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John L. Cisar and George H. Snyder

The objective of this experiment was to determine the suitability of a compost obtained from a commercially available solid-waste processing plant for sod production when placed over a plastic barrier. Comparisons were made between compost-grown sod with and without fertilizer and between compost-grown sod and commercially grown sod. Six weeks after seeding or sprigging, both fertilized and nonfertilized compost-grown `Argentine' bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flugge), `Tifway' bermudagrass (Cynodon transvaalensis × C. dactylon), and `Floratam' St. Augustinegrass [Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walt.) Kuntze.] had discolored leaf blade tissue and poor growth. At 6 weeks, bahiagrass leaf tissue had a low N concentration, which suggested that the compost immobilized fertilizer N. Additionally, initial high salinity of the compost (2.85 dS·m-1) may have contributed to turf discoloration and lack of vigor. However, poor growth and discoloration were temporary. At 3 and 5 months, fertilized compost-grown turfgrasses had higher quality and coverage than nonfertilized sod. At 5 months, fertilized sod had sufficient coverage for harvest, whereas for conventional field production 9 to 24 months generally is required to produce a harvestable product. Compost-grown sod pieces had similar or higher tear resistance than commercially grown sod. One and 3 weeks after transplanting on a sand soil, compost-grown sod produced higher root weight and longer roots in the underlying soil than did commercially grown sod. The solid-waste compost used in this study offers a viable alternative material for producing sod that will benefit solid-waste recycling efforts.

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George H. Snyder and John L. Cisar

Field and laboratory studies were conducted to evaluate the K retention properties of several resin-coated (RC), sulfur-coated (SC), and plastic-coated (PC) K fertilizers. Substantial differences in K release were found among the controlled-release K materials, based both on the K content of `Tifgreen' bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burt-Davvy] clippings and on direct measurement of K remaining in fertilizer granules in the field over time. One SC material appeared to release K too rapidly, and one RC material appeared to release K too slowly to be useful for providing extended plant-available K to turfgrass. The other sources appeared to have release characteristics that would be favorable for turfgrass maintenance. Because differences in K release were observed among the sources, a laboratory method for assessing K release would be useful. Toward this-end, models were developed relating K retention of sources in hot water (70C) to K retention under field conditions.

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John L. Cisar, George H. Snyder and Karen E. Williams

For only the second time, the United States will host The International Turfgrass Society's (ITS) International Turfgrass Research Conference (ITRC). The VII ITRC will be held July 18-24, 1993 at The Breakers in Palm Beach, FL. Since its inception, the ITS has been devoted to addressing problems that effect turfgrass and improving the standards of turfgrass science through international communication. The Conference will offer two symposia entitled “Pesticide and Nutrient Fate in Turfgrass Systems” and “Quantification of Surface Characteristics of Sports Fields”. Additionally plenary and volunteered oral and poster presentations on all topics of turfgrass science and related horticultural landscape management tours of the local horticultural industries will be offered. Volunteered papers will be published in a proceedings as either original research papers or as technical papers. Papers submitted as original research will undergo refereed peer review prior to acceptance. See poster for further details or contact authors at above address (phone: 305-475-8990).

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Karen E. Williams, John L. Cisar and George H. Snyder

Current interest in the fate of agrochemicals applied to turf is encouraging many turf scientists to contemplate renovation of existing field plots for soil-water monitoring studies. Ceramic cup samplers are used for these studies and result in little soil profile disturbance. However, a limitation to using this tool is frequent sampler failure caused by frequent system air leaks. Also, conventional installation and sampling require that samplers be accessible from above the soil line. This imposes a constraint on turf maintenance and increases traffic and wear to turf plots. Herein, an inexpensive offsite soil-water sampling method using permanently installed ceramic cup samplers that allows for routine turf maintenance without system failure is described. Thirty-six separately irrigated 4 m2 plots each with an installed sampler provided daily data over 1988-1989, from which the effects of a range of irrigation, N, K, and propoxur treatments on soil-water concentrations were evaluated. These data, plus calculated percolation provided an estimate of groundwater loading.

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George H. Snyder, Christopher W. Deren and Barry Glaz