PACE Turf - Turfgrass Information Center

Efficacy of Microbes in Soil Salinity Reduction

Summary: A simple experiment was initiated to determine the effectiveness of three strains of bacteria claimed to be salt accumulating microorganisms. Some microorganisms are known to accumulate salts from the environment. These organisms might be used to reduce the salinity of soils provided the organisms are capable of accumulating and sequestering the salts effectively. The results described below indicate that the microorganisms evaluated in this study did not reduce soil salinity.

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Principal Investigator: Larry Stowell, Ph.D.

Cooperator: Don Parsons, Old Ranch Country Club

Sponsors: Old Ranch Country Club and PACE Consulting

Soil Compaction: A Case Study at Candlewood Country Club

Summary: One method of measuring soil compaction, or strength, entails recording the pressure needed to force a rod (cone tip penetrometer) into a soil.  If the soil provides resistance of more than 300-400 psi, plant roots have difficulty or are unable to penetrate the soil. For this reason, plant roots are frequently found only in the top 2 3” of soil, where compaction is usually less than 300 psi. In this study, readings taken inside the sand-filled vertidrain holes, one day after vertidrain treatment showed that the vertidrain reduced compaction at depths of 3 - 5” from about 500 psi to less than 400 psi (Figure 1).  Five weeks later, we went back to evaluate compaction again, but it was difficult to identify vertidrain holes.  For this reason, the readings we obtained (Figure 2) were probably taken from areas between holes. As expected, readings remained unchanged at 500 psi at depths of 3 - 5”.  It is likely, however, that the compaction level in the vertidrain holes remained below 400 psi.  The common observation of deep roots in vertidrain holes supports this hypothesis. An additional advantage of vertidraining may be improved water infiltration. Even though compaction was not relieved in general throughout the green, the greens take water well in the summer indicating that water infiltration is one of the greatest benefits of this method.

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Principal Investigator:  Larry Stowell, Ph.D., CPAg

Cooperator:  Mike Caranci, Candlewood Country Club

Sponsor:  PACE Turfgrass Research Institute

Effect of Primer Applications on Nutrient Leaching in Turfgrass Greens

Summary: A replicated experiment was designed to evaluate the effect of Primer on the leaching of nutrients on a Poa annua golf course green. Following six monthly applications of Primer at 6 oz/1000 square feet, analyses conducted on soil samples from 1, 2 and 4 inches depths revealed no significant differences between treated and untreated plots in levels of over 20 nutrients including, sodium, magnesium, calcium, total salts, and even the highly leachable potassium. In addition, no phytotoxicity and no effects on turf quality were observed in areas treated with Primer. On the basis of these results, multiple applications of Primer to turfgrass do not increase leaching of nutrients in the soil.

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Investigators: Wendy Gelernter, Ph.D. and Larry J. Stowell, Ph.D., CPPP, CPAg

Cooperator: Mark Schaer, San Luis Rey Downs

Sponsor: Stan Kostka, Aquatrols

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