Interrelationships among Turfgrasses, Clipping Recycling, Thatch, and Applied Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium
The influence of clipping return on bermudagrass thatch has not been resolved. Additionally, independent and combined effects of applied Ca, Mg, and K on bermudagrass growth and quality and thatch accumulation have not been clarified. To evaluate the influence of clipping return and applied Ca, Mg, and K on ‘Tifway’ bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × Cynodon transvaalensis Burtt Davy) and ‘Pennant’ perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) a 3-y study was conducted at the Turfgrass Field Laboratory near Gainesville, FL, on an Arredondo loamy fine sand (Typic Quartzipsammets). A strip-split-plot factorial experiment with applied Ca, Mg, and K at 20 g m−2 representing the main plot and with clipping return or removal stripped across the main plots with three replications was employed. Bermudagrass clipping return did not affect overall mean thatch accumulation. Bermudagrass and perennial ryegrass clipping yields increased in response to clipping return. Bermudagrass quality was enhanced by the return of clippings, but ryegrass quality was not. Application of Ca and K did not influence thatch accumulation, while Mg did promote additional bermudagrass thatch. Application of K and Mg reduced Ca levels on plots receiving Ca to less than the extractable Ca level of the untreated plots. Ryegrass and bermudagrass quality was increased by the application of Mg on plots which had the clippings removed. Potassium and Mg application promoted bermudagrass clipping yield when clippings were removed. Soil Ca to Mg ratio did not influence the growth or quality of either bermudagrass or ryegrass.
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