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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Sand and Organic Amendment Influences on Soil Physical Properties Related to Turf Establishment


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 90 No. 3, p. 411-419
    Received: Sept 30, 1996

    * Corresponding author(s): mccoy.13@osu.edu
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  1. Edward L. McCoy 
  1. School of Natural Resources, Ohio State Univ., Ohio Agric. Res. & Dev. Ctr. (OARDC), Wooster, OH 44691



Topsoil blending is a common practice in many metropolitan areas, yet few scientific guidelines are available for design of general-use, lawn-area soils. The objective of this study was to provide blending guidelines with focus on establishing a vigorous turfgrass ground cover. A Mahoning silt loam (fine, illitic, mesic Aerie Epiaquaff) and a Tioga loam (coarse-loamy, mixed, mesic Dystric Fluventic Eutrochrept) were each blended with a spent foundry sand and a peat humus to form 28 individual soil mixes for each native soil. Soil properties and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) growth were measured for each soil mix. Cation exchange capacity (CEC), bulk density, and plant available water exhibited changes due to soil mix that largely resulted from differences in mix organic matter (OM) content. Compression index, bubbling pressure (Hb), air-filled porosity, and saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) responded to both sand and OM contents of the soil mixes. The pore distribution parameter, λ, exhibited a response to sand and OM contents, but only at high levels of either component. Principal component analysis (PCA) soil properties revealed that the first two principal components contained 85 to 88% of the total data variation with correlations between compression index, Hb, air-filled porosity, Ksat, and λ contained in the first component and correlation between CEC, bulk density, and available water contained in the second component. Regression of turf clipping yield vs. PCA factor scores and regression of factor scores vs. total sand and OM contents suggested that a high-quality, general-use soil for lawn establishment would contain about 65% sand and have an OM content of 8% by weight. The multivariate process of relafing turf yield to soil physical properties, as applied in this study, should provide more generalized mix formulation guidelines than do recommendations based on relating turf yield to mix composition.

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