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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Growth of Creeping Bentgrass on a New Medium for Turfgrass Growth: Clinoptilolite Zeolite-Amended Sand1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 78 No. 6, p. 1095-1098
    Received: Apr 12, 1985

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  1. G. A. Ferguson,
  2. I. L. Pepper and
  3. W. R. Kneebone2



Clinoptilolite zeolite (Z) is a natural silicate mineral with a three-dimensional lattice, a high degree of internal tunneling, and a large cation exchange capacity and water holding capacity even when particles are sand-sized (> 0.5 mm). The hypothesis of this study was that clinoptilolite had the facility to preferentially and internally sorb NH+4 where it would be physically protected from microbial nitrification resulting in increased plant fertilizer-N use efficiency. A field study relating growth and quality of creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds.) to ranges of Z amendment of sand and N application rates of 25, 50, or 75 kg ha 1, was initiated at the University of Arizona, Turfgrass Research Center in the spring of 1981. Germination and establishment were significantly increased by amendment of sand with 5 or 10% Z. Bentgrass quality in August 1981 was significantly increased by the 5% Z treatment. The 10% Z treatment initially did not increase turf quality due to the initial high Na content of the Z. However, by January 1982 both Z treatments gave significantly increased turf quality. At this time, excess N reduced turf quality due to high N-induced iron chlorosis. Clipping yields from seven harvests and N-use efficiency increased significantly with Z. Zeolite also increased both root growth as indicated by soil organic carbon and shoot-clipping P content. Excess N decreased root growth. Phosphorus uptake decreased with N during the hot summer months but increased when temperatures were cool. These data indicate that Z has potential as a new medium for the growth of turfgrass.

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