Register free!
Search
 
     

Click for Weather
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-20-2013, 02:18 PM
RigglePLC's Avatar
RigglePLC RigglePLC is online now
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Grand Rapids MI
Posts: 9,164
rooting depth

How deep are your roots?
I wanted to know. But...its not easy. Soil temp was about 87 during our recent hot spell. My lawn is irrigated. Grass species: blue, rye and fine fescue. Soil core samples were taken with a 7/8 inch soil probe. Sandy loam soil.

If the cores were rinsed with a gentle stream of water...the roots appeared to be no more than 1 inch deep. If the cores were shaken gently by hitting the soil probe on the left fist...same result.
If the core was simply tipped over onto concrete, the cores remained mostly intact, but the sparse roots, if any were visible at all, were very tiny and thin. They were fine as hair.

I am not sure if this is a suitable method to measure root depth--or--if roots are just very shallow a this time of year. The same method was used to core a clump of tall fescue--with the same result.
Attached Images
 
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-21-2013, 08:21 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Wisconsin
Posts: 9,814
This past couple weeks have been brutal,,, especially in sand where direct sun is involved... After Aug. 15th we should start to see the root growth again...
At least you have good moisture at that depth...
__________________
*
Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
*
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-21-2013, 11:32 AM
Think Green's Avatar
Think Green Think Green is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Arkansas--Mississippi flood plains
Posts: 2,694
Thank you Riggle,
IF this post isn't helpful to most, It is helpful to me.
A couple months ago, we laid 80 yds + a little of fescue blend sod to a parcel of lawn that is mostly rock, some silt and 65% shade. We applied 5 1/2 cu.yds. topsoil to the rocky area for a root bed. The area is 30X30.
Fertilizer was not used at the time of installation. A couple weeks after the sod became webbed into the soil, things were well........deep green color,etc. The heat poured on and the color faded fast. Two weeks later, the company that fertilizes this lawn applied 46/0/0 to this blended bermuda / zoysia lawn and evidently the urea got a hold of the fescue. You can imagine that a root probe is useless in this case of rock at such a shallow depth. In my case, the roots don't extend any deeper than at least one inch. If it weren't for the irrigation, this sod would have perished anyway.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-21-2013, 10:05 PM
foreplease's Avatar
foreplease foreplease is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: St. Joseph, MI
Posts: 1,160
Did that get you about 2" of top soil as a base Think Green? Man, I am sorry about the urea mishap. Sounds like a difficult site long term.

Good pictures, Riggle. Scary how much things have shrunk up. I just took on a football field that is well over 50% weeds, is mowed way too short, and has not had any fertilizer, weed control, aeration, etc. for 7-8 years. It is a rich soil but compaction is surprisingly not a problem (not a big one anyway). Anyway, I pulled some plugs at the end of June for a soil test and cut some larger holes with a cup-setter to have a look under the hood. Rooting was fairly good then but has shrunk up considerably in the last 3 weeks.

Somewhere (Sports Filed Forum probably) I posted some root mass photos from seed trials I ran a couple years ago. It is apples to oranges as I was looking for which blend had the best roots and it was late September or October from a late August or early September planting.

You sure have gotten curious in retirement! Interesting stuff.
__________________
Michigan PABL
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-22-2013, 07:12 PM
Think Green's Avatar
Think Green Think Green is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Arkansas--Mississippi flood plains
Posts: 2,694
foreplease,
has anyone considered the use of hydretain? I am curious as to the bottom line of holding in water at the root system during drought conditions.
The science has to be conducted for all turf grass types unless it already has.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-23-2013, 12:50 AM
foreplease's Avatar
foreplease foreplease is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: St. Joseph, MI
Posts: 1,160
Hmm...I would like to know too. Never heard of it until your post above. I Googled it and wastched a short video on it. It looks good but it is a sales video after all.

I have used wetting agents quite a few time. I would like to know how thus product works different from a wetting agent. I have several big area where I could conduct a good test. Maybe I will if we do not get any opinions here. Thanks for pointing it out.
__________________
Michigan PABL
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-23-2013, 08:00 PM
RigglePLC's Avatar
RigglePLC RigglePLC is online now
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Grand Rapids MI
Posts: 9,164
Today I got some root cores of a nearby Bermuda grass lawn. Yes, we have a few spots of it in Michigan. I found a similar situation. There dense roots were about 2 inches deep, there were a few very fine roots up to about 4 inches deep, but...many times the cores just fell apart, as the roots were sparse and very thin.
I am not sure if this is a good method to determine the rooting depth. Temperatures were above 90 most of last week. We have had occasional showers.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-23-2013, 08:22 PM
agrostis agrostis is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Winston-Salem NC
Posts: 1,658
If you want to get complicated about root mass, try a rhizotron.

http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...20&q=rhizotron
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-24-2013, 09:36 AM
RigglePLC's Avatar
RigglePLC RigglePLC is online now
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Grand Rapids MI
Posts: 9,164
And here is the30-second time-lapse movie of root activity over a period of two years in Michigan. Not turf, forest soil conditions.
http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/research/facilities/rhizotron/
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-24-2013, 01:18 PM
44DCNF 44DCNF is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Northern Illinois
Posts: 1,396
If you want to study root depth check out the Land Institute in Salina Ks.

In N.E. IL, I've dug up bermuda roots (from Michigan stock invading my lawn- brought in on neighbors tree ball), from two and half feet deep, and the finer roots probably went deeper.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:33 AM.

Page generated in 0.08344 seconds with 10 queries