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Nitorgen, phosphorus and potassium fertilization for Histosol-grown St. Augustinegrass sod

Cisar, J.L., Snyder, G.H., Swanson, G.S.
Agronomy journal 1992 v.84 no.3 pp. 475-479
Stenotaphrum secundatum, NPK fertilizers, crop production, Histosols, lawns and turf, crop quality, application rate, planting, Florida
Histosol-grown sod is a major agricultural commodity in Florida. Sod fertility requirements need to be identified in order to maximize sod productivity, avoid fertilizer waste, and minimize undesirable impacts on water quality. An experiment was conducted for two consecutive years to determine the effect of N, P, and K fertilization on St. Augustinegrass [Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walt.) Kuntze] sod production on a well-decomposed Histosol (muck). Treatment comparisons were based on turf growth, turf visual quality ratings, cut sod piece quality, tear resistance of cut sod pieces, and measures of cut sod transplantability on sand soil. Nitrogen fertilization improved visual quality and clipping yield of the sod, and of sod pieces re-established on a sand soil, but did not affect sod tear resistance or quality of sod pieces as judged by experienced sod growers. When the initial water-extractable P soil-test was low (3.7 mg P L-1), all measured parameters (except tear resistance) were increased by P fertilization. Potassium fertilization did not affect any measured parameters of sod production, even when the initial acetic acid-extractable K soil-test index was 54 mg K L-1, which is low for most crops. Overall, results indicate that N, P, and K fertilizer rates used for sod production on Histosols can be reduced substantially from previous recommendations.