Effects of soil reinforcing materials on the surface hardness, soil bulk density, and water content of a sand root zone

A. S. McNitt, P. J. Landschoot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This study was conducted to determine the effect of various types and rates of soil reinforcing materials on soil bulk density, soil water content, surface hardness, and turfgrass density of a high-sand root zone exposed to three levels of simulated traffic (wear). Six soil reinforcing materials were mixed at varying rates with a high-sand root zone. These included DuPont Shredded Carpet, Netlon, Nike Lights, Nike Heavies, Turfgrids, and Sportgrass. Three levels of wear were imposed on each treatment. The types and rates of reinforcing materials had varying effects on surface hardness, bulk density, water content, and turf density of the root zone. Surface hardness and soil bulk density were correlated during the 2-yr test period (r = 0.63). The reinforcing treatments that lowered soil bulk density and surface hardness were DuPont Shredded Carpet, Nike Lights, and Nike Heavies. Reinforcing material treatments that increased or did not affect soil bulk density generally resulted in increased surface hardness compared with nonamended controls. These treatments included Netlon and Turfgrids. Surface hardness generally became more pronounced as the level of wear increased for Netlon, Turfgrids, and Sportgrass treatments. The Sportgrass treatment consistently measured lower in soil water content than the control and had a turfgrass density lower than the control on all rating dates in 1996 but did not differ from the control in 1997. Athletic field managers considering using reinforcing materials should be aware that the type of material and rate influence athletic field surface hardness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)957-966
Number of pages10
JournalCrop Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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