgers University in the early 1970s. As compared to the A tall fescue breeding program, under the direction of early varieties, ‘Rebel’ exhibited a darker green color, highDr. Eric Watkins, is currently underway at the University er density, and the ability to tolerate lower mowing of Minnesota. The basis of this breeding program is the heights. Since the introduction of ‘Rebel’, there have been genetic improvement of tall fescue to overcome these winnumerous tall fescue turf-type varieties released to the market, and we have identified the potential of tall fescue ter hardiness issues.

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Roadside Vegetation By JOSH FRIELL University of Minnesota Extension

Several species of turfgrass have been successfully used to create high quality roadside vegetation. However, roadsides present significant challenges to growing turfgrass due to stressful conditions that can be unique in both form and magnitude. These stresses include drought, salt exposure, heat, and disease, among others. As such, a mix that is capable of taking advantage of the unique tolerances of each species is likely to produce the best chance for survival. Recent research conducted by the University of Minnesota, in conjunction with the Local Roads Research Board and MnDOT, has identified cultivars that represent the greatest level of roadside salt tolerance within each of nine cool-season turfgrass species. Using the best-performing cultivars from each of these species, 51 mixtures have been created and planted in three locations on roadsides throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Mixtures were chosen such that the contribution of each species to the overall performance of the mixture could be

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Table 1 Cool season cultivars and species in mixture drought trials SPECIES

CULTIVAR

creeping bentgrass Kentucky bluegrass alkaligrass strong creeping red fescue slender creeping red fescue hard fescue sheep fescue tall fescue Chewings fescue

‘Mariner’ ‘Moonlight SLT’ ‘Salty’ ‘Navigator’ ‘Shoreline’ ‘Beacon’ ‘Marco Polo’ ‘Grande II’ ‘Radar’

evaluated. Those mixtures were planted in a Randomized Complete Block design, replicated three times, and established in fall 2011. Because of the remote nature of the locations, no irrigation was possible, and no fertility treatments were applied after establishment. Beginning in fall 2011, data is being collected for two years on the plots including visual assessments of turf cover, weed encroachment, seed head production, disease, and overall quality. In addition, digital image analysis will be used to quantitatively evaluate the turf cover along the edge of the road. These data will be analyzed to identify an optimal mix of species which provides the best possible turf performance across a wide range of conditions.

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Home Lawn Species Conversion:

The Easy Approach By SAM BAUER Extension Turfgrass Educator University of Minnesota

maintenance turfgrass species. Study 2) Flail mowing; As a community we have been factors include: 1) conversion strategy, 3) Scalping, and demanding the introduction of low and 2) turfgrass species. To control 4) No disruption. maintenance turfgrass species in settings ranging from residenSeed mixtures include: tial landscapes to golf 1) Fine fescues; courses. Over recent years “Many turfgrass species that fall under 2) Tall fescues; we’ve identified many turfthe criteria of lower maintenance, while 3) Kentucky grass species that fall under preserving the aesthetic and function bluegrass/fine the criteria of lower mainqualities of a landscape. Still, the task fescue/perennial ryegrass; tenance, while preserving of converting a residential landscape 4) Shortgrass prairie, the aesthetic and function is daunting for most consumers.” and qualities of a landscape. 5) Control. Still, the task of converting a residential landscape is This study is being conducted on existing vegetation, glyphosate was daunting for most consumers. This the University of Minnesota St. Paul study was initiated to determine a applied to the entire study area. quick and effective way for consumers The conversion strategy treatments campus and at the Landscape Arboretum. Results will be available to convert an existing high mainteinclude: in the winter of 2012-13. 1) Vertical mowing; nance or low quality lawn, to a lower

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What’s Wrong With My Annual Flowers? By MICHELLE GRABOWSKI and JEFFREY HAHN University of Minnesota Extension

The University of Minnesota Extension has a long history of answering horticultural pest questions for gardeners and professionals in the green industry with programs such as the yard and garden clinic, Info-U, and through county extension offices. As Extension evolved, many of these resources have been discontinued. Instead professional nurseryman, landscapers and home gardeners are looking online to find the answers to their problems. UMN Extension has over 170 online publications about plant pest management; however, most gardeners are unable find the pertinent publication because they are unable to diagnose the pest problem. To fill this need Michelle Grabowski, UMN Extension plant pathologist, and Jeff Hahn, UMN Extension Entomologist created the online diagnostic tool ‘What’s wrong with my plant?’ in 2007. This tool provides users with easy to follow keys, photos of pests, descriptive phrases and links to information about pest biology and management. What’s wrong with my plant? received 21,097 visits in 2011. In a follow up survey of Master Gardener volunteers, Extension staff, landscape professionals and Minnesota home gardeners (n=193) 92% reported that the

