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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 69 No. 2, p. 325-326
    Received: Jan 9, 1976

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Method of Soil Temperature Control for Turfgrass Research1

  1. D. E. Aldous,
  2. R. A. Spaulding and
  3. J. E. Kaufmann2



Since growth of cool season grasses is more related to soil temperatures than air temperatures, a method was developed for independent control of soil and air temperatures utilizing a modified chest-type freezer placed inside a controlled environment growth chamber. The freezer door was replaced with a plywood top insulated with styrofoam. Pots containing two cultivars of Poa pratensis L. were suspended through holes in the top into the freezer chamber and root zone temperature was controlled utilizing a sensitive thermostat. Carboys containing nutrient solution were placed in the chamber and subirrigation was accomplished by pressurizing the carboys with an air pump. The temperature of the material in the pots reached equilibrium with the freezer environment in 4 hours. The system was effective in controlling root-zone temperatures at optimum for shoot growth (22 C) during a 10-week period where ambient temperatures were increased in 4 C increments every 2 weeks from 22 C to 38 C. The system could be used wherever growth or physiological responses to soil temperature must be separated from responses to air temperature.

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