Creeping Bentgrass, Kentucky Bluegrass and Tall Fescue Responses to Plant Growth Stimulants Under Deficit Irrigation


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Virginia Tech


A four-year drought, increasing population and shifting climate has spurred water conservation practices within Virginia. Creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris "L93"), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis "Midnight"), and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) Dominion blend were evaluated under deficit irrigation and upon exogenous application of plant growth stimulants (PGS), seaweed extract (SWE) + humic acid (HA), glycinebetaine (GB) and a commercial SWE product (PP). The objectives were to determine crop coefficients (Kc) for creeping bentgrass fairways and tall fescue home lawns, to determine if PGS application allowed for more water conservation, and to determine if they impacted physiological function and/or root morphology.

A preliminary greenhouse experiment was conducted with creeping bentgrass and Kentucky bluegrass irrigated with 100%, 85% and 70% of evapotranspiration (ET). The study determined that an additional deficit irrigation level should be included for the field study and that GB application and 100% and 85% ET irrigation level produced the greatest creeping bentgrass root mass.

The two–year field study evaluated creeping bentgrass and tall fescue. Tall fescue home lawns could be irrigated every five days with a Kc of 0.55 or once a week with a Kc of 0.70. Creeping bentgrass fairways could be irrigated every four days with a Kc of 0.85. Glycinebetaine application increased bentgrass rooting after planting and showed osmoprotectant properties.

Another greenhouse study evaluated five GB rates on bentgrass and tall fescue. No differences were found between the five rates and concluded that the rate utilized in the field study may be appropriate for turfgrass application.



Humic acid, Glycinebetaine, Seaweed extract, Drought resistance, Crop coefficient