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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 70 No. 2, p. 317-321
    Received: Apr 29, 1977

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Chemical Soil Conditioner Effects on Sand Soils and Turfgrass Growth1

  1. E. McGuire,
  2. R. N. Carrow and
  3. J. Troll2



In recent years new chemical soil conditioners have been utilized for agricultural purposes. However, limited information is available on their potential for improving the moisture and/or nutrient retentions of sand soils subjected to compaction under turfgrass conditions. Two bitumenous emulsions, five polyacrylamides (PAM), and one polyvinyI alcohol (PVA) were evaluated in a greenhouse experiment and/or two field studies. The greenhouse soils were a washed concrete sand and a mesic Entic Fragiorthod, while the field studies were on a constructed golf green utilizing an urban lald, flood plain sand. Recommended rates were applied by injection (greenhouse study) or mixing prior to turf establishment (field studies). The influence of these chemical soil conditioner treatments on soil physical properties, cation-exchange capacity (CEC), and growth of ‘Manhattan’ perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) or ‘Penncross’ creeping bent, grass (Agrostis palustris Huds.) was determined. In the field studies compaction was applied periodically with a power roller. Hydrophilic bitumenous emulsion did not retain a hydrophilic nature but became hydrophobic, which decreased moisture retention by 12.5 to 30.0% by volume at 0.10 bar tension. Turf quality was decreased. Hydrophobic bitumen emulsion treatment resulted in similar responses. With minor exceptions PAM materials did not significantly affect the soil physical, CEC, or turf growth parameters in these studies, irrespective of molecular weight or presence of a cross-linker. The PVA material also did not influence these parameters. Under conditions of these studies, where sand soils were subjected to compaction, chemical soll conditioners used did not benefically affect soil physical properties, CEC, or turfgrass growth. In some instances the influence was detrimental to turfgrass quality and growth.

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