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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Rooting Depth of Kentucky Bluegrass Sod as Measured by N Absorption1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 71 No. 3, p. 490-492
    Received: July 17, 1978

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  1. L. A. Peterson,
  2. R. C. Newman and
  3. Dale Smith2



Bluegrass (Poa patensis L.) is used widely in temperate areas to establish a turf, and a large proportion is started from sod. Data on rate and extent of Bluegrass root development after sodding are not available; therefore, this research was initiated to study the depth of root development from pure Kentucky bluegrass for an extended period after sodding. In a field study on a Plano silt loam (Typic Arguidoll), nine plastic bags each containing 227 g of NH4NO3, (33-0-0) were placed uniformly in a m2 area at different soil depths before sodding. Soil placement depths of the N bags were 7.5, 15, 22.5, 30, 37.5, and 45 cm. Each bag contained eight pinholes for slow release for N over an extended period. Root activity was associated with N uptake from the different soil depths. Bluegrass roots penetrated to 7.5 and 15 cm shortly after sodding and developed to 30, 37.5, and 45 cm by the third, fourth, and fifth growing seasons, respectively. It is concluded that bluegrass roots are actively absorbing nutrients to a much greater soil depth than previously reported and that the root system in relation to soil depth becomes more extensive with time.

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