Central Florida fertilizer trials on ‘Empire’ zoysiagrass and ‘Pensacola’ bahiagrass

Laurie E. Trenholm, Joseph B. Unruh

Abstract


There is increasing interest in alternatives to St. Augustinegrass for use in home lawns. Due to a lack of information about nutritional requirements of some alternative grass species, this research was undertaken to determine responses of ‘Empire’ zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.) and ‘Pensacola’ bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flugge) to nitrogen and potassium. The research was conducted at Schroeder–Manatee Ranch Sod Farm in Bradenton, FL, from 2001 through 2003. Evaluations included visual quality and color ratings, multispectral reflectance measurements, and root and shoot growth. Data indicated that ‘Empire’ zoysiagrass could be adequately maintained under moderate maintenance levels in central Florida with nitrogen at 3 lb per 1000 ft2 annually, but that higher rates of nitrogen would be required to maintain the same level of quality if cultural practices were less than adequate. ‘Pensacola’ bahiagrass did not respond well to increasing nitrogen rates, with best performance occurring from nitrogen at 2–3 lb per 1000 ft2 annually. There were no responses to potassium for either grass. Results of this suggest that these grasses may be maintained with less nitrogen than would be required for a typical St. Augustinegrass lawn.


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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283