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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Response of Turfgrass to Various Nitrogen Sources1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 51 No. 1, p. 225-230
    Received: Apr 17, 1986

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  1. P. J. Landschoot and
  2. D. V. Waddington2



Nitrogen sources with different properties and release characteristics are used to meet a variety of fertility management needs in turfgrass culture. Our objective was to determine the response of turfgrass to various urea-formaldehyde reaction products; two particle sizes of oxamide; experimental sulfur-coated ureas (SCU); products containing combinations of N sources; and an experimental composted sewage sludge. Nitrogen sources included for comparative purposes were isobutylidene diurea (IBDU); commercial SCU products; soluble sources; and Milorganite. In this 2.5-yr study, 25 N source treatments were evaluated on ‘Merion’ Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) using 196 kg N ha−1 yr−1, split into two equal applications. Turf response was measured by weekly color ratings, weekly clipping yields, and N uptake for six growth periods during 2 yr. Urea-formaldehyde reaction products containing no water-in-soluble N (WIN) gave results similar to those of conventional soluble N sources, while products containing WIN caused less initial color and growth responses, but gave a slight residual effect in the third year of use. Nitrogen uptake for powdered ureaform (66% of N as WIN) and the suspension FLUF (20% of N as WIN) was 44 and 75%, respectively, of that obtained with Formolene (0% WIN). Major differences in color and growth were found for the different particle sizes of oxamide, with the fine (<0.25 mm) material providing a faster release and less residual effect than the coarse (1-3 mm) material. Turf fertilized with coarse oxamide responded similarly to that fertilized with coarse IBDU (0.7-2.5 mm). Commercial SCU and fine particle SCU made with curtain granulated urea (94% of particles between 1.14 and 2.38 mm; dissolution rates: 6 and 15%) had pronounced residual effects, especially in the spring prior to fertilization. The experimental composted sewage sludge was inferior to Milorganite as a source of N for use on turf. N uptake with the compost treatment was only 32% of that obtained with Milorganite. Turf response from combinations of N sources generally reflected the amount and type of N source present. All N sources except the sludge compost were effective for turfgrass fertilization. Selection of an N source or combination of sources for turf fertilization should be dependent on quickness and duration of response desired, rate and frequency of applications, and various economic factors.

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