Golf Course Management

AUG 2019

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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08.19 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 61 e objectives of this study were to com- pare several commercial and experimental programs for their ability to alleviate salin - ity stress on bermudagrass turf irrigated with saline water. Materials and methods e study was conducted in 2013 and 2014 at the UC Riverside turfgrass research facility. e research area was sodded with Tifway II hybrid bermudagrass on Aug. 6, 2012, on a Hanford fine sandy loam (70.4% sand, 19.8% silt, 9.8% clay, 6% organic matter). e turf was verticut once in August 2013 and again in June 2014 and received fertilizer each growing season for a total of 4 pounds nitrogen/1,000 square feet/year using polymer-coated urea fertilizer (46–0–0). Turf was irrigated at 75% evapotranspi - ration with Toro 300 series pop-up stream sprinklers on 30-foot (9-meter) spacing. Sa - line water was made by mixing salts in po- table water within two 5,000-gallon (18,900- liter) storage tanks (Snyder Industries) containing submersible pumps for mixing and agitation. Saline water ion composition was based on Colorado River water (D.L. Suarez, personal communication, 2012) and contained elevated concentrations of salts including sodium (Na + ), chlorine (Cl − ), and sulfate (SO 4 2− ), but not bicarbonate (HCO 3 − ) and carbonate (CO 3 2− ) (Table 1). Saline water used to irrigate plots was classified as very high in salinity and sodium hazard (C4-S4) (5). Total salinity of the water was chosen to simulate an extreme, but realistic, irrigation salinity for turf in California (M. Huck, per - sonal communication, 2012). We tested 30 commercial and experimen - tal products for their ability to alleviate salin- ity stress on bermudagrass. ese treatments included calcium-based products as well as wetting agents and supplemental nitrogen fertilization and/or biostimulants (Table 2). Treatments were applied either once only, bi - weekly, monthly or bimonthly between April 4 and Oct. 17, 2013, and April 3 and Oct. 15, 2014. Turf irrigation scheduling included irri - gation immediately after application of treat- ments and again later in the evening. Saline irrigation was withheld during the winter months in 2013-2014 and restored in the spring. e combination of natural rainfall and cessation of saline irrigation during the winter of 2013–2014 lowered soil salinity in the study area and ensured that there was no carryover from treatments applied in 2013. Every two weeks and between treatment applications, plots were evaluated for turf quality on a scale of 1 to 9 (1 = worst; 9 = best) and for dark green color index (DGCI) using Digital Image Analysis (DIA). Leachate (3 replicates/treatment) was also collected and analyzed for electrical conductivity (EC L ) on the same day. During rating weeks, irri - Tifway II hybrid bermudagrass after two years of irrigation with saline water and treatment with DeSal + Stress Rx + XP Extra Protection. Photo was taken on Sept. 11, 2014. Properties of potable and saline irrigation water Properties Potable Saline pH 7.8 7.6 Electrical conductivity (EC), deciSiemens/meter 0.6 4.4 Total suspended solids (TSS), milligrams/liter 390 2835 Sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), milliequivalents/liter 3.2 18.3 Sodium, milligrams/liter 53 524 Potassium, milligrams/liter 4 130 Calcium, milligrams/liter 66 126 Magnesium, milligrams/liter 12 152 Chlorine (Cl - ), milligrams/liter 31 996 Nitrate-nitrogen (NO 3 - -N), milligrams/liter 5.2 5.1 Bicarbonate (HCO 3 - ), milligrams/liter 215 210 Carbonate (CO 3 2- ), milligrams/liter 0.01 0.01 Sulfate (SO 4 2- ), milligrams/liter 78 708 Boron, milligrams/liter 0.08 0.11 Table 1. Properties of potable and saline (salts mixed with potable water) irrigation water used in the salinity alleviation study in Riverside, Calif., 2012-2014.

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