Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Oxygenated water for improved turfgrass performance with drip irrigation.

Ryan Goss and Gabriel C. Ludwig. New Mexico State University, New Mexico State University, P.O. Box 30003 MSC 3Q, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8003

Water conservation efforts have been considered or implemented across the U.S. to reduce water use in ornamental landscapes. Drip irrigated turfgrass swards may have reduced water loss compared to sprinkler irrigated swards. However, drip irrigated swards are more likely to have problems associated with the lack of air movement in the soils. In addition, subsurface applied irrigation would not have the opportunity to increase oxygen levels through aeration. Increased oxygen levels may improve the rooting, overall growth and drought tolerance of turfgrass. The objective of these experiments was to evaluate the impact of oxygenated water applied through drip irrigation on the establishment, overall performance and drought tolerance of cool-season grasses. Two experiments were conducted. A gravity-fed drip irrigation system with porous pipe was individually delivered to each pot with a sand rootzone. In Experiment 1, perennial ryegrass and creeping bentgrass was established with four oxygen levels delivered: tap water (3-5 ppm), 8 ppm, 10 ppm and 12 ppm. Rate of establishment from seed and root mass were evaluated for 45 d after seeding. In Experiment 2, creeping bentgrass sod was established on the sand rootzone with the four oxygen levels above. Drought cycles were initiated with 30 d of adequate irrigation with 45 d of differential irrigation of application made every 2, 4, 8 or 16 d. Turfgrass quality, root mass, shoot density and leaf firing were evaluated daily throughout the experiment. Data will be collected. Results will be discussed.