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Formation of B Horizons in Engineered Putting Green Soils

Glen R Obear, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Engineered turfgrass putting green soils are designed to drain quickly, while maintaining adequate water- and nutrient-holding capacity to sustain plant growth. These soils are designed to meet specific performance characteristics when they are constructed, but the process of soil formation changes these characteristics over time. Chapter 1 of this dissertation is a literature review of soil formation in engineered putting green soils. Pedogenesis of putting greens is such that A horizons form as organic matter accumulates near the surface, and B horizons form as particles and solutes are translocated to textural or pH boundaries in soil profiles. In the engineered soils of putting greens, the soil forming factors of climate, organisms, relief, and parent material are combined in unnatural ways, resulting in acceleration of the 5th soil forming factor—time. In Chapter 2, clay lamellae were observed in putting greens of a Mississippi, USA golf course. The lamellae formed in < 10 years from illuviation of clay present in the construction materials. Chapter 3 describes the effects of sand and gravel pH on mobility of fertilizer-applied iron. Applying 3.5 to 14 years of simulated iron applications to soil columns did not form iron-cemented layers, indicating that redox potential and biological processes are important factors in layer formation. Chapter 4 is an extension-focused guide about soil testing approaches for diagnosing layering issues for soil testing labs and agronomists. There remains very little research on soil layering issues in turfgrass systems, and this dissertation provides a framework for future characterization and experiments. Turfgrass soil problems have not traditionally been studied through the discipline of pedology, but a better understanding of how these soils form will lead to better recommendations for management.

Subject Area

Soil sciences|Chemistry|Agronomy

Recommended Citation

Obear, Glen R, "Formation of B Horizons in Engineered Putting Green Soils" (2021). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI28864857.