Turf conditions, efficiency, and the 'Grammar of Greenkeeping'

Topdressing. Mowing. Irrigation. Fertilizing. Fungicides. All these maintenance practices should produce good turf, right? They usually do. But have you ever seen a situation where the most intensively maintained turf on a property ends up with substandard conditions? In that case, something has gone wrong with the application of those maintenance practices.

In a seminar at the WCTA conference, I explained how I use the grammar of greenkeeping to make a site specific plan for how much of these maintenance practices are required, and when. Careful attention to this invariably leads to two things.

  1. Turf conditions get better for the same amount of work being done. That’s improved conditions and improved efficiency.

  2. Turf conditions remain the same and are produced with less work. That’s just improved efficiency.

The slides for the seminar are here.

This approach to turfgrass management work is described in A Short Grammar of Greenkeeping.

This provides a somewhat standardized language for thinking about and communicating about greenkeeping work. One can use this grammar to compare the work done on different areas of the same site – greens and fairways, for example, almost certainly require a different growth rate and require different amounts of work – and to compare the work that is done to turfgrass anywhere in the world. By doing this, one can see improving turf conditions, can make those improvements systematically and in full control of the turf, and maybe even do so with less work.

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