Soil Test Calibration for Establishment of Turfgrass Monostands1
- T. R. Turner and
- D. V. Waddington2
Little information is currently available relating fertilization and soil fertility to turfgrass establishment response. A field study was conducted on Hagerstown soil (fine, mixed, mesic, Typic Hapludalf) to determine the effects of seedbed applications of P, K, and limestone on establishment rate and quality of monostands of ‘Baron’ Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.), ‘Atlanta’ Chewings fescue (Festuca rubra var. commutata Gaud.), and ‘Pennfine’ perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) Phosphorus applications ranged from 0 to 8.0 kg/are (1 are = 100 m2), potassium from 0 to 15.2 kg/are, and limestone from zero to 122.0 kg/are. Initial soil test levels were pH 5.7; 60 kg/ha of P; and 0.18, 0.7, and 4.3 cmo (p+)/kg of K, Mg, and Ca, respectively. Phosphorus additions to this soil had the most important effect on turfgrass establishment. The initial soil level of 60 kg/ha not sufficient for rapid turfgrass establishment. Seedbed P applications in the range of 1.6 to 4.0 kg P/are, resulting in soil P levels of approximately 110 to 180 kg/ha, proved to be most satisfactory in promoting rapid establishment as determined by turfgrass chemical composition, ground cover, clipping yield, and quality. Differences due to P tended to diminish with time, indicating that where rapid establishment is not critical, 60 kg/ha of P in this soil may be sufficient to obtain satisfactory stands of the species investigated. The initial pH, K, and Ca levels were sufficient for satisfactory turfgrass establishment on this soil. Limestone applications did not affect ground cover, tended to reduce initial clipping yields, had little influence on turfgrass quality, slightly reduced sod strength, and generally did not greatly affect tissue Ca levels. Potassium applications either reduced or had no effect on initial ground cover and had little effect on turfgrass quality. Although tissue K was substantially increased by K applications, tissue K levels of all three species on plots not fertilized with K were still much higher than levels generally considered critical or deficient.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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