Effects of cultivation practices and products on bermudagrass fairways in a semiarid region

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High evapotranspirational demand combined with poor quality irrigation water increases salinity concerns in semiarid regions. Accumulated salts in the root zone may negatively affect bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.) growth and quality. The objective of this study was to examine the effectiveness of cultivation practices combined with products to enhance fairway conditions without applying leaching water levels. Two golf courses in Lubbock, TX, were selected for this research. Cultivation practices, including noncultivated control, core aerification, and slicing, were conducted in mid-June of 2015 and 2016. Nine products recommended to enhance water movement or to disassociate sodium were applied within each cultivation treatment at label rates. Soil pH and electrical conductivity (EC) were determined from samples obtained in June, August, and October each year. Volumetric water content, visual turf quality, digital image analysis, normalized difference vegetation index, and ratio vegetation index were assessed from June to October in 2015 and 2016. Soil EC fluctuated with rainfall events. However, no treatment reduced soil EC. Gypsum-based products increased soil EC but reduced pH at the conclusion of the research. Core aerification reduced aboveground parameters at Golf Course A because aerified holes remained visible throughout summer, whereas slicing and core aerification improved turf quality and ratio vegetation index at Golf Course B. These results emphasize the need to test irrigation water for the salinity hazard before implementing management strategies and the importance of leaching by rainfall or additional irrigation. Lastly, high surface disruption cultivation practices may inhibit bermudagrass recovery on higher clay content soils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2899-2909
Number of pages11
JournalAgronomy Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


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