Turfgrass Science News

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Updated: 9 hours 19 min ago

Soil surfactants and critical soil moisture content

July 16, 2019 - 1:34pm

by Ryan Schwab

Water-repellent soils are one of the challenges faced by golf course superintendents. This phenomenon can cause localized dry spots, which are areas of wilted turfgrass struggling from a rootzone with poor water infiltration, poor water retention, and non-uniform flow of water among other important soil characteristics. The potential or severity of soil water repellency may increase once the soil dries down to a specific level. Our team conducted research on soil water repellency as part of a MGCSA Member-Driven Research project involving the soil surfactant, Cascade Plus.

Turfgrass species characteristics for roadsides

July 9, 2019 - 12:27pm

By Dominic Christensen

Turfgrass species are often planted to revegetate roadsides after construction, especially in cities and urban areas. This article highlights the rationale for use of individual species along roadsides, their advantages, and disadvantages in Minnesota or in regions with a similar climate.

Flowering Bee Lawn Field Day Open House

June 26, 2019 - 9:57am

There is a lot of “buzz” about bee lawns lately, especially with the new law that Minnesota recently passed that will provide grants for homeowners to provide bee habitat. There is a great opportunity coming up to learn concrete ways to support bee pollinators in your yard.

University of Minnesota Turfgrass team in the media - 6/23/19

June 23, 2019 - 8:31pm

Check out our team’s latest efforts in educating the public about our work!  We have three articles, several podcasts and two public outreach events.

Assessment of rhizomatous growth in strong creeping red fescue for sustainable sod

June 20, 2019 - 10:39am

By Nicole Mihelich

Rhizomes are an important physiological feature for many turfgrasses, and thus may be a trait deserving of more focus to cool-season turfgrass breeding and improvement. These specialized stems can store sugars, water, and nutrients, allowing for resilience and competitiveness when filing in a lawn, and also when facing seasonal temperature and moisture variation and environmental stresses. Additionally, formation and interlocking of rhizomes is thought to be helpful when harvesting and transplanting thick mats of vegetation in sod production.

Different ways to visualize herbicide stress

June 17, 2019 - 9:56am

By Dominic Petrella

Most golf course putting greens in Minnesota are comprised of creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass, but other turfgrass species may be suitable alternatives.  The University of Minnesota turf research program has investigated the use of fine fescue grasses on putting greens, as these are seen as a low-input option compared to creeping bentgrass putting greens.  However, under certain circumstances, a greater amount of inputs may be required, such as herbicide to control weeds that may diminish the low-input attribute.

Grad student James Wolfin in Star Tribune article

May 30, 2019 - 8:55am

Graduate student James Wolfin was recently featured in a StarTribune article where he discusses how homeowners can have lawns, but still provide nectar resources for pollinators.

Bee lawn article in Washington Post

May 28, 2019 - 12:23pm

Graduate student James Wolfin was recently featured in an article in the Washington Post. It has highlights from his research on bee lawns, a joint project from The University of Minnesota Turfgrass Science team and the University of Minnesota Bee Lab.

University of Minnesota Turfgrass team in the media 5/23/19

May 23, 2019 - 12:53pm

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

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.