Golf Course Management

OCT 2013

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

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Page 87 of 129

research Enhancing late-fall nitrogen on greens Complement late-fall nitrogen with a plant growth regulator to improve winter hardiness and nutrient suffciency of greens. When turfgrass consumes nitrogen under optimal growing conditions, the cells in leaf and shoot tissue become hydrated and nonstructural carbohydrates are depleted (3). This highly typical response to nitrogen was the probable impetus for early discouragement of substantial fall nitrogen applications to turfgrass (1). However, several more-recent feld studies in cool-season turfgrass have shown that fall nitrogen fertilization has not increased the turf's susceptibility to biotic and abiotic stresses in winter (11,12,13). In the early 1990s in Wisconsin, the timings of fall nitrogen fertilizer applications were compared within a standard annual program of 4 pounds nitrogen/1,000 square feet (19.5 grams/ square meter) (5). Season-end nitrogen delivery Chase M. Rogan Max Schlossberg, Ph.D. 82 GCM October 2013 (1.5 pounds urea-nitrogen/1,000 square feet [7.3 grams/square meter]) was applied to a Penncross creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) putting green in mid-September, mid-October or mid-November. Although root-growth was unaffected, response to the mid-October and mid-November applications included enhanced winter color and spring green-up, and delayed (to late May) spring nitrogen fertilizer requirements. Mid-October nitrogen application fostered signifcantly greater spring growth than the mid-September timing, but less growth than the mid-November timing (5). Excessive growth in early spring in response to fall nitrogen application(s) remains a signifcant concern for superintendents. The study site was Penn Stateƕs Valentine Turfgrass Research Center in University Park, Pa., where Penn G-2 creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass was maintained as a putting green. Photo by Brad Bartlett

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