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Completed project

Effectively utilising water allocations for managing turfgrass in open spaces (TU11012)

Key research provider: The University of Western Australia
Publication date: Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What was it all about?

This four-year project investigated how to best manage water allocations to turfgrass in public open spaces to maximise community benefits and use of these areas. This is particularly important as the industry faces continued pressure to reduce water use in the face of future restrictions due to climate change and population growth.  

Overseen by the University of Western Australia Turf Research Facility, the project investigated how watering amounts, watering schedules and the use of soil wetting agents affected turfgrass growth and quality.

The research found warm-season turfgrasses, such as kikuyu, could be maintained in low wear situations on 7500kL a hectare per year. Below this turfgrass colour and growth decreased, particularly in dry summers.

For two water allocations (7500kL/ha per year and 6250kL/ ha per year), applying a soil wetting agent markedly improved turfgrass colour during summer months by decreasing water repellence and increasing soil water content.

The project also found ‘budgeting’ or determining monthly watering rates, based on historical monthly evaporation and rainfall data, was a simple and effective approach to maintaining turfgrass on a water allocation. Adjusting the watering rate to reflect these components allowed turfgrass managers to save water for later in the season. 

Related levy funds


Funding statement:
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2015. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).