See more from this Session: Student Oral Competition: Establishment and Thatch, Soil, & Water Management of Turfgrass
Tuesday, October 18, 2011: 8:40 AM
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Room 008B, River Level
Little information is available regarding the effects of compost topdressing on the playing quality and soil properties of athletic turf under traffic conditions. The purposes of this research were to measure the effect of multiple topdressing applications over a two-year period, before and after heavy traffic, on soil chemical properties and turfgrass quality on an established tall fescue turf. Two compost types (sewage sludge compost (SSC) and yard waste compost (YWC)) and a sand/sewage sludge compost mix (SCM) at 70/30 (%v/v) at three application rates (6, 13, 25 mm) were topdressed in conjunction with a two intensities of core cultivation. Turfgrass color, turfgrass cover and material cover were measured every two weeks. Soil chemical properties were measured in both September 2009 and 2010 .Greater turf color enhancement was obtained with SSC at 6 and 13mm. Color enhancement lasted up to twelve weeks with SSC, seven weeks with SCM and six weeks for YWC. After wear, color decreased in all treatments.SSC and SCM however showed the most acceptable color at higher topdressing rates. SSC at the high 25 mm rate caused phytotoxicity resulting in turf burn and an overall decline in turf quality and cover. Turfgrass color and soil nutrient status increased with compost treatments indicating a generally positive effect on overall turf quality, although there may be negative effects on playing quality in terms of reduced traction and stability.