I was in northern Idaho this week to participate in the Northwest GCSA Expo. I gave two presentations.
In the first, Turf Around the World, I explained how the things I’ve learned as I have traveled around the world led to the way I’m thinking about turfgrass management right now.
I wrote about those ways of thinking about turfgrass management in this post. To summarize what I said:
- Sometimes grass is surprisingly good, and sometimes all the maintenance in the world doesn’t produce the desired surface. Are there some underlying principles that can lead to good turf?
- I think there are, and that can be described in the ways that the growing environment is modified to create the desired playing conditions. Do that, and one can optimize the conditions (and the efficiency of the work) at any site.
- Assuming one has done that successfully, then an even easier way to think of the work is to describe it as modifying the growth rate of the grass. And another expression of that is to look at the ratio of conditions produced to the amount of work required to produce them.
In my second presentation, about the applications and implications of clipping volume measurement, I explained why I think it is useful to put a number to how much the grass is growing.
To summarize what I said in this presentation:
- If one thinks of turf management as adjusting the growth rate, then it can be especially useful to know just what the growth rate is.
- It doesn’t take much time to measure the volume of clippings from putting greens. I used to think this was a silly measurement, but the particular case of preparing korai putting greens for tournament play quickly convinced me that these data are extremely useful.
- There are a lot of other applications of this other than tournament preparation.
- These applications can lead to improved turf conditions and more efficient work.
Next up for me is a visit with the Associação Portuguesa de Greenkeepers at their Congress next month. I’ll be talking there about clipping volume again, and I’m going to try to make the case more clearly. I don’t think I convinced many people at the Northwest GCSA Expo that this is a thing to do. I’ll also be speaking in Portugal about “Just What the Grass Requires.” That’s an explanation of how one can get a site specific nutrient requirement with a built-in safety buffer for any grass, at any location, by making use of the MLSN nutrient guidelines. And if I have time, I’ll also give a summary of the Global Soil Survey, in a talk about “What Kind of Soils are Producing Good Turf Today.”