Summer Cultivation Increases Field Infiltration Rates of Water and Reduces Soil Electrical Conductivity on Annual Bluegrass Golf Greens

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  • 1 Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0124
  • | 2 Department of Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0124
  • | 3 Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0124

Summer decline of annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.) putting greens is a major concern of golf course superintendents. Low soil water infiltration rates and high concentrations of salts in the root zone are contributing factors. This study was conducted to determine the effects of summer cultivation treatments on field infiltration rates of water, soil salinity, oxygen diffusion rates (ODR), bulk density, total and air-filled porosity, and root weight density. This research was conducted during two summer seasons (1996 and 1997) on a practice putting green located at Industry Hills Golf Courses, City of Industry, Calif. The green was constructed to U.S. Golf Association (USGA) specifications in 1978. Cultivation treatments consisted of: 1-3) water injection cultivation (WIC) applied with a Toro HydroJect every 21 d (raised position), and every 14 or 21 d (lowered position); 4) solid tine cultivation (STC) applied every 14 d; and 5) no cultivation (check). Results showed WIC and STC significantly increased field infiltration rates of water and lowered overall soil electrical conductivity of the extract (ECe) at depths of 2.5 to 7.5 cm and 7.5 to 15.0 cm in the root zone. The effects of WIC, raised position, did not differ significantly from those of STC, but infiltration rates of water were greater on all rating dates. Cultivation treatments had no significant effects on overall soil ODR, bulk density, and porosity or on overall root weight density.

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