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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Soil Heating Studies with Cool Season Turfgrasses. II. Effects of N Fertilization and Protective Covers on Performance and Chlorophyll Content1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 63 No. 5, p. 680-685
    Received: Apr 29, 1970

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  1. F. B. Ledeboer,
  2. C. R. Skogley and
  3. C. G. McKiel2



A study was made during the winter of 1968–69 to determine the influence of protective covers and supplemental N on several grasses growing on electrically heated soil.

Turfgrass responses measured were visual turf quality, clipping dry weights, chlorophyll content, and verdure characteristics. In early winter, increased soil temperature, cover density and N treatments enhanced turf quality and growth. In February, effects of main factors became reversed and caused turf deterioration. Dense cover (73% shade) was most beneficial early, most deleterious late in the season. During March, turf quality, density and growth decreases were a function of treatment intensities.

Soil heating alone had little effect on turf quality and growth during most of the winter. In conjunction with protective covers and N fertilization, turf quality and growth were aided significantly during the early winter. With increased ambient air temperatures near spring, shading, produced by the covers, imposed severe limitation on the growing grasses, causing rapid foliar elongation and turf thinning. Nitrogen treatments enhanced these effects. Under practical management operations in the field, covers should be removed before sod deterioration occurs. Soil heating alone may be continued as long as desired without apparent damage to the turf.

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