Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science - Agriculture



First Advisor

Michael Maurer

Second Advisor

Brian Oswald

Third Advisor

Frantisek Majs


The establishment of turfgrass using subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) in sand based media has limited success. However, it is unknown if starting with overhead (sprinkler) irrigation and transitioning to SDI can enhance turfgrass establishment. Two experiments were conducted at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU) to investigate the establishment of “L-93” creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) from seed and “TifEagle” ultra dwarf hybrid bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon x Cynodon transvaalensis) from sod using sand based media. Each experiment consisted of two trials conducted in summer 2017 and spring 2018. Both creeping bentgrass trials and the spring ultra dwarf hybrid bermudagrass trial were conducted in a greenhouse, but the summer ultra dwarf hybrid bermudagrass was a field trial. All four trials consisted of 5 different treatments with four replicates. Treatments consisted of a control (overhead irrigation only) and four treatments that transitioned from overhead irrigation to SDI when the roots reached a depth of 0, 5, 10, and 15 cm.

The creeping bentgrass seed planted in the summer produced 80% turfgrass coverage and the best turfgrass quality for the overhead irrigation and 15 cm SDI treatments. The 5 and 10 cm SDI treatments had less than 50% turfgrass coverage and below average turfgrass quality ratings. The 0 cm SDI treatment that received no overhead irrigation failed to produce turfgrass. However, the creeping bentgrass percent turfgrass cover and turfgrass quality were similar for all treatments when planted in the spring. Creeping bentgrass shoot growth in the summer was similar for all the SDI and overhead treatments. However, in the spring, the creeping bentgrass shoot growth was significantly better for the SDI treatments compared to the overhead treatment.

The ultra dwarf hybrid bermudagrass sodded in both the summer and spring had similar turfgrass percent green coverage, turfgrass quality and shoot growth for all treatments within each trial. However, the ultra dwarf hybrid bermudagrass sodded in the spring had higher turfgrass percent green coverage, turfgrass quality and shoot growth compared to summer sodding.

The results from this study suggest that creeping bentgrass seed and ultra dwarf hybrid bermudagrass sod can be successfully established using SDI in sand based media in the spring. In the summer, the creeping bentgrass seed requires the establishment of a root system and transition to SDI to successfully produce turfgrass. The ultra dwarf hybrid bermudagrass sod was successfully established without overhead irrigation.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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