TURFGRASS GROWTH AND SOIL WATER STATUS IN RESPONSE TO BIOCHAR APPLICATION

Much research attention is currently focused on biochar (charcoal) as a soil amendment for enhancing plant growth while providing a mechanism for carbon sequestration. The extensive porous structure of charcoal can serve to increase mineral nutrient retention, microbial activity and water status in the soil medium for very long periods. Such effects can conceivably reduce the application frequency of fertilizers and irrigation water resulting in reduced costs along with environmental benefits. This is likely to be especially beneficial for turfgrass on rapid-draining sports fields, where maintenance costs can be considerable. Responses to the application of locally-sourced biochar (produced by traditional methods from local feedstock) were investigated for turfgrass (Zoysia japonica Steud., ‘El Toro’) grown in pots under field conditions. Observations on turf growth and soil water status were made for varying biochar application rates (0 - 20%, v/v of soil medium) using two types of biochar (plain, enriched), five application methods and three sand/soil potting mixtures. Enriched biochar was treated with compost tea from chicken manure during the production process. Enriched biochar enhanced turfgrass growth and soil moisture status when applied soon after product preparation but not after 6 months of dry storage. Effects of biochar application rates were observed only after 7 months of incubation in the soil medium, with increased turfgrass height at application rates of 4% or higher and optimum clippings dry mass production at 12% biochar. Soil incorporation appeared to work better than surface application of wet or dry biochar. Newly applied biochar had no significant effects on early turfgrass establishment in varying sand/soil potting mixtures. Biochar produced with traditional low-level technology appears to show potential as an organic input for sustainable production provided that there is an adequate soil incubation period.


Issue Date:
2014
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
DOI and Other Identifiers:
Record Identifier:
https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/253320
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/253320
Total Pages:
12




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

Fulltext:
Download fulltext
PDF

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
1
2
3
 
(Not yet reviewed)