Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sixty-Day Drought Tolerance of Warm Season Grass Cultivars.

David Chalmers1, Richard White2, Kurt Steinke3, James Thomas4, Roger Havlak5, and Guy Fipps5. (1) Soil & Crop Sciences, Texas A&M Univ. 233-a Heep Center, College Station, TX 77843-2474, United States of America, (2) Soil & Crop Sciences Dept, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-2474, United States of America, (3) Dept. of Soil & Crop Sciences, "Heep Center, 370 Olsen Blvd.", College Station, TX 77843, United States of America, (4) Soil & Crop Sci.Dept.,TAMU, Rm 548 Heep Center, College Station, TX 77843-2474, United States of America, (5) Texas A&M University, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 212, San Antonio, TX 78230, United States of America

The objective of this project is to determine grass species and variety tolerance without irrigation in the event of a 60-day drought in San Antonio, Texas. This paper will discuss the first year data from a two-year research project. Grasses will be evaluated in 2006 for 60-day drought survival in four inches of soil media underlain with an impervious barrier, and non-limiting soil depth. Twenty-five turfgrasses were established September 20, 2005 in San Antonio Texas, by transplanting washed sod into 1.22 square meter plots. The entries were arranged in a randomized split-block design with four replications. The grass varieties will be exposed to a 60-day drought with the aid of an on-site automated rain out shelter beginning June 29, 2006. An on-site weather station will be used to evaluate meteorological conditions throughout the study period. Grasses will be allowed to recover for a 60-day period, following the drought treatment, to determine drought survival and recovery rate. Grasses under evaluation include: Celebration, Common, GN-1, Grimes EXP, Premier, TexTurf, TifSport, and Tifway (419) bermudagrass; Amerishade, Common, Delmar, Floratam, Palmetto, Raleigh, and Sapphire St. Augustinegrass; Cavalier, El Toro, Emerald, Empire, Jamur, Palisades, Y-2, Zeon, and Zorro Zoysiagrass; and 609 buffalograss. Turf quality, density, color, leaf firing, and dormancy measurements, during the drought and recovery periods, will be discussed.