Document Type



The response of Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) to potassium (K) fertilization has been inconsistent. The objective of this research was to determine the effects of K fertilization across varying nitrogen (N) rates and clipping management on Kentucky bluegrass clipping yields, quality, tissue K concentrations, apparent N recovery, and N use efficiency. A 2 x 4 x 4 factorial was arranged in a splitplot design and repeated across two years. Main plots were clipping treatments (returned vs. removed) and subplots were N rates (0, 98, 196, and 294 kg ha(-1) yr(-1)) in combination with K rates (0, 81, 162, and 243 kg ha(-1) yr(-1)). There was no positive effect of K on clipping yields and quality even though soil extractable K levels tested low. Higher K rates, however, increased N recovery and use efficiency for all but the highest N rate. Tissue K response to K fertilization was nonlinear. Yield and quality responses were not correlated to tissue K concentration. Nonexchangeable K levels were high in the native soil, and may have provided an additional source of K for bluegrass. The results suggest that extractable K values alone may not adequately predict available K to Kentucky bluegrass in this sandy loam soil.


Published in CropScience, Vol. 44, No. 5, pp. 1721-1728 (September/October 2004) at