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The 2011 ASHS Annual Conference

A Comparison of Underground Biomass and Stolon Production of Paspalum vaginatum (Swartz) Established From Seed Under Potable and Saline Subsurface Drip Irrigation

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Kona Ballroom
Matteo Serena, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
Marco Schiavon, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
Bernhard Leinauer, Extension Plant Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces,, NM
Elena B. Sevostianova, Plant and Environmental Science, NMSU, Las Cruces, NM
Bernd Maier, Plant and Environmental Science, NMSU, Las Cruces, NM
Low quality ground water and recycled water have been identified as alternatives to potable water for irrigation but are generally higher in salinity than potable water. Warm-season grasses are more tolerant to salt stress than cool season grasses and may therefore be well suited to grow under non-potable irrigation. A study was conducted at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM during 2009 and 2010 to determine stolon and underground biomass (roots and rhizomes) production of seeded seashore paspalum (cv. Sea Spray) one year after establishment using saline (1500 ppm) and potable (500 ppm) water applied from either sprinkler or subsurface drip systems. The grass was seeded in March and June of both years and was irrigated at 100% ET0 during establishment. Samples were collected in winter 2010 and 2011 and separated into rhizomes, stolons, and roots in the top 5 centimetres. Results indicated that stolon and rhizome dry weight was greater in plots seeded in March than those seeded in June. Irrigation water quality and irrigation system did not affect stolon, rhizome, or root weight. Preliminary results suggest that underground biomass production and stolon production after one year of establishment is not negatively affected by saline water or subsurface irrigation. Early seeding will result in a greater underground biomass and stolon production compared to June seeding and should be considered beneficial for transitional climate zones.