Tuomey Turfgrass Consulting, LLC - Providing Expert Turfgrass & Horticulture Consulting Services
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Turfgrass Physiology

At ease.  Carry on. 
 
In the 6th century B.C., chinese general and military strategist Sun Tzu said, "...that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle."
 
I believe, before you can learn about the "operating environment" or "know your enemy", one must know one's self.  You must know your command, your subordinates.  You must know turfgrass.  Do you want your turfgrass to follow you through fire...or push you in?
 
A critical requirement for Turfgrass Warriors is to understand the troops under their command.  What are they made of?  Turfgrass Warriors need to know the capabilities and limitations of their Turfgrass. 
 
There are two major categories of flowering plants – monocotyledons (monocots) and dicotyledons (dicots).  Turfgrass is a monocot.  There are about ten differences between monocots and dicots - roots, embryo, root system, etc.  The big, noticable difference is: monocots have parallel leaf veins; dicots have reticulated (branched) leaf veins. 
 
Turfgrass seed has three parts: an embryo or immature grass plant, the endosperm and the seed coat.   As a seed matures, four basic circumstances must be satisfied in order for the seed to grow and germinate.   These conditions are: sufficient water, favorable temperature and oxygen.   In many cases, light is a fourth requirement. 
 
The turfgrass plant consists of a root system, shoots or stems and a crown.  A good turfgrass Soldier must have a basic understanding of turfgrass morphology and growth. 
To the left is a diagram of a mature turfgrass plant (Source: Penn State, College of Agricultural Sciences, 2013).  A mature, unmowed grass plant is composed of leaves, roots, stems, and a seed head.  The diagram shows these basic structures.  (BTW - My website is pretty cool.  If you click on these diagrams, they should pop out at you a little bigger.  You can close them by clicking on the "X" at the top right of the diagram or just click anywhere else on the web page.)  Keep in mind that some grass species do not have all the structures shown and that mowed grasses typically lack flower stems and seed heads.  As a rule of thumb, stolons are "runners" along the surface; rhizomes run below the surface.  Some plants don't stick to that rule of thumb, but, for the most part, turfgrass plants do.  Got it?  Keep these parts of turfgrass in mind, and maybe even refer back to this diagram, as we continue with our training.  Drive on with a purpose, Turfgrass Warrior.

4 Comments to Turfgrass Physiology:

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Brit on Sunday, March 17, 2013 1:32 PM
Great site - any advice for on cricket pitch's, my wicket is a little slow.
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Turfgrass Warrior on Sunday, March 17, 2013 4:26 PM
My Dear Brit, Thanks for the note. You are a great American....well, perhaps not. But, a fine person nonetheless. Happy Saint Patrick's Day by the way! "Pitchcare" is a critical facet of turfgrass management. In many places around the world, usually current or former UK colonies, or the UK itself, a pitch keeper who fails to exceed standards could be out of work rather quickly, much less tortured and sent to a penal colony - not unlike my forefathers. For cricket, you gotta have: adequate grass coverage, a very low level of weeds, the ground must be absolutely flat and there must be excellent drainage. We will not even think about discussing synthetic surfaces. That would be cheating before match even begins. The first step is very similar to what I do. A visual and chemcial assessment of the area is absoultely essential. Most clubs have pitches that have been there for many, many years. The old ones require just some regular maintenance. Starting a pitch from scratch is a completely different story. COMPLETE RENOVATION of the area is most likely required. That means leveling, tilling, creating a seed bed at least 2 inches (50mm) deep, ensuring the soil is at the proper pH and NPK levels, all sorts of things. Then I would recommend a "sports field" quality, perennial ryegrass (Lolium Perenne). Ryegrasses are VERY durable. Although a warm weather turfgrass, at many places in the UK, and around the globe, it is used rather well. Although ryegrass does not spread well laterally, the best part of this grass is it tolerates being mowed very low, down to about an inch (25.4mm). It also needs to be "over-seeded" every year - during the "off season". Soil compaction is also a problem with high activity turf areas no matter the turfgrass. No wearing of cleats with those whites, eh? One last thing. I think the absolutely most inportant piece of equipment you need is one of those huge rollers. Like a Zamboni is to the NHL...but for grass. See: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/923232 I hear one of those can go for a few "pounds". As for your "wicket", you may need a different kind of expert for that. Sleante'!
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Rickard on Sunday, December 13, 2015 6:17 PM
Quality articles is the important to invite the people to pay a visit the web page, that's what this site is providing.
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ozessay review on Tuesday, May 08, 2018 10:32 AM
You know a lot about the turfgrass. I haven't knew these facts before.
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