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Few studies have directly related turfgrass growth and quality responses to extractable soil P concentrations in sand greens. A 3-yr field experiment was conducted on a sand-based putting green to determine creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) growth and quality responses to extractable soil P. Extractable soil P concentrations were obtained by using the modified-Morgan, Mehlich-1, and Bray-1 extractants. Critical extractable P concentrations (above which there is a low probability of response to increasing soil P concentrations) for shoot counts, thatch thickness, relative clipping yields, quality ratings, P deficiency ratings, tissue P concentrations, and root weights were determined using Cate-Nelson (CN) and quadratic response and plateau (QRP) models. Both models fit the data relatively well in most cases (R2 values from 0.12 to 0.89), and critical concentrations for the QRP models were always greater than the CN models. Critical extractable P concentrations were lowest for the modified-Morgan extractant (1.4 to 12.0 mg kg(-1)) and greatest for the Mehlich-1 extractant (14.1 to 63.6 mg kg(-1)). Application of estimated critical extractable P concentrations in this study could be used to substantiate observed responses or explain lack of responses in other previously reported creeping bentgrass P studies. We found better model fits with modified-Morgan extractable P for bentgrass quality ratings, deficiency ratings, and tissue P concentrations than with P extracted by the Mehlich or Bray methods. This suggests that the modified-Morgan extractant may have advantages over stronger-acid extractants when used on sand-based media. The results can be used to revise or update existing P fertilization recommendations for bent-grass grown on sand-based media.


Published in Crop Science, Vol. 43, No. 1, pp. 272-281 (January/February 2003) at