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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Foliar Application of N and Fe to Kentucky Bluegrass1

 

This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 76 No. 6, p. 934-938
     
    Received: July 25, 1983


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doi:10.2134/agronj1984.00021962007600060017x
  1. A. K. Yust,
  2. D. J. Wehner and
  3. T. W. Fermanian2

Abstract

Abstract

The goal of the professional lawn care industry is to provide the homeowner with a dark green weed-free lawn. Members of this industry are interested in techniques to enhance the color of a turfgrass stand in lien of excessive N fertilization. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the use of foliar applications of Fe alone or in combination with N on the color response of Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.). Iron sulfate or an iron chelate was applied at the rate of 1.1, 2.2, or 4.5 kg Fe ha−1 in combination with either 0, 25, or 49 kg N ha−1 to a mixed ‘Columbia’/‘Touchdown’ Kentucky bluegrass turf growing on a Catlin silt loam (flne-silty, mixed, mesie Typic Argiudoll). Color ratings and clipping weights were determined on a weekly basis until treatment effects were no longer significant. In a separate experiment, both sources of Fe were applied at rates of 1.1 to 72.4 kg Fe ha−1 to Kentucky bluegrass to evaluate phytotoxicity. The color enhancement due to Fe applications without N lasted from several weeks to several months depending on the weather following application. Use of Fe during cool wet periods enhanced turf color for only 2 to 3 weeks and therefore, was considered of limited value. Iron applications during cool dry periods enhanced turf color for several months. The treatment of 2.2 kg ha−1 of Fe from iron chelate was judged to be the most effective Fe treatment because the color enhancement was usually equal to that provided by a 4.5 kg rate of either source but it did not result in any discoloration as was found with the 4.5 kg rate. Combining Fe with the 25 kg ha−1 rate of N resulted in color enhancement equal to that caused by applying 49 kg ha−1 of N alone. The results of the study indicate that combining Fe with N can result in acceptable turfgrass color with lower rates of N. No permanent damage was caused to turfs receiving Fe at rates up to 72.2 kg ha−1 although foliar phytotoxicity was observed.

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