Turfgrass Science News

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Updated: 5 hours 15 min ago

Drought tolerance of consumer-available seed mixtures

May 20, 2019 - 7:19pm

By Florence Sessoms

The presence of lawns in urban environments is sometimes viewed negatively: too many chemical inputs that result in environmental pollution. I also have observed a popular misconception about irrigation on home lawns: irrigation is compared to the Danaides’ barrel, a bottomless pit where water is forever added and lost.

Save the date - Flowering Bee Lawn Field Day

May 14, 2019 - 2:42pm

Come see an established bee lawn and learn about installation, maintenance, bee diversity, and park visitor support of this effort.

University of Minnesota Turfgrass team in the media 5/9/19

May 9, 2019 - 1:49pm

Check out our team’s latest efforts in educating the public about our work!  We have a research article, a research report, and an upcoming talk at a meeting.

Buffering Capacity of Snow on Soil Temperatures

April 22, 2019 - 9:18pm

By Dominic Christensen

This winter provided some fascinating differences in soil temperatures among our roadside turfgrass mixture testing locations. Each site is equipped with a weather station that is collecting precipitation, air temperature, soil moisture, soil temperature, and electrical conductivity

Chemical de-icer safety on putting greens

April 18, 2019 - 9:36am

By Andrew Hollman

Minnesota experiences winter weather that can vary dramatically from year to year. The 2018 to 2019 winter started early and offered us ice, extremely cold temperatures, and record snowfall for the month of February. The impact that this has on turfgrass won’t be evident until the snow melts and the grass begins to grow.  The melt of the snow and regrowth of our research putting greens in the spring of 2011 presented us with grim view.  

Did my lawn survive the winter?

April 16, 2019 - 11:08am

By Jon Trappe

Many people associate harsh winters with heavy snowfalls.  From a plant’s perspective, snow can actually protect the plant from extreme low temperatures by acting as a form of insulation.  Despite the recent winter storm in April and record snowfall in February, the majority of winter 2018-19 was below average precipitation, with much of the state having below average to no snow cover for most of December and January. 

GPS athlete performance tracking devices for...sports field management?

April 10, 2019 - 11:24am

By Chase Straw

Athlete performance tracking devices are becoming prevalent in team sports at the professional and collegiate levels. An individual device is small (~3 x 1.5 inches) and usually inserted into a vest that holds it to an athlete’s upper back. They measure several variables regarding athlete performance during competition while on a sports field, such as distance covered, top speed, sprint count, acceleration, and deceleration.

Using gene expression in turfgrass breeding

April 3, 2019 - 12:45pm

by Yinjie Qiu

Turfgrass grows in a complex environment that is full of stresses. For example, in the summertime, turfgrasses may be under abiotic stresses such as heat and drought stress. Some biotic stresses, such as summer patch and dollar spot disease, can occur at the same time. Situations like this cause stress for golf course superintendents and other turf managers. Some of these problems could be solved by cultural management methods; however, these methods can be labor intensive and expensive.

University of Minnesota Turfgrass team in the media 3/7/19

March 7, 2019 - 8:54am

Check out our team’s latest efforts in educating the public about our work!  We have a poster presentation and talks at a workshop.

Using Program R to analyze important turfgrass traits

March 3, 2019 - 8:34pm

By Garett Heineck

In my previous blog post, I discussed open source and commercial software that turfgrass scientists currently use to assess different variables.  In this post, I will introduce a new image analysis technique that has been developed at the University of Minnesota using program R.

New online training offered: Installation and Management of Roadside Turfgrass

February 28, 2019 - 3:49pm

Roadside turfgrass plays many important roles in the environment that include public safety, water quality, erosion prevention, cooling in urban areas, dust reduction, and aesthetics.  The UMN Turfgrass Science Team has developed a unique new online training course on the installation and management of this important part of the landscape. 

Image analysis tools for turfgrass managers and scientists

February 26, 2019 - 8:38am

By Garett Heineck

Visual assessment of turfgrass stands is done, intentionally or passively, by anyone who owns or maintains lawns. Turfgrass scientists, golf course superintendents and sports field managers intentionally collect data on turf for various purposes, while homeowners may casually observe their lawns making only mental notes. Automated data collection methods can replace visual assessment of several traits such as winter survival and disease incidence  

University of Minnesota Turfgrass team in the media 2/18/19

February 18, 2019 - 1:52pm

Check out our team’s latest efforts in educating the public about our work!  We have a podcast and several upcoming presentations at regional conferences.

Making sense of light data: Light quality

February 10, 2019 - 7:45pm

By Dominic Petrella

Shade can be stressful for turfgrasses due to decreasing photosynthesis, causing turfgrass to produce leaves that are more susceptible to traffic damage and disease incidence.  Turfgrasses grown in shade may not perform very well due to decreased density.  While we understand that shade is stressful, it’s commonly forgotten that there are two different types of shade, qualitative shade and quantitative shade (both having different properties) that can lead to these detrimental changes in turfgrass growth. 

University of Minnesota Turfgrass team in the media 2/8/19

February 8, 2019 - 9:15am

Check out our team’s latest efforts in educating the public about our work. We have an upcoming presentation on irrigation from Dr. Dan Sandor and a research report with results from our Regional Optimization of Roadside Turfgrass Seed Mixtures project.

If you build it, who will come? Evaluating the diversity of bees in flowering lawns

February 3, 2019 - 7:58pm

By James Wolfin

When you close your eyes, and envision the “perfect” front lawn, what comes to mind?  If I had to guess, I’d imagine that you are envisioning a lush, low-cut grass, with a deep green color that is uniform and free of weeds across the entirety of the landscape.  What the average land manager or homeowner may not consider is: How can we support our pollinators within the turf lawn?