Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Alternative Nitrogen Fertilization Management for Turf Grass Growth.

Jorge Hernandez1, Chad Bartuseviceus1, She-Kong Chong2, and Brian Klubek2. (1) S. Illinois Univ. Mail Code 4415, Dept of Plant & Soil Science, Dept of Plant & Soil Science, Carbondale, IL 62901-4415, United States of America, (2) Dept. of Plant & Soil Science, Southern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901-4415, United States of America

The methodology of this project aims at developing an efficient, yet effective, means of providing various Nitrogen fertilizer sources to turf grass with the ultimate goal of maintaining sufficient biomass production while minimizing the use of excess fertilizer that may eventually end up contaminating our groundwater and waterways.  Nitrogen is the nutrient required in the largest quantity by plants, and also poses the greatest threat when nutrient leaching and water contamination are considered.  For this experiment, Bermuda grass and Tall Fescue turf plots are treated with either:  quick release N fertilizer, slow release N fertilizer, earthworm castings, treated steer manure, or a control (no fertilizer).  Data collected from each plot consists of dry weight biomass yield, turf quality rating (based on % cover, color and vigor of each plot), as well as analysis of water samples collected from no tension lysimeters located below the turf’s root zone.  Analysis of biomass and water samples will help in determining the Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) of the turf, as well as the leaching potential of each nitrogen fertilizer source.  Turf quality ratings will judge the all important aesthetic quality of the turf which golf courses, recreational areas, and home owners all strive to maximize.