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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Soil Heating Studies with Cool Season Turfgrasses. I. Effects of Watt Density, Protective Covers, and Ambient Environment on Soil Temperature Distribution1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 63 No. 5, p. 677-680
    Received: Feb 27, 1970

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  1. F. B. Ledeboer,
  2. C. G. McKiel and
  3. C. R. Skogley2



Electrical soil heating studies were conducted from 1967 to 1969 for the purpose of determining wattage and soil temperature requirements for establishment and growth of several turfgrasses during winter. Studies also included influence of Protective Covers, fertilization and heat distribution in the soil. Cables were installed 15.2 cm deep and 30.4 cm apart to provide wattages of 54,108 and 162/m2. Power was supplied from early December until normal spring green-up. Thermostats located below the turf at the soil surface controlled cable operation. Heating densities of 108 W/m2 or greater were required to maintain soil temperatures near 8 to I0 C during the winter. Temperature distribution curves at several depths showed good thermoconductivity of the soil. Temperature changes near cables were closely linked to power input; near the surface, air environment had the greatest impact. In unheated soil, a lag occurred in diurnal temperature changes which were a function of soil depth. Heat losses were measured in deep soil strata. Block polypropylene screens of 55 and 73% shade used for protection increased heat retention and reduced heating requirements over unprotected turf.

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