Deficit Irrigation and Simulated Traffic on 'Tifway' Bermudagrass Summer Performance and Autumn Recovery Academic Article uri icon


  • Crop Science Society of America | 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA All rights reserved. Golf course water use continues to be highly scrutinized. Information is limited regarding minimal levels of reference evapotranspiration (ETo)-based irrigation needed to maintain adequate summer fairway performance and autumn recovery. The objectives of this 2-yr study were to (i) characterize Tifway bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. C. transvaalensis Burtt Davy] fairway response to irrigation levels of 0.6, 0.45, 0.3, and 0.0 ETo, with and without simulated summer traffic and (ii) evaluate effects of irrigation and traffic on autumn recovery at full irrigation levels. Without traffic, 0.3 ETo was generally adequate for maintaining acceptable quality both years. Withholding irrigation altogether resulted in unacceptable turf quality both years. Summer traffic reduced quality and percentage green cover at all irrigation levels. Canopy temperatures increased with diminishing irrigation, with up to 25C difference between 0.6 ETo and unirrigated plots. Upon resumption of full irrigation in autumn, deficit and unirrigated treatments rebounded to 80 to 90% green cover by late autumn. However, in Year 2, only irrigated plots recovered to adequate cover levels, with unirrigated plots suffering substantial injury with only 30% green cover by late autumn. While no rooting differences were detected in Year 1, turf the 0.3 ETo and unirrigated treatments had lower root dry weights than 0.45 and 0.6 ETo treatments in Year 2. These data suggest provision of minimal deficit irrigation levels during summer drought may be important for sustaining turf viability and promoting autumn recovery of bermudagrass following successive years of summer drought stress.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Hejl, R. W., Wherley, B. G., White, R. H., Thomas, J. C., & Fontanier, C. H.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Hejl, Reagan W||Wherley, Benjamin G||White, Richard H||Thomas, James C||Fontanier, Charles H

publication date

  • January 2016