Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 9:30 AM

Development of Best Management Practices for Sea Isle I Seashore Paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum).

Kendall Hutto1, J. B. Unruh2, Laurie Trenholm3, and Barry Brecke2. (1) Univ. of Florida, 4253 Experiment Dr, Jay, FL 32565, (2) Univ. of Florida-WFREC, 5988 Highway 90 #4900, Milton, FL 32583-1713, United States of America, (3) University of Florida, Univ. of Florida, PO Box 110675, Gainesville, FL 32611-0670

Seashore paspalum is becoming more widely used on golf courses along coastal regions that have poor quality irrigation.  Paspalum is still relatively new to the industry, and management practices need to be developed for regions where paspalum is grown.  Research trials conducted in 2002 and 2003 at the Univ. of Florida addressed best management practices for ‘Sea Isle I’ seashore paspalum.  Treatments were applied as a factorial arrangement in a randomized complete block design replicated three times.  Factors were nitrogen rate, potassium rate, and mowing height.  Turfgrass color increased as N rate increased in 2002 and 2003.  In 2002, quality improved during the first quarter (April to June) as N rate increased from 49 to 390 kg N/ha/growing season.  However, by the second quarter (July to August) there was no difference between N rates.  In 2003, quality improved by applying 195 kg N or less.  Quality decreased when 390 kg N was applied.  Density increased by the third quarter (September to November) in 2002 with N rates lower than 390 kg N.  In 2003, density improved when 195 kg N or less was applied.  Chlorophyll readings increased as N rate increased for the first two quarters in 2002.  In 2003, 195 kg N provided the greatest chlorophyll readings.  Differences in mowing height resulted in inconsistent quality ratings in 2002 and 2003.  Vegetative indices formed from multispectral reflectance data revealed greater NDVI values at 49 kg N compared to higher N rates, suggesting greater turfgrass vigor.  The low rate of N provided lower stress ratio values indicating lower stressed turfgrass compared to higher N rates.  Results from these studies indicate prolonged application of high N rates can greatly reduce paspalum quality.  To achieve maximum turfgrass quality over multiple growing seasons, N applications/season should be maintained at or below 195 kg N.