Plant and Soil

, Volume 284, Issue 1–2, pp 129–145 | Cite as

Turfgrass (Cynodon dactylon L.) sod production on sandy soils: I. Effects of irrigation and fertiliser regimes on growth and quality

  • L. Barton
  • G. G. Y. Wan
  • T. D. Colmer


The effects on growth, quality and N uptake by turfgrass (Cynodon dactylon L.) during sod production of four fertiliser types applied at three application rates (100, 200 or 300 kg N ha−1 per ‘crop’) under two irrigation treatments (70% and 140% daily replacement of pan evaporation) were investigated. The fertiliser types were: water-soluble (predominately NH4NO3), control-release, pelletised poultry manure, and pelletised biosolids; and the experiment was conducted on a sandy soil in a Mediterranean-type climate. Plots were established from rhizomes, with the turfgrass harvested as sod every 16–28 weeks depending upon the time of the year. Four crops were produced during the study. Applying water-soluble and control-release fertilisers doubled shoot growth and improved turfgrass greenness by up to 10% in comparison with plots receiving pelletised poultry manure and pelletised biosolids. Nitrogen uptake into the shoots after four crops (averaged across irrigation treatments and N rates) was 497 kg N ha−1 for the water-soluble fertiliser, 402 kg N ha−1 for the control-release, 188 kg N ha−1 for the pelletised poultry manure and 237 kg N ha−1 for the pelletised biosolids. Consequently, the agronomic nitrogen-use efficiency (NAE, kg DM kg−1 N applied) of the inorganic fertilisers was approximately twice that of the organic fertilisers. Increasing irrigation from 70% to 140% replacement of pan evaporation was detrimental to turfgrass growth and N uptake for the first crop when supplied with the water-soluble fertiliser. Under the low irrigation treatment, inorganic N fertilisers applied at 200–300 kg N ha−1 were adequate for production of turfgrass sod.


control-release fertiliser couch grass Cynodon dactylon nitrogen-use efficiency organic fertiliser plant N uptake turfgrass sod 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Plant Biology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural SciencesThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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