The soiled thoughts of an aspiring superintendent

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Healthy Turfgrass November 23, 2009

Filed under: DTM 1500 (Turf Communications) Semester One — Graham J. Wieja @ 9:28 am

There are six components required for healthy turfgrass. Air, water, light, soil, temperature, and traffic all have an affect on the health of your turf. Proper management is required in order to cope with the stresses your grass will have to the components.

Adequate air flow and irrigation are obvious essentials to healthy turf. Light and temperature are also extremely important. Soil and traffic are commonly overlooked when it comes to healthy playing surfaces. Good root zones (soil) allow for grass roots to penetrate deeply and evenly. This provides a more drought tolerant plant. It can access water more readily and have better access available nutrients. Thick, prospering turf will crowd out weeds and have better resistance to pests.

Concentrated foot and cart traffic is detrimental to turf. Good playing surfaces are comprised of proper site selection as well as proper construction and management. Although cultural practices are avaialbe to alleviate the compaction of soil due to traffic, proper routing of traffic is your best choice.

All of the components to healthy turfgrass are important. I feel that soil quality and its’ compaction that is traffic related is commonly overlooked. Of course when evaluating the surroundings of a playing surface you would consider what you can see: sunlight, amount of irrigation, air movement, and temperature. Commonly overlooked is what is going on underneath what we can see. Root zone quality is essential to the plant’s growth and nutrient supply. A lot of the products superintendents apply to their turf is easily leachable. This increases the importance of the turf’s root zones because of the amount of money being expended. When you increase the compaction you decrease the quality of your product. It begins to be detrimental to your property, and your career alike.

Foot Traffic Routing
http://www.cybergolf.com/golf_news/warren_spots_asks_how_can_you_avoid_poor_turf_around_greens

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