Establishing Zoysia japonica from Sprigs: Effects of Topdressing and Nitrogen Fertility

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  • 1 Assistant Professor, Department of Horticulture, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701
  • 2 Extension Specialist, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR 72203

Establishment of zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.) from sprigs is often impractical for golf courses and sports fields because of the slow growth rate of the species and subsequent long establishment period. A study was conducted at two different sites in Arkansas to evaluate the effects of soil topdressing and post-plant fertility rates on establishment of zoysiagrass from vegetative sprigs. Each site was planted according to standard methods using freshly-harvested sprigs (18 m3/ha) and either top dressed with 1.0 cm of native soil or maintained without topdressing. Beginning immediately after establishment, N was applied monthly at rates of 0, 1.25, 2.50, 3.75, or 5.0 g·m-2 as urea. Rate of cover was monitored throughout the growing season and elemental analysis of plant tissues was determined 120 days after planting. Topdressing the sprigs with native soil significantly improved establishment compared to traditional sprigging at both sites, presumably because of enhanced sprig survival. Applications of N during the establishment period had little or no overall effect on establishment, although the 0 g·m-2 rate was slightly inferior to all other rates. This study indicates that methods that enhance sprig survival are more important than added fertility for the rapid establishment of zoysiagrass sprigs.

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