Evaluation of Water Retention Products to Conserve Urban Water Resources in Home Lawns

Vikram B. Baliga, Joseph R. Young, Mario A. Carrillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Core Ideas: Water retention products increased turfgrass quality and cover under drought conditions. High rainfall after application was essential to activate water retention products. Water retention products did not increase soil volumetric water content. Core aerification with a spoon aerifier did not improve efficacy of water retention products. Turfgrass is often overwatered to maintain green color. Surfactants and hydrophilic sands are marketed to homeowners to reduce irrigation requirements during drought. This research aimed to determine the effects of core aerification and water retention products on well-established ‘Tifsport’ hybrid bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davey] under infrequent irrigation. A randomized complete block design study was established with four water retention products and an untreated control applied to aerified or nonaerified plots. The water retention products were Aquasmart Pro and MaXand hydrophilic sands (mixed with topdressing sand), Revive Liquid, and Revive Granular surfactants. A spoon aerifier was used to establish aerification treatments before product application. Plots were evaluated for visual turfgrass quality, percentage of green cover, soil volumetric water content (VWC), and canopy temperature. Aerification showed no main or interactive effects, except on canopy temperature with Revive Granular. Aquasmart Pro, MaXand, and Revive Granular improved turfgrass quality and green cover compared with the untreated control for 4 weeks in 2015 with negligible rainfall and irrigation. Extension of green coverage and improved turfgrass quality were not observed in 2016 when an extended period of drought followed initial product application. Although no treatment effects in VWC were identified for either year, Revive Granular had a lower canopy temperature than Revive Liquid or the untreated control. Higher moisture content from rainfall resulted in maximum benefit from the water retention products. This suggests higher irrigation may be necessary after application if rainfall is insufficient to stimulate the activity of the products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalCrop, Forage and Turfgrass Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019


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