A.M. Wellwood1, G. Nickerson2 and J. Wetmore2
Partner: New Brunswick Horticultural Trades Association
Abstract: A trial was initiated in 2002 to evaluate the performance of six formulations of turfgrass fertilizer. Inorganic and organic fertilizers were tested including ammonium nitrate (34-0-0), sulfur-coated urea (21-7-7), MethydureTM (40-0-0), corn gluten meal (8-2-4), Suståne (5-2-4), and Nature's Feed (7-0-7). A randomly designed split-plot was used. Fertilizer rate and seasonal application timing were tested. Treatments were applied in 0.5kgN/100m2 increments at each application date. Associations between fertility treatments and resulting turf quality were observed and measured. The trial site was an established, mixed-species turf sward, typical of an average maintenance home lawn or park area. It had 30-50% weed cover, predominantly white clover and dandelions. Treatments were evaluated for associated effects on broadleaf weed species. Observations included three clipping harvests, calculated growth rates, weed counts, turf colour assessments, and grass stem counts. Application regimes showed a significant clipping weight difference for the Oct. 10th harvest. Highest to lowest yields for treatments were: 34-0-0> 21-7-7> 5-2-4> 8-2-4> 40-0-0> 7-0-7, ranging from 4823 g/100m2 to 2545 g/100m2. The association between turf yields and overall quality turf was assessed. The calculated growth rates were correlated directly to the clipping harvest results. The weed populations, turf colour assessments and grass stem counts (density) showed no direct correlations to clipping yield. Further testing is required to evaluate the full effect of fertilizer type, nitrogen formulation, rate and application timing on turf quality. This is the 1st year of a 3-year project.
1 NB Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Agriculture Development Branch, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, NB, E3B 5H1
2 Wetmore's Landscaping, 3708 Highway 102, Island View, NB, E3E 1G3