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Amending Subsoil with Composted Poultry Litter-II: Effects on Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis) Establishment, Root Growth, and Weed Populations

Author(s): Mili Mandal | Rakesh S. Chandran | John A. Balasko

Journal: Agronomy (Basel)
ISSN 2073-4395

Volume: 3;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 670;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: alternative | cultural | integrated weed management | preventative | housing development lawn

Turfgrasses established on a soil deprived of the topsoil during construction disturbance often have low levels of density and uniformity making them susceptible to weeds. Field experiments evaluated composted poultry litter incorporation into subsoil on Kentucky bluegrass growth attributes and subsequent effects on weed populations. Top 20 cm of topsoil was removed and composted poultry litter was incorporated at 0.1, or 0.2, or 0.4 cm/cm-soil into the exposed subsoil to a depth of 12.7 cm before seeding or sodding, and was compared to N-fertilized (50 × 10−4 kg m−2) and control plots. A greenhouse experiment was also conducted to determine the effect of compost incorporation rates on turfgrass rooting depth. Turfgrass yield from seeded plots with compost incorporation rates of 0.1, 0.2, and 0.4 cm/cm-soil, were 200%, 300%, and 500% more, respectively, compared to control plots. Composted poultry litter incorporated at 0.1 cm/cm-soil resulted in at least 70 seedlings in 7.6 cm−2, which was sufficient to attain 100% turf cover. Higher incorporation rates in seeded plots maintained lower numbers of buckhorn plantain and red clover than untreated plots. Rooting depth also increased linearly with compost rates. Overall, compost treatments were able to maintain superior turf cover and quality compared to conventionally fertilized or control plots.

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