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Paper sludge amendments for turfgrass


, : Paper sludge amendments for turfgrass. Hortscience 31(6): 957-960

The behavior of turfgrass grown on paper-sludge-amended soils was evaluated over 2 years. Two experiments were performed, one with deinked sludge and another with primary sludge. Four paper sludge, sand, and organic soil substrate mixtures with proportions ranging from 0% to 50% paper sludge were incorporated into existing soils. Two fertilization levels were applied in strip plots across sludge treatments and three turfgrasses of seeded Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L. 'Georgetown'), Kentucky bluegrass sod, and an 80 Kentucky bluegrass : 20 perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. 'Prelude') seed mix were arranged within split plots. Effects of deinked and primary sludge experiments were similar. Supplemental N and, to a lesser degree, P and K fertilization with N at apprxeq 4.5 to 5.5 t cntdot ha-1, P at 1.18 to 1.26 t cntdot ha-1, and K at 1.34 to 1.46 t cntdot ha-1 improved ground cover, turf color, and stand quality. Despite differences in visual evaluations, leaf mineral nutrition was only slightly affected by fertilization treatments. Soil in nonfertilized plots was several times lower in N-NO-3 when compared to fertilized plots, regardless of sludge rate. Soil in fertilized plots had higher concentrations of inorganic N regardless of sludge amendment. The soil C:N ratio was apprxeq 13:1 in nonamended plots and more than 15:1 under the highest sludge rate. Deinked and primary paper sludges can be used effectively as soil amendments if turfgrass receives adequate supplemental N, P, and K.

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