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Signs of Japanese Beetle on a Zinnia plant.

tool helped to diagnose the pest problem (always, most of the time, and sometimes), 91% reported that having a proper diagnosis allowed them to select appropriate management strategies. One hundred percent of Extension educators and landscape professionals reported that having a proper diagnosis allowed them to recommend appropriate cultural control practices to manage the pest problem. Unfortunately there are currently no modules for diagnosis of problems on annual bedding plants on What’s wrong with my plant? Annual bedding plants are an important part of the landscape and are an important crop to nurseries and garden centers. An online diagnostic tool addressing pest problems on annual bedding plants could be used by professional nurseryman, landscapers and home gardeners. In July of 2012, with generous funding from the MTGF, work began on construction of the annual bedding plants section of What’s wrong with my plant? Karen Blaedow, Master Gardener coordinator of Carver & Scott counties has been hired to add her expertise in plant pest problems and aid in the construction of the diagnostic tool. The tool will be available online for the 2013 growing season and will include commonly grown annual flowering plants like zinnia, geranium, impatiens, petunia and many more. www.MTGF.org


Greens Rolling By CRAIG KRUEGER University of Minnesota Extension

dressing of sand move down into Greens-rolling is an acceptable the turf canopy. turf management tool. The most Finally, you can mow at a slightobvious benefit is the increased greens speed due to a firmer and smoother surface. This “You can mow at a slightly higher effect is seen immediately but height and maintain the same green the effect diminishes following speed as a lower height of cut. rolling. While this effect is This allows your stand of turf to most beneficial to golfers and be better able to withstand many other end users, there are also of the stresses that are put upon it.” some agronomic benefits as well. It has been shown that there ly higher height and maintain the are decreased occurrences of dollar same green speed as a lower height spot disease. It has also been of cut. This allows your stand of shown that there appears to be less turf to be better able to withstand damage from cutworms on turf that is rolled regularly. many of the stresses that are put upon it. Rolling can also help a light top-

There have been some negative effects of rolling reported. These include increased soil compaction, decreased water infiltration and a thinning of the turfgrass stand. All of these are the results of an overly aggressive rolling program, ie 4-7 times per week; rolling when the soil is saturated, especially on native soils; and continued rolling during the excessive heat of summer. You should be able to avoid all of these issues by limiting your rolling to two times per week on sand-based turf and once per week on native soils and put rolling on hold during the heat of summer.

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Fine Fescues for Golf Course Fairways By MAGGIE REITER University of Minnesota Extension

Low-input fine fescue species will be able to withstand the pressure from typical turfgrass stresses while producing acceptable turf and excellent playing quality, all with fewer inputs of water, fertilizer, and pesticides. From the 5 primary fine fescue species used as turfgrass—strong creeping red fescue, slender creeping red fescue, hard fescue, sheep fescue, and Chewings fescue—we developed mixtures to evaluate. The mixture study has 3 parts. First, to determine if the plant growth regulator trinexapac-ethyl will improve divot recovery in fine fescue fairways. Second, to determine if fine fescues can survive as fairway turf under acute drought. And third, to determine if fine fescues need fungicides at currently-recommended rates to survive snow mold pressure. The plots for the PGR component were seeded in June 2012 at the St. Paul TROE Center. Plots for the fungicide component were seeded in August 2012 at Theodore Wirth Golf Course in Minneapolis, Northland Country Club in Duluth, and Cragun’s Legacy Courses in Brainerd. Data will be collected monthly on disease severity and recovery, divot recovery, turfgrass quality, species composition, clipping yield, spring green-up, weed pressure, and turf densi-

The PGR fungicide component was seeded in August 2012 at Northland Country Club (pictured above) in Duluth.

ty. The drought plots will be seeded in 2013 and the entire project will conclude in August 2014.

y

www.MTGF.org

FALL/WINTER2012~MTGFCLIPPINGS 13


Five Tough Native Grasses By MARY MEYER Extension Horticulturist and Professor University of Minnesota

Native to wet areas along rivers and marshes, palm sedge is known for its stiff foliage and three-ranking leaf arrangement typical of sedges. Easy to gow, tolerates standing water, at lake edges and soils that flood. In ideal sites, plants can be 36� wide, thick and full. Chartreuse foliage when grown in sun,dark green in shade; self-seeds; 'Oehme' has yellow leaf margins, slower growing, very attractive.

