Frankly Speaking about turfgrass nutrition, the MLSN guidelines, & the GSS on TurfNet RADIO
"Nothing mysteriously beneficial in their formulas"

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.


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