Master of Science (MS)


Plant, Enviromental and Soil Sciences

Document Type



Bermudagrass is grown on many athletic surfaces in the southern United States because of its aesthetics, vigorous growth, and excellent wear and stress tolerances. Establishment of bermudagrass vegetatively from sprigs provides an economical propagation method for large-acreage sites. During sprig establishment, irrigation and N are often applied at high application rates and/or frequencies to accelerate plant growth for faster, denser canopy coverage. Conventional wisdom suggests high rates of N applied more frequently accelerates bermudagrass growth to shorten the establishment duration for playability or susceptibility to erosion. However, during the establishment phase, low initial plant densities, frequent irrigation application, and high nitrogen (N) fertility can lead to increased risks of surface runoff, erosion, and nutrient movement. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to examine the factors of sprig plant rates at 80, 160, 320, and 480 bu ha-1 of bermudagrass cv. Celebration fertilized at 0, 12.5, 25, and 50 kg N ha-1 wk -1 over an 8 week establishment period. Celebration planted at 360 or 480 bu ha-1 attained0 ≥85% canopy coverage and greater biomass 6 WAP at N applied at ≥12.5 kg N ha-1 wk-1. Higher N application rates were not able to accelerate lower sprig planting rates of 80 and 160 bu ha-1. In the second experiment, the effect of total solid and N losses were examined for sprig planting rates of 160 and 320 bu ha-1 fertilized at 12.5 or 50 kg N ha-1 wk -1. Treatments were subject to three rainfall simulations. Sprigs planted at 320 bu ha-1 resulted in faster canopy coverage compared to the lower sprig planting rate regardless of N application rates. However, N losses were 5 times greater for sprigs fertilized at 50 kg N ha-1 wk -1 regardless of sprig planting rate. The data from the two experiments indicate sprig planting rates >320 bu ha-1 fertilized at 12.5 kg N ha-1 wk -1 accelerate Celebration bermudagrass establish while reducing potential N losses.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Beasley, Jeffery