There is a lack of plant response to fertilizer K in some sandy soils even though routine soil tests for soil available K are shown to be low. This lack of plant response to K fertilizer application may be explained by K release from nonexchangeable forms. Greenhouse and laboratory experiments were conducted to evaluate (a) response of bentgrass (Agrostis palustris [Agrostis stolonifera var. palustris]) cv. Pencross grown in rootzones with different sand sources to K fertilizer application and (b) K release from nonexchangeable forms from the different sand sources as an index to K availability. Experimental variables in the greenhouse were 2 K levels (0 and 250 mg K/kg soil) and 8 sand rootzone sources. Rootzone soils were sub-irrigated to ensure no K loss from leaching. Two laboratory methods (boiling 1 M HNO3 extraction and continuous leaching with 0.01 M HCl) and total K uptake by the bentgrass were employed to index K release from nonexchangeable forms for each rootzone source. K fertilizer application significantly increased bentgrass yield growing in one rootzone source and root weight in 3 rootzone sources. K uptake by bentgrass and the 2 laboratory methods showed important differences in K release from the sand rootzones. The K removed by the 2 laboratory methods was closely related to leaf tissue K and K uptake, with the 1 M HNO3 extraction method providing the closest fit. The release of K from primary minerals in some rootzones with high sand content is proceeding at rates to satisfy bentgrass requirements for K. The 1 M HNO3 extraction method may provide an alternative to the routine laboratory procedures presently being used to measure the extractable K in sand-based constructed putting greens by measuring K contributed by nonexchangeable forms.
Dest, W. M. and Guillard, Karl, "Bentgrass response to K fertilization and K release rates from eight sand rootzone sources used in putting green construction." (2001). Plant Science Articles. Paper 13.