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Cutting Edge: Tall fescue salt rooting, yellow nutsedge herbicide response

Published 6/2023

"Salt is a major environmental stressor that can damage plants and inhibit their growth. Turfgrasses are particularly sensitive to salt, as they have a high water content and a relatively shallow root system. When salt levels in the soil or water become too high, turfgrasses can experience several problems, including: wilting; stunted growth; chlorosis (yellowing of leaves); and death.

At Pure-Seed Testing, we are conducting salinity resistance screening through a salt bench that holds sand tubes 3 feet (91 centimeters) long and drips salt water onto the plant over three months. The sand in these tubes provides adequate draining of the salt water. The total sodium chloride concentration in the water is 20 ppt. We then increase the salt throughout the study to the point where some varieties die completely, and others remain 40% to 60% green. We rate each plant every two weeks until all the varieties have died. In this study, tall fescue varieties are being tested."

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