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Executive Summary

The University of Washington has over 161 acres of turf grass.  Grounds maintenance, at the University applies a custom, slow release chemical fertilizer (F-6 Wil-Grow Wil-Cote Custom-CFM 25-0-5) for all turf applications. Chemical fertilizers can be detrimental to the environment and to the long term health of soils. With global warming at the forefront of scientific research, it is imperative that alternative, environmentally friendly lawn care systems are implemented. Revising the fertilizer plan for the lawns is a potentially important step for grounds management to undertake.

This project attempts to quantify the effects of endophytes (microorganisms that live within plants) on turf grass in the field. The Doty lab, at the School of Environmental and Forest Science, have isolated endophytes from poplar plants. These endophytes have shown to increase plants drought tolerance and decrease their reliance on nitrogen fertilizers. This project will analyze if inoculating the lawns with endophytes can decrease the amount of water and chemical fertilizers that are used by grounds management. 

Primary Contact:
Michael Bradshaw