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  • Author or Editor: M. Laganière x
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Increasing costs associated with the disposal of industrial and urban wastes necessitate the development of alternatives which are economical and environmentally safe. With >3000 ha in Quebec, sod production represents an interesting alternative for the use of new amendments, such as composted de-inked paper sludges and municipal waste compost. The objective of this trial was to evaluate the potential benefits of these amendments (nutrient retention in the root zone and chemical and physical soil benefits) and question potential environmental hazards. Chemical dynamics of N, P, K, micronutrients and heavy metals were examined over four soil layers (0 to 15, 15 to 30, 30 to 60, an >60 cm) on sandy and clay soil. Preliminary results for 1993 and 1994 indicate that nutrient concentrations in water extract are high following the establishment of sites. When sod is absent, high concentrations of lead (500 mg·kg–1 in urban compost) show only a slight trend to accumulate. Nevertheless, this new approach toward using industrial and urban composts seems to be adequate and economically attractive.

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In Quebec, commercial sod is produced on >3000 ha. Generally, ≈20 months are required to produce market-ready sod. When conditions are suitable, harvest of marketable sod is possible within a year. However, intensive management may result in soil compaction and a reduction of the organic matter content. Considering the increasing amount of amendment available, sod production fields could be interesting for their disposal. In this study, visual quality and sod root growth was examined following an application of an organic amendment at 50, 100, and 150 t·ha–1, incorporated to depth of 6 or 20 cm. Plots established on a sandy soil receiving organic amendments had higher visual quality ratings. Bulk density was significantly reduced following compost or paper sludge application to a heavy soil. The shearing strength required to tear sod amended with compost was significantly higher in comparison with control and paper sludge treatments.

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Extensive winterkill of golf greens is a major problem in northern climates. In this study, the efficiency of several protective covering materials used to shelter Poa annua golf greens from winter damages was evaluated over 2 years. The bioclimatological environment under these protective covers was studied at crown level and at 5, 10, and 20 cm under the ground Treatments (permeable and impermeable covers, curled wood Excelsior mat, straw mulch protected by an impermeable cover, geotextile material with an impermeable cover, and air space under an impermeable cover) were compared to a control treatment without protection. Results indicate that temperature profile was strongly influenced by both winter protection covers and snow depth Temperatures at crown level were stable and just below 0C under plots covered with a significant amount of snow. However, temperatures varied considerably, when snow cover was <15 cm. Snow thermal conductivity was increased by periods of rain during the winter. Impermeable covers minimized the negative effect of this change in the insulation properties of the snow cover by limiting temperature fluctuations at the crown level. Temperature profiles under permeable covers were similar to profiles observed on control plots. Temperature profiles were comparable for 5 and 10 cm air space treatments and were not significantly different when compared to impermeable covers spread directly on the turf. Straw with an impermeable cover and Excelsior mats maintained crown level temperatures at >0C and the incidence of disease was higher under these highly insulative materials.

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