Submitted to: Applied Turfgrass Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/6/2006
Publication Date: 5/23/2006
Citation: Robins, J.G., Waldron, B.L., Cook, D.W., Jensen, K.B., Asay, K.H. 2006. Evaluation of crested wheatgrass turf managed as turfgrass. Online. Applied Turfgrass Science doi: 10.1094/ATS-2006-0523-01-RS. http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/sub/ats/research/2006/crested/default.asp
Interpretive Summary: In the semi-arid Intermountain US, intensive cultural management including high inputs of water and chemicals are often used for typical turfgrass species. However, much of the turf in these areas is used mostly for erosion control and aesthetics and is not highly used. Crested wheatgrass may be an acceptable turf alternative under these low maintenance/limited irrigation conditions. The study investigated the effects of irrigation interval, mowing height, nitrogen fertilization, and cultivar choice on the performance of crested wheatgrass turf under limited irrigation conditions. While each of these factors contribute to the quality of crested wheatgrass, the application of nitrogen fertilization proved to be critical to the maintenance of the quality of crested wheatgrass turf. In addition, regardless of the treatments imposed, crested wheatgrass turf performance declines during the summer months.
Technical Abstract: Typical turfgrass species often receive substantial inputs of water, fertilizer, chemicals, and cultural management, particularly in the Intermountain US. Plant materials that do not require these inputs and that also maintain acceptable levels of turf quality and performance are desirable in low-maintenance/limited irrigation situations. However, there is a lack of plant material that fits this description and thus the acceptablity of low-maintenance turf. Crested wheatgrass is a potential source of low-maintenance turf varieties and is the focus of current breeding efforts to improve its turf characteristics. This study examined implications of irrigation interval, mowing height, nitrogen fertilization, and cultivar selection on the performance of crested wheatgrass turf. While irrigation interval, mowing height, and cultivar all played a role, the application of nitrogen fertilization was the critical factor for maintaining the quality of crested wheatgrass turf. In addition, regardless of the treatments imposed, crested wheatgrass turf performance declines during the hot summer months.