A long term evaluation of differential potassium fertilization of a creeping bentgrass putting green
The objective of this research was to evaluate bentgrass quality, growth, and disease incidence over a range of soil and tissue potassium levels.
‘Penn A4’ creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) on a sand root zone was maintained as a putting green. The treatments included four levels of liquid potassium sulfate, ranging from 0 to 249 kg ha−1 yr.−1 K and one level of granular gypsum at a rate of 100 kg ha−1 yr.−1 Ca.
No differences in vegetative or quality parameters were observed over the 6 year study period. Tissue K, Mehlich-3 extractable K, and Microdochium patch infection were all affected by treatment, with high-K treatments being greater than control and Ca treatments in all three instances. Near-daily turfgrass harvest resulted in much greater K removal than was estimated to be available from the pools extracted by Mehlich-3 and 1 M HNO3, suggesting that K became plant-available from more recalcitrant pool.
Traditional soil testing methods may be inadequate for determining plant-available K in sand root zones. Total soil K analysis of the 0-K treatment indicated an increase in K during the study period, likely as a result of regular additions of sand via topdressing. Weathering of mineral K likely provided sufficient K to compensate for the lack of fertilizer.
KeywordsTurfgrass Turf Mehlich-3 Sand
The authors are grateful to the following people for their contributions to this project over the years: Nick Bero, Brad DeBels, Shane Griffith, Kurt Hockemeyer, Bill Kreuser, Glen Obear, Dustin Sawyer, Bruce Schweiger, Tom Schwab, and Sam Soper. This work was also made possible through the generous financial support of the following organizations: Wisconsin Golf Course Superintendents Association, Northern Great Lakes Golf Course Superintendents Association, Canadian Turfgrass Research Foundation, Wisconsin Turfgrass Association, and Rock River Laboratory, Inc.
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