Establishment and Management of Turfgrass Under Municipal Water Restrictions
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Drought has become and continues to be a major concern throughout many areas of the United States. To better manage water supplies, municipalities are constantly in search of ways to conserve and ration water. In this process, they must identify the areas of importance to continue to allocate sufficient water and others in which to make reductions. Home lawns and turfgrass in general have been viewed as luxuries rather than necessities, and therefore lawns and turfgrass are the first areas to experience watering reductions. These come in the form of municipal water restrictions in which, depending on the severity of the drought, will limit the extent to which a lawn can be irrigated during conservation periods. Limited knowledge of turfgrass maintenance under drought conditions and water restrictions has created challenges for home owners’ and turf managers’ inabilities to take care of turf. Selecting cultivars and management practices that result in a higher tolerance of drought can be the difference between having a healthy lawn and a dead lawn when water is decreased. Maintenance during establishment is arguably just as important as proper cultivar selection. To combat limited moisture in the upper part of the soil, deep rooting will help turf to utilize water well below the soil surface. In areas where warm-season turfgrass enters winter dormancy, cool season turfgrasses have historically been overseeded to maintain green color throughout the dormancy period. However, this practice may not be feasible under limited irrigation frequency associated with water restriction periods. Alternatives that do not require supplemental water, such as the use of colorants, have been increasingly utilized on areas that do not endure excessive wear. The objectives of this study are to (1) evaluate establishment cultural practices on turf quality and root development of ‘Floratam’ and newly released St. Augustinegrass cultivar ‘TamStar’ during a simulated water variance period and (2) evaluate the performance of overseeded, colorant treated, and untreated ‘Tifway’ bermudagrass under water restriction and traffic.
Hargey, Daniel Francis (2015). Establishment and Management of Turfgrass Under Municipal Water Restrictions. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from