Responses of Creeping Bentgrass to Salinity and Mowing Management: Growth and Turf Quality

in HortScience
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1173

Salt problems in turfgrass sites are becoming more common. The effects of mowing management on salinity tolerance are not well understood. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of three mowing regimes on turf quality and growth responses of `L-93' creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris L.) to salinity stress. Sods of `L-93' creeping bentgrass were grown in containers (45 cm long and 10 cm in diameter) in a greenhouse. Treatments included three mowing regimes (clipping three times weekly at 25.4 mm, four times at 12.7 mm, and daily at 6.4 mm) and four levels of irrigation water salinity (control, 5, 10, and 15 dS·m-1). The relationship of increasing soil salinity with increasing irrigation water salinity was linear in each soil layer. Increasing salinity reduced turf quality and clipping yield more severely and rapidly when mowed at 6.4 mm than at 12.7 or 25.4 mm. Regression analysis of soil salinity and turf quality suggested that turf quality of creeping bentgrass mowed to 6.4, 12.7, and 25.4 mm fell to an unacceptable level when soil salinity reached 4.1, 12.5, and 13.9 dS·m-1, respectively. Data on turf quality, clipping yield, and verdure indicated that salinity damage becomes more severe under close mowing conditions and that a moderate increase in mowing height could improve salinity tolerance of creeping bentgrass.

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