These grasses are grown at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s Grass Collection and have been part of the ongoing 25 year evaluation of grasses for landscape use. side oats grama Bouteloua curtipendula 12-30"; average to dry soils; full sun Found on dry, upland sites, this species also tolerates heavy clay soils. Pendulous flowers are one sided; can self-seed; grey-green foliage, much shorter than the flowers; a tough plant for dry slopes and poor soils.



 





 







 

  





Common in tall and shortgrass prairies, little bluestem prefers mesic

Switchgrass is common in the tall grass prairie; can be an aggressive, a

 



little bluestem Schizachyrium scoparium 2-4'; average to dry soils; full sun

switchgrass Panicum virgatum 3-6'; upright, average to wet soils; full sun

palm sedge, Muskingum sedge Carex muskingumensis 2-3 ft; average to wet soils;

 

 















 







(Continued on Page 15)



 

highly variable species; often grows in standing water and roadside ditches; readily self-seeds and may dominate a prairie or a garden; winter cover and food for many birds, stands up well in winter; grown from seed plants will vary widely, many named cultivars with wide variation. 'Northwind' is stiff and upright, wide olive green foliage with flowers borne partially in foliage, great screen or hedge, 5'.

 



 



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Five Tough Native Grasses (Continued from Page 14)

(medium) to dry sites; variable in height and form when grown from seed; blue summer foliage turns red and orange in the fall; an excellent grass for dry sites, slopes and lighter gravely soils; plants can readily self-seed and are easy to grow, especially on poor soils; little bluestem foliage is larva food for many skipper butterflies. ‘MinnBlueA’ Blue HeavenTM University of Minnesota selection for upright blue foliage in summer, burgundy and red fall foliage, 3-4’. prairie dropseed Sporobolus heterolepis 3-4'; average to dry soils; full sun Prairie dropseed is a fine-textured grass mound forming bunch grass, common to dry prairie sites; a beautiful grass with fine, light airy flowers; rhe round-bead like seeds are oily and fall from the plant when ripe, their fragrant is very characteristic, smelling like "hot buttered popcorn" or coriander and cumin; easy to grow but may be slow to establish; prefers dry, well-drained soils and spring propagation. Can be used in mass to cover slopes and as an alternative lawn where foot traffic is minimal. ‘Tara’ is a shorter form, uniform and upright, 24-30.”

Minnesota Park and Sports Turf Managers Association members took part in MPSTMA’S annual Community Service Project day. On August 8, MPSTMA members renovated Baldwin Field in Circle Pines, Minn. Pictured above, from the left, Larry Gorman, MTI Distributing, Inc.; Matt Cavanaugh, PBI Gordon Corporation; Jon Hummel, St. Anthony/New Brighton Schools, and in front, Andy Johnson, TCF Bank Stadium. Go to www.mpstma.org for a complete recap of the day and more information about the MPSTMA.

www.MTGF.org

FALL/WINTER2012~MTGFCLIPPINGS 15


Testing Annual Bedding Plants For Resistance to White Mold By MICHELLE GRABOWSKI University of Minnesota Extension

White mold is a devastating fungal disease caused by the pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Over 400 species from 75 families are susceptible to white mold. In annual bedding plants, white mold causes stem rot and crown rot; resulting in wilt and death of the entire plant mid to late summer. Many of the most popular annuals are susceptible to infection by white mold including petunia, zinnia, verbena, snap dragon, salvia and many more. White mold is common throughout Minnesota in field and vegetable crops like soybean, sunflower, tomato and green bean. In recent years, more and more grounds managers have been reporting white mold in annual flower beds. Infection has been reported in golf courses, public gardens and home gardens. Infestation of a flower bed with white mold is particularly problematic because the fungus produces long term resting structures known as sclerotia. Once introduced, the fungus can persist in the soil and plant debris for decades

with repeat infection each year. The close plant spacing and overhead irrigation used in most annual plantings create the perfect environmental conditions for the white mold fungus. Stem infections early in the growing season result in plant death throughout the bed. Although white mold is widely studied in agricultural crops, little research has been done on white mold in ornamental plantings. Few management strategies are available to gardeners dealing with a white mold infested bed. Fungicides offer some protection, but timing is critical. In addition, the close spacing of most annual beds results in poor spray coverage on susceptible stems and therefore poor control. Increasing distance between plants, switching to drip irrigation and choosing varieties with an upright open growth form can help reduce disease problems by making the environment less favorable to fungal infection. (Continued on Page 17)

