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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 99 No. 1, p. 99-106
    Received: May 1, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): mjs38@psu.edu
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Influence of Nitrogen Rate and Form on Quality of Putting Greens Cohabited by Creeping Bentgrass and Annual Bluegrass

  1. Maxim J. Schlossberg *a and
  2. John P. Schmidtb
  1. a Dep. of Crop and Soil Sciences, Pennsylvania State Univ., 116 ASI Bldg., University Park, PA 16802
    b USDA-ARS, Bldg. 3702, Curtin Rd., University Park, PA 16802


Of the essential nutrients, N fertility generally influences golf course putting green (PG) quality and growth rate most significantly. Despite considerable field research on N fertility of PGs, results interpretation and transfer to practice is complicated by various influential factors; including unrepresentative mowing heights and/or frequency, varying irrigation water quality, undeclared composition of mixed swards, withdrawn cultivars, and/or use of temperature-dependent organic fertilizer sources. A 2-yr field study was initiated in 2003 at University Park, PA, to evaluate the influence of soluble N fertilizer source and rate on qualitative and nutritional parameters of a mature, primarily surface-drained, “push-up” PG cohabited by ‘Penn A4’ creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds.) and annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.). Using an array of soluble N form quotients (NH4–N/NO3–N), split applications of annual N fertilizer rates ranging from 69 to 402 kg ha−1 were sprayed every 15 ± 4 d, April to October. Putting green growth, color, N uptake (NUP), and leaf N, K, Ca, Mn, Cu, and Zn increased directly with N rate, while plots receiving N rates in excess of 244 kg ha−1 yr−1 demonstrated acceptable PG quality and tissue nutrient concentrations. However, N rates >244 kg ha−1 yr−1 containing >50% NH4–N significantly enhanced shoot growth, color, NUP, leaf Mn, P, and Mg levels, when compared to equal rates containing ≥50% NO3–N. Frequent fertilization with NH4–N at annual rates >244 kg ha−1 maximized canopy color and most tissue nutrient levels of a mature creeping bentgrass/annual bluegrass cohabited PG growing on a neutral, fine-textured soil.

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