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Water Conservation Approaches in Turfgrass Systems

Two different approaches of water conservation will be discussed during this webinar, based on information obtained from two separate research projects at Kansas State University. Project 1: Subsurface drip irrigation is increasingly popular because of its potential for conserving and uniformly distributing water. We investigated the effects of straw and poly-mesh germination blankets in combination with SSDI on germination and establishment of tall fescue turfgrass. Under ground covers, soil temperatures were 5-7 degrees higher and erosion during rainfall was reduced, resulting in uniform and faster germination of tall fescue compared with no ground covers. Project 2: Irrigation strategies typically rely on calendar or evapotranspiration schedules that completely ignore soil moisture. Our research approach is to integrate the components of the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum by utilizing sensor-based technology to determine turf canopy responses to soil water deficits and to improve irrigation decisions. Water savings of 70% have been achieved using this approach.
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