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Performance Evaluation Of Cynodon Dactylon L. Turfgrass

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Family Poaceae comprise of grass varieties which are famous for economic for soil preservation, grazing for cattle and compact turf development. Bermuda grass Cynodon dactylon L. is considered best grass among many varieties of grasses being used in Pakistan because of its aesthetic and adoptability. Bermuda is a native grass of Africa and Asia but now it is widely distributed in more than 100 countries of the world. Bermuda grass Cynodon dactylon L. is nature resistance, fine texture with thick density, uniform shape of color with resistance toward traffic make it among the top of the list. Hence, the present study will be designed to maintaining the uniform color of the Bermuda grass and to investigate how different nitrogen and phosphorus levels effects quality (uniformity, density, texture, smoothness and color) of turf. For this purpose experiment will be conducted at the field area Department of Horticulture Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi. Turf will be grown on thermo pore boxes with 1ft x 1ft dimension. Cynodon dactylon L. carpets will be grown through sprigging method and irrigation with the help of sprinkler till carpet formation. Data will be collected on the bi weekly basis after turfgrass establishment. The procedure of checking the visual characters will be done at the regular intervals after 2 weeks. The data obtained from this study will be analyzed with proper statistical method and will be used for the proper management of the species.

Commonly seen grasses are the earth’s upper cover which is naturally as well as artificially grown, both are affected by natural environmental conditions, but these effects are more visible when we apply some growth enhancer. Luckily we have different kind of grasses which are suitable for different landscape purposes such as home, commercial, indoor, outdoor, highly managed and arid areas etc. Bermuda grass is considered best grass among many varieties of grasses being used in Pakistan because of its aesthetic and adoptability.

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Bermuda grass Cynodon dactylon L. is nature resistance, fine texture with thick density, uniform shape of color with resistance toward traffic make it among top of the list. Poaceae family comprise of grass varieties which are famous for economic for soil preservation, grazing for cattle and compact turf development (Assefa et al., 1999). It propagates by stolons, shoots and rhizomes. Although it is warm season grass but humid and sub-tropical conditions are also suitable for it (Taliaferro et al., 2003). Bermuda is a native grass of Africa and Asia but now it is widely distributed in more than 100 countries of the world. in different regions of world it is known by respective common names like Khabal grass, Bermuda grass, Dogs tooth’s grass, Devil’s grass, Bahamas grass, Couch grass, Quick grass and Wiregrass (Beard, 1973).

Some varieties are wild and consider a noxious weeds due to their hardy nature and aggressive properties Some proper rules are followed to control Vigorous growth and high shoot density of such unessential (Turgeon. 1996). The best growing season is from mid-April to mid-October (Duble, 2001). The grass is stress tolerant, heat tolerant and broad pest tolerant (Richardson et al.. 2007). It also has medical importance for it remedial qualities against diseases like Diabetes, Dysentery and Syphilis because of its antiviral and anti-microbial properties (Kim and Beard 1987).

The beauty of the landscape is enhanced by turfgrasses which are obliging for the optimistic lifestyle of people (Kaplan and Kaplan, 1989). Turfgrasses are used extensively in urban and rural areas in a number of diverse arenas. In urban areas like in resorts, tourist villages, parks and walkways these turfgrasses seems an indispensible beautifying component of the landscape. Bermuda grass lawns offer distinction to the site and impart foreground to any architectural or landscape area (Fu et al., 2005). Turfgrasses used for home lawns, commercial landscapes, athletic fields, and golf courses improve quality of life by providing open space, recreational and business opportunities, enhanced property values, and the conservation of important natural resources (Duble, 2010).

In Pakistan production of turfgrass is very low because people are very less aware of its benefits. Turfgrass is a new and emerging trend in urban areas of Pakistan and now because of social awareness trend is spreading to other areas of the country. Different varieties and cultivars of Bermuda are used like Tiff way 419. Tiff dwarf, Khabal, Tifton and Dhaka. Turfgrass areas are limited to Gujranwala, Lahore, Puttoke, and Karachi. Gujranwala is leading in turfgrass production and in its supply to all parts of the country.

Nitrogen Fertilizer for Turfgrass

Nitrogen is the key element in turfgrass fertility programs and is required in greatest quantities by turfgrasses since it influences healthy growth, color and density (Hull, 1996). Among the nutrients present in turfgrasses, nitrogen is present in the greatest quantities, ranging from 2%-5% by weight in dry leaf tissue (Landschoot and Miller, 2003). It is also the nutrient applied in the greatest quantity to Bermuda grass, typically at rates of 50 kg N ha-1 per growing month. As N is taken up by the plant it is assimilated into amino acids that provide the basis for formation of key N compounds basic to plant growth and metabolism (Landschoot and Miller, 2003).

Nitrogen has a major influence on a number of plant responses, including color, shoot and root growth, shoot density, rhizome and stolon growth, cold tolerance, drought resistance, wear tolerance, thatch accumulation, and recovery potential (Carrow et al., 1997). Evaluating turfgrass response to N is commonly done by measuring color and growth rate. The dark green color for most turfgrass is achieved by N fertilization. People commonly associate dark green color with high quality; however, color cannot always be used to judge the quality of grass (Beard, 1990).

