Irrigation and Nitrogen and Potassium Effects for Two Turfgrass Species and a Common Lawn Mixture

Sang-Kook Lee1,*   Kevin W.  Frank2   

1Department of Biotechnology, Hoseo University, Asan 31499, Korea
2Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824, USA


Water requirements for turfgrass have been estimated on water use rates, and irrigation frequency and quantity. However, these parameters do not always provide adequate guidance for the efficient irrigation management. Research was conducted for 2005 and 2006 to determine recommendations for irrigation and nitrogen and potassium program for two turfgrass species and a common lawn mixture. The irrigation treatments were precipitation only, 0.5 cm of water every other day, and 1.8 cm of water once per week. The nitrogen (N) treatments were 98, 156, and 208 kg N ha-1 yr-1. The low, medium, and high N treatments were applied over 2, 4, and 6 applications, respectively. No phosphorus (P) was applied as a soil test indicated a high soil P level. Treatments were evaluated on Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, and the lawn mixture of Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, creeping red fescue, and Chewings fescue. Research indicated that all turfgrass species without irrigation had turfgrass quality lower than the acceptable turfgrass quality rating of six during a portion of the growing season and significant differences were found among irrigation treatments. However, the precipitation only treatment had acceptable quality ratings on 8 of 12 sampling dates for two years. If water resource is limited, and turfgrass quality for low maintenance in July and August are not important, the precipitation only treatment would be accepted under the environmental conditions which occurred in regions similar to the area where the research was conducted.

Figures & Tables

Fig. 1. The amount of water received from precipitation and irrigation treatment. Evaportranspiration rate was included to caculate water balance. Irrigation treatment means either weekly and every other day treatments. The plots with weekly and every other day irrigation treatment received the same amount of water over time, only the application timing interval varied. Water balance was calculated from precipitaton, irrigation, and ETp (Water balance=precipitation+irrigation–ETp).