June 2017

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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FIELD SCIENCE 10 SportsTurf | June 2017 descending order, is N > K > P. The essential micronutrients are boron (B), chlorine (Cl), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), zinc (Zn) and most recently recognized, Nickel (Ni). Some essential nutrients affect many plant processes while others may be required to activate a specific chemical reaction or are involved in a very limited number of processes within the bermudagrass plant. Soil Testing. The first step in developing effective and nutritionally balanced bermudagrass 'grow in' fertilization and liming plans is soil testing. A soil sample should be submitted for testing several weeks before planting. The primary goal of a soil-testing lab is to accurately predict the pH and the amount of each nutrient in the soil sample being tested that is available to turfgrasses. After drying, grinding and weighing, a solution is used to saturate and extract nutrients from the soil sample. The soil extract is then analyzed by a laboratory instrument (for example, an automated plasma atomic emission spectrometer) to determine the amount of each nutrient present. An automated pH analyzer is often used to determine soil/water pH (WpH). Soil pH. The pH directly affects the solubility and plant availability of essential nutrients in the soil. Slightly acidic soils (pH range between 6.0 and 6.5) are preferred when managing bermudagrass in native soils. The soil pH decreases with increasing soil acidity. In acidic soils, several nutrients including P, become less available to plants because of reactions with Fe and aluminum that result in the formation of precipitates that are not in a form that bermudagrass plants can use. As the soil pH increases above 6.5, a lack of Mn may Soil extracts being analyzed in the lab. A soil sample should be sent for testing before planting. An extractant solution is used to saturate and remove nutrients from the soil sample.

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