Preventing nutrient deficiencies


The recording of my webinar on preventing nutrient deficiencies is now available in the videoteca section of the Campus del Césped website.

Or watch the English version right here.

This was fun. I hope you'll read the handout too. It is only 4 pages, with lots of white space, and gives a brief overview of this important topic. If you are still interested, then watch the video of the webinar at your leisure, and watch or download the slides too.

Links in English

Links in Spanish

Another interesting technique to modify fairway conditions

I've seen introduction of seashore paspalum to bermudagrass, and manilagrass to bermudagrass, by hand planting the introduced species into slices cut into the exisiting turf. This post shows seashore paspalum planted into a bermudagrass fairway using that technique.

I've also seen resodding to convert to a different grass, but in a way that doesn't require course closure.

At PGA Catalunya, hybrid bermudagrass was introduced into the creeping bentgrass fairways. These photos show the fairways in 2016, five years after the bermudagrass was added.


The idea was to improve fairway conditions in summer with the bermudagrass, due to the poor irrigation water quality. I've been impressed with the fairway conditions at PGA Catalunya, and also with the technique used to introduce the bermuagrass. These videos of the technique are shared on course superintendent David Bataller's YouTube page.


What technique was used at PGA Catalunya?

First, simulated divots were made in the bentgrass fairways using an aerifier fitted with custom "tines".

Second, a rotovator or landscape tiller was used to make a divot mix from certified Tifway 419 sod and sand.

Third, the divots in the bentgrass fairways were filled with the bermudagrass divot mix.

The result is improved fairway performance during the summer, due to the presence of bermudagrass. And with this technique, the improvement was accomplished rapidly, without closing the course, and used a relatively small amount of purchased sod.


Burning grass



Posted by 岡山後楽園 on Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Korakuen in Okayama is one the three great gardens of Japan, and I like it especially because of its expansive noshiba (Zoysia japonica) lawns. In early February every year, a shiba yaki (grass burning) ceremony is held at Korakuen, when the lawns are burned.

The video above shows the ignition of a lawn. The Facebook page of Korakuen has more photos of the shiba yaki ceremony this year.


Posted by 岡山後楽園 on Wednesday, February 3, 2016

It is pretty amazing how strange it looks before the lawns start to grow again.


Posted by 岡山後楽園 on Wednesday, February 3, 2016

For more about grass burning in Japan, see:

"One aspect of golf that we never promote is the health aspect"

When I watched the Golf Club Atlas interviews with Don Mahaffey last year, I was struck by the comments Don made about the health benefits of golf. Watch them here, starting at the 14:50 mark:

Don mentions things that are known to be good for health -- walking, spending time with other people, spending time in nature, solving puzzles.

That, he says, describes playing 9 holes of golf, but "no one is talking about that sort of thing, about the health benefits of golf ... I've never heard it packaged like that, anywhere, and I think there's opportunity there to change the image of pesticide, chemical, too much water and all of these things that we get branded with. And we talk about sustainability and we're using too much water and all of these things, but golf is good for you."

He's right, and after hearing his comments, I've been more attentive to articles on this subject. Here's a list I've enjoyed reading:

Can you imagine?

At Real Club de Golf El Prat, host of this week's Spanish Open, 3,600 trees fell in a violent windstorm on 9 December. The club has shared this video that shows the scale of the damage, and the impressive work that was done in the aftermath of the storm.

RCGEP Viento diciembre from Real Club de Golf El Prat on Vimeo.

That the playing surfaces are in such fine condition this week, after having to deal with the storm damage and all the disruption that caused, shows the skill and effort of the greenkeeping staff at the club.

View from the 10th tee

At the 1st tee, 6 months after the storm that felled 3,600 trees

Creeping bentgrass on the 1st fairway at Real Club de Golf El Prat

MLSN webinar on TurfNet


The recorded webinar MLSN Guidelines: what they are, and how to use them is now available for viewing in the TurfNet webinar archives.

Direct link to watch the MLSN Guidelines webinar.

There were some questions about how to convert the results from other testing methods to an equivalent value by the Mehlich 3 extraction method. I am going to prepare an explanatory document about this topic, but for now, please see this link:

Conversion equations from the Cornell Nutrient Management Spear program

Here are direct links to other websites I mentioned in the webinar:

"Grow really great turfgrass without dealing with this kind of craziness"

Selection_083Bill Kreuser gave a webinar about soil tests for TurfNet, putting a lot of clear information into this one hour discussion, and closed it out by explaining how he would go about making use of soil tests.

If you are interested in this topic, and would like to know more about soil tests and how the data are generated and the results can be interpreted, you'll really enjoy this webinar. Bill has plenty to say about the right way and the wrong way to do this. Some test results are nonsense. As Bill put it, "you can grow really great turfgrass without dealing with this kind of craziness."

More TurfNet archived webinars here.

A humorous, numbered, and long one: "I'm not an enthusiast for diversity of opinion where factual matters are concerned"

I'm going to throw all kinds of things together here.

1. This post on Pitchcare shows that there is a diversity of opinion about turfgrass nutrition and the interpretation of soil tests.

2. I received a question about that particular post, tried to answer it here, and it ended up being quite a lengthy discussion on a range of topics (see the comments section at the bottom too).

3. My approach to turfgrass nutrition specifically, and turfgrass management generally, is that it is simple, but not easy; if we can identify the principle factors influencing turfgrass performance, and modify them, we will be making great progress toward our goal of producing the desired turfgrass surfaces. When it comes to turfgrass nutrition, I suggest making sure that soil nutrient levels are kept above the MLSN guideline levels.

We are very open about how we develop these guidelines, which data are used, what our assumptions are, and we even share the code we use to generate the guidelines. We study this topic intensively, and we only recommend or suggest nutrient application when we are confident it will have an effect on turfgrass performance. This approach reminds me of these comments by Richard Dawkins on facts vs. opinion:

I don't give a damn for anybody's opinion; I only care about the facts. So I'm not an enthusiast for diversity of opinion where factual matters are concerned.

Watch/listen to Dawkins here.

4. I spoke with Frank Rossi on TurfNet RADIO about turfgrass nutrition and nutrient guidelines. This conversation is about facts, and doesn't give a damn for opinions. If you do turfgrass maintenance, you should be aware of what we talked about.

5. I've been writing here since January of 2009, and I've never mentioned BCSR. I make an exception today, to share this point by Max Schlossberg (with counterpoint from Joel Simmons) about how soil tests are done and interpreted and how fertilizer recommendations are made.

Max has an account on Twitter now. I'm excited about that because he has great insight to share about turfgrass nutrition. And a lot of other things too, but I'm especially counting on him to correct me when I err.

6. Turf nutrition doesn't have to be that complicated. Turf maintenance in general doesn't have to be that complicated. You can think it is complicated if you want to. I take the approach that we try to modify the growing environment of the turfgrass to create the desired playing surface, and we take special care to control the growth rate of the grass. If we do those things, which in principle are simple, but which in practice may require a lot of work, we achieve the desired turfgrass conditions.

I am not going to rewrite all on these topics here. If you are interested, read more of the other posts on this blog. But please do contrast the simplicity of the approach I describe, and the MLSN approach, to the more complicated description here:

And it continues here:

Actually, those complicated descriptions of nonsense weren't about turfgrass fertilizer. But you may have heard or read descriptions of turfgrass products and maintenance that were approaching that level of complexity. It really shouldn't be like that.

7. Everyone probably knows about Occam's razor. I had a great discussion about this with John Bladon last month. If you don't know what this is, you can read about it here.