Effects of Mowing and Trinexapac-Ethyl on St. Augustinegrass Sod Establishment during a Simulated Water Variance Period Academic Article uri icon


  • During water conservation periods, municipal water purveyors often limit irrigation for established lawns to once every 7 to 14 days, although a 4- to 6-week variance to these restrictions is often permitted for turfgrass establishment. Therefore, establishment practices promoting rapid development of a deep and expansive root system during this time may support long-term success of the turf once irrigation is scaled back. Sod producers and turf managers could benefit from information on the influence of mowing practices and plant growth regulator (PGR) applications on turf root development during this initial establishment period. The objectives of this greenhouse study were to 1) evaluate the effects of mowing and trinexapac-ethyl (TE) application on final turf quality and root development characteristics (weight, total length, and extension rate) of st. augustinegrass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) sod during a 35-day establishment period, and 2) compare the quality and rooting potential of TamStar, a newly released, embryo-rescue-derived cultivar possessing good drought resistance, with Floratam, the current industry standard for drought resistance. Weekly mowing reduced both total (2.5 to 90 cm) and deep (45 to 90 cm) root weight and root length in both cultivars. TE had no effect on visual quality of TamStar, but decreased turf quality in Floratam. TE reduced clipping yields of both cultivars but did not improve root development for either cultivar. Depth of maximal root extension during establishment was unaffected by cultivar, mowing, or TE treatment. At the conclusion of the 35-day establishment period, TamStar exhibited superior turf quality and root weight relative to Floratam, but also produced higher rates of shoot growth. Results emphasize the importance of withholding mowing during st. augustinegrass establishment, particularly for improving total root length and deep root production, and also show that TE does not improve root development of st. augustinegrass during establishment.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Hargey, D., Wherley, B., Malis, A., Thomas, J., & Chandra, A.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Hargey, Daniel||Wherley, Benjamin||Malis, Andrew||Thomas, James||Chandra, Ambika

publication date

  • February 2016