Monday, November 13, 2006 - 10:30 AM

Long-term cultivation effects on rootzone properties of a sand-based putting green.

John Kauffman, University of Arkansas, 316 PTSC, Fayetteville, AR 72701, Douglas Karcher, 308 PTSC, University of Arkansas, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, United States of America, and Michael Richardson, 316 Plant Sci Bldg, University of Arkansas, University of Arkansas, Department of Horticulture, Fayetteville, AR 72701.

The decline in quality and health of creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) during periods of warm and humid weather is often associated with high amounts of accumulated organic matter near the surface of the rootzone.  The objective of this study was to determine the effects of various cultivation treatments on such rootzone characteristics as surface hardness, soil moisture, thatch depth, root mass density, infiltration rates, and overall turf quality.  Conducted on a ‘Penn-G2’ creeping bentgrass putting green conforming to USGA recommendations in Fayetteville, AR, cultivation treatments were applied on 11 June and 5 October in 2005 and 11 April and 15 September in 2006.  The cultivation treatments consisted of an untreated control, three verticutting treatments varying in blade width, and five core cultivation treatments with varying tine spacing, diameter, and depth.  The untreated control exhibited the least firm surface, highest soil moisture retention, and slowest infiltration rates, though its turf quality was not adversely affected.  Each of the verticutting treatments exhibited shallower thatch depths and superior surface hardness, yet were the slowest to recover from cultivation.  Thatch depths, infiltration rates, and turf quality for core cultivation treatments were more dependent on tine diameter than either spacing or depth.  However, all core cultivation treatments showed better turf quality and higher infiltration rates than verticutting, while maintaining higher root densities at lower depths.