Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Applied and Environmental Biology

Committee Chair

Rakesh S Chandran


Experiments were established in fall 2003 at West Virginia University to evaluate the effects of incorporation of composted poultry litter (CPL) on subsoil physical and chemical properties, Kentucky bluegrass ( Poa Pratensis L.) establishment, root depth, and weed pressure. Twenty cm of topsoil was removed and CPL was incorporated to a depth of 12.7 cm at 10%, 20%, and 40% v/v prior to seeding or sodding. Composted plots were compared to N-fertilized (454 Kg ha-1) and control plots. Positive linear increases in total water content (thetaT), organic matter, pH, and CEC were observed following compost incorporation with a decrease in available water (Av) and soil bulk density. Kentucky bluegrass yields and root depth increased linearly with compost rates. One year after seeding, all compost-treated plots exhibited 100% turf cover. Fertilized plots showed 20% less turfgrass growth than control plots and exhibited weed pressure similar to the control. Overall, compost treatments were able to maintain superior turf cover and quality with lower weed populations compared to fertilized and control plots by improving soil physical and chemical properties.