I just bought a plane ticket to Manchester

Minchinhampton Old Course

I’ll be making my second trip to Harrogate next month, and this time I get to lead some discussions about turfgrass management. The seminar schedule and booking form is here. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, and I’m really excited about this opportunity to share, in person, many of the ideas I’ve been working on recently.

Here’s a quick preview of my talks.

Turf Conditions and Optimal Efficiency with the Grammar of Greenkeeping

In this one day workshop, I’ll explain the common sense approach to turfgrass management that I call the grammar of greenkeeping.

I’ve written a couple books about this – A Short Grammar of Greenkeeping is the one available in English – and in this workshop I’ll show what this is all about and how it makes a great framework from which to optimize turf conditions.

It’s about understanding how grass grows at your site, and then doing only what is required, or doing what will have a benefit to the grass. We’ll start by talking about things that we can all agree on, and then quickly get into some subjects that are a bit more complicated – or controversial. But that’s because they are new. Or different. And that makes it a fun and thought-provoking discussion.

Principles of Turfgrass Nutrition: Why Some Nutrients Are Required as Fertiliser and Others Aren’t

This is a half-day workshop, which is just enough time to cover this important topic. I won’t talk much about the function of nutrients, because I take an approach to this topic that goes like this. If the grass is supplied with enough of an element, then adding more of that element will provide no benefit.

So it doesn’t really matter what the function of the element is, because whatever that function is, it will be fully realized in the plant when there is enough of that element supplied. So how can one be sure that there is enough? That’s what this is all about.

Green Speed Is More Than a Number

This one is only an hour, and that’s probably a good thing, because it is going to be a lot of numbers. But what fascinating numbers they are!

Golf course putting greens sit on a large piece of property. The maintenance will be pretty much the same from green to green, but the speed varies a little, doesn’t it? Actually, I can even measure the green speed on the left side of the green, and get for example 8 feet, and then go to the right side of the green and measure 8 feet and 6 inches. I’m going to discuss what is normal in terms of variation within greens, and from green to green, and how this variation can be assesed, understood, and put to good use.

Using and Understanding MLSN Guidelines for Nutrient Recommendations

In this two hour session, we will discuss why the MLSN guidelines were developed, what they are, and how they are used. I’ve sometimes said that soil testing for turfgrass is broken, and then gone on to explain what I mean by broken and how the MLSN guidelines get around that problem.

It is broken in this sense. Imagine this situation.

The grass is fine.

You send in the soil test.

Get the report back.

Some elements are low.

Oh no!

You need to apply them.

The grass is still fine of course, but you apply them because the soil test says they are low and thus required.

After the elements are applied, the turf is still fine.

Turf performance hasn’t changed.

Do that year after year and one starts to wonder what it’s all about. MLSN aims to be a logical, open, and regularly updated approach, based on the soils fine turf is grown in today, and based on the way turf is managed today, to ensure the turf is supplied with all the nutrients it can use.

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