Field lysimeters of a sandy soil were amended to a depth of 100 mm with four rates (0, 5, 10 and 20%, wt/wt) of fly ash, and effects on soil water content, nutrient leaching, turf growth and nutrition, and uptake of trace elements by turf were assessed. Measurements were taken for 70 days for lysimeters either planted with rhizomes of Cynodon dactylon ( L.) Pers., cv. 'Wintergreen', or left bare. When irrigated daily, soil water content increased progressively with increasing rates of fly ash and leachate volumes were decreased by 17 - 52% for lysimeters containing fly ash amended soil. Fertiliser was applied equivalent to 28.4 g N m(-2) and 10.3 g P m(-2) for the entire 70 days ( including pre-plant application). Macronutrient concentrations in leaf tissue were within levels regarded as sufficient. Total dry mass ( root plus shoot) decreased when fertiliser application rates were reduced by 25%, irrespective of fly ash treatment. In 'bare' lysimeters containing fly ash amended soil, cumulative leaching of NO3-, NH4+ and P were 0.32 - 0.88 of the values in non-amended soil. When planted with turf, leaching of those nutrients was minimal ( equivalent to 3% of total N applied) and leaching loses did not differ among fly ash rates. Extractable soil P levels were increased 2.5 - 4.5-fold in the fly ash amended zone, compared with non-amended soil. Root mass in the top 100 mm was 1.2-1.5-fold larger for turf in fly ash amended soil, compared to non-amended soil. The Se concentrations were higher in leaf tissue grown in fly ash amended soil (being at most 0.63 mug g(-1)), but there was no effect of fly ash amended soil on As, Ba, B, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Pb, Hg, Mn, Ni, Ag or Zn in leaf tissues. Thus, fly ash amendment may be a suitable management option for turf culture on sandy soils, since fly ash improved soil water holding capacity and root growth in the amended zone.