Loading...

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

MOSQUITO SPRAY CAN KILL GRASS

Nick Christians
August 25, 2015
nchris@iastate.edu

It is a common phenomenon on the golf course to have green footprints appear in mid summer, with brown grass surrounding the prints.  While this is a common problem on creeping bentgrass on golf course, I also had a couple of questions from people who had this occur on their Kentucky bluegrass lawn this summer.  The problem is mosquito spray that contain a chemical called DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide)..  This material is a great mosquito repellent, but is deadly to grass.  The problem occurs when someone stands on the grass and spray their feet to protect themselves from mosquito bites.



This past summer, undergraduate research associate Zack Olinger, performed a demonstration on this problem for the annual field day in July.  He did this in conjunction with his supervisor at the research station, Dan Strey.

The following is his description of the project:

From Zack



The objectives of this demonstration were to show effects of commercial spray products on the turf, and the timeframe for recovery following damage. With so many products readily available in today’s market, I decided to try an aerosol bug spray, an all-natural bug spray, and sunscreen. My goal was to demonstrate the effects of direct application of these products on the turf. I used OFF! Deep Woods® (25% DEET), Bug Soother (Lemongrass Oil 0.5%), Coppertone Sport High Performance® 30 SPF Broad Spectrum (Octisalate 5%, Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 10%, Octocrylene 10%). I set up a demonstration using 2’x2’ plots on Creeping Bentgrass, Agrostis stolonifera. The turf was mowed daily at .140”, the average height of many golf course greens. The application of the products were set-up in order to showcase results at the 2015 ITI Turfgrass Research Field Day on July 23, 2015. The Applications were made on July 9, 16, and 21. Below is a plot plan for the demonstration showing the application timing. Attached is also a record of daily weather and soil information during the course of the trial. I used an old pair of Nike Shoes and set them in the plot that the product was being applied to, then the product was sprayed evenly across the plot at a normal use rate resembling that used by the golfer. The plots were treated on their respective date and then observed for recovery from damage for several weeks.

Table of treatments with dates of application.






I found that the OFF! Deep Woods Bug Spray caused severe turf damage. The turf immediately shows signs of stress following application. The turf turned a dark purple (resembling the color of wilted grass) and then started to turn brown within 2-3 hours. By 24 hours after application the turf is damaged to the full extent. The turf took approximately 3 weeks to return to its original quality. Some spots in the plots never came back and would need to be reseeded or left to fill back in during the cooler weather of fall. 
The Bug Soother showed no adverse effects on the turf.  Immediately after application, the turf showed a shiny appearance that wore off after approximately 1 hour. The turf continued to live with no problems throughout the trial. The Sunscreen showed the same signs as the OFF! Deep Woods Bug Spray following application. The turf resembled the appearance of wilt for 3-4 hours and then started to brown out for 2 days until it reached the point of recovery. The sunscreen took approximately 8-10 days to return to its original quality. With all of the products there was a 98% recovery within 3 weeks. 
Most golfers  do not know about this problem.  Posting signs in the pro shop can help.  It may also be a good idea to provide a natural insect repellent at the counter so that they do not have to use the DEET product on the course.

Zack Olinger, (olinger@iastate.edu)
Dean Strey (dstrey@iastate.edu)

This is a a picture of the damage from the DEET product on August 22.  There is no damage from the other products on that date.



Pictures of damage from DEET product on Field Day, Aug. 23




 DEET Containing product.



Natural Bug repellent containing Lemon Grass oil.






Tuesday, August 18, 2015

SEEDING OF NEW SPORTS TURF RESEARCH AREA

Nick Christians
nchris@iastate.edu
August 18, 2015

The final grading of the new research area was completed on August 14.  Thanks to Derek York of Bush Turf for bringing in laser guided equipment to get it just right.  The seeding took place on Saturday and Sunday the 15th and 16th.  It is now completely finished. Thanks as well to Chance and Stacee Millett who helped with the seeding. We are hoping that there are no heavy rains until the grass is up.  Dan will put up some go pro segments in a couple of weeks.  Anyone in the area that would like to see it can stop out any time 8 to 5 Monday through Friday.









Wednesday, August 12, 2015

UPDATE ON SPORTS TURF RESEARCH AREA CONSTRUCTION

Nick Christians
August 12, 2015
nchris@iastate.edu

The construction of the new sports turf research area at the Iowa State Turfgrass Research Facility is going surprisingly well in spite of a very wet summer (See June 15 blog http://iaturf.blogspot.com/2015/06/nick-christians-june-15-2015.html).  The area has very good surface drainage and pretty good subsurface drainage.  Dan and Zach finished the irrigation system late last week and are in the process of settling the trenches and placing the sand on the sand-capped area..  On Friday of this week, Derek York of Bush sports turf will arrive to do the final grade.  Seeding will take place this weekend if the weather cooperates.  Stay tuned for further updates as the area is grown in.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this effort.








Wednesday, July 29, 2015

FRAZE MOWING ARTICLE BY GRADUATE STUDENT KEVIN HANSEN

Nick Christians
July 29, 2015
nchris@iastate.edu


Former graduate student Kevin Hansen finished his MS degree at the end of spring semester.  He recently started a new job at the Houston Texan's stadium.  Here is a little about his new job.



I am the grounds foreman here at the Texans.  We have three practice fields, an indoor and our game field that is grown on a tray system.  These trays are moved in and out of the stadium to make the stadium a multi-purpose venue.  It is a lot of work but it makes is easier to maintain the game field throughout the season because other events in the stadium aren't being held on the turfgrass.  The biggest challenge with this system is getting the seams to match up right and leveling them out.  This takes some labor but our crew has got it down to a science. There is a crew of about nine here and we all work hard to get the job done.  Training camp has just started so we are pretty busy setting up the practice fields. 

Kevin Hansen
Houston Texas

Kevin worked on Fraze mowing during his MS program.  An article based on his work was just published in Golf Course Management.  It is available on line at http://gcmdigital.gcsaa.org/i/532236-jul-2015/90 

Congratulations Kevin on your new job and your publication.