Turfgrass Establishment - Seedling Emergence
University of Central Lancashire -Pamela Sherratt
Comparative testing of two inorganic soil amendments compared to a sand based control rootzone was performed in a laboratory at the University of Central Lancashire (UK) during 1997-98. The two inorganic soil amendments tested were ZeoPro and a calcined diatomaceous earth (DE) product (Isolite).
Testing included germination and establishment indoors in greenhouse trays. All tests were conducted in replicated trials to allow statistical evaluation of the data.
A blend of festuca and agrostis was seeded into trays of rootzone mixes of 10% by volume of each of the amendments pluss a sand only control rootzone. All trays were equallly fertilized pre-plant with a granular 10:15:10, applied at 10 grams per square meter. Trays were replicated three times for each treatment. The grass blend (30% Festuca "Herald", 30% Festuca "Barcrown", 20% Festuca "bargreen", 20% Agrostis "Heriot") was sown at 35 grams/square meter. Trays were irrigated daily and grown in a mist propagation unit.
Seedling counts were made on 10 random squares from each tray every two days through day 19 after seeding. The figure below presents the emergence data versus time for the data collection period.
The seedlings in the ZeoPro amended trays emerged very quickly and attained 732 per sample area by day 19. The seedlings in the calcined DE trays were slow to germinate and had 351 per sample area by day 19. The sand only control was quicker to germinate than the DE, but failed to develop well, achieving only 177 seedling per sample area. The data collection was terminated after day 19 due to tillering of the grass in the ZeoPro amended trays, making the seedling counts difficult to conduct.
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