Turf fertilization in Florida continues to be viewed as contributing to nonpoint-source pollution of ground water. Continued research is needed to validate existing best management practices (BMPs). The objectives of this research were to evaluate nitrate-N (NO3–N) leaching, turf quality, and turf growth rate from N sources applied to ‘Floratam’ St. Augustine grass [Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walter) Kuntze] and common centipede grass [Eremochloa ophiuroides (Munro) Hack.]. Research was conducted in Jay, FL, from 2008 to 2011. Nitrogen was applied in 60-d cycles at 48 kg ha−1 as ammonium nitrate, urea, 30% slow-release N (SRN), 50% SRN, polymer-coated urea (PCU), and biosolid (BS) and in 120-d cycles at 98 kg ha−1 as PCU. Nitrogen leaching was greatest during the first 6 mo following turf sodding for both species with 21.6 and 10.1 kg ha−1 leached from St. Augustinegrass and centipedegrass, respectively. Following sodding, no differences in N leached between turfgrasses were observed until 2010 when winterkill and large patch (Rhizoctonia solani Kühn) were observed on St. Augustinegrass. Turf quality of control plots was above acceptable levels in 2008 but was unacceptable by 2011. Each N source produced acceptable centipedegrass with few differences among N sources. A blend of 50% ammonium sulfate and 50% PCU resulted in higher growth rates and turf quality of St. Augustinegrass than other N sources in most years. Recommending N applications to newly sodded turf may not be necessary due to the risk of leaching during establishment.
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