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Resistance to White Mold(Continued from Page 16)

Planting resistant plants would be an effective means of controlling white mold. By comparing the known host list of white mold and the 2009 University of Minnesota Annual Flower Trial list, 12 genera of annuals have been identified as potential resistant plants. These 12 annuals have never been reported with white mold infection and belong to plant families with no known host plants. Due to the lack of research on ornamental plants, it is unknown if these plants are truly resistant or if disease simply has not been observed and reported on these plants. It is always possible that a plant has escaped infection due to environmental conditions, location and quantity of plantings. In 2010, the 12 candidate genera were inoculated with the white mold fungus and maintained in a controlled environment chamber programmed to created ideal conditions for disease. In 2011 and 2012 all 12 genera were grown in field conditions, inoculated with the white mold fungus and monitored for disease development. The number of plants infected with the white mold fungus and the percent of the bed killed were recorded for all plants. Most of the ornamental grasses tested were highly resistant to white mold in both field and controlled environment experiments. No symptoms of disease were ever observed on Juncus, Scirpus, Carex, or Pennisetum plants. In contrast, Acorus plants were clearly susceptible to the white mold fungus, leaves turned brown and died. Fluffy white fungal mycelia and hard black sclerotia could be found on infected plants. Infected Acorus plants were not as severely infected as Zinnia, which were added to the trial as a susceptible control, but they would still not be a good choice for a white mold infested bed. Canna and Colocasia plants did not show disease symptoms in field or controlled environment conditions. Canna comes in a wide variety of leaf and flower colors. Both Canna and Colocasia plants have large tropical looking leaves. Landscape managers helping in the trials commented that these plants drew clients to the garden. Caladium, Portulaca and Scaevola plants were highly susceptible in the controlled environment trials. Infected stems wilted and rotted completely and as severely as Zinnia. In the field these plants did not display as severe disease symptoms as the susceptible Zinnia. This is likely

www.MTGF.org

Gray Mold

due to the fact that all 3 plants have multiple stems that grow in an open form allowing good air movement between stems. So although Caladium, Portulaca and Scaevola plants may look good in a white mold infested bed in some years, if the weather conditions are very conducive to disease, these plants are very susceptible and will likely succumb to the white mold fungus. Impatiens and New Guinea impatiens displayed a unique ability to tolerate the white mold fungus. The plant will self abscise infected stems and grow new stems from below. The plant effectively discards any plant parts that are infected before the fungus can spread and kill the entire plant. Both plants have done very well in field trials against white mold. Planted around larger tropical plants like the Colocasia and Canna, impatiens plants have performed well even in our full sun research trials. For a garden manager dealing with a white mold infested bed it is best to use a multifaceted management strategy. Remove any infected plants from the garden as soon as possible to prevent new sclerotia from developing within the bed. Infected plants should be burned or buried far away from the garden bed and other susceptible plants. Use drip irrigation or set sprinkler irrigation to water deeply yet infrequently. Increase spacing between plants. This will help reduce humidity in the plant canopy. The ornamental grasses Juncus, Carex, Scirpus and Pennisteum, as well as the tropical plants Canna and Colocasia have been highly disease resistant in UMN trials.

FALL/WINTER2012~MTGFCLIPPINGS 17


Glyphosate for Control of Undesirable Grasses In Fine Fescue Mixture By ANDREW HOLMAN Turfgrass Scientist, Department of Horticultural Science University of Minnesota

Introduction Table1:LabeledRatesofRoundUpWeathermaxforGrassControl

The use of fine fescue species is increasing in turfgrass areas around the state. Whether the area is newly seeded or transitioning from a previous turf, undesirable perennial grasses often invade the newly establishing fine fescues. Although there are a number of selective grass herbicides which are labeled to control certain undesirable grasses in fine fescue, turfgrass managers may not have them on hand, be familiar with their use, or be comfortable with the efficacy of the product. Glyphosate is a common non-selective herbicide which most turf managers have on hand and are familiar with the use of. Glyphosate also readily breaks down in the soil after application and the

