Agronomy
Toronto's High Park and Lambton Park were the sites of prescribed burns on Tuesday, April 18 as part of a long-term management plan to protect and sustain the city's rare black oak woodlands and savannahs. The burns will help release seed and nutrients and remove invasive species.
Winter seasons in Atlantic Canada used to be predictable. Snow would arrive in the latter half of December and would remain until March when it would melt with rising spring temperatures.
Knowing when to prune a tree and how to do it properly as well as understanding why it must be done can make a significant difference in its lifespan and its structural integrity.
Winter temperatures that have soared into double digit figures this week in southern Ontario and other areas, including the U.S. midwest, could come with a price. Experts say the fluctuations in temperature without snow cover is apt to put stress on golf course turf and home lawns.
A Purdue University researcher has found that the amount of carbon deposited into the soil is affected by turfgrass species and how it is mowed.
This December, my crew and I were honoured by being named the 2016 Sports Turf Managers Association’s “Mowing Patterns Contest” winner for our opening day mowing pattern at Fifth Third Field, home to the Dayton Dragons (Class A affiliate, Cincinnati Reds).
Often is the case when an individual does his best work when faced with the pressure of a deadline. Such was the circumstance in Moncton, N.B., last summer when four natural turf soccer fields needed to be whipped into shape in time for the Canadian Under 14 Soccer Championships played in October.
For more than 25 years, Tim Fredericks has been designing irrigation systems. On Friday, Nov. 18, the partner in Fredericks McGuire Ltd., based in Bolton, Ont., shared his experiences in the field with the members of the Manitoba Golf Superintendents Association as one of a roster of speakers at the annual Manitoba Golf Superintendents Association annual general meeting.
Meeting plant requirements and managing irrigation systems can be a difficult task under normal circumstances. When slope plantings are involved, applying water efficiently and effectively can be extremely challenging. Too little water and plants won’t grow, and too much water and you’ve got other problems.
Try to kill a plant and most survive. Why? Plants are intelligent. They have evolved to develop themselves with multiple modules, so Stefano Mancuso notes. These modules function together and, if damaged, the plant continues to function.  The Internet functions with multiple computers, but if one is damaged the system continues. So do plants.
The importance of soil health and composition on golf courses is addressed by Purdue University's Dr. Cale Bigelow in a question-and-answer segment published by Golf Course Industry magazine. He discusses such topics as soil testing and fertility strategies in the interview.
A genetically-modified turfgrass variety that "escaped" test plots in Idaho has taken root elsewhere in the state as well as in Oregon and has been difficult to kill due to its modification, making it resistant to Roundup. The issue now has everyone from seed dealers and environmentalists to scientists and farmers up in arms.
There will be no subsidy for residents of Vernon, B.C. who wish to replace their lawns with drought-tolerant plantings. A program to promote xeriscape landscaping to achieve improved water use efficiency has been recommended for the municipality, but a rebate program will not be in the works.
The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is a refrain to which golf course superintendents subscribe. Photographs help turfgrass managers explain agronomic and maintenance programs to members and sell renovation and capital improvement projects to boards of directors; a smartphone snapshot is now a powerful and ubiquitous communication tool of the trade.
The importance of overseeding sports fields cannot be overstated. Abundant wear leads to bare spots. If these sections of a field are ignored, playability is compromised, and injuries to athletes are inevitable.

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