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  1. Vol. 42 No. 6, p. 2011-2017
     
    Received: July 7, 2001
    Published: Nov, 2002


    * Corresponding author(s): robert.green@ucr.edu
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doi:10.2135/cropsci2002.2011

Tall Fescue Performance Influenced by Irrigation Scheduling, Cultivar, and Mowing Height

  1. W. E. Richiea,
  2. R. L. Green *a,
  3. G. J. Kleina and
  4. J. S. Hartinb
  1. a Dep. of Botany and Plant Sciences, Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521
    b Univ. of California Coop. Ext., San Bernardino County, 777 E. Rialto Ave., San Bernardino, CA 92415

Abstract

Prudent water management on turfgrass is an important issue. There is a need to define best management practices (BMPs), including optimal irrigation frequency for tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) when irrigated at a level that would be less than a typical industry practice of ETcrop/irrigation uniformity, where ETcrop = crop evapotranspiration = reference evapotranspiration (ETo) × crop coefficient (Kc). A 2-yr field study was conducted in Riverside, CA, to determine if the visual quality of tall fescue could be improved during the warm season by altering irrigation frequency (two, three, or four irrigation events per week), cultivar selection (a dwarf cultivar, ‘Shortstop’ or a turf-type cultivar, ‘Jaguar III’), and mowing height (3.8 or 6.4 cm) when irrigated at 80% ETcrop/irrigation uniformity. Volumetric soil water content at the 30-, 61-, and 91-cm depths was also measured on each Jaguar III sub-subplot. During the first year, visual quality was significantly higher for Jaguar III and the lower mowing height. During the second year, overall visual turfgrass quality was significantly highest for plots irrigated twice per week. Visual turfgrass quality was significantly correlated with soil water content. In summary, data from this study support recommendations for deeper, less frequent irrigation of established tall fescue grown on sandy loam soils in southern California interior valleys with an irrigation budget of 80% ETcrop/irrigation uniformity.

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Copyright © 2002. Crop Science Society of AmericaPublished in Crop Sci.42:2011–2017.