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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 68 No. 1, p. 116-119
    Received: Jan 24, 1975

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Effects of K Fertilization on Freezing Tolerance and Carbohydrate Content of Festuca arundinacea Schreb. Maintained as Turf1

  1. Thomas W. Cook2 and
  2. D. Thomas Duff3



The purpose was to determine the effects of K fertilization on freezing tolerance and carbohydrate content of Festuca arundinacea Schreb. ‘Kentucky 31’ which was reputed to be susceptible to cold injury in northern areas of the U.S. From September through mid-November, K from KCl was applied to field plots of Bridgehampton silt loam soil in increments to achieve levels of 0, 10, 20 or 40 kg/ha. The same plots received a total of 20 kg N/ha as NH4NO3 in four splits ending in mid-October. Sand cultures were fertilized three tunes/week with solutions containing 200 ppm N, 64 ppm P, and O, 50, or 200 ppm K. Other essential elements were applied in standard amounts and Na was excluded.

Samples from both areas were analyzed from October 1973 through April 1974. Tissue K was determined by flame photometry and freezing tolerance by percentage of total electrolytes lost from crown tissue after freezing. Water and 85% ethanol soluble carbohydrates were determined by anthrone and polymeric carbohydrates by the difference between water and ethanol soluble values.

Though exchangeable soil K measured low in field plots originally, available K was adequate for development of freezing tolerance and accumulation of carbohydrates since neither was influenced by K fertilization. In sand culture tissue no effects on either freezing tolerance or carbohydrate content were observed even though K contents ranged from 0.7% to over 3% of dry weight during the cold hardening period. Results suggest fall fertilization with K is not critical to development of freezing tolerance or accumulation of carbohydrates under Rhode Island conditions.

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