Inorganic soil amendment effects on sand-based sports turf media

Deying Li, Young K. Joo, Nick E. Christians, David D. Minner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Inorganic soil amendments have been suggested for use in turf to alleviate soil compaction, increase water retention and hydraulic conductivity, and improve many other soil physical properties. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of ceramic, porous ceramic clay (PCC), calcined diatomaceous earth (CDE), and polymer coated clay (PC) on the physical characteristics of sand-based media and to determine the effects of these amendments on bulk density following freeze-thaw treatments. Inorganic materials were added to a sand-based golf green at 10% on a volumetric basis during construction in 1996. Data collected from the field included saturated hydraulic conductivity (K(sat)), water retention, water release curves, bulk density and total porosity on compacted samples collected at construction, and undisturbed samples collected from the treated plots 1 and 2 yr after establishment. The PCC treatment had an 8 and 7% higher cation-exchange capacity (CEC) than the control in 1997 and 1998, respectively. The PCC increased the K(sat) by 26 and 20% in the compacted and undisturbed samples, respectively, in 1998. The CDE increased water retention by 13% in both compacted and undisturbed samples. Saturated hydraulic conductivity of the sand-inorganic mixtures decreased in the 2 yr, although some increases in K(sat) were observed each spring. The K(sat) of plots receiving all inorganic amendments was reduced by 75% in November of 1998. The K(sat) values in the spring of 1999 increased from the low levels of 1998 by 19% (PC), 44% (control), 59% (ceramic), 72% (PCC), and 82% (CDE). The changes of K(sat) over the winter may have been induced by freezing and thawing. These changes may not necessarily be caused by total porosity increases; instead they may be caused by increases in macropores. This hypothesis was further tested in the laboratory in a freeze-thaw study conducted in 1999. The PC, control, CDE, and PCC decreased bulk density by 10.7, 7.2, 2.5, and 2.2%, respectively, following a freeze-thaw cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1121-1125
Number of pages5
JournalCrop Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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