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World Cup on artificial turf?

In a press release from the World Cup last week, artificial turf took the spotlight away from natural grass in a sport that has been pro-natural grass made up of players that strongly prefer a natural surface an artificial one. Although second generation artificial fields have distinct advantages over their ‘astro’ predecessors, many soccer players feel the ball doesn’t roll and bounce as they’ve come to expect it to on natural grass, which changes the game in a negative way. Also, there is a lot of sliding in soccer games and artificial fields don’t ‘give’ as much in that regard, which can be annoying to players trying to maintain a consistent style of play. Abby Wambach, whose name is likely familiar and strongly associated with soccer in most of our minds, stepped into the spotlight to give her opinions on why she thinks playing the 2015 World Cup on artificial…

Want to avoid nutrient runoff?

Some interesting results have been compiled at the GCSAA TV website discussing an ongoing research project at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Brian Horgan at UMN has been involved in some great environmental concern-based research, and this study is one  I’ve heard about a few times and even had the pleasure of seeing the plots one time while visiting UMN. The main take-home message from this research is that yes, excessive P inputs in your turf do lead to higher rates of runoff, however, properly fertilized turf will actually prevent erosion and nutrient runoff from the surface of your turf.  And unfertilized turf is actually more susceptible to nutrient runoff.  I’ll let Brian do the talking:

Interactive Turfgrass Morphology Tool

For those who don’t know what morphology means, it is essentially the different parts of the turfgrass plant and those parts are how we distinguish one grass species from another. Parts like the inflorescence (flower head), leaf blade, root, collar, crown, sheath, auricle, vernation (veins in the leaf) usually have some sort of identifying characteristic that tells us, say, annual ryegrass from tall fescue—long, clasping auricles on the annual ryegrass, or a wider leaf blade on the tall fescue. As I was surfing this morning, I found a cool website with a neat tool for learning more about turfgrass morphology that was put together by Drs. David Gardner and Karl Danneberger, both from Ohio State University. There are other nice parts of the website, I would recommend spending time there brushing up before the season starts again. And, of course, if you have any questions about anything, please feel free…

Are we over-applying nutrients in turf?

I came across an interesting article this morning on the turf diseases website that confirms something I’ve been a proponent of for many years. In many areas of agriculture and horticulture, there is a tendency to apply whatever nutrients we think the plants need and not pay any attention to soil testing. It’s something I like to call ‘nutrient paranoia.’ Turf managers (and others) seem to think, for some reason, “the soil reports must be lying, because when I put down that extra two pounds of K last year, I thought I saw some sort of response.” When you apply a surplus of nutrients, you could be having an antagonistic effect on other nutrients within the system. Think of applying nutrients as trying to achieve a balance of nutrients in soil, not just applying what you think should be there or what worked in the past. Check out this link…

Goats on the course?

Mowing down unwanted vegetation… I have been in the golf business for nearly 20 years. Most of the time superintendents turn to mechanical means to manicure their rough areas but in some locations superintendents go back to golf’s roots and employ goats. Yes, you heard me, goats…check out how these two courses are using our four-legged friends to mow down some unwanted vegetation: Pasatiempo Golf Club (Santa Cruz, Ca) Hawks Tree Golf Club (Bismarck, ND)  


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