CommonName

ScientificName

Fluidounces/Acre

Annualbluegrass

Poaannua

11

Creepingbentgrass

Agrostisstolonifera

32

Kentuckybluegrass

Poapratensis

22–48

Finefescues

Festuca 64–106

Tallfescue

Festucaarundinacea

22–64

Perennialryegrass

Loliumperenne

22–48

Quackgrass

Agropyronrepens

22–64

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labeled rate for control of fine fescue is much higher than other annual and perennial grasses. The objective of this study is to examine increasing rates of glyphosate for controlling undesirable grasses while maintaining fine fescue cover. Materials and Methods The trial was conducted on an irrigated fine fescue plot seeded with an equal part mixture of Chariot hard fescue, Longfellow 2 Chewings fescue, Cardinal strong creeping red fescue, and Seabreeze GT slender creeping red fescue in the fall of 2011. The plot was mowed at 1.75 inches with the clippings removed. Treatments were applied to 3x5 foot plots with 5 replications per treatment. Eight RoundUp Weathermax (48.8% glyphosate) treatments were applied at 0, 11, 22, 32, 48, 64, 85, and 106 fluid ounces/acre which corresponds to labeled rates for grasses to control (Table 1). Four inch plugs of creeping bentgrass, Kentucky bluegrass, annual bluegrass, tall fescue and perennial ryegrass were inserted into each plot to assess the effectiveness of treatments. Plugs were allowed to grow for 10 days before treatments were applied. Plots were rate for death of the plugs and percent live cover of the fine fescue. Results At 6 weeks after treatment fine fescue mixtures had 100, 96.2, 67, 43, 16.4, 3.8, 1.8, and 7.8 percent living ground cover for 0, 11, 22, 32, 48, 64, 85, and 106 fluid ounces/acre rates respectively. www.MTGF.org


MASMS BOOT CAMP 2012 Basic Facility Manager Training

The Minnesota Educational Facility Management Professionals (MASMS) Basic Facility Manager Training is a two day course that covers the basics of school Facility management, and is offered by MASMS twice a year. This course covers the critical aspects of school facility management. It is “Training from the Trenches,” taught by peers. This training is of great value for newly employed facilities managers or seasoned veterans. MASMS Boot Camp was held on July 11th and 12th, 2012 at the St. Cloud Holiday Inn & Suites. Instructors: Scott Hogen, New Ulm Schools; Mike Boland, North St Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale Schools, Rodger Schaefbauer, Wayzata Schools and Jeff Arthurs, Eden Prairie Schools Attendees: Steve Anderson, Albert Lea Schools; Jeff Arthurs, Eden Prairie Schools; Jim Bain, South Washington Schools; Jeff Goldy, Hopkins Schools; Mark Gruber, Pierz Schools; Dan Krekelberg, Brooklyn Center Schools; Terry Lehman, Prior Lake Schools; Jeffrey Majerus, Eastern Carver County Schools; Justin McCoy, Orono Schools; Dan Miller, Osseo Schools; Kevin Neuman, Martin Luther College; Jamie Nixon, St. Cloud Schools; Becky Osheim, GlenvilleEmmons Schools; Chris Pint, Eastern Carver County Schools; Jeff Preuss, New York Mills Schools; Tim Rybak, Elk River Schools; George Schimmele, Martin Luther College; Steve Speer, LeRoy-Ostrander Schools; J.J. Williams, Kasson Mantorville Schools; Jamin Wood, NE Metro. For more information about MASMS, go to www.masms.org.

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MOTOROLA, MOTO, MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS and the Stylized M Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Motorola Trademark Holdings, LLC and are used under license. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 2012 Motorola Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.

www.MTGF.org

FALL/WINTER2012~MTGFCLIPPINGS 19


The Minnesota Sod Producers annually have a booth at the Minnesota State Fair. Pictured sitting is Douglas Lawrence, Rocket Turf.

