The effects of incorporation of compost to a disturbed urban soil on turfgrass establishment, growth, and rust severity were assessed in a replicated field study. A blend of two locally available composted biosolids (sewage sludge) was incorporated into a nutrient-deficient subsoil at a rate of 130 m3·ha-1, adding NO3-N, P, and K at 126, 546, and 182 kg·ha-1, respectively, to each compost-amended plot. Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), and a mixture of these two species were seeded into both compost-amended and nonamended plots and observed for 1 year. Turfgrass establishment estimated from visual assessments of percentage cover and growth measured by clipping yields were significantly (P < 0.05) enhanced by the incorporation of the composted biosolids. These effects were first observed and most pronounced on plots seeded with perennial ryegrass and were apparent for the duration of the study. The severity of leaf rust caused by Puccinia sp. was significantly (P < 0.05) less on perennial ryegrass seeded on the compost-amended plots. This study demonstrates the feasibility and potential benefits of amending disturbed urban soils with composted biosolids to enhance turfgrass establishment and is the first report of the suppression of a foliar turfgrass disease through the incorporation of compost into soil.
Cerinda Loschinkohl and Michael J. Boehm
Hassan Salehi and Morteza Khosh-Khui
Turfgrass seeds can be sown individually, in mixes, or overseeded to provide green color and uniform surfaces in all the seasons. This investigation was conducted to compare different turfgrass species and their seed mixtures. In this research, the turfgrasses—perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. `Barball'), kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L. `Merion'), common bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon [L.] Pers.), and strong creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra L. var. rubra `Shadow')—in monoculture or in mixtures of 1:1 (by weight) and a 1:1:1:1 (by weight) and two sport turfgrasses—BAR 11 (Barenbrug Co.) and MM (Mommersteeg Co.)—were used. The seeds were sown in March and October (spring and fall sowing) in 1998 and 1999. The experiments were conducted in a split-split block design with year as main plot, sowing season as subplot, and turfgrass types as subsubplot. The turfgrasses were compared by measuring visual quality, chlorophyll index after winter and summer, rooting depth, verdure and/or root fresh and dry weight, tiller density, and clippings fresh and dry weight. Fall sowing was superior to spring sowing and resulted in greater root growth, clipping yield, and chlorophyll content. Poa+Cynodon seed mixture was the best treatment and had high tiller density, root growth, and chlorophyll content. Lolium and Festuca monocultures, and Poa+Festuca and Cynodon+Festuca seed mixtures were not suitable with regard to low tiller density, sensitivity to high temperatures, low root growth, and low tiller density, respectively. The cool-warm-season seed mixture (Poa+Cynodon) can be used alternatively in overseeding programs in the areas with soil and environmental conditions similar to this research site.
Patrick E. McCullough, Haibo Liu, Lambert B. McCarty, Ted Whitwell, and Joe E. Toler
Dwarf-type bermudagrasses [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davey] tolerate long-term golf green mowing heights but require heavy nitrogen (N) fertilizations. Inhibiting leaf growth with trinexapac-ethyl (TE) could reduce shoot growth competition for root reserves and improve nutrient use efficiency. Two greenhouse experiments evaluated four N levels, 6 (N6), 12 (N12), 18 (N18), and 24 (N24) kg N/ha/week, with TE at 0 and 0.05 kg·ha–1 a.i. every 3 weeks to assess rooting, nutrient allocation, clipping yield, and chlorophyll concentration of `TifEagle' bermudagrass grown in PVC containers built to U.S. Golf Association specification. Trinexapac-ethyl enhanced turf quality on every date after initial application. After 8 weeks, high N rates caused turf quality decline; however, TE treated turf averaged about 25% higher visual quality from nontreated turf, masking quality decline of high N fertility. `TifEagle' bermudagrass treated with TE had clippings reduced 52% to 61% from non-TE treated. After 16 weeks, bermudagrass treated with TE over all N levels had 43% greater root mass and 23% enhanced root length. Compared to non-TE treated turf, leaf N, P, and K concentrations were consistently lower in TE treated turf while Ca and Mg concentrations were increased. Root N concentrations in TE treated turf were 8% to 11% higher for N12, N18, and N24 fertilized turf than respective N rates without TE. Compared to non-TE treated turf, clipping nutrient recoveries were reduced 69% to 79% by TE with 25% to 105% greater nutrients recovered in roots. Bermudagrass treated with TE had higher total chlorophyll concentrations after 8 and 12 weeks. Overall, inhibiting `TifEagle' bermudagrass leaf growth appears to reallocate nutrients to belowground tissues, thus improving nutrient use efficiency and root growth. Chemical name used: trinexapac-ethyl, [4-(cyclopropyl-[α]-hydroxymethylene)-3,5-dioxo-cyclohexane carboxylic acid ethylester].
