Posts Tagged ‘turf management’

An updated version of OMAFRA Publication 384 Protection Guide for Turfgrass is now available on the OMAFRA website (English & French).

p384orderf1 (more…)

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Turf Managers' Short Course

Crane flies hovering over your greens or yellow patch problems on your bentgrass? Join the Turf Managers’ Short Course on insect, disease and weed best management practices.

In four weeks, learn about the best turfgrass cultivars, techniques to grow turfgrass well and the options to manage insects, diseases and weeds including crane flies and yellow patch.

Join University of Guelph Faculty and industry professionals as they share their expertise, latest research and passion to create an intensive, lively and highly recognized course.

Meet the Instructor
Dr. Tom Hsiang  
– Professor, School of Environmental Sciences

Dr Tom Hsiang

Tom instructs courses on turf and tree disease identification and management. His research includes diseases of woody plants and turfgrasses, particularly snow molds.

For more information on turfgrass diseases and research projects, visit Dr. Hsiang’s website

Re-posted from University of Guelph’s Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support

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Protection Guide for Turfgrass publication cover photo

Protection Guide for Turfgrass

Integrated Pest Management for Turf

Integrated Pest Management for Turf


An updated version of the Protection Guide for Turfgrass, is now available on the OMAFRA website.  This publication lists crop protection products registered for turfgrass as of December 1, 2014. A big part of managing turf is knowing which crop protection products to use. This publication is a great resource for sod farmers, golf course superintendents, lawn care operators and sports field managers.  This publication, along with Integrated Pest Management for Turf, provides a complete reference package on turf IPM for Ontario.





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Submitted by: Rob Witherspoon, Director, Guelph Turfgrass Institute, robwith@uoguelph.ca

green rolling

Rolling does more than just increase green speed.

A few years ago, I was reviewing the task-scheduling program of a golf course in western Canada and came across a spring task called flintstone greens. Curiosity got the better of me and I contacted course staff to find out just what flintstoning was. It turns out that they had inherited a heavy asphalt roller from a contractor who had done work on their cart paths and found that it was ideal for smoothing out their greens after a hard Alberta winter. (Note: For those of you who didn’t wile away their youth watching Flintstones cartoons, or have wisely avoided seeing the John Goodman movie, here is a video illustrating the source of this reference https://youtu.be/2s13X66BFd8).

The practice of rolling has come and gone and come again in turf management. For many years aggressive rolling of turf areas was generally discouraged other than after seeding to firm up the seedbed or after sodding to improve sod to soil contact. In recent years, rolling has become a much more common practice on turf surfaces and specialized machines and machinery attachments have been designed for green, fairway and sports field rolling. Lawn rolling remains a lucrative spring service in the lawn care industry. Sod growers often roll in advance of harvest to increase the yield and quality of harvested sod. Let’s take a look at some points related to the role of rolling in turf management beyond seeding and sodding.

Smooth out heaving from the freeze/thaw cycle. This is the main reason we see rollers moving around residential neighbourhoods in the spring but it also applies to greens, tees, fairways and sports fields. On low-mown turf soring rolling can reduce mower scalping and improve ball roll early in the season.

Reduce localized dry spot and improve soil moisture retention. Rolling reduces the incidence of localized dry spot, increases soil moisture retention and turf root mass.

Disease Reduction. Dollar spot begins to appear around the same time as lilacs are in early to full bloom and iris are in early bloom. Both research and practical experience have shown that regular rolling results in a reduction in dollar spot severity and an extended period of protection from fungicide applications. Rolling is generally considered a superior method of dew removal and may contribute to reducing other diseases through reduced leaf wetness.

Lower the apparent height of cut without lowering the actual height of cut. On greens and fairways, turf managers claim that rolling allows them to provide faster greens and tighter lies at a higher height of cut than would be possible without rolling. Green speed measurements support this claim. Higher mowing height generally equates with healthier turf. Golf course superintendents may roll as a periodic substitute for a mow or add rolling to increase green speed especially for special events. There is also the practice of target rolling in the vicinity of the hole that increases golfer perception of green speed without rolling the entire putting surface.

Thatch reduction. When combined with sand topdressing, regular rolling is thought to reduce thatch accumulation by the grinding action of the sand particles on the thatch. The improved surface moisture retention may also facilitate the activity of thatch degrading microorganisms.

Smoothing greens and helping core holes close after aerification. Many superintendents routinely roll their greens after aerification to smooth the surface and speed up aeration hole closure. To the casual observer, rolling after aerating would seem counterintuitive as one of the reasons for aerating is to alleviate compaction and regular rolling would likely increase compaction. Recent research by Dr. Thomas Nikolai at Michigan State University indicates that rolling five times per week both improved green speed (2 feet faster after two weeks) and helped the aeration holes close faster. Soil cores taken at the end of the study showed no difference in soil compaction on the rolled versus unrolled plots.

Sustainability. As indicated above, a well-planned rolling program can be part of a money saving, pesticide reducing, sustainable turf management program by allowing higher and less frequent mowing, improving the conditions for growth and reducing disease pressure.

Rolling is not without risks. Avoid rolling during wet conditions especially on fine textured soils. Water acts as a lubricant for soil particles and rolling when the soil is wet can result in serious compaction issues. Routine rolling can also cause wear damage to turf particularly on the edge of greens with tight turning areas. Rolling should be avoided during times when the turf is under stress.

Do you flintstone your turf? What role does rolling play in your management program? Leave a reply/comment and let us know.

Further reading on rolling:

Binder, Nick. 2014. Rolling with the cool kids. Sports Turf Manager. Summer. 27(2): 1, 4-5. 30-37.

Nikolai, Thomas A. 2015. Weighing in on rolling after aerification. Golf Course Management. March. 83(3): p. 82.

Shaffer, Matthew G. 2014. Fairway management at Merion Golf Club. 2014 GCSAA Education Conference: Conference Session Presentations. p. [1-74].

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Finally…..one comprehensive resource for turf IPM in Ontario, Integrated Pest Management for Turf, is now available.

pub 845 Integrated Pest Management for Turf has been designed as a field handbook for golf courses, lawn care and the parks sector. It contains well over 100 colour photos of turf diseases and insects. It is recommended study material for the IPM accreditation exam for the Golf Course IPM Accreditation Program which is required under The Pesticides Act and Regulation 63/09 and is administered by the IPM Council of Canada. It contains extensive information on the diseases, insects, and weeds that are found in turf in Ontario, including a turf disease identification key, turf disease time profile, turf scouting calendar, turf insect injury key and an example of a pest scouting sheet. This publication, along with Protection Guide for Turfgrass provides a complete reference package on turf IPM for Ontario.

This publication combines the former Diseases and Insects of Turfgrass in Ontario and Turf IPM Manual. It contains information on turfgrass soil management and fertilizer use, turfgrass species and water management for turf. The Protection Guide for Turfgrass can be downloaded from the OMAFRA website.

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