This research project evaluates the use of different types of turfgrass fertilizers and their impacts on nutrient runoff and leaching. The project compares nutrient losses from turfgrass fertilized with natural, synthetic and compost fertilizer sources to unfertilized turfgrass, as well as measuring the impact of cultural practices like aeration, clipping recycling, and overseeding.
The project compared the effect of five different maintenance programs, based on real-life situations, on: turfgrass quality, nutrient losses through runoff and leaching, soil moisture and temperature, and soil fertility level.
Results from the study show that properly maintained turfgrass reduces runoff volume and P losses compared to unmaintained turf. These results will be helpful to government agencies and municipalities considering the implementation of bylaws to restrict the use of fertilizers on turfgrass to protect water bodies. Our results will also be helpful for Canadian sod growers by promoting the positive environmental impact that healthy turfgrass can have to improve water quality.