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  • Author or Editor: L.A. Wit x
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Depletion and contamination of traditional water supplies and population pressures are straining the water resources of the United States. This has placed increased emphasis on the need for water conservation through all phases of the use cycle. Objectives of this research were to: 1) Determine water use in residential, commercial, and institutional landscapes; 2) Evaluate landscape irrigation system performance; and 3) Evaluate feasibility of landscape irrigation scheduling. Beginning in 1991, water meters on 18 test sites in Lincoln, NE were read on a weekly basis. Water meter readings during the winter were used to develop a baseline on non-landscape water use. The “can test” method was used to evaluate landscape irrigation system precipitation rate and distribution efficiency. Four recording weather stations were used to estimate daily potential evapotranspiration (ETp). Lysimeters (20 cm dia. × 31 cm deep) were installed in two Kentucky bluegrass and one tall fescue landscape to estimate water use coefficients for calculating landscape evapotranspiration. Irrigation system Christiansen coefficients of uniformity ranged from .43 to .87 with scheduling coefficients ranging from 1.31 to over 15.14. Poor irrigation system performance characteristics made it difficult to schedule irrigation on estimated water use.

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Dormant buffalograss (Buchloë dactyloides) turfs, grown under field conditions, were treated with a colorant and evaluated for turfgrass color, quality, and cover. In addition, turfgrass canopy and soil temperatures were measured. Colorant treatments improved turfgrass color and quality when compared to the untreated control, and resulted in a color response that appeared similar to cool season turfgrasses growing in areas adjacent to the studies. Colorant treatments increased canopy and soil temperatures, and enhanced spring green-up. These results support the use of colorants as a means of extending the green appearance, and enhancing dormant buffalograss turf performance.

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