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February 2017

After 28 days, grow-in and salinity differences


I've been growing grasses in a plastic house with a lot of help from colleagues at the Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (TISTR). The idea was to see how these grasses grow in after being planted as stolons, and to see what happens when salt is added in the irrigation water. I'll be discussing this experiment at the field day in Chonburi next week.

The picture above shows the grasses that receive the irrigation with 330 ppm total dissolved solids (TDS), 28 days after planting. The seashore paspalum looks the best, and the nuwan noi manilagrass has grown-in almost as fast. The hosoba korai, which is a beautiful grass once established, still hasn't covered much of the pot.

Another thing I've found interesting is measurements of salinity in the soil with the new TDR-350. All the pots are supplied with the same quantity of water. But different sets of pots get different amounts of salt in the water.


The soil salinity in these pots is changing depending on which irrigation water is applied. That's just as expected.

For more about the TDR-350, see this webinar.


Grow-in potential

These pictures were taken 28 days apart. Here's what the grasses looked like yesterday, on February 24. That was 4 weeks, exactly 28 days after planting.


On 27 January, five different grass varieties were planted from stolons. The grasses, shown from left to right, are:

  • manilagrass (nuwan noi)
  • tropical carpetgrass (yaa malay)
  • seashore paspalum (salam)
  • manilagrass (hosoba korai)
  • bermudagrass (Tifway 419)

For the first 10 days after planting, all the grasses were irrigated with 330 TDS (total dissolved solids, in units of ppm) water. For the next 18 days, the grasses shown above were irrigated with 4,500 TDS water.

The planting rates for the stolons ranged from 99 g/m2 for the nuwan noi to 312 g/m2 for the yaa malay. This is the mean mass for the stolons planted in the pots. We cut the stolons into 10 segments with 3 nodes each and then weighed them and planted them; each 0.02 m2 pot was planted with 30 nodes (1,500 nodes per square meter).

This is what the pots looked like immediately after planting, on January 27.


I think this is interesting for two reasons. One, this gives some indication of the grow-in rate (and relative rates) of various grass varieties. Second, this shows the tolerance or not of the grasses to different salt levels in the water.

One set of grasses is getting water with salt (TDS) at 330 ppm, the one pictured are getting 4,500 ppm, and another set are being irrigated with 9,000 ppm.

I'll be talking about this, and showing some of these grasses, at the upcoming Sustainable Turfgrass Management in Asia conference.

The Winter's Tale

There are more surprising photos from Doug Soldat this week. Where potassium fertilizer was applied, there is more snow mold. Where potassium was not applied, there is less snow mold.

This photo, starting in the top right plot with the lowest amount of snow mold, and going clockwise, is:

  • top right, no K for six years
  • bottom right, no K for six years but high K added from August to October 2016
  • bottom left, high K for six years
  • top left, high K for six years but no K after August 2016.

It's not so surprising, actually.

Doug has been observing these results for some years now. See, for example:

The Micah no jikan book ...

is now available for pre-order, and I see from the website that it can be shipped to any country. 


The full title is 芝草科学とグリーンキーピング (マイカの時間 The BOOK). In English that is Turfgrass Science and Greenkeeping (Micah no jikan The Book).

This book is the culmination of a long project, started in 2008, writing monthly articles about turfgrass science and greenkeeping for ゴルフ場セミナー. From those articles, I've selected some of my favorites, read and reread and arranged into chapters, and now we have this book. I hope these can be available in English sometime. It is some interesting material on a wide range of topics -- greenkeeping in general, soil water, organic matter management, fertilizer, golf course playability, and more.

Monthly Turfgrass Roundup: January 2017

January was another month with lots of material. From an extraordinary golf course in Nepal, to snowblowers on fairways, to sand and organic matter, there is plenty to see and read in this month's roundup.

Jon Wall went back to Nepal and shared these stunning photos of the Himalayan Golf Course.

The NC State Turf Diagnostics Lab shared a report of all samples submitted in 2016.

Should fertilizer costs be a secret?

Michael Wolpoff showed what happens to clipping volume when it rains.

The 2016 USGA Green Section Record Compendium.

Do you want to be on the ATC mailing list? Sign up here. As an example of what you'd get, this is the most recent ATC update.

Don't let micronutrients be a worry.

A sure way to prevent nutrient deficiences.

Eric Reasor wrote about his research trip to collect ball roll data in Thailand and Japan.

Brad Revill wrote more about how he makes use of the MLSN guidelines.

Hear more from Brad in this video where he talks with Nigel Taylor.

Does application of sand cause organic matter to increase?

Woodball looks like a fun game.

Jason Haines with fertilizer quantities applied since 1989.

Play golf in ice and snow, or close the course?

Jason Haines explains how he almost stopped using wetting agents on greens, and lost a case of beer in the process.

For more about turfgrass management, browse articles available for download on the ATC Turfgrass Information page, subscribe to this blog by e-mail or with an RSS reader - I use Feedly, or follow asianturfgrass on Twitter. Link and article roundups from previous months are here.