Update - 2013 Turfgrass Field Day At UC Riverside

By Pat Gross, director, Soutwest Region
September 19, 2013

A linear gradient irrigation system (LIGIS) puts out progressively less water from the centerline outward. This allows different products to be evaluated for their ability to sustain healthy turf growth with less water.

Another successful Turfgrass Field Day was held at UC Riverside on September 12. Twelve of the ongoing research projects were presented during the day ranging from disease and weed control trials along with several studies focused on water conservation. Highlights of three studies are presented in this update.

Evaluation of products for turfgrass water conservation using a linear gradient irrigation system (LIGIS)  

The LIGIS irrigation system applies more water near the center of the plot (85% of ETo) and then water volume steadily declines toward the outer edge of the plots to a level of 10% of ETo. Eleven different products and combinations were evaluated on Tifway II bermudagrass for their ability to sustain healthy turf growth with less water. Treatments included nutrients, surfactants, plant growth regulators, a polyacrylamide, and experimental products. The bermudagrass maintained good growth and quality down to a level of 55% Eto, but there were not differences at this point among the treatments this year.

Evaluation of products to alleviate salinity stress  

High levels of soluble salts in soil and water negatively impacts turf growth at many location in the southwest. This study is focused on evaluating products that could potentially reduce salinity stress while using less water. Twenty-two different treatments were initiated in April on a Tifway II bermudagrass test plot that is irrigated with saline water (EC = 4.4 dS/m). Results to date have been inconsistent. The experimental product ACA 2994 (Aquatrols) and Crossover (Numerator Technologies) reduced salinity in the leachate on two of the 11 collection dates and at the same time had a positive impact on turf quality. Soil samples will be collected at the end of the study to see if any of the products reduced salinity build-up in the soil.

Drought tolerant turfgrasses for Southern California  

Six different studies were summarized during this stop on the tour ranging from efforts to breed new grasses that use less water and evaluating lawn and native grasses under deficit irrigation (50% ETo). The results from these ongoing studies will help golf courses and homeowners select and manage turfgrasses that produce good quality while using less water.

The full proceedings from the field day can be accessed through the following link:

http://ucanr.edu/sites/turfgrassfieldday/  

Source: Pat Gross  (pgross@usga.org)

Information on the USGA’s Turf Advisory Service

Contact the Green Section Staff

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