What is the MTGF? The Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation (MTGF), a non-profit organization, is a partnership of seven turf- and grounds-related associations and the University of Minnesota. Members of these associations are automatically members of the MTGF. The Seven MTGF Allied Associations are: + Minnesota Association of Cemeteries + Minnesota Educational Facilities Management Professionals + Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents' Association + Minnesota Park and Sports Turf Managers Association + Minnesota Society of Arboriculture + Minnesota Sod Producers (dba Minnesota Turf Association) + Minnesota Turf Seed Council The mission of the MTGF is to promote the green industries in Minnesota through support of research, education and outreach at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere. The MTGF pursues its mission in various ways. One of these is an annual "Call For Proposals," titled the "MTGF Research Gift Program," whereby researchers, instructors and outreach faculty and staff involved in turf and grounds work may submit requests for unrestricted gifts to support their activities. As a 501(c)(3) corporation, funding approved by the MTGF will not be subjected to overhead or other indirect charges or costs. The dates for submission, review and approval may change on an annual basis as well as the protocol stipulated for the submission of gift requests. 20MTGFCLIPPINGS ~FALL/WINTER2012

www.MTGF.org


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ASSOCIATION

SPOTLIGHT

MINNESOTA SOD PRODUCERS DBA

MINNESOTA TURF ASSOCIATION

The Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation (MTGF) is made up of seven affiliated groups that deal with the maintenance and planning of turf and grounds. One of these associations is the Minnesota Sod Producers (MSP), dba Minnesota Turf Association. The Minnesota Sod Producers are a group of sod farmers that wish to inform and acquaint the public on the use and benefits of cultured sod. The association started in the late 1960s. The membership is made up of 15 Sod Farms and 19 Associate members. Please feel free to browse our site (www.mnturf.org) and provide us with some feedback. The MSP takes part in the Minnesota State Fair each year in St Paul. This year the fair took place from August 23 through September 3. The MSP invites you to take a stand and show your turf pride! Turfgrass is one of the most widespread, beneficial and economic

ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF INSTANT GRASS! Sod instantly increases property value, has virtually no erosion and is better for the environment.

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R Register egister O Online nline T Today! oday! www.NorthernGreenExpo.org www.NorthernGreenExpo.org 22MTGFCLIPPINGS ~FALL/WINTER2012

landscape plants in the country. It adds value to America's communities and economy. Watch, share and repost this short video about the benefits of lawns, parks, golf courses, recreational sport fields and green spaces. Live on Turfgrass! Go to www.mnturf.org to see the video. Enjoy the benefits of instant grass rather than seeding which cannot be used for months. Sod instantly increases your property value, has virtually no erosion and is better for the environment. Sod also has lower maintenance than other forms of turf establishment. The “sea of green” we call our lawns is one of the best and easiest to maintain groundcovers you’ll ever grow. Grass filters water and recharges watershed. Lawns, often called “green space” when referred to in research reports, reduce storm water runoff. An average suburban green space lot of about 10,000 square feet absorbs 6,000 gallons of rainwater (Environmental Health Research Foundation’s “Benefits of Green Space – Recent Research, April 25, 2011). MSP is an association committed to the advancement of the turfgrass sod industry. Through the education of its members, product users and various green industry and government entities, the association serves to encourage the use of turfgrass sod. MSP provides members with numerous educational opportunities via the MNLA/MTGF Northern Green Expo, Super Tuesday and Pesticide re-certification Gary Blocker, Zim Sod Company is this year’s President of the MSP. Bryan Lawrence, Rocket Turf is VicePresident. The board members are Paul Mutterer, Instant Lawn Sod Farms, and Margaret Gile, Country Club Turf. Serving as an Advisory Board member is Steve Balfany, Balfany Farms. Jerry Langmade, Crop Production Services and Tom Jameson, Helena Chemical, serve as Associate Board members. Pat Russell is the Executive Director / Treasurer. The MSP office is located in Stacy, MN. www.MTGF.org


P. O. Box 617 Wayzata, MN 55391

MTGF Clippings is the official publication of the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation. The magazine is published twice a year Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. MTGF Clippings is mailed to the members of each of its Allied Associations in addition to several educational institutions and government agencies.

MTGF ALLIED ASSOCIATIONS Minnesota Association of Cemeteries www.mncemeteries.org Minnesota Educational Facility Management Professionals www.masms.org Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents’ Association www.mgcsa.org

Minnesota Society of Arboriculture www.msa-live.org Minnesota Park and Sports Turf Managers Association www.mpstma.org Minnesota Turf Association www.mnturf.org Minnesota Turf Seed Council www.mnturfseed.com

MTGF CLIPPINGS FALL / WINTER 2012  

A magazine for Green Industry professionals in Minnesota. This issue focuses on turf and grounds research being conducted at the University...

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