soil testing

A quick geographical estimate of MLSN reach

Three years ago I used the country field from the MLSN newsletter subscription list to do a rough geographical analysis of those using MLSN. I found it most understandable, given the information available, to express the reach of MLSN in terms of the number of golf facilities per subscriber in various countries.

Have we been doing it all wrong? Soil testing and composite samples

After I wrote the seven part series about soil sampling for turfgrass, I formatted the posts into an easy-to-read 11 page PDF brochure. The take-home message is yes, we’ve been doing it wrong.

Variation in rootzone organic matter (humus) from point to point on the same green

Anything resembling thatch or mat is explicitly excluded from the soil organic matter measurement made on routine soil nutrient analyses. That portion of soil organic matter is excluded because it is not measured.

How much does total organic matter vary within the same green?

There’s a ton of work done to modify the soil organic matter of turfgrass surfaces. Fertilizer, water, and increased light will allow the grass to grow and naturally increase the organic matter in the soil.

Four more sources for MLSN information

In my recent “How MLSN Works” seminar—slides here—I mentioned some other ways to learn more about MLSN. The four items I recommended are: The Humbug movie which explains MLSN and includes discussions with turfgrass managers who have used it.

Brand new MLSN webinar this Friday

I’ll be teaching a webinar on Friday, May 22, at 10 a.m. New York time, about How MLSN Works. The webinar is for the Amplify network and is free and open to everyone.

A new article about MLSN fertilization on golf courses

There is a new article about MLSN by Trygve Aamlid and Karin Juul Hessels√łe, available in three languages (including English) on the STERF website. I think this article is excellent.

It is difficult to run a fertilizer down the field when the corn is six feet high

I was reading the “Cultural Aspects of Disease Management” chapter in Management of Turfgrass Diseases by Dr. Vargas and came across this gem about soil pH: “Most of the literature tells you that the soil pH should be maintained at the optimum level for turfgrass growth (between 6 and 7).

Why soil pH should usually be kept above 5.5

I almost always recommend keeping the soil pH above 5.5. This minimizes soluble aluminum in the soil, which can be toxic to roots. Get the soil pH above 5.5, and the soluble aluminum won’t be very soluble anymore—it drops almost to 0.

Winter grass color, zoysia, and soil

I was in Fukuoka last weekend and enjoyed the mid-winter weather and the seasonal colors of the turf. This is what golf courses in Japan look like in the winter.