See more from this Session: Student Poster Competition: Environment & Thatch-Soil, Water, and Pest Management
Monday, October 17, 2011
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Hall C, Street Level
St. Augustinegrass is one of the most widely used turfgrass species in Florida landscapes. Often, problems associated with poor quality or growth of St. Augustine turf is related to the quality of the soil in which the turf is established. Due to the widespread occurrence of Spodosols throughout peninsular Florida, it is common for excavated soil from the spodic horizon to be used as topsoil material by developers. However, spodic horizon soils exhibit unique chemical and physical properties (e.g., low permeability, accumulation of Al or Fe oxides) that make them widely different from typical fill soils. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of physical and chemical properties of spodic horizon soil on the establishment and growth of St. Augustinegrass turf. Forty PVC leaching columns (15 cm x 36 cm) were established in a completely randomized block design in a production house at the University of Florida- IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Wimauma, FL. Soil pH, electrical conductivity, organic matter, particle size, water soluble P, and Mehlich-3 P, Al, Fe, Ca prior to turf establishment and at 4- and 8-week turf harvest dates. Plant quality and tissue P, N and K levels will be determined periodically and at the 4- and 8-week harvest dates. We hypothesize that the spodic horizon soils will bind nutrients, especially P, making them unavailable to the growing turf.