SPECIES AND GROWING MEDIA FOR SPORTS TURFS IN MEDITERRANEAN AREA
Mediterranean climate is characterized by mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. Due to these climatic conditions the region is considered as a transition zone. Summer drought and high temperatures as well as low temperatures during winter have a tremendous importance in the choice of the turfgrass species and the selection of the proper growing medium. Cool-season turfgrasses such as Lolium perenne and Poa pratensis are commonly used in Italy for sports turfs but their water requirements are demanding. Festuca arundinacea is the most promising cool-season turfgrass for the Mediterranean region. Warm-season turfgrasses (Cynodon spp., Seashore paspalum and Zoysia spp.) could be used more extensively as a water conservation strategy. However winter dormancy is the most important drawback of these species and, in order to obtain evergreen turfs, overseeding with cool-season turfgrasses is required. Increased water efficiency could also be achieved by introducing internally porous materials both as amendments for rootzone mixes and as an alternative to sand based growing media. The large availability of internally porous volcanic materials (lava, pumice and zeolites) in Southern Italy allows their use as rootzone media since their hydraulic conductivity is similar to that of the sand while their cation exchange capacity is typical of a soil. Comparisons between silica and porous sand carried out in field trials showed good performance of volcanic materials used as growing media. Nevertheless further research is needed to assess the mechanical stability and the resistance to weathering.
Volterrani, M. and Magni, S. (2004). SPECIES AND GROWING MEDIA FOR SPORTS TURFS IN MEDITERRANEAN AREA . Acta Hortic. 661, 359-364
Festuca arundinacea, Cynodon dactylon, overseeding, lava, pumice, zeolite