Panayiotis A. Nektarios, Georgios Tsoggarakis, Aimilia-Eleni Nikolopoulou, and Dimitrios Gourlias
Two field studies (winter and summer) were performed to evaluate the effect of three different fertilizer programs and a urea formaldehyde resin foam (UFRF) soil amendment on sod establishment and anchorage. Fertilizer treatments involved were 1) a quick release (QR) granular fertilizer (12-12-17); 2) a slow release (SR) fertilizer (27-5-7); and 3) a foliar (FL) fertilizer (20-20-20). The application rate was 50, 30, 0.35 g·m-2 for QR, SR, and FL, respectively. The substrate consisted of sandy loam soil, and in half of the plots UFRF flakes were incorporated in the upper 100 mm at a rate of 20% v/v. The effects of the fertilizer and soil amendment on sod establishment were evaluated through measurements of the dry weight of clippings and roots and the visual quality of the turf. Sod anchorage was measured by determination of the vertical force required to detach a piece of sod. For each treatment the initial and final pH, EC, available P, exchangeable K, Ca, Mg, and Fe were also determined. It was found that FL reduced clipping yield but retained turf visual quality similar to the other fertilizer treatments except in winter, when it resulted in the worst quality ratings. However, FL fertilizer promoted root growth and provided high vertical detachment force values and therefore enhanced sod establishment. Slow release fertilizer resulted in moderate top growth and visual quality of the turf during winter, but delayed sod establishment. Quick release fertilizer increased top growth and improved turfgrass visual quality during the winter, but root growth and vertical detachment force were reduced, indicating poorer sod establishment. UFRF did not enhance sod establishment since there was a negative effect on root growth when temperatures were below 10 °C, without however affecting vertical detachment force. Differences in soil P, K, Ca, Mg and Fe between treatments were inconsistent between the two studies, except for final K concentration, which was higher for QR fertilization than SR and FL. Foliar fertilization can enhance sod establishment compared to QR and SR, by accelerating sod anchorage and root growth. QR can be used in late autumn to improve winter green up of the sod. UFRF does not improve or accelerate sod establishment and possesses a minimal capacity to improve soil properties of sandy loam soils.
C.A. Brown, D.A. Devitt, and R.L. Morris
Research was conducted to assess the response of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) to water deficit conditions. Different leaching fractions (LF = drainage volume/irrigation volume) and irrigation frequencies (IF) were imposed over a 119-day summer period in Las Vegas, Nevada, followed by a 71-day recovery period. Plots of tall fescue contained 120 cm deep × 51 cm diameter draining lysimeters. Irrigations were based on an evapotranspiration (ET) feedback system to establish LFs of +0.15, 0.00, -0.15, -0.25, and -0.40. Plots were irrigated on a daily or twice per week schedule. N was applied to subplots at a rate of 0, 12.2, or 24.4 kg·ha-1 per month. As LF decreased, relative soil water in storage declined in a linear fashion (r 2 = 0.97, P = 0.001). Storage depletions for the four lowest LFs at the end of 119 days of imposed water deficits were about 15%, 40%, 60%, and 70% compared to the +0.15 LF treatment. Canopy temperature, soil matric potential (Ψm), leaf xylem water potential (ΨLX), leaf stomatal conductance (gs), clipping yield, color and cover ratings all statistically separated (P < 0.05) based on LF but not on IF. However, irrigation amount (I), ET, tissue moisture content and total Kjeldahl N (TKN) separated based on LF and IF with a significant LF by IF interaction for I (P < 0.05) and TKN (P < 0.001). An irrigation savings of 60.4 cm was realized during the 119-day water deficit period at the -0.40 LF. However, at the lower LFs, plant stress increased (all parameters) with color ratings declining below an acceptable value of 8.0. An Irrigation/Potential ET (I/ETo) threshold of 0.80 was determined for both color and cover. After a 71-day recovery period both color and cover returned to pre experimental values at the two higher N rates. Results of this experiment indicate that implementing a twice weekly irrigation strategy at a -0.15 LF on tall fescue during summer months in an arid environment would lead to savings of 37.5 cm of water while still maintaining acceptable color and cover ratings.
Benjamin Wherley and Thomas R. Sinclair
Sugden, 1996 ; Fagerness and Yelverton, 2000 ; Gardner and Wherley, 2005 ). Shoot growth in our study, as measured by weekly clipping yields, was noticeably reduced by TE application in both species during both studies ( Table 1 ). Clipping yield
Francesco Rossini, Roberto Ruggeri, Tiziano Celli, Francesco Maria Rogai, Ljiljana Kuzmanović, and Michael D. Richardson
week to verify that PAR was uniform throughout the experiment. Grass response was measured twice each week as clipping yield [mg dry matter (DM)/cm 2 /d], vertical growth rate (cm·d −1 ), leaf texture (mm width) and NDVI. For each pot, NDVI was
John B. Stiglbauer, Haibo Liu, Lambert B. McCarty, Dara M. Park, Joe E. Toler, and Kendal Kirk
( Erickson et al., 2008 ; Guertal, 2006 , 2008 ; Liu et al., 2008 ; Snyder et al., 2008 ). Root weight, clipping yield, and ball rolling. There were no significant differences in ash-free root weight with samples collected at WAS 14 in both years ( Table
Ruiqin Bai and Deying Li
the days required for seed germination after overseeding was noted. Clippings were collected at each mowing. To determine dry clipping yield, clippings were dried in an oven at 68 °C for 48 h. Turfgrass visual quality was evaluated based on a 1 to 9
seeds, respectively. VERMICOMPOST DOES NOT IMPROVE TURFGRASS VISUAL QUALITY OR CLIPPING YIELD WHEN APPLIED AS A FERTILIZER A variety of vermicomposts are being marketed as fertilizer materials for turfgrass management, particularly in the golf course