When excessive N has been applied there may be some loss of color because growth rate is so high that some dilution of chlorophyll may occur and shading results in yellowing of lower leaves, a condition especially visible after mowing (Ramos and Curbelo, 1978). Given the range of effects of N on turfgrasses, it is obvious that proper N fertilization is important to maintaining healthy, stress tolerant, and attractive turf. Also, an understanding of the soil environmental factors influencing N relationships is important when developing an N fertilization program (Landschoot and Miller, 2003).

Phosphorous Fertilizer for Turfgrass

In turfgrasses, P supplied at establishment aids in quicker establishment and more vigorous rooting. This healthy root growth explains why P has been reported to enhance turfgrass cold/heat tolerance, increase drought recovery and water use efficiency (Carrow, 2001). Phosphorus is one of the most important nutrients in healthy turf growth, development and reproduction. It is involved in almost every metabolic reaction and is a structural component of many vital cell structures. Without P, turf growth is stunted and tillering is impeded. Photosynthesis is slowed and therefore, photosynthetic pigments accumulate in older leaf tissue causing a dark red, purple, or green coloration to appear at leaf tips or margins. Phosphorus aids turf in moisture retention and therefore leaves in P deficient turfgrass plants may also appear curled or wilted. When P is deficient, turf is also more susceptible to disease, drought, heat and cold stress, and weed encroachment. If deficiency is not resolved, eventually plant processes will cease to continue and the plant will die.

Efficiencies in phosphorus (P), another most important macronutrient negatively affects plant growth (Vance, 2001). P promotes winter survival, cold hardiness and dry matter production (Tyler et al., 1981).

High phosphorus levels may also promote increased establishment of weed grasses and result in the need for additional pre and post – emergence herbicides on established turf (Dest and Allison 1981).

Human mind has always being able to look for the paramount fitting behavior for employment of the resources he sets eye on, he further more engages himself in an assortment of trialing to find out best promising ways to use the so called naturally stirring resources for his own purpose. It goes in all the arenas of life be it be relating to his domestic life, commercial or industry, he exerts his preeminent labors to update the things that he finds out in nature according to his purpose. Turfgrasses are the most important cover plants in the world (Fu et al., 2005). Turfgrass quality is the product of uniformity, density, color, and texture; therefore, evaluation of turfgrass quality can be complex. Turfgrass and its appliance by man in a variety of ways and purposes is an age old trend. Turfgrass has extensively been used by man in a variety of purposes, narrowing them down to a few, domestic and commercial uses: covering millions of hectares of home lawns, commercial landscapes, roadside vegetation, parks, athletic fields and golf courses.

Knowledge of adoptability in arid agro-ecological zone among turf variety is important for the selection of turf which is the most suitable for this region. Changing world climate scenario is affecting arid areas so research related to plants having adaptability for these areas is increasing many folds (Petit et al., 1999). Cultural management practices influence turfgrass growth, quality, and nutrient exports (Beard and Green, 1994; Bell and Moss, 2008; Linde et al., 1995).Man being bestowed with all the innate intelligence, when exerts it, utilizing the attained knowledge in all spheres. is able to track out such innovative uses to natural resource that were never thought of before. Following the same footing he turned himself able to utilize Turfgrass in a variety of ways: Turfgrass benefits may be divided into (i) functional and (ii) recreational. Specific functional benefits include: excellent soil erosion control and dust stabilization, thereby protecting a vital soil resource; improved recharge and quality protection of groundwater, plus flood control; enhanced entrapment and biodegradation of synthetic organic compounds. soil improvement that includes CO2 conversion, accelerated restoration of disturbed soils, substantial urban heat dissipation temperature moderation; reduced noise, glare, and visual pollution problems; decreased noxious pests and allergy-related pollens, safety in vehicle operation on roadsides and engine longevity on airfields; lowered tire hazard via open, green turfed firebreaks and improved security of sensitive installations provided by high Visibility zones.

Turfgrasses are proved to be relatively inexpensive and more hard-wearing ground covers that protect our valuable: the non-renewable soil resources from water and the wind erosion. Agricultural operations and similar activities such as construction involve extensive land disruption, in contrast to turfed land areas which are maintained in a long-term stable state for the ultimatum yield is on the immediate surface of ground that just needs maintenance no fixed interval plough and harvesting. So to overcome the problem of soil erosion and dust stabilization turfgrass are the best available solution.

One of the key mechanisms by which turfgrasses preserve water in arid and semi-arid conditions is their superior capability to trap and hold runoff which results in more water infiltrating and filtering through the soil turfgrass ecosystem. Turfgrass cultivation is promising provision of a low-cost, safe recreational surface: as for its qualities, pertaining its substantiality and accommodating growth. Many outdoor sports and recreational activities utilize turfgrasses, including archery, badminton, baseball, cricket, field hockey, football, golf, horse racing, horseshoes, lawn bowling, lawn tennis, polo, rugby, shooting, soccer, softball, track and field, and volleyball. Both the enjoyment and the benefits of improved physical and mental health derived from recreation and leisure activities on turfs are vital to contemporary society, especially in densely populated urban areas. Community pride and interest can be derived from quality Sports fields and parks as humans are liable to notice and admire an eye appealing sight. Also, spectators derive entertainment from sporting competitions played on turfs.

The distinctive phenomenon of nature to endow the earth with speckled growth forms in diverse areas depending on milieu variations seems evident in different grass forms prevalence. Even in an area there accumulate varied grass forms each with its own distinct traits to adapt the surroundings, the accolade of being the best suitable specie or form cannot be given without the support of authentic evaluation based on emphatic research. So as to state the best apposite turf for an area is not possible without the legitimate evaluation of practical research. The present pursues to undertake the same journey.

For sunny areas where winter dormancy is acceptable, the best lawns are warm-season turf varieties of Bermuda. These trailing grasses are excellent at filling in bare spots and recovering quickly from foot traffic. They also are consistent of high salt tolerance level and do not burn easily from pet urine (high in salts and nitrogen). Warm-season grasses are also deep rooting and water stress tolerant so best suited in arid conditions. The weather conditions during the summer months in locations with a typical Arid climate may entail a prolonged period of water stress which reduces the physiological activity of turf growth and hence the quality of the lawn (Beard and Sifers, 1997; Huang, 2001). Spring and summer fertilizer applications are most effective for established warm-season grass performance, but nutrient uptake rates peak during spring and fall for cool-season grasses (USEPA, 2005).

The factor which mainly contributes to their popularity may as the accessibility of the varieties in the market: as market know how some under essential behavior considering the demand and availability of competitive varieties. Thus knowledge on adaptability to weather conditions allows us to identify turfgrass species better able to tolerate and exploit the resources of are environments (Beard 1989; Shearman et al., 2001). Cool-season turfgrasses exhibit optimal growth at 16-24°C with reduction of impaired growth when the temperature reaches 3°C (Beard, 1973).

Man being bestowed with all the innate intelligence, when exerts it, utilizing the attained knowledge in all spheres. Is able to track out such innovative uses to natural resource that was never thought of before. Following the same footing he turned himself able to utilize Turfgrass in a variety of ways: Turfgrass benefits may be divided into (i) functional and (ii) recreational. Specific functional benefits include: excellent soil erosion control and dust stabilization, thereby protecting a vital soil resource; improved recharge and quality protection of groundwater, plus flood control; enhanced entrapment and biodegradation of synthetic organic compounds. soil improvement that includes CO2 conversion, accelerated restoration of disturbed soils, substantial urban heat dissipation temperature moderation; reduced noise, glare, and visual pollution problems; decreased noxious pests and allergy-related pollens, safety in vehicle operation on roadsides and engine longevity on airfields; lowered tire hazard via open, green turfed firebreaks and improved security of sensitive installations provided by high Visibility zones.

Current experiment will be conducted at the field area Department of Horticulture Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi. In this research the turfgrass will grow in research area of university. Turf will be grown on thermo pore boxes with 1ft x 1ft dimension. Four treatments with 3 replications will be prepared for the purpose.

Cynodon dactylon L. carpets will be grown through sprigging method and irrigation with the help of sprinkler till carpet formation. General properties for example, soil type; organic matter (OM) and soil pH will be calculated before turfgrass grown from soil and Water Testing laboratory for Research. These parameters will be test in Post Harvest laboratory of Arid Agriculture University. The treatment thus formed, data will be collected on bi weekly basis after turfgrass establishment on the following parameters.

The qualities of turfgrass will be determined by its uniformity, density, texture, smoothness and color by grading. The visuals characters of the grass cannot be calculated in numerical values, so different persons related to field will be selected for such type of grading. The procedure of checking the visual characters will be done at the regular intervals after 2 weeks. All such data is collected to get mean of the data.

Uniformity

Uniformity is the visual appearance of turfgrass. The presence of bare areas, weeds, blemishes due to insert or disease injury, or an irregular growth habit lower the level of uniformity in turfgrass. This will be visually measured by using 1 to 5 rating scale with 1 equaling varying growth and 5 regular or homogenous growths.

Density

Turfgrass density is refer to as the per unit area visual estimate of the living plants and tillers. Dead plants were not included. Use of a visual rating of 1 to 5, with 5 equaling density will be used.

Texture

Texture rating of visual texture as based on rating scale based on 1 to 5, with 5 equaling fine and 1 equaling course.

Color

The scale used for visual color evaluation will be 1 to 5 rating scale with 5 being dark green and 1 straw brown.

Smoothness

Smoothness is the level of upper leaf blade and the degree of evenness of equaling of the growth. Smoothness will be visually rated by using 1 to 5 rating scale with 1 equaling uneven growth and 5 highly even growths.

The collected data will be analyzed through appropriate statistical package i.e. MSTAT-C statistical significant will be compared with L.S.D test (Steel et al., 1997). Collected data will be analyzed further by using (SPSS) statistical package for social science.

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