Buffalograss tolerance to simulated golf cart traffic

By and |  August 5, 2015 0 Comments
Golf cart traffic simulator used to apply traffic treatments to buffalograss at the KSU Turfgrass Research Facility in Manhattan, Kan.

Golf cart traffic simulator used to apply traffic treatments to buffalograss at the KSU Turfgrass Research Facility in Manhattan, Kan.

Buffalograss is known for its low maintenance and drought-tolerance. Current research at Kansas State University is looking into what impact management practices and golfers have on buffalograss under reduced irrigation.

Field studies were initiated in the summers of 2014 and 2015 to investigate the influence of simulated golf cart traffic on buffalograss’ traffic tolerance and recovery at different nitrogen rates. The objectives of this study are to determine the influence of nitrogen fertilizer on buffalograss color, quality and percent of turf cover when subjected to simulated golf cart traffic. Fertilizer treatments consisted of 0, 1, 2 and 3 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of a 46-0-0 (N-P-K) urea product applied in two half-rate applications at trial initiation and 8 weeks after initiation. Simulated golf cart traffic treatments were applied twice per week, totaling 0, two, four, eight and 16 passes/week.

Research also was conducted during the winter of 2014-2015 to determine how turfgrass colorants combined with simulated golf cart traffic affected buffalograss density during winter dormancy. The objectives of this study were to investigate the longevity of turf colorants when subjected to simulated golf cart traffic, explore the effects of turf colorants on buffalograss at fairway height (0.625 inch) and to evaluate the effects of simulated golf cart traffic on dormant buffalograss. Three turfgrass colorants and an overseeded treatment (perennial ryegrass seeded at 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet) were investigated. Colorants were applied at 43 gallons of spray solution per acre at a 1:6 dilution (colorant to water). Traffic was applied weekly at 0, two, four or eight passes with a golf cart traffic simulator.

This research will give superintendents a better understanding of how golf cart traffic and different management practices influence the growth and appearance of buffalograss during different seasons under minimal irrigation.

Photo by: Jared A. Hoyle

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