SOIL MULCHES FOR GRASSING

FAILURES IN ESTABLISHING NEW TURF AREAS ARE MORE OFTEN ATTRIBUTED TO LOW MOISTURE THAN ANY OTHER FACTOR. SURFACE MULCHES IMPROVE MOISTURE AVAILABILITY AND, CONSEQUENTLY, GERMINATION AND SUBSEQUENT SEEDLING GROWTH. SUITABLE MULCHES ENCOURAGE RAPID MOISTURE INFILTRATION, INTO SOILS AND REDUCE EVAPORATION. MULCHES, BECAUSE OF BETTER WATER INFILTRATION, REDUCE WATER RUNOFF AND CONCURRENT SOIL EROSION. MULCHES INVARIABLY IMPROVE RATE OF GERMINATION AND SEEDLING GROWTH AND SHORTEN THE PERIOD FOR DEVELOPING A SUITABLE TURF; WATER AND SOIL LOSS IS ALSO REDUCED ON SLOPING CUTS OR FILLS. THE MORE DIFFICULT THE ENVIRONMENT OR MOISTURE STRESS, THE GREATER THE BENEFITS FROM SURFACE MULCHING. TESTS WITH TOBACCO STEMS AND STRAW HAVE SHOWN THAT TABACCO STEMS WERE NOT SUITABLE BECAUSE OF POOR STABILIZATION AND PERHAPS A TOXIC EXCRETION. RESULTS WITH STRAW MULCHES HAVE BEEN UNSATISFACTORY WITH HEAVY APPLICATIONS. STRAW OR HAY MULCHES ARE OFTEN DISTRIBUTED UNEVENLY CAUSING SEEDLING EXPERMINATION WHERE APPLICATIONS ARE HEAVY. UNTHRESHED SMALL GRAINS OR WEEDY SPECIES IN HAY MULCHES ARE OBJECTIONABLE. THE RAPID GERMINATION AND SEEDLING GROWTH OF SMALL GRAINS HAS EXTERMINATED THE STANDS OF DESIRABLE SEEDED SPECIES IN EXPERIMENTAL AND OTHER SEEDINGS. STRAW MULCH SHOULD BE APPLIED AT THE RATE OF 1 TO 2 TONS PER ACRE, BUT A BETTER CRITERION IS TO LEAVE 25 TO 50 PERCENT OF THE SOIL EXPOSED. THE BEST WAY TO STABLIZE STRAW OR HAY MULCHES AGAINST AIR DRAFTS FROM FAST-TRAVELING VEHICLES AND ON SLOPES IS TO USE ASPHALT. A 7 ACRE SEEDING IN INTERSTATE 81 NEAR BRISTOL, VA., ON LONG SLOPING CUTS AND FILLS WAS MADE IN EARLY MAY TO STUDY TURFIBER AND STRAW MULCH. INITIAL SOD DEVELOPMENT WITH STRAW MULCH WAS SOMEWHAT FASTER THAN WITH TURFIBER; BUT BY SEPTEMBER THERE WAS NO APPRECIABLE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TURFIBER AND STRAW MULCH; THE SODS WITH BOTH METHODS WERE VERY SATISFACTORY. THE INITIAL, MORE RAPID SOD DEVELOPMENT WITH STRAW MULCH IS USUALLY ATTRIBUTED TO SMALL GRAINS AND WEEDS FROM UNTHRESHED SEEDS. THE USE OF TURFIBER FOR RESEEDING DEGENERATED SODS OR UNSATISFACTORY NEW SEEDINGS IS DISCUSSED. /AUTHOR/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • No 1030, pp 15-20, 2 TAB, 9 PHOT
  • Authors:
    • Blaser, R E
  • Publication Date: 1962

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  • Accession Number: 00205144
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 6 1971 12:00AM