Wear Tolerance, Growth, and Quality of Seashore Paspalum in Response to Nitrogen and Potassium

L. E. Trenholm, R.N. Carrow, and R.R. Duncan

In Press, Hort Science

Damage from traffic can seriously injure athletic field turfgrass, although fertility regimes can influence wear tolerance. While excess nitrogen (N) can reduce wear tolerance, moderate N has improved tolerance and hastened recovery from injury. Potassium (K) may enhance wear tolerance through regulation of turgor potential. This research was undertaken to determine shoot growth and wear tolerance of seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum Swartz) to N and K application. Field studies were conducted in 1998 at the University of Georgia Experiment Station, Griffin, Ga. Grasses were established on US Golf Association specification greens in 1996. Fertility treatments were applied at annual N rates of 196 and 392 kg×ha-1 and K rates of 92 and 392 kg×ha-1. The higher N rate increased wear tolerance, shoot growth, shoot density, visual quality, and color of the two ecotypes, AP 10 and AP 14, but reduced their visible range spectral reflectance, indicating greater absorption of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). Measured responses to K were minimal and no enhancement of wear tolerance in response to K treatment was noted.