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Bruce R. Roberts, Henry F. Decker, Kenneth J. Bagstad and Kathleen A. Peterson

Two biosolid-containing waste media [sewage sludge compost and incinerated biosolids (flume sand)] were tested individually, together, and in combination with a commercial growing medium for growing wildflower sod in greenhouse trials over a 3-year period. A medium composed of flume sand and Metromix (7:3 weight/weight) in 7.5 {XtimesX} 10.5 {XtimesX} 2-inch deep (19 {XtimesX} 27 {XtimesX} 5-cm) plastic trays seeded at 20 oz/1000ft2 (6.1 g·m-2) with cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus), cornflower (Centaurea cyannis), plains coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria), white yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) produced a suitable wildflower sod in 10 to 12 weeks. A single application of slow release fertilizer (Osmocote 14-14-14, 14N-4.2P-11.6K) applied as a top dressing had no significant effect on sod development; however, a 4-mil [0.004-inch (0.10-mm)] polyethylene barrier placed in the base of each container resulted in increased dry weight accumulation and a higher root to shoot ratio relative to sod grown without plastic.

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Bruce R. Roberts, Henry F. Decker, Lindsey M. Ganahl and Elizabeth Yarmark

Two biosolid-containing waste media [composted sewage sludge (Com-Til) and incinerated biosolids (flume sand)] were evaluated as soilless media for growing `Crenshaw', `Penncross', and `ProCup' creeping bentgrass sod (Agrostis palustris). The media were combined with sand and either sphagnum peat or a commercial growing mix (Metromix) and leached with 5.1 fl oz (150 mL) tap water either zero, one or three times before seeding. Leaching with tap water to remove soluble salts had no beneficial effect on germination or dry mass accumulation. Flume sand was not a particularly good rootzone component for growing creeping bentgrass sod; however, a sieved [0.08-inch (2-mm)] medium consisting of sand, Com-Til and Metromix (8:1:1, by weight) seeded with `ProCup' creeping bentgrass at 2 lb/1000 ft2 (9.8 g·m-2) and grown over 4-mil (0.004-inch, 0.10-mm) plastic in 3.5 × 7.5 × 2-inch deep (9 × 19 × 5-cm) trays produced good sod in about 6 weeks.