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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Effect of Irrigation Frequency and Nitrogen Fertilization on Growth and Water Use of a Kikuyugrass Lawn (Pennisetum clandestinum Hochst.)1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 58 No. 6, p. 559-561
    Received: Nov 12, 1965

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  1. A. Mantell2



The response of a kikuyugrass lawn to irrigation frequency and nitrogen fertilizer was studied in a factorial experiment. When grass was irrigated every 21 days, the evapotranspiration from the 0- to 120-cm soil layer was 486 mm during the months June to October, with a mean daily consumptive water use of 3.2 mm. The measured water loss from grass irrigated at this frequency, and fertilized monthly with 4.2 kg N/1000 m2 was 0.62 of the evaporation from a screened Class A pan. About 60% and 80% of the total water extracted came from the 0- to 60- and the 0- to 90-cm soil layers, respectively. No relation was found between root activity as represented by moisture extraction and root distribution as obtained by core removal. Absolute root weight was considerably increased by the monthly nitrogen applications.

Dry matter yield was not markedly raised by regular nitrogen fertilization, unless irrigations were applied frequently. Infrequent irrigation of fertilized plots produced a lawn of only slightly reduced quality compared to that obtained when frequent irrigations were given in the absence of nitrogen, and the former treatment was accompanied by a considerable saving in